Director Patrick Osborne Talks FEAST, the Process of Pitching, Developing, and Producing a Short Film at Disney, Working with John Lasseter, and More

by     Posted 14 hours ago

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The upcoming animated short film Feast, which will run in theaters with Big Hero 6, opening on November 7th, is the story of one man’s life, as seen through the eyes of his best friend and dog, Winston, and revealed through the meals that they share.  It’s a beautiful, funny, heart-warming story about love.

During a recent presentation and screening at Walt Disney Animation Studios, to showcase their latest short, director Patrick Osborne talked about how quickly Feast went from pitch to finished product, all with the guidance and support of John Lasseter.  During the interview, he discussed where this idea came from, making this as part of Disney’s shorts program, what the pitch process is like, creating the look of the food, developing a short versus a feature, what the lighting process is like, the must-have foods that he wanted to include, why he chose to make the human characters out of focus, the biggest challenges in coming up with the story, the most technically difficult scene, and collaborating with John Lasseter throughout the process.  Check out what he had to say after the jump. 

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA Resurrected? Disney Eyeing Potential Early 2015 Production Start for Remake [Updated]

by     Posted 3 days ago

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One of the most promising projects of the past decade may have new life, though whether it still resembles its former iteration is unclear.  Filmmaker David Fincher had been developing a remake of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea at Disney for years, and it finally looked like he was ready to tackle the project after the back-to-back productions The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  He worked hard to make the film happen, but his vision for an epic, adventurous retelling necessitated a massive budget from Disney, which in turn necessitated a bankable star in the lead.  Fincher approached his pal Brad Pitt, but he opted to make Fury instead.  Then Matt Damon and Daniel Craig were considered, but neither wanted to leave their families for a lengthy shoot in Australia.  Even Channing Tatum was a possibility.

Last summer, after Fincher committed to Gone Girl has his next picture, word came that 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was officially dead.  However, it appears that the film may yet have life, as Disney is in negotiations with the Australian government for tax incentives that would pave the way for an early 2015 shoot on 20,000 Leagues. [Update: It's possible that Disney may actually be trying to use the pre-approved incentive for 20,000 Leagues on the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean 5. More after the jump.]

FROZEN Sing-Along DVD Set for November 18th Release; Sequel Chapter-Book Series Hits Shelves January 6, 2015

by     Posted 9 days ago

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The Frozen cash cow continues to be milked.  Disney was somewhat unprepared for just how massive a success its animated film would be when it hit theaters last November, underestimating the merchandise demand so poorly that Disney stores around the country were regularly out of Frozen toys, costumes, etc.  Well now the studio has finally caught up to the film’s popularity, and if anyone knows how to keep a property alive for decades on end, it’s Disney.  The studio is hard at work on a Broadway musical adaptation of the film and is also slowly developing a feature film follow-up, but before all that, kids will have new Frozen materials to fawn over this holiday season.

Disney has announced that a Frozen Sing-Along DVD will hit stores on November 18th, as if kids (and adults) didn’t already know all the words to “Let It Go.”  Moreover, a Frozen sequel is coming sooner than you think in the form of a series of chapter books.  Hit the jump for more.

FROZEN Director Jennifer Lee to Write Adaptation of A WRINKLE IN TIME

by     Posted 16 days ago

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Madeleine L’Engle‘s classic children’s sci-fi book A Wrinkle in Time has avoided a big-screen adaptation for over fifty years, but now it might be finally headed to theaters.  According to Variety, Disney has hired Oscar-winning Frozen co-writer and director Jennifer Lee to write the screenplay for the Newbery Medal-winning novel.  The book is usually one of the first works of literature to introduce children to sci-fi, and revolves around a young girl who goes out to find her missing father, who worked as a government scientist.  Lee reportedly “impressed Disney executives with her take on the project, which emphasizes a strong female-driven narrative and creatively approaches the science fiction and world-building elements of the book.”

Hit the jump for more.

Robert Downey Jr. Hints at Return for IRON MAN 4

by     Posted 29 days ago

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I’ve never really expected an Iron Man 4, however naive that may seem.  I really, really liked Iron Man 3.  So far, having not yet seen Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s my favorite film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  And I had always sort of taken the hint that it was the final Iron Man installment for Robert Downey Jr.  It wrapped up his version of Tony Stark’s arc in a way that felt complete to me.  Also, anyone who’s paying attention knows that, exempting his appearance in Avengers: Age Of Ultron, he might be getting too expensive for Marvel.  Blockbuster dealmaking is a complicated game and once an actor is branded with a successful role it gets extremely expensive to keep them onboard after their initial contract expires.

