Tag Archives: Disney

“Star Wars” – Attack of the production line?

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Honestly, you go away for a couple of days – a work trip, not exactly exciting – and things get all confusing for any self-respecting member of the “Star Wars” generation.  It’s as though you’ve been out of the game for a while and people get delusions of grandeur or something…

The sci-fi franchise’s new overlords, the Walt Disney Company, this week unleashed dark, Sithian portents of wholly predictable corporate malevolence by announcing that films seven, eight and nine in the new trilogy will open two years apart in 2015, 2017 and 2019 , with spin-off movies featuring “Star Wars” characters filling in the gaps between new instalments of the main saga (“Salacious Crumb – Lust for Glory” – make it so).

So, the House of Mouse is borrowing a note or two from the thus-far successful Marvel Studios play book and pitching their comic book movie business against the biggest name in cinematic sci-fi in a playground battle to win all of the marbles in the yard.  Greedy, much?

I confess to be alarmed by the proposed timeline – is two years between movies really a realistic schedule which would allow for quality to be maintained?  It doesn’t seem as though director J.J. Abrams could realistically turn around movies on this scale in that production line fashion – could any director keep to that kind of workload and deliver something which didn’t feel like a product tooled to meet a release date line in the sand?

Is the plan, then, to alternate directors on each Episode? Curiouser and curiouser…

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Yoda movie in works at Disney?

A stand-alone Yoda film?  I’ll believe it when I see it on Deadline.com

Hold onto your Gungans – Lucasfilm and Disney want to make a Yoda movie per dear old Harry Knowles and Ain’t It Cool News.

You can’t argue with the logic.  Having carefully laid the ground work for, and then convincingly established a catalogue of films based around Marvel’s superhero stable, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that Disney might find their newly-acquired “Star Wars” universe a suitable vehicle for further exploration.  Particularly as this particular sci-fi cast of characters and settings is as popular as ever with a younger generation of fans, who don’t have the hang-ups of oldsters like me about new-fangled “Clone Wars” spin-offs and patchy prequel trilogies.

AICN’s story alludes to Lucasfilm chairperson Kathleen Kennedy putting together a slate of movies set in the “Star Wars” universe and planning a first instalment set around the adventures of the diminutive Jedi Master, which strikes me as an interesting choice.  No Boba Fett?  No young Han Solo cutting a swathe through the galactic underworld, Danny Ocean style?  Still, if this initial salvo (should it come to pass) takes off, there’s no reason that we can’t see a whole panoply of “Star Wars” experiences duking it out in cinemas with Marvel movies for years to come.

But seriously, an IG-88 movie.  Make it happen, Ms Kennedy.

 

 

 

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Disney Deal Delivers New Star Wars trilogy…

Not pictured, Jar Jar Binks stuffed into a suitcase and LEFT FOR DEAD…

You go to sleep for a few hours and the movie business throws you a curve ball over night.

George Lucas is $4 billion richer, Disney now owns Lucasfilm and have a new trilogy of “Star Wars” movies in the works.  Things are in such a state of advancement that a treatment exists for the first in the proposed new series, with releases scheduled at a decent clip of every two to three years.

Of course, the negative Padawan in me is convinced that Disney’s involvement hastens the inclusion of Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber being cast as the offspring of Han Solo and Princess Leia, cheese-ball 3D bombast and full CG characters so irksome that they make Jar Jar Binks look like Marlon Brando.  But Disney involvement hasn’t exactly hurt Marvel Studios‘ world-domination strategy, so perhaps the knee jerk reaction to the House of Mouse snagging the rights to a Galaxy Far, Far Away should be tempered by the prospect that the best thing for the universe that George built is for its creator to hand the Bantha reins over to a new creative team?

I’m just intrigued by who Disney are going to enlist to bring this new series of films to cinemas worldwide.  Lucas is on board as a creative consultant and won’t be helming things – dare we hope for the calibre of filmmakers on First Showing’s list of suggested candidates (yes, yes, YES to Brad Bird.  A marriage made in nerd heaven…).

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A “Rocketeer” sequel? Better late than never…

The Rocketeer” – bopping Nazi swine on the chin and narrowly evading serious rear -end charring. Now THAT’s a superhero to reckon with…

Emboldened, perhaps, by the success enjoyed by junior partners Marvel Studios with their forties flavoured action adventure, “Captain America: The First Avenger“, Big Mouse on Campus Walt Disney Studios are apparently moving ahead with a slightly overdue sequel to their 1991 comic book adaptation, “The Rocketeer.

