Sci-Fi Storm

Tag: disney

TidBits: Post-Comic Con roundup

by on Jul.25, 2018, under Movies, Television

I apologize once again for the lack of updates, especially on such a busy weekend as San Diego Comic Con. As it turns out I was pretty busy on the weekend, some of it unexpected, and was not able to keep up with all the news coming out – and shocked at some of it. However I did do a lot of behind-the-scenes work to improve the response of the web site, and I hope it is noticeable.

So please forgive me while I try to get on track again. In the meantime, here is just some of the news that came out of Comic Con and since…

One of the big news items was that shortly before he was to appear at a panel for one of his other movies, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn was fired from the franchise by Disney over tweets he made nearly 10 years ago that were, frankly offensive. Gunn stated in a release afterwards that the tweets were made as “totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative,” and has regretted them ever since. He accepted the decision and responsibility for his actions then, but also said he has changed in the years since. Many of his colleagues and actors have shown great support for him and expressed shock at his firing and asked Disney to reconsider, as have much of the fan base.

That might not be so far fetched, given today’s announcement that AMC has investigated the sexual assault claims against TV personality and The Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick by his former girlfriend Chloe Dykstra last month, and decided to reinstate him.” Hardwick has been suspended after Dykstra’s claims in an article, and the network had Yvette Nicole Brown take over his SDCC panels as well as host the Season 9 preview of The Walking Dead and act as interim The Talking Dead host. She will still handle the preview special.

Speaking of The Walking Dead, the shocking announcement was that star Andrew Lincoln, the central character of the show for its entire run, will be leaving the show to spend more time back home in the UK and taking time off. He added that “No one is bigger than the story,” and the show still has a lot of life in it.

In other casting news, Supergirl added transgender actress Nicole Maines as Nia Nal, a new CatCo reporter who also is superhero Dreamer. April Parker Jones also joins as a regular playing Colonel Haley, a hardline military commander, and David Ajala will recur as Manchester Black, a ruthless vigilante-type character. Previously announced regulars were Jesse Rath returning as Braniac-5 (a.k.a Brainy), and Sam Witwer joining as Agent Liberty. Over at Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Jeff Ward (Deke Shaw) was upped to a series regular.

Syfy announced that Wynonna Earp would be renewed for a fourth season, while Freeform renewed Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger for a second season. USA however canceled Colony after its third.


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Incredibles 2 breaks animation records; Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom looks towards big opening

by on Jun.20, 2018, under Movies

Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2, a sequel that took 14 years to make (and even references that in a short teaser) seems to have been worth the wait…it broken the records for a weekend opening for an animated film and a PG-rated film this past weekend, with a $183 million domestic gross, which lands it 8th all-time. And it wasn’t done there – it took in an additional $28.3 million just for Monday, another animated record and the second best Monday in June ever, behind Jurassic World. The movie is an excellent, fun continuation of the story of a family of Supers, who are outlawed due to the damage often surrounding their heroics – but it may be time for Supers to be legal again.

Speaking of Jurassic World, its own sequel, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is tracking for a $135-165 million opening weekend on what is looking like a busy weekend.


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Jon Favreau to executive produce and write live-action Star Wars series

by on Mar.08, 2018, under Television

Lucasfilm announced that Jon Favreau, who helped usher in the era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Marvel Studios, will now take the reins of the upcoming untitled live-action Star Wars series that will be part of Disney’s direct-to-consumer video service.

“I couldn’t be more excited about Jon coming on board to produce and write for the new direct-to-consumer platform,” says Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “Jon brings the perfect mix of producing and writing talent, combined with a fluency in the Star Wars universe. This series will allow Jon the chance to work with a diverse group of writers and directors and give Lucasfilm the opportunity to build a robust talent base.”

Favreau is familiar with the Star Wars universe as well, having voiced Pre Vizsla in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and will appear in the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story. “If you told me at 11 years old that I would be getting to tell stories in the Star Wars universe, I wouldn’t have believed you. I can’t wait to embark upon this exciting adventure.”

Favreau was nominated for an Emmy in 2005 for producing dinner for Five, and and won the Saturn Award in 2009 for Best Director for Iron Man. He directed both Iron Man and Iron Man 2, and executive produced the Iron Man and Avengers movies, and also appeared as Tony Stark’s assistant Happy Hogan in many of them. He’s currently working on The Lion King for Disney.

No release date for the Star Wars series has been announced.


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HotShot Trailers: Ralph Breaks The Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2

by on Feb.28, 2018, under Movies

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TidBits: Black Panther, Jumanji, Descendants 3, The Umbrella Academy

by on Feb.18, 2018, under Movies, Television

Another weekend TidBits to catch up…

Marvel’s Blank Panther is devouring the box office, likely looking at $150 million this weekend, and possibly opening the window to the entire Marvel universe for a shot in the films. A beautifully visual movie superbly acted – expect a review shortly.