But Robert Downey Jr. isn’t wiping his hands of a potential Iron Man 4 just yet.  Despite Gwyneth Paltrow’s prognostication that a 4th film isn’t in the cards (and Downey himself seeming noncommittal over a year ago), there still might be another go-around for Marvel and the original Tony Stark.  Hit the jump for more on the potential for Robert Downey Jr. returning to Iron Man 4.

Marvel Announces May 3rd, 2018 Movie; Could This Be AVENGERS 3?

by     Posted 29 days ago

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Last week Marvel announced 5 Untitled Movies with release dates stretching all the way up until May of 2019.  At the time, I guessed that the one bearing the date of May 3rd, 2019 would be Avengers 3 since that franchise’s signature early May release date was missing from the 2018 slate and 2017 seemed just a bit too soon to get everyone together again.

I’m doing away with that theory at this point because Marvel just announced yet another film for May 4th, 2018.  That first week of May is Avengers territory and 2018 is one whole year sooner that the studio gets to trot out their most valuable IP.  It makes sense that they want as few gaps between these things as possible.  So now I’m going to guess that  Avengers 3 hits on May 4th, 2018.  Hit the jump for more on this potential Avengers 3 release date.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 5 Has a New Release Date; July 7th 2017

by     Posted 29 days ago

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About a year ago Disney pulled Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales from the 2015 release calendar so that Kon-Tiki helmers Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg would have more time to work on Jeff Nathanson’s script, which they apparently wanted to tweak.  A wise move considering how On Stranger Tides turned out (even if its international box office was higher than its predecessors).

But now we have an official new release date for the film.  Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (apparently that’s still the official title) will now arrive on July 7th, 2017.  Hit the jump for more on the new Pirates of the Caribbean 5 release date.

Jon Favreau’s THE JUNGLE BOOK Casts Newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli; Will Be the Only Actor Onscreen

by     Posted 37 days ago

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After a worldwide casting search that included thousands of auditions, Disney and director Jon Favreau have cast 10-year-old Neel Sethi as Mowgli in the upcoming The Jungle Book adaptation.  The project has previously been described as a mix between live-action and animation, but today’s casting announcement for Sethi reveals that he will be the only actor seen onscreen in the film; this newcomer will be carrying the entire movie on his shoulders.  Though Sethi has no professional experience, Favreau and his team feel confident that has the charisma and instincts to bring this new iteration of Rudyard Kipling’s classic story to life.

Sethi will be working with a number of CG characters, as Idris Elba is onboard to voice Shere Khan, Scarlett Johansson will voice Kaa, Lupita Nyong’o is voicing Rakcha, and Sir Ben Kingsley will voice the character of Bagheera.  The Jungle Book is currently in production and is scheduled for release in 3D on October 9, 2015.

Guillermo del Toro Provides a HAUNTED MANSION Update; May Be Open to Directing Now

by     Posted 39 days ago

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We haven’t heard that much on the Haunted Mansion front from Guillermo del Toro recently, with our last update on the matter being over a year or so ago.  Del Toro likes to keep a lot of irons in the fire though (I don’t blame him) and he recently indicated that the Disney ride adaptation he plans to produce and co-write (and possibly even direct) isn’t quite dead.  He’s still plugging along at it.

If you haven’t caught up with the other del Toro projects in the works, you can check out Steve’s interview with him earlier this week that covered stuff like the Pacific Rim Animated Series At the Mountains of Madness, Crimson Peak and The Strain along with his new Black and White movie.   Hit the jump for del Toro’s Haunted Mansion update.

Live-Action DUMBO Remake in the Works at Disney; TRANSFORMERS 4 Writer Ehren Kruger to Tackle Adaptation

by     Posted 44 days ago

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Surprising but, at the same time, not surprising.  Disney is planning a live action take on Dumbo to be penned by Transformers: Age Of Extinction writer Ehren Kruger (to be fair, he was under some non-narrative marching orders on that one).  Oblivion producer Justin Springer will co-produce alongside Kruger.

If you’re like me and it’s been decades since you’ve seen the original Dumbo, you may not have easily recalled that this elephant can fly.  He can.  No matter, Disney is said to be confident that modern CGI can take care of such things.  I’m sure it can, but doesn’t a live action flying elephant seem like an aesthetic nightmare come to life?  Hit the jump for more on the new Dumbo remake.

ENCHANTED 2 Moving Forward at Disney with SHREK 2 and SMURFS Writers

by     Posted 51 days ago

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Seven years after the first film implanted “Happy Working Song” into everyone’s heads, Disney is finally getting serious about Enchanted 2.  The original pic, directed by Kevin Lima, imagined what would happen if one of Disney’s gleeful and song-filled princesses made her way into present day New York City, with Amy Adams filling the lead role of Giselle.  The result was a funny, catchy, and surprisingly self-aware film that went on to gross $340 million at the worldwide box office.  Talk of a sequel surfaced soon after, but the follow-up failed to materialize.

