Rumor: Could Bill Condon Direct Disney’s Live-Action BEAUTY AND THE BEAST?

by     Posted 5 days ago

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Though it’s taken a few years to come to fruition, Disney’s billion-dollar-grossing Alice in Wonderland kicked off a new trend for the studio in 2010.  It has slowly been working on live-action adaptations of some of the studio’s classic animated films, and we’ll see the next one this May in the form of Maleficent, which tells the Sleeping Beauty story from the villain’s point of view.  After that, we have Kenneth Branagh’s live-action Cinderella set for release in March 2015, Jon Favreau is directing a live-action take on The Jungle Book for release in October 2015, and there is also a redo of Beauty and the Beast in the works.

While Disney set a writer on Beauty and the Beast early last year, we haven’t heard much more about the project in the interim.  However, if a new report is to be believed, the studio may have found a director in Dreamgirls and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn helmer Bill Condon.  More after the jump.

David Lowery in Talks to Direct PETE’S DRAGON for Disney After Co-Writing Screenplay

by     Posted 10 days ago

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David Lowery signed on last year to co-write Pete’s Dragon for Disney with his writing partner Toby Halbrooks.  It was a curious announcement in two respects.  First, Lowery is jumping from the crime drama Ain’t Them Bodies Saints to a re-imagining of the 1977 family-friendly musical.  Second, Disney signed the writer/director only to write, not direct.  The first item remains in play, but The Wrap reports Lowery is now in negotiations to direct Pete’s Dragon as well and could take precedence over his other projects.

The new Pete’s Dragon will not be a musical, but should borrow some elements from the original, which centered on a young orphan who flees his abusive parents and befriends a dragon that often turns invisible.  Watch the trailer after the jump.

First Voice Actor Cast for Disney/Marvel’s BIG HERO 6 Is T.J. Miller

by     Posted 19 days ago

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The first voice actor for the first official big screen team-up between Disney and Marvel has been revealed.  Rotoscopers (via Bleeding Cool) reports that T.J. Miller will play Fred in Big Hero 6, which is a Disney Animation adaptation of the Marvel comic of the same name.  Miller subsequently confirmed the news on Twitter before deleting the tweet, so perhaps an official cast announcement is coming our way soon.  Hit the jump for more on the project and Miller’s character.

Disney and IMAX Extend Partnership; STAR WARS: EPISODE VII to Be Released in IMAX

by     Posted 27 days ago

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Disney and IMAX have sent out a press release announcing that they have extended their partnership, and will continue to release the studio’s biggest films in the world’s biggest theatrical format.  The films mentioned in the press release are Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Maleficent, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tomorrowland, and Star Wars: Episode VII.  None of this is surprising.  Almost every major blockbuster gets an IMAX release these days, and I’m fine with that.  I like IMAX.  I don’t like 3D, and all of these movies will most likely be in 3D, but you can’t win them all.

Hit the jump for the press release.

Disney Developing THE INCREDIBLES 2 and CARS 3

by     Posted 29 days ago

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Pixar has a string of original films due out over the next couple of years, but they’ll be returning to sequels in 2016 with Finding Dory.  The studio needs to pay the bills with known properties, and it looks like they’ll have a couple more on the way.  According to /Film, Disney chief Bob Iger told investors that The Incredibles creator Brad Bird is writing The Incredibles 2.  Iger also said Pixar is working on another Cars film, which isn’t much of a surprise considering that kids will buy the merchandise forever.

The reason to get excited is for The Incredibles 2 since Bird is going to be involved.  The filmmaker has never written off the possibility of a sequel, and a few years ago he said he had “some ideas” for it.  He’s currently working on his second live-action feature, Tomorrowland (due out May 22, 2015), and I doubt we’d see The Incredibles 2 until probably 2018 at the earliest.  Nevertheless, it’s still exciting that the superhero family might be returning to the big screen.  Hit the jump for a recap of Pixar’s current release schedule.

Over 40 Pictures from Mondo’s Disney Gallery Show “Nothing’s Impossible” Featuring Work by Martin Ansin, Tom Whalen, and Aaron Horkey

by     Posted 40 days ago

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Mondo’s Disney gallery show Nothing’s Impossible was another hit.  People camped out for days in the freezing weather, and the line reached over 300 people by the time the gallery opened.  Artists such as Martin Ansin, Tom Whalen, Aaron Horkey, and Jason Edmiston had killer pieces for this show which tackled hit Disney properties such as The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast.  Check out over 40 photos after the jump.

