Following the critical and commercial success of Cinderella, Disney is having a field day developing live-action versions of their beloved animated classics. In addition to Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book, Tim Burton’s Dumbo and the upcoming Beauty and the Beast, the studio is already planning on giving another one of its beloved properties the live-action treatment, and it’s one you might be pretty excited about: Mulan.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far removed from the notion of a third Star Wars trilogy every getting off the ground, rumors and development of a live-action Star Wars TV series buzzed about in every direction. We’d thought for certain that The Force Awakens, for all its sequels and spinoffs had firmly put that idea to bed, but a new rumor suggests Disney may draft a new Star Wars TV series to shoot in between films.
It’s a common complaint about modern movies: “They only made this to sell toys.” And sometimes, that’s actually true. But there was a time, not that long ago, when that concept didn’t even exist, and toys based on movies were barely an idea, much less a guarantee. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane (and by memory lane, I mean YouTube) and watch movie toys (and movie marketing) evolve through 40 years of vintage movie toy commercials, from Planet of the Apes to The Avengers.
The news out of Disney’s shareholder meeting keeps on coming. This one isn’t much of a surprise: Disney is making Frozen 2. In a related story, the sky is blue and water is wet (until a princess with freezing powers comes along and turns it into ice).
For months it’s been rumored, now it’s confirmed: Rian Johnson, the writer and director of Brick and Looper is officially the writer and director of Star Wars: Episode VIII. Disney CEO Robert Iger also revealed to company shareholders today that Episode VIII has its official release date: May 26, 2017 — 40 years and a single day after the release of the very first Star Wars back in 1977.
The name “Disney” brings to mind images of fair princesses, charming princes, magical fairy tales, and simple happily ever afters. In recent years, though, Disney has begun rethinking their classic properties, and releasing more thematically complex versions of their famous films. Sleeping Beauty became Maleficent, which turned a wicked witch into a sympathetic anti-hero; a whole mess of fairy tales turned into Into the Woods, where happily ever after preceded a whole bunch of death and tragedy. The ranks of Disney Princesses grew to include women like Merida, the bow-slinging heroine of Brave, and Anna and Else from Frozen, who rescued each other from an prince, rather than the other way around. Every value and concept that Disney had established and reinforced through decades of repetition was seemingly up for reconsideration and revision.
With their new Cinderella just days away, Disney is continuing its streak of turning its animated classics into live-action features with the news, via the Wall Street Journal, that Dumbo is ready to make the transition from animated elephant to ... well, still-animated elephant surrounded by live-action actors. If that idea doesn’t get your ears flapping, maybe this will: the Journal says Tim Burton will be the man who’ll direct the new Dumbo.
Contrary to popular belief (and some comments from actress Idina Menzel), a Frozen sequel isn’t actually in the works yet over at Disney. With the Frozen Fever short set to hit theaters this weekend with the release of the studio’s live-action Cinderella, actual Frozen fever (a real medical condition that I totally did not just make up) has reached an all-time high. Fans want a Frozen sequel, and it seems like an obvious move for Disney, but according to the film’s directors, it’s not happening…yet.
Dan Stevens has quickly become kind of a big deal, and for good reason—the guy has immense charisma and superhero-quality good looks. After turning in great performances in The Guest and A Walk Among the Tombstones, the actor has been picking up high profile supporting gigs left and right. But his latest job is the biggest yet: Disney has chosen Stevens to portray the titular Beast in their live-action update of Beauty and the Beast.
Disney’s Star Wars Rebels only just ended its first season with last night’s revelatory “Fire Across the Galaxy,” but already Season 2 is bigger and Buffy-er than ever. Hera may have competition for Kanan, now that Freddie Prinze Jr.’s real-life wife Sarah Michelle Gellar joins the voice cast in a mysterious new role.