Now, with Frozen having grossed over $1.2 billion worldwide and lighting up the home video charts, Disney suddenly has renewed interest in an Enchanted sequel as it has set new screenwriters on the project.  Hit the jump for more.

Pete Docter & Jonas Rivera Preview the Opening of Pixar’s INSIDE OUT (Plus a Sneak Peek of the Latest Pixar Short LAVA)

by     Posted 62 days ago

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It’s simply astonishing how effortlessly Pete Docter is able to condense massive amounts of plot & exposition into the most accessible and comprehensive manner possible.  Take a gander at the opening of Docter’s previous film Up, distilling an entire life span and romantic relationship into just ten minutes.  The filmmaker’s latest Pixar venture Inside Out – set for release a year from today – (on paper) could seem almost unbearably convoluted, but in Docter’s deft hands it all becomes so very easy to follow.  Set inside an adolescent girl’s mind, Inside Out focuses on the ‘emotions’ – Anger, Joy, Sadness, Fear & Disgust – that control the personality and actions of their host’s body.  Think of the film sort of as the Disney version of Being John Malkovich.  The genius of Docter is to mix the art-house cerebral ideas of that film (e.g. the existential quandaries of identity) with more traditional Disney sentimentality (the importance of the familial unit is front and center here).

At a special Pixar event tonight, Docter and his producing partner Jonas Rivera gave an exclusive presentation of Inside Out, including a preview of the opening five minutes of the picture.  In addition, the Pixar short film Lava (which will play before Inside Out) screened to the attentive audience.  For highlights from the presentation, Inside Out and Lava, hit the jump.

Two New Posters for Disney’s Animated Marvel Movie BIG HERO 6

by     Posted 73 days ago

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Disney has released new Big Hero 6 posters.  Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh) and Chris Williams (Bolt) directed the adaptation of the Marvel comic, which takes place in the high-tech city of San Fransokyo and tells the story of a robotics prodigy named Hiro Hamada who, with his robot companion Baymax in tow, teams up with a reluctant team of first-time crime fighters to save the metropolis from destruction.  The teaser trailer was adorable, and while these posters don’t give us a look at any of the other characters, it’s still nice to focus on these protagonists.  It’s also clear that when it comes to the cute-factor, the studio will probably be relying heavily on Baymax.

Hit the jump to check out the poster.  The film features the voices of The film features the voices of T.J. MillerMaya Rudolph, and Jamie Chung.  Big Hero 6 opens November 7th.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Live-Action Film to be Directed by Bill Condon for Disney

by     Posted 78 days ago

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About two months ago we asked if there was any truth to the rumor that Bill Condon would be directing a live-action version of Beauty and the Beast for Disney.  Well, now that the studio’s Maleficent picture is nearing $200 million worldwide in its first week of release, they’re apparently anxious to move onto the next project.  New reports confirm Condon will indeed head up the Beauty and the Beast live-action treatment, scripted by Evan Spiliotopoulos.  If the new version is anything close to its animated forebear (which earned $375 million and a Best Picture Oscar nomination), then Disney is in for another payday.  Hit the jump for more.

TOP 5: MALEFICENT, ANT-MAN Director Search, New SNOWPIERCER Trailer, A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST, LEFT BEHIND Trailer Starring Nicolas Cage

by     Posted 82 days ago

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I’m a week late to the game on this one but I’m going to share my thoughts on X-Men: Days of Future Past today nevertheless. While not on par with the excellent X-Men: First Class, I found DOFP to be a worthy follow-up that does an admirable job of bringing continuity to the movie tapestry while mercifully retconning X-Men: The Last Stand out of the discussion almost entirely. Also, for all of the cynicism I threw the film’s way over Quicksilver’s costume design, Evan Peters steals the show during his all too brief screen time. Without giving away too much to those who still haven’t caught the movie, his primary scene is the best that DOFP has to offer and tops Nightcrawler’s attack on the White House in X2 which is not praise that I heap lightly. While not without its flaws (the scenes set in the future are far less compelling than the story playing out in the past), DOFP is still a solid entry in the series that has me looking forward to X-Men: Apocalypse.

All DOFP reflections aside, this week’s Top 5 features our Maleficent interviews and review, Marvel’s ongoing search to find someone/anyone to direct Ant-Man following Edgar Wright‘s departure, the new trailer for Snowpiercer, Matt’s review of A Million Ways to Die in the West and an interview with Seth Macfarlane and Charlize Theron, and Nicolas Cage starring in the first trailer for the new Left Behind film because he can. Keep reading for brief recaps and links for all of the above.

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