In the meantime, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has been keeping to the top of the charts, winning most weeks since Star Wars: The Last Jedi died down, and provided a lighthearted movie among the more intense competition. It will cross $900 million world-wide today. See what we thought of the film.

Disney Channel has ordered up a third installment of The Descendants, their teen-centric fantasy musical TV movie series. The Kenny Ortega-produced franchise follows the teen descendants of Disney’s well-known princesses and villains and stars Dove Cameron, Sofia Carson, Cameron Boyce, Booboo Stewart, Mitchell Hope and China Anne McClain. The teaser (see below) has Mal (Cameron), the descendant of Maleficent, indicate that the new villain will be – her dad.

The Umbrella Academy, Netflix’s upcoming series based on the Gerard Way graphic novels about a dysfunctional academy/family of superheroes, named a number of regular and recurring cast this week. Regular cast announced incclude Cameron Britton (Mindhunter) will be Hazel, an infamously ruthless and efficient time-travelling hit-man; Colm Feore (House of Cards, The Chronicles of Riddick) is Sir Reginald Hargreeves, a wealthy entrepreneur and world-renowned scientist and the adopted father of the academy students; and Adam Godley (Breaking Bad), will portray (via voice/motion-capture) Pogo, a genetically-engineered chimpanzee. Ashley Madekwe (Revenge) will appear in a recurring role as Detective Patch, a fast rising, by the book detective of the police department. Previously announced as starring in the show are Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Ellen Page, Robert Sheehan and Aidan Gallagher.
(continue reading…)


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The universe shakes as Disney acquires parts of Fox

by on Dec.16, 2017, under Movies, Television

You may have heard about this tiny little deal in the entertainment world…Disney has agreed to purchase assets from 21st Century Fox, including Fox Studios, in a deal worth over $54 billion! Disney gets all of the film and television assets except the broadcast network (they already own ABC), sports and news divisions, which will be retained by Fox. Although this doesn’t include the broadcast network, it seems to leave the network without a TV production studio as a sibling, which the other major networks have.

Disney will also get the rights to all the upcoming Avatar movies, which isn’t surprising since the Mouse House has already incorporated the franchise into its Animal Kingdom theme park.

But one of the biggest ramifications everyone has been talking about is what it means for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Fox has owned the rights to the X-Men for some time, which as a result has left the X-Men out of the MCU, even for cameos. In fact, we ended up with two different versions of Quicksilver. In fact, both Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch where at the center of a battle between the two studios – Fox claimed they were part of the X-Men universe, while Disney wanted to use them in the Avengers. The studios came to an agreement to allow both to use the characters, so long as neither mentioned the other in either way. Fox never used Scarlet Witch, but Quicksilver first appeared in X-Men: Days of Future Past, and then in his MCU version in Avengers: Age of Ultron alongside Scarlet Witch.

Now with the acquisition, that line gets blurred and the X-Men could easily be included in the MCU going forward, if so desired. In fact, Hugh Jackman, who said he was retiring from playing Wolverine after Logan, left the door open if he could appear in an Avengers movie. So maybe Wolverine isn’t quite done yet.

Another Marvel rights property related to the acquisition is the Fantastic Four, but the rights issues are a little murkier. Fox did not own them outright but rather were in a partnership with the original optioner, Constantin Films. The rights and productions have an interesting history on its own, but rather than regurgitate it here Screen Rant has an excellent write-up. So the status of that property is perhaps less clear, although Disney mentioned them in their press release:

Combining with Disney are 21st Century Fox’s critically acclaimed film production businesses, including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox 2000, which together offer diverse and compelling storytelling businesses and are the homes of Avatar, X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool, as well as The Grand Budapest Hotel, Hidden Figures, Gone Girl, The Shape of Water and The Martian—and its storied television creative units, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox21, which have brought The Americans, This Is Us, Modern Family, The Simpsons and so many more hit TV series to viewers across the globe. Disney will also acquire FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, Fox Sports Regional Networks, Fox Networks Group International, Star India and Fox’s interests in Hulu, Sky plc, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group.

So Disney at least believes they are back in the fold.

Oh, and what of Deadpool, the R-rated superhero? Disney isn’t known for going after the R-rated audience, but Deadpool broke all the rules and was a massive success. Well, Disney CEO Bob Iger mentioned that specifically while addressing shareholders: “[Deadpool] clearly has been and will be Marvel branded. But we think there might be an opportunity for a Marvel-R brand for something like Deadpool. As long as we let the audiences know what’s coming, we think we can manage that fine.”