FROZEN Crosses $1 Billion at Worldwide Box Office; Becomes 18th Highest Grossing Film of All Time

by     Posted 44 days ago

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Make no mistake; Disney’s Frozen is a box office behemoth.  The film picked up two  well-deserved Oscars last night for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song, and this weekend the pic crossed the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office with $1,000.2 billion.  That puts the fairy tale musical at number 18 on the all-time box office chart, sandwiched between The Dark Knight at 17 with $1,004.6 and The Lion King at 19 with $987.5 million.  This also makes Frozen the second film of 2013 to join the Billion Dollar Club, as Iron Man 3 (also released by Disney) currently holds the number 5 slot with a whopping $1,215.4 billion worldwide.

Broadway veteran Idina Menzel performed the Oscar-winning Frozen song “Let It Go” during the Academy Awards ceremony last night, but it was clear that she had trouble hearing herself in her in-ear monitor, resulting in a sadly disappointing performance.  You can watch the “Let It Go” clip from the film after the jump if you need a refresher of just how amazing Menzel’s voice really is.  Frozen will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 18th, but you can click here to pre-order.

THE JUNGLE BOOK Diamond Edition Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 45 days ago

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I did not grow up watching Disney animated movies like most kids (ironically, I am now conversant in them almost to the level of a true Disnoid).  Indeed, I only remember having seen three in my young years: Lady and the Tramp, The Black Calderon and The Jungle Book.  My memories of The Jungle Book being particularly thin, it was with great and somewhat nostalgic anticipation that I approached Disney’s new Blu-ray release of the film.  Hit the jump for my review.

TOP 5: Adam Driver Nears Deal to Play Villain in STAR WARS EPISODE 7, GODZILLA Trailer, NON-STOP, Cinemath Meets Oscar Beat, VERONICA MARS Set Visit

by     Posted 46 days ago

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Lying somewhat quietly between two of David Fincher‘s most beloved works is The Game (1997) starring Michael Douglas. Although it failed to reach the level of critical and box office success enjoyed by Seven (1995) or the cult classic status of Fight Club (1999), after watching its Criterion Collection DVD release this past week I came away thinking that it may actually be one of Fincher’s best directorial efforts. Working from a script by John Brancato and Michael Ferris (2/3 of the writing trio that helped bring you the 2004 Catwoman screenplay that you enjoyed so much), Fincher’s cold/muted color palette, striking visual style, and fantastic pacing help elevate the interesting, albeit occasionally absurd, screenplay to another level. The result is a haunting work that expertly sets up and tears down the callous, calculated world of corporate wealth by forcing Douglas’ Ebenezer Scrooge archetype to see the shell of a life he has outside of his work and possessions. The Game may go off the rails at times, but with Fincher’s steady hand guiding the story it does so in all the extremely dark, right ways.

My Fincher recommendation aside, I should mention that the Top 5 will take a quick week hiatus to allow me to travel next weekend. In the meantime, this week’s installment highlights the Star Wars: Episode VII casting news involving Adam Driver, the new trailer for director Gareth EdwardsGodzilla, a review and interviews for Non-Stop, worlds colliding as Brendan’s Cinemath meets Adam’s Oscar Beat, and our Veronica Mars set visit coverage. As you’ve come to expect, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.

ABC to Air Sneak Peek at THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON on One-Hour Special MARVEL STUDIOS: ASSEMBLING A UNIVERSE

by     Posted 48 days ago

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All hail corporate synergy!  Because Disney owns ABC and Marvel, next month the network will air a one-hour special, Marvel Studios: Assembling a Universe, which “goes behind the scenes of the comic-media empire.”  It basically sounds like an hour-long commercial for their own product, but I doubt fanboys will mind.  The special will provide ‘a “sneak peek” of an undisclosed nature from next year’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” as well as new footage from Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy.  There will also be some promotion of the deeply disappointing Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which will include footage from upcoming episodes.

Hit the jump for more.  Marvel Studios: Assembling a Universe will premiere Tuesday, March 18th at 8:00pm.  Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens April 4th; Guardians of the Galaxy opens August 1st; and The Avengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1, 2015.

GANGSTER SQUAD Director Ruben Fleischer in Talks to Helm Disney’s OVERNIGHT

by     Posted 50 days ago

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Word on filmmaker Ruben Fleischer’s next project has been quiet since his disappointing period crime thriller Gangster Squad opened in theaters early last year, but it appears that he’s now lining up a promising new film at Disney.  THR reports that the Zombieland director is in talks to helm a family adventure called Overnight, which is described as Home Alone in a FAO Schwartz-esque toy store.  Extensive plot details are unknown, but the story involves a hostage situation and an absent-minded, recently divorced father trying to save his relationship with his son.  Oren Uziel (22 Jump Street) penned the screenplay and Neal Moritz (Fast & Furious franchise) is producing.