As I say, better late than never (given the equally prolonged period between sci-fi touchstone “Tron” and its follow-up, “Tron: Legacy“, perhaps this is just the way that the House of Mouse does it), albeit an intriguing choice given that many observers may look at the gigantic shortfall between financial outlay to box office receipts for the “Tron” sequel and this year’s “John Carter” and wonder just whether Disney have the wherewithal to deliver live action sci-fi thrills which resonate for a modern audience.

For the record, I enjoyed “Tron: Legacy” well enough, loved “John Carter” and would happily adopt “The Rocketeer” and bring it up as my slightly nerdy, earnest offspring, so the news of a new film is like catnip to me.  Or whatever it is that Dog-loving people would have in place of catnip.  I digress…

Logic would tell us that Disney would keep the period setting – my teeth are positively on edge at the mere idea of a modern “Rocketeer” reinvention – but who knows where they’re going with this revamp?  If it’s not LA in the forties, I’ll be a grumpy bunny.  Or more so than usual, anyway.

A casting suggestion, if you don’t mind, for chief rocket jockey Cliff Secord and then we’ll take our leave of this retro-frippery?

This chap:

 

 

You know it makes sense.

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Joss back for more “Avengers”, shiny awesome badassery to ensue…

“And the awesome sauce shall be liberally sprinkled behind me. Make it so, CG elves!”

Is it Summer 2015 yet?

Disney have announced, via one of those highfalutin financial call things, that Joss Whedon will write, direct, act-out motion capture reference material, pen delightful ditties and liberally sprinkle his particular brand of spectacular nerdery over the “Avengers 2: Thanos Boogaloo” sequel.

Apparently, and who would have thought it, earning $1.5 billion at the box office tends to make you popular and beloved with studios, don’t you know?  It couldn’t have happened to a nicer multi-media hypethenate.

Assembled. Any questions?

Whedon’s deal locks him into Disney’s mousy embrace until 2015 and includes input into the much-rumoured Marvel Universe television drama and other Marvel flicks, which I suspect is the kind of vote of confidence that must be nice to have.

So, Thanos and some galaxy-bestriding, cosmic adventuring, budget-smashing shenanigans then?  Sounds lovely.

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10 Minutes with Taylor Kitsch…

Which, to his fan base from “Friday Night Lights”, can only be a good thing.

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In their continuing effort to light a fire under the marketing effort for Andrew Stanton’s epic pulp sci-fi adventure, “John Carter”, Disney have placed ten minutes of footage from the opening of the film online, which you can view here on the Disney Movie Trailers YouTube channel

It’s every bit as handsomely staged and detailed as the advance word would have it, and the escape gag woven through the opening sequence is genuinely funny and delightful in it’s escalating absurdity.

I didn’t really need confirmation that this was a film I was interested in seeing on opening weekend, but this extended first look underlined things a little for me.

Let’s hope that enough people agree for this much ballyhooed but equally controversial film to enjoy a decent opening weekend.

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“John Carter” trailer 2 now live, “ER” fans resolutely bemused…

Taylor Kitsch is the eponymous "John Carter"...

Perspective is a funny thing.

When you’ve been around for a while, you start to see the difference between being an influencer and just being influenced.

Take this second trailer for Andrew Stanton and Disney’s “John Carter”, for example.  Many online reactions to the footage have centred around perceived echoes to scenes from “Star Wars Episode Two: Attack of the Clones” (the arena battles and the alien creatures) and “Avatar” (erm…John Carter is covered in blue monster gunk at one point?).

So, it couldn’t be the case that James Cameron and George Lucas were influenced by pulp sci-fi classics and managed to get their visions to the screen first, then?

Not skimping on the CG creatures...

I will concur that this trailer feels a little more generic and slightly ‘Bro’ audience-friendly than the first teaser – when the Led Zep tune kicked in, my eyebrow raised in sympathy.  It’s a weird choice, no doubt – better to use some sympathetic cues from Howard Shore or James Horner than to have a rather out-of-place classic rock jam being rather out-of-place in a trailer which is going to get in front of a lot of eyes in the next month or so, surely?

...Blue Man Group live at Red Rocks? No? I'll get my coat...

Films (and film-makers) are the product of their influences, just as games and developers soak up influence and project it into their craft – witness the number of fans who look at “Halo” and the lore that Bungie created and then see “Aliens” for the first time and somehow convince themselves that James Cameron is guilty of ripping off a game which came out perhaps twenty years after he began work on his film.  It’s asinine and absurd, but less well-informed fans will insist on believing it.

Does he look like an Ewok? Does he?

Influence and those who are influenced – look into it.

A Martian spaceship, yesterday..

“John Carter” is out in March 2012.

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