So there you have it. It might be a while before we see the rewards on screen, but I think I can hear the gears of MCU master Kevin Feige’s brain turning now…


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TidBits: Tarantino wants the captain’s chair for Star Trek; Disney hits $5B; Stranger Things readies round 3; American Gods duo leaves

by on Dec.04, 2017, under Movies, Television

Time to get caught up after a very busy weekend capping off a few busy weeks around here with school productions…so some tidbits from the past several days…

Director Quentin Tarantino has an idea for the next Star Trek movie…we don’t know what it is, but according to Deadline J.J. Abrams thinks enough of the idea to pull together a writers room to discuss and develop a script. Tarantino typically operates with free reign over his original movies, where a franchise like this might present challenges, so we’ll see how this shapes up.

Disney has blasted the $5 billion worldwide barrier for a record third time this year, following Thor’s Hammer smashing through box offices all over. Thor: Ragnarok has crossed $800 million alone.

The kids from Stranger Things will be back as Netflix picked up a third season of the hit thriller series. No word on what 80s iconic properties might show up this time around.

Michael Green and Bryan Fuller have abruptly left the production of the second season of Starz’ American Gods series. The two brought Neil Gaiman’s novel to the small screen and acted as executive producers/showrunners. No reason so far as been given for the departure, but rumors are that budget cuts were being imposed by FremantleMedia North America’s new head of scripted programming, Dante di Loreto.


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Live-action Star Wars series planned for new Disney streaming service

by on Nov.09, 2017, under Television

Star WarsEveryone wants a streaming service – and they need content to drive it…Disney is no different on that bandwagon, and head mouse Bob Iger announced today that one of the original series planned for their service is a live-action Star Wars series.

No real details were given – it was mentioned along with content based on other franchises such as Marvel, Monsters, Inc., and High School Musical – but speculation is growing that they might revive the long dormant live-action series that Lucas touted and we last heard might get life at ABC.

We’re probably some distance away from such a show, so there is plenty of time to speculate and dream…


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Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire to bring VR experience to Disney Resorts

by on Aug.04, 2017, under Fun Stuff, Movies

[Reposted from our sister site, WDW Untangled]

A collaboration between Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB division (which works on immersive entertainment) and VR experience startup THE VOID, will see a VOID Entertainment Center open at both Disneyland’s Downtown Disney and Walt Disney World’s Disney Springs, which will feature Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, a fully immersive VR experience, which The Void calls “hyper-reality”.

THE VOID already operates locations in New York City (inside Madame Tussaud’s), Toronto, Lindon, Utah and Dubai, where they have Ghostbusters Dimension.

The Void says Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire “will plunge guests directly into the iconic Star Wars galaxy. They will move freely throughout the untethered, social, and multi-sensory Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire experience in a way that allows them to interact and engage with friends, family and Star Wars characters. This ground-breaking experience will open to the public at two new VOID Experience Centers at Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort beginning this holiday season.”

“At The VOID, we combine the magic of illusion, advanced technology and virtual reality to create fully immersive social experiences that take guests to new worlds,” said Curtis Hickman, co-founder and chief creative officer at The VOID. “A truly transformative experience is so much more than what you see with your eyes; it’s what you hear, feel, touch, and even smell. Through the power of The VOID, guests who step into Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire won’t just see this world, they’ll know that they are part of this amazing story.”

Vicki Dobbs Beck, executive in charge of ILMxLab, said, “At ILMxLAB, we want people to step inside the worlds of our stories. Through our collaboration with The VOID, we can make this happen as guests become active participants in an unfolding Star Wars adventure. By combining Lucasfilm’s storytelling expertise with cutting-edge imagery, and immersive sound from the team at Skywalker Sound, while invoking all the senses, we hope to truly transport all those who experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire to a galaxy far, far away.”
Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire marks an important milestone in the continued expansion of The VOID, which also joined the 2017 Disney Accelerator earlier this year,” said Cliff Plumer, CEO of The VOID. “Through the power of The VOID, guests can now experience the magic of Star Wars firsthand.”

Expect to have to make reservations FAR in advance…


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Disney sets release dates; Star Wars IX takes saga back to May 2019

by on Apr.25, 2017, under Movies

Disney announced release dates for a slew of movies, and one of the notable dates is that the final episode of the Star Wars saga will move back to it’s old traditional release month, specifically May 24th, 2019 – which is the day before the 42nd anniversary of the first movie.

The Han Solo anthology movie also releases in May in 2018.

In addition, Disney has pushed back the fifth Indiana Jones installment a year to July 10, 2020, giving the old slot of July 19th, 2019 to the upcoming live action version of The Lion King.

Other dates (in release order):

A Wrinkle in Time: March 9th, 2018 (Moved up from April)
Magic Camp: April 6th, 2018
Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks The Internet: November 21, 2018 (Moved back from March)
Frozen 2: November 27, 2019
Gigantic: November 25, 2020 (Moved back from 2018)


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