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Tag: disney

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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Disney considering two-night immersive Star Wars experience

by on Apr.19, 2017, under Fun Stuff, Movies

Before I say more, I want to preface this by pointing to the second word in this article’s headline – “considering”. There have been a number of “breaking news” articles in the last 24 hours that say “creating”, and the two are VERY different.

According to Tom Corliss of WDW News Today, Disney has been sending a survey to guests via Swagbucks (an earn-rewards-for-surveys site), that asks them their interest in a new form of Star Wars experience – a two-night all-inclusive stay aboard a “starship” (think something like a Star Destroyer or Republic cruiser) with a fully immersive experience where you take part in the story via training programs including lightsaber training, secret missions, and more. The reported price tag would be $900-$1000 per person. You can see some concept art on the original article. This would be a resort next to Disney’s Hollywood Studios park, which is currently getting a massive makeover for a Star Wars “land”, and the price would include some exclusive access to that area (due to be completed in 2019).

Although I think this is a GREAT idea and would totally do it (I’m still considering the price tag, however – I could spend a week on a cruise for that), I’m cautious mainly because I am very familiar with Disney and all these plans that never come to fruition. First, historically a lot of “blue sky” ideas (basically the first level of coming up with ideas, long before practicality and budgets get looked at) get leaked through social media. I’m still waiting for the extra-immersive Adventurers Club over at Animal Kingdom, for example, or the return of River Country.

Second, Disney sends LOTS of surveys with all sorts of ideas to gauge guest interest. I’ve taken dozens of them. Many things on those surveys can be outlandish, and never come to be, but may lead to other ideas. Usually Disney does such surveys internally as well, but this one was done by a third party.

There are various stages of bringing any idea to fruition – this is somewhere above “blue sky”, since they have some concept art showing they are thinking of this seriously), but this is still far below “announced” – and if you know about Disney’s history with announcements, even then that doesn’t mean it gets built.

I place this right now as a 10% confidence of it happening. So while I’m thrilled at the possibility of this existing, my practical Disney side is also saying it is a long shot. I’d like to see this more like a special Star Wars cruise – at least then you are on a real ship. 🙂


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Holiday Tidbits: Rogue One, Doctor Who, Arrival

by on Jan.02, 2017, under Movies, Television

Just a quick roundup on end-of-2016 events…most notably that it’s been the biggest U.S. box office year for movies ever, taking in $11.13 billion with a few days of strong tracking to go. Leading the pack was Disney/Pixar’s Finding Dory at $486 million, followed Rogue One: A Star Wars Story which had $424M, and Captain America: Civil War at $408M, giving Disney’s divisions the box office trifecta for 2016. Rogue One also looks to keep running into 2017, as it reached it’s mark in only 16 days!

While slower at gaining a box office following, Arrival, which cost much less to make than Rogue One and faced a lot of competition after its release, passed $150 million in the global box office, which is not bad for a “thinker” science fiction movie.

What happens when you mash up a superhero story with Doctor Who on Christmas Day? You get the most watched program in 2016 for BBC America. “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” had 1.7 million viewers in the Live+3 ratings and topped all the key demographics, as well as being the channels most active program on social media. Still not sure when the upcoming season will begin, but we are thinking around April.


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Live-action Star Wars series still possible at ABC

by on Aug.06, 2016, under Television

At the recent TCAs, ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey said that talks are still ongoing between the network and Lucasfilm, two divisions of corporate parent Disney, for live action prime time series based on Star Wars. “We have had conversations, and we will continue to have conversations with Lucasfilm. It would be wonderful to extend the franchise.”

This comes as no surprise as Disney has been going full-Death Star with the franchise since acquiring Lucasfilm in 2012. A second animated series, Rebels airs on Disney XD, Episode VII was released last year, the first anthology film, Rogue One releases this December, Episode VIII is in production, and Disney’s theme parks are greatly expanding the presence of Star Wars in the parks.

In addition, Disney has already brought two of its other acquired properties, Marvel and the Muppets, to ABC although the latter had trouble finding an audience, not helped by creative issues with the production.

But what will the possible series entail? It could be anything – they may be discussing the possibility of the setting as part of the negotiations. But we are reminded of how five years ago George Lucas was hot on a live action series so much that they wrote as many as 50 multiple draft scripts for a series set between Episodes III and IV, which may still be available. At the time it was too expensive to actually produce. However, this is the same time period already covered by Rebels as well as the upcoming Rogue One and the second anthology movie about Han Solo, making it a crowded space – and it is possible that some of the plots were re-tuned for the other projects.

Personally, with the expanded timeline that the Star Wars universe already has, I’d like to see them explore a completely different time period, perhaps dealing with the initial reformation of the Sith and the early Republic, whether they use the former Expanded Universe as the basis or not.


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Tidbits: A Wrinkle In Time, Captain Marvel, Caves of Steel movie, Wynonna Earp renewed

by on Jul.26, 2016, under Fun Stuff, Movies, Television

Some tidbits as I get a break from vacation/traveling…

On the movie front, Oprah Winfrey is near set to star as Mrs. Which in a new adaptation of A Wrinkle In Time to be directed by Ava DuVernay (Selma) for Disney. Amy Adams and Kevin Hart are also in talks.

Speaking of Disney, Disneyland is about to rebuild it’s Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction with a whole new theme based on Guardians of the Galaxy. The new attraction will be called “Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout” and be ready for next summer. Here is a video of Joe Rhode explaining the attraction:

Also on the Disney park front, if you can get to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Florida, you have to check out the “Star Wars Galactic Spectacular” fireworks and light show. It is AMAZING!

The new Captain Marvel has been announced, and it will be Brie Larson. Kevin Feige made the announcement at Comic Con, but wouldn’t say what movie she might first appear in.

Syfy renewed Wynonna Earp for a second season.

Lastly, Fox has tapped Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) to adapt Isaac Asimov’s Caves of Steel, which has been in the works for a few years with Simon Kinberg with Henry Hobson. Ironically, Akiva Goldsman co-wrote 2004’s I, Robot, which is often mistaken as an Asimov story due to similar themes with a collection of stories Asimov wrote with the same title, but the movie was based on a short story by Eando Bender.


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