PETE’S DRAGON Has Cast Oona Lawrence in the Title Role of Director David Lowery’s Live Action Remake

by     Posted 11 days ago

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Ain’t Them Bodies Saints director David Lowery (who has been on this new project for a year) has finally found the titular Pete for his Pete’s Dragon remake.  Oona Lawrence (Boardwalk Empire, Fort Bliss) will now play the title role.  Lowery, who is now confirmed to direct after initially being attached as a writer, shared script duties on the picture with Tony Halbrooks. Considering how night-and-day different this material is from Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, it will be interesting to see what Lowery comes up with.

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

24 Things to Know About Walt Disney’s BIG HERO 6

by     Posted 27 days ago

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To promote the upcoming November 7th release of the Walt Disney Animation Studios feature Big Hero 6, the studio invited members of the press out to see portions of the animated action-adventure comedy and to participate in presentations and demos to show what it takes to put a film like this together, from all aspects of the production.  The story follows robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter) who, after a tragic event, turns to the robot companion Baymax (voiced by Scott Adsit).  With a dangerous plot unfolding on the streets of San Fransokyo, Hiro transforms a group of like-minded friends – adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago (voiced by Jamie Chung), precision freak Wasabi (voiced by Damon Wayans Jr.), chemistry whiz Honey Lemon (voiced by Genesis Rodriguez) and fanboy Fred (voiced by T.J. Miller) – into high-teach heroes determined to solve the mystery and save the day.  For more on the film, watch the trailer.

Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, Big Hero 6 has the heart and humor that you would expect, but it also has more characters and bigger action than any Disney animated feature to date.  During the early press day to preview what audiences can expect when the film opens, we heard from the directors, the animation department, the script and story department, visual effects and production design.  Hit the jump to find out more about what we learned.

BIG HERO 6 Clip Introduces Unlikely Friends Hiro and Baymax

by     Posted 28 days ago

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Disney has released a new Big Hero 6 clip online.  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 (voiced by Ryan Potter) who, with his robot companion Baymax (Scott Adsit) in tow, teams up with a reluctant team of first-time crime fighters to save the metropolis from destruction.

I’m not familiar with the source material, but I really dug the trailer and am looking forward to seeing this movie next month.  I think it’s interesting that a lot of the more clever writing on the studio end of things these days is for animated projects.  This clip is most certainly from earlier in the film considering it seems to be the scene where Hiro and Baymax first meet.  Hit the jump to check out the new Big Hero 6 clip.  The film also features the voices of Maya Rudolph, James Cromwell, T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Genesis Rodriguez, Damon Wayans Jr., and Alan TudykBig Hero 6 opens in 3D on November 7th.  And be sure to check back in with us tomorrow, since we have a lot more coverage on this film hitting then.

FROZEN FEVER Short Brings Back Familiar Faces With a New Song

by     Posted 28 days ago

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On the heels of Frozen’s billion dollar global gross last year comes the new Disney short, Frozen Fever, which you can check out next year.  Since it will be a while before we get a sequel to that film, this will likely be your only opportunity in the near future to get caught up with Anna, Elsa, Krista and Olaf.

Frozen Fever will be directed by Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, who also helmed the original film.  It will also feature a new song by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who are working together again for the first time since collaborating on Frozen in 2013.  Hit the jump for more on Frozen Fever.

Check out New Images from FEAST, Disney’s Upcoming Animated Short Featuring a Hungry Pup

by     Posted 33 days ago

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Disney has released the first official images from their upcoming animated short film, Feast.  Per the official logline, “The story of one man’s love life is seen through the eyes of his best friend and dog, Winston, and revealed bite by bite through the meals they share.”  As you can see from the images, the dog is unsurprisingly adorable, and I like the style of the animation.  The cel shaded look also makes sense considering the short was directed by Patrick Osborne, who worked as the head of animation on Paperman.

Hit the jump to check out the Feast images.  The short will play in front of Big Hero 6, which opens November 7th.

Steve Martin in Final Negotiations to Star in Disney’s MAGIC CAMP

by     Posted 39 days ago

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We haven’t seen Steve Martin on the big screen since The Big Year in 2011 and minus the animated film Home, he doesn’t even have anything on the way.  However, that could change soon, because it’s being reported that Martin is currently in final negotiations to star in Disney’s Magic Camp.

Martin co-wrote the most recent draft of the script with A.C.O.D. writer-director Stu Zicherman and it focuses on a “straight-laced” banker who attended Magic Camp as a kid.  Now, all grown up, he’s going back to become a counselor in hopes of winning the Golden Wand competition.  Hit the jump for more on the project.

Special LOST-Themed Episode of PHINEAS AND FERB to Air September 29th; First Look at a Polar Bear

by     Posted 39 days ago

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We learned a few days ago that the Disney XD original series Phineas and Ferb will be resurrecting Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s characters from Shaun of the Dead for a special Halloween episode, and now news comes that a Lost-themed episode will debut next month.  Titled “Lost in Danville”, the episode features a story by Lost co-creator/showrunner Damon Lindelof and a voice performance by John Locke himself Terry O’Quinn.  The story involves a mysterious locked capsule falling into Phineas and Ferb’s backyard, which may or may not contain a polar bear.  I’m not particularly familiar with Phineas and Ferb myself, but the one-two punch of the Shaun of the Dead and Lost news is making me rethinking my interest in the series.

Hit the jump to check out the first Phineas and Ferb Lost episode image.  It airs on Disney XD on Monday, September 29th at 7:30pm ET/PT.

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 41 days 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 43 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 49 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 56 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 69 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 69 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 69 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 77 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.

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