New, Stronger Solar Farm Opens to Help Power Disney World

Never let it be said that Disney isn’t up to speed with the adoption and wide use of renewable energy sources. They’ve already dabbled in using solar to supplement the power supply for Walt Disney World in Florida. Back in 2016 they opened a solar farm with the collector panels arranged in a delightful hidden Mickey pattern across 22 acres. That was a start; now they’re playing with real power.

By that we mean that Disney World has announced that their new and bigger solar facility is now up and running. With solar-panel coverage about of 270 acres, the new farm generates ten times the amount of energy that the 2016 Mickey Mouse setup does.

Put it this way: the new Disney World solar power facility can, at full efficiency, supply enough electricity to run any two theme parks in the area all by itself.

This grand opening is but another big step undertaken by The Walt Disney Company in cutting down their corporate emissions level. The goal is to achieve only half the recorded emissions level of Disney in 2012, by the next year. The House of Mouse hasn’t said how close they are to meeting that mark, but they’re certainly going about it a better, greener way than they are legally entitled to.

Florida, in order to get Walt Disney to build Disney World in the Orlando area, had passed a state law 52 years ago (in 1957) that gives the company the privilege to open whatever power-generating facilities they need to keep the resort running. That includes the right to build a nuclear reactor, if deemed necessary.

Needless to say, the House of Mouse has no interest in ever going down that path. With their two solar farms, the direction is set on how Disney World will create power for its resort.

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Top Ten MCU Films in Terms of Box Office Earnings

Ten years, 20 films (with at least three more already done and awaiting release). This is the extraordinary achievement of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), the pet project of Marvel Studios under the auspices of its parent company Disney. These interconnected movies featuring various Marvel superheroes have enchanted audiences and fans all over the world.

And let’s not forget to mention: they’re blockbusters too! The general trend where the MCU is concerned is that not one of the films in the series can ever be considered a box office flop. In fact, let’s look at this Top 10 List, courtesy of TIME, that enumerates the highest-grossing MCU films yet released.

Figures are given as North American earnings first, total global take second, with the NA gross determining the films’ place on this Top 10 list:

  1. Black Panther (2018) – $700,059,566 ($1,346,913,161)
  2. Avengers: Infinity War (2018) – $678,815,482 ($2,048,359,754)
  3. Avengers (2012) – $623,357,910 ($1,518,812,988)
  4. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) – $459,005,868 ($1,405,403,694)
  5. Iron Man 3 (2013) – $409,013,994 ($1,214,811,252)
  6. Captain America: Civil War (2016) – $408,084,349 ($1,153,304,495) *global 1B box-office mark here*
  7. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2018) – $389,813,101 ($863,756,051)
  8. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) – $334,201,140 ($880,166,924)
  9. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – $333,176,600 ($773,328,629)
  10. Iron Man (2008) – $318,412,101 ($585,174,222)

Even the remaining 10 MCU movies not in the Top 10 are no slouches, with the least performing installment, 2008’s “The Incredible Hulk,” are firmly on the over-$100,000 box office gross in both North American and international markets. This makes the franchise one of the most powerful properties around.

This 2019 will see three MCU films premiering as the year marches on. There are the last two pieces of the series’ “Phase 3,” “Captain Marvel” this March and “Avengers: Endgame” on April. The first MCU – Phase 4 movie, “Spider-Man: Far from Home,” comes July.

Carol Danvers and a List of Marvel Comics Characters to Use the Name “Ms. Marvel”

There are just over two weeks left before Marvel Studios’ “Captain Marvel,” starring Brie Larson, arrives in cinemas. At last viewers will get to see the origins of the one that Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury seemed to believe will be a trump card to help the decimated Avengers and other heroes in fighting Thanos.

While the film has yet to premiere, Larson has already talked about what possible directions any sequel featuring her character Carol Danvers may take in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Her movie storyline after all is an extreme condensation of the character’s decades-long publishing history in Marvel Comics, where her first superhero identity was “Ms. Marvel.”

To that end she hopes that, while her version of Carol immediately takes up the “Captain Marvel” mantle in film, a potential follow-up might introduce Ms. Marvel as an ally, particularly the latest in the line of Marvel Comics characters to style themselves as such, similar to “Captain Marvel” also.

For curiosity’s sake, we’ve compiled a list of characters in Marvel Comics who were in costume as Ms. Marvel, starting from Carol Danvers and onward:

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  • Carol Danvers (became Ms. Marvel in 1977) – gained Kree powers from the first Captain Marvel via a “psyche-magnetron”; alternatively called herself Warbird and Binary in some occasions, but was the most prominent Ms. Marvel until becoming the sixth Captain Marvel in 2012; her superhero name using the abbreviation for “Miss” (Ms.) was a reference to the feminist movement, something Carol was a prominent supporter of

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  • Sharon Ventura (1985) – a female professional wrestler who gained superhuman strength and endurance from Power Broker to participate in the Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation (UCWF); became an ally of the Fantastic Four and girlfriend of The Thing; later mutated by cosmic radiation into a female Thing (She-Thing); eventually regained her human form but has been out of the limelight since