There’s no word on how soon the project might move into production, but it was initially set up at Sony before Disney picked it up out of turnaround.  Though Gangster Squad didn’t quite come together, Fleischer has shown promise and it’ll be interesting to see how he fares in a more family friendly genre.

Disney Planning “New Versions” of DISNEY INFINITY Video Game Featuring Marvel and Star Wars Characters

by     Posted 71 days ago

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Last year, Disney released Disney Infinity, a video game that uses figurines and an electronic pad to interact with the game.  For example, if you have Jack Sparrow and Mike Wazowski figurines, you can put them on the pads, and they’ll go into the on-screen game.  There are other aspects to the gameplay, and overall it’s a neat concept.  While the game itself received mixed reviews, the figurines are incredibly well made, and available to buy separate from the game.  With the exception of Pirates of the Caribbean and The Lone Ranger Disney has gone to its animated library for Infinity, but the mammoth company also owns Marvel and Star Wars, and now characters from those universes may be getting in on the action.

Hit the jump for more.

Mondo Announces SXSW Disney Gallery Event “Nothing’s Impossible”; Unveils Gorgeous Ken Taylor ALICE IN WONDERLAND Print

by     Posted 75 days ago

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Mondo is preparing something very special for the upcoming South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin: a gallery show devoted entirely to Disney films.  “Nothing’s Impossible” is a gallery event courtesy of Mondo and Disney’s “Oh My Disney” blog, and it will feature what’s sure to be some incredible Disney-inspired prints by artists like Martin Ansin, Ken Taylor, Aaron Horkey, Daniel Danger, Rich Kelly, Mike Mitchell, JC Richard, and more.  The gallery event will kick off in Austin on March 7th and will run through March 11th.  Mondo and Oh My Disney will be unveiling some of the posters digitally every week leading up to the opening, and they’re kicking things off in true jealousy inducing fashion by previewing Ken Taylor’s absolutely gorgeous print for Disney’s 1951 animated adaptation of Alice in Wonderland.

Hit the jump to preview the print for Alice in Wonderland and to read the full press release concerning “Nothing’s Impossible.”

TOP 5: Sundance 2014, THE RAID 2 Trailer, Quentin Tarantino’s THE HATEFUL EIGHT, New Trailer/Promo for Disney’s MALEFICENT, STAR WARS News

by     Posted 81 days ago

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If you’ve yet to check out writer/director Destin Daniel Cretton‘s Short Term 12, what are you waiting for? The film hit shelves on Blu-ray/DVD on January 14th, rendering the “it’s not playing anywhere near me” excuse invalid. I had the opportunity to watch it last weekend and I was blown away. Much has been made of Brie Larson‘s performance and for good reason: it’s terrific. She’s not alone in that regard, though. The turns by Kaitlyn Dever and Keith Stanfield are nothing short of excellent and, in particular, a scene between Stanfield and John Gallagher Jr. in which Stanfield’s character, Marcus, bares his emotional scars via an original rap verse is equal parts heartbreaking and jaw-dropping. Watching Short Term 12 is an emotional roller coaster. You’ll laugh, cry, feel anger, love, hope, and despair. You’ll catch a glimpse of just how lonely a life can be and, at the same time, appreciate how opening ourselves up to the possibility of trust and love is a powerful decision that doesn’t come easily for all of us.

My Blu-ray/DVD recommendation of the week in the books, this week’s Top 5 highlights all of our Sundance 2014 coverage to date, a new trailer for The Raid 2 (including Matt’s Sundance review), Quentin Tarantino‘s The Hateful Eight script leak, a new trailer for Disney’s Maleficent, and a variety of news from the Star Wars: Episode VII camp. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

Sing Along with FROZEN’s “Let It Go” in 25 Different Languages; Sing-Along Version of the Film Coming to Theaters Nationwide on January 31st

by     Posted 84 days ago

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Our own Matt Goldberg loved Frozen’s musical centerpiece “Let It Go” so much that he simply can’t stop singing it.  Now, you can sing along with him in one of 25 different languages thanks to this new version of the Disney movie’s musical sequence.

Featuring the voices of Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, Idina Menzel, Alan Tudyk, Santino Fontana, and Chris WilliamsFrozen was recently nominated for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song in this year’s Academy Awards.  Hit the jump to watch the new video and for details on a new Sing-Along version of the film coming to theaters. 

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