The other day, Disney floated the idea that sometime soon the original versions of the original Star Wars trilogy might be released, unmolested by special edition tinkering, would be issued in the high-def Blu-ray format. Now fans are not often known for their patience, and considering that George Lucas spent years saying that those first cuts of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi are gone, and that they weren’t coming back, it should come as no surprise that many weren’t holding their breath for Lucas to change his mind. So one group of techie savvy and dedicated fans said “F**k It! We’ll do our own original version release! With Black Jack! And hookers! (Okay, maybe not those last two.)
As I’m sure you’re all aware, there are two competing versions of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book in development. One has Jon Favreau and the resources and abilities of Disney behind it, and the other has the motion capture spellcasting of Andy Serkis in the director’s chair. The former has the considerable voice acting talents of Christopher Walken, Ben Kingsley and Bill Murray, but the latter is collecting some impressive voice talent of its own. Trading one Khan for another, Benedict Cumberbatch has been hired to voice Shere Khan in Serkis’ Jungle Book. (more…)
As tight as security has been on the set and production of Star Wars: Episode VII there have been a couple of leaks aside from the official announcements and marketing material. We recently reported on a sketch purported to be the new Stormtrooper helmet that will be used in J.J. Abrams‘ Star Wars: Episode VII. Now some images has surfaced on the Internet showing us two distinct types of Stormtrooper helmets. (more…)
J.J. Abrams, Lucasfilms, and Disney teamed up to use the power of Star Wars Fandom to raise funds for UNICEF Innovation Labs. The Star Wars: Force For Change drive recently hit a milestone surpassing $5 million in total funds including $1 million in matching funds from Disney. To celebrate the achievement, J.J. Abrams tweeted out a nice teaser to fans and announced the winner of the grand prize of a VIP plus one guest visit to the Episode VII set in London, which also includes the opportunity to be in the movie in full makeup and costume. (more…)
Next year, The House of Mouse will be doing more for Star Wars fans than bringing the franchise back to the silver screen–they’ll also be expanding the brand’s presence in their worldwide theme parks in a BIG way:
Disney CEO Bob Iger said on Tuesday during an earnings call that the company is:
The SW presence in Disney’s parks already includes the Star Tours simulator ride in the California, Tokyo, and Paris Disneylands–as well as in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida. Furthermore, the California and Florida parks feature an interactive show called Jedi Training Academy. Disney’s Hollywood Studios also hosts an annual event known as Star Wars Weekends featuring shows, parades, and some kind of store called–I swear to God–Darth’s Mall.
Hit the jump for the future of Disney’s Star Wars theme park expansion: (more…)
One of the more interesting topics of gossip going into 2015 had revolved around a cinematic showdown between Disney/Marvel’s Captain America 3 and Warner Bros./DC’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Both films were to face head-to-head and compete for box office supremacy in sharing an initial release date May 6th, 2016. Believing in their brands, and tuning into a massive stock in interest amongst eager fans, as well as taking into consideration an already loaded summer movie schedule, both studios stayed firm to their planned release. The titans of industry were, up until recently, locked in an eternal game of “chicken”, with neither Studio wanting to budge. Some people have called it a pissing match, a duel of egos. While insiders will tell you that’s hardly the case at all. Truth be told, there is a science and business to release dates. But, for the sake of fun, watching these two studios stare each other down had left curious fans wondering how it would all play out.
Well my friends, the war is over. One studio has caved while the other stands tall pounding its chest and letting out a roar of victory. (more…)
If you are one of the millions of people who saw Disney’s Frozen, you understand just why the movie was such a hit, not just with kids, but with adults as well. Beyond just wonderful storytelling and fantastic animation, the blockbuster carried an important message: women are pretty badass and don’t need a prince to save them. So, how do you follow up such an epic event? Well if you are writer-director Jennifer Lee (Frozen, Wreck it Ralph), you up the stakes by adapting a childhood favorite. (more…)
Disney is no stranger to the musical genre. As a matter of fact, it wouldn’t be unfair to say that musicals are Disney’s bread and butter and they have almost perfected the art of transforming a medium that some choose to avoid into a mainstream movie event that appeals to almost any demographic. The trailer for the latest outing in Disney’s movie musical library, Into the Woods, doesn’t showcase much of the music that will likely fill almost every scene, but it does give audiences plenty of reasons to run to the theater opening weekend. (more…)
In just about 3 years, another film in the POTC franchise will take what it can–which, based on history, could be as much as a billion dollars worldwide–and give nothing back, except a reasonably entertaining two hours or so.
Perhaps solely to remind us that they STILL do things other than Star Wars and superheroes, Disney has decided to continue the lucrative franchise with a fifth installment tentatively subtitled “Dead Men Tell No Tales”.
As for who will make up this outing’s cast, we have no information as of yet–though all 4 installments have thus far starred Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, and Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa, so the return of one or both of them is more or less assured…..and frankly, I don’t see how you could even consider making a POTC film without Depp–but then, I didn’t think they could (or should) make one without Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley….More after the jump: (more…)
For a while it had seemed doubtful that Robert Downey Jr. would don Tony Stark’s “high-tech prosthesis” after the completion of Avengers 3, and he has made it clear that he knows Iron Man will go on long after he retires to the private island he will likely buy with the piles of money he made playing the character.
So what’s changed? Well, mostly it seems to be the fact that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has established that a certain character who was used as a cover for a certain Aldrich Killian is most CERTAINLY real. I refer, of course, to The Mandarin. The REAL Mandarin, not the masquerade performed by Trevor Slattery. Apparently, ever since Marvel’s short film All Hail The King hinted at the possibility of The Mandarin’s existence, there has been serious interest in a fourth installment in the Iron Man franchise.
The only real question has been whether or not RDJ will reprise the title role. And it seems THAT depends upon the depth of Disney’s pockets. More after the ever-popular jump: (more…)