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  • Karla Sofen (became Ms. Marvel in 2009) – a psychologist and manipulative sociopath that became the second supervillain to take the title Moonstone; a member of the Masters of Evil and the false hero team Thunderbolts (as Meteorite); took the Ms. Marvel moniker as a member of Norman Osborn’s Dark Avengers following Carol’s supposed death, but relinquished it after being defeated by a revived Danvers

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  • Kamala Khan (2013) – the fourth, current, and readership-popular Ms. Marvel in the comic books; a teenage American Muslim girl from a Pakistani immigrant family living in Jersey City, Kamala has Inhuman ancestry, causing her to be affected by Terrigen Mist, awakening her powers of shape-altering allowing her to expand or shrink all or part of her body; has teamed up with her idol Carol Danvers, and even joined the Avengers as well as the new Champions; she is the character Brie Larson wants to join a future “Captain marvel” MCU sequel; one of Kamala’s creators, G. Willow Wison, approves:

“Captain Marvel” premieres March 8.

First Trailer for ILMxLAB’s “Star Wars: Project Porg” VR Experience on Magic Leap One

When a “Star Wars” film comes out, aside from exotic planetary locations, sweet space vehicles and pitched battles and action sequences that are to be expected, another element of the franchise to watch out for is the latest alien creatures. From humanoids to little winged or four-legged critters, seeing non-human entities in “Star Wars” best sells what it’s like in a galaxy far, far away.

Even in the polarizing Sequel Trilogy entry “Episode VIII – The Last Jedi,” unsettled franchise fans may have had a decent enough reception for Porgs, the constantly-screeching flightless birds from Luke Skywalker’s hideaway planet of Acht-to.

These annoying yet adorable things are the focus of a new virtual-reality experience to be made available on the Magic Leap One VR headset. Developed by the ILMxLAB branch of Lucasfilm, this VR experience applies the “virtual pet-raising” genre onto the “Star Wars” universe, with a Porg as the pet.

Titled “Project Porg,” the experience puts the VR player in the role of impromptu caretaker, having been entrusted by Chewbacca with a Porg and a care device, along with a C-3PO message serving as instruction guide. Good care for the Porg will allow it to grow and eventually hatch offspring.

According to ILMxLAB chief executive Vicki Dobbs Beck, the virtual actions required to care for the Porg has similarities to procedures in caring for any household pet. In addition, the “Project Porg” experience is connected online, allowing players to “take” their Porg to public locations with Magic Leap access. One possible venue might be the “Star Wars” area Galaxy’s Edge, close to opening in both Disneyland Park and Disney World.

“Project Porg” on Magic Leap is not the only VR project that the “Star Wars” creative company is working on. They also have the episodic VR series “Vader Immortal” which runs on the Oculus Rift.

New Character List for Disney Channel’s “Descendants 3”

Two years after their last TV movie-length grand adventure, the Villain Kids and their friends at Auradon High are ready for another round of Good – and Bad – versus Evil in Disney Channel’s “Descendants 3.” Having somehow proven twice over that the children of fairy-tale baddies need not follow in their parents’ footsteps, Mal and her fellow VK’s are ready to invite new students to Auradon.

But Evil never rests and never forgets. While Ursula’s daughter Uma may have been thwarted back in “Descendants 2,” she’s been bitterly biding her time to resume the invasion of Auradon. And this time she’s got some heavy grown-villain backup in Dr. Facilier and Hades.

In between helping a new batch of VK’s to fit in with life at Auradon High, and the looming threat of another villain attack, Mal, Carlos, Evie and Jay will be facing perhaps their most epic battle for goodness yet.

Here’s a list of the new cast additions for “Descendants 3” on the Disney Channel, directed as usual by D-Channel Original Movie master Kenny Ortega:

  • New Villain Kids
  1. Celia – daughter of Dr. Facilier, played by Jadah Marie; if the “Wicked World” animated miniseries holds, then she’s also the sister of Freddie
  2. Squeaky – one of the twin sons of Mr. Smee, bosun to Captain Hook; he’s played by Christian Convrey
  3. Squirmy – the other twin son of Smee; he’s played by Luke Roessler
  • New Villain Parents
  1. Dr. Facilier – witch doctor antagonist of “The Princess and the Frog”; also father to Freddie (in “Wicked World”) and Celia in this film; he’s played by Jamal Sims
  2. Hades – Greek God of the Underworld and big bad to “Hercules;” he’s played by Cheyenne Jackson
  • Others
  1. Queen Leah – mother to Queen Aurora and grandmother to Princess Audrey; she’s played by Judith Maxie

“Descendants 3” brings back Dove Cameron as Mal, Cameron Boyce, as Carlos, Sofia Carson as Evie, Booboo Stewart as Jay, Mitchell Hope as Prince Ben, China Ann McCain as Uma, and much more from the previous two installments. It will premiere mid-year on Disney Channel.

End of an Era as Netflix Cancels Remaining Exclusive Marvel Shows “Jessica Jones” and “The Punisher”

Five years ago, Marvel and Netflix entered into a partnership to produce miniseries for streaming featuring street-operating Marvel superheroes, with a shared setting in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This brilliant move enabled Marvel to tell more mature and violent stories separate from the more general-patronage fare of the MCU films.

The results of the Marvel-Netflix were, for the most part, major successes on online streaming, with gritty adventures featuring Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and the Punisher. However, following no more than three seasons in some these shows, Netflix had begun cancelling these MCU miniseries one by one.

As CNBC reports, Netflix has announced the cancellation of its last two Marvel Television co-productions this Monday, February 18. These are “Jessica Jones” starring Krysten Ritter and “The Punisher” with Jon Bernthal. The latter just had its second, and now final, season premiere on the streaming giant on January 18, with the former’s third, already finished but not yet dated.

“We are grateful to Marvel for five years of our fruitful partnership and thank the passionate fans who have followed these series from the beginning,” read an official statement from Netflix regarding the cancellation of the last remaining MCU miniseries in their lineup.

While all companies involved seem to enforce a rule of silence over the reasons, this decision most likely comes from the impending launch of the Disney+ exclusive streaming platform this year, for which the House of Mouse has started pulling out most its media content from Netflix.

In line with this, Marvel has slated new streaming series that are being developed for streaming on Disney+, to be top-billed by existing characters from the MCU movies such as Loki, Vision and Scarlet Witch, Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

All seasons made of the Marvel-Netflix shows will remain on the latter’s platform for a time, despite their cancellation. Netflix meanwhile is branching into other comic book properties to adapt, such as the Millarworld label by veteran comic-book creator Mark Millar. It has already premiered a new series based on the Dark Horse Comics title “The Umbrella Academy” last week.

List of Characters Called “Captain Marvel” in the Comics, Aside from Carol Danvers

The first film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for 2019 is arriving in March, and it will serve as a new franchise storyline prequel tying into the ongoing arc that will culminate in “Avengers: Endgame” just the month after. This is “Captain Marvel” starring Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, a human air force pilot who receives alien super-powers and becomes a cosmic champion bearing the name of the comic-book label.

While in the adaptation of the character into the MCU makes her the first character to be styled as “Captain Marvel,” in the original Marvel Comics the name becomes a legacy title, with multiple characters having assumed it since the original – a male alien – appeared in Marvel Comics on 1967. In anticipation for the release of “Captain Marvel” on the MCU, we’ll list the various Captains that have appeared in the main Marvel comic-book timeline:

Captains Marvel

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  • Mar-Vell (1967) – an actual militia captain of the extraterrestrial Kree Empire, he original went to Earth on a mission to assess its space programs and determine if they would threaten Kree galactic interests; his disillusionment with his superiors cause him to defect and become protector of Earth; notable for his storyline ending in 1980 when the character died of cancer; he knew Carol Danvers from his Earthling cover identity; despite studio secrecy, fans theorize that Jude Law’s character in the movie his Mar-Vell

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  • Monica Rambeau (1982) – a New Orleans police officer (harbor patrol) that gained powers from exposure to an extra-dimensional weapon’s energy discharge; she is actually the first female Captain Marvel in the comics and was also a member/leader of the Avengers

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  • Genis-Vell (1993) – a clone son of Mar-Vell engineered through gene material of him and his lover Elysius; like his father he died, but was later resurrected and then “killed” again

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  • Phylla-Vell (2004) – willed into existence by one instance of Genis-Vell altering the main Marvel universe; presented as Genis’ “sister” created in the same manner as him; as the fourth Captain Marvel (and the second female, comics-wise) she was a member of the comic-book Guardians of the Galaxy and was later killed by Thanos

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  • Khn’nr (2007) – actually an infiltration agent of the Skrull Empire, locked into the appearance and (imitation) powers of Mar-Vell; he explains himself as having come to be through hi-jinks in the spacetime continuum from when the original Mar-Vell was alive; later embraced his implanted memories as the real ones and fought against his fellow Skrulls during the Secret Invasion, and was killed

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  • Noh-Varr (2000) – a Kree space sailor from an alternate dimension that was stranded in the main Marvel universe; alternately ally then enemy of Earth, he is inspired by a dying Khn’nr to become its protector and assume the Captain Marvel identity
  • Carol Danvers (1968) – a human and US Air Force officer first introduced as the security chief of a classified missile base; she becomes Mar-Vell’s major Earth ally and accidentally gets her genetic structure melded with his in the explosion of an alien “psyche-magnetron” device; with her super-powers she becomes the first Ms. Marvel, carrying that identity for most of her career until deciding to style herself as Captain Marvel in a 2012 Marvel Comics storyline

“Captain Marvel” premieres March 8.

“Pirates of the Caribbean 6” Development Halts with Departure of Writers; Franchise Might Be Over for Disney

A great deal can be said about Disney’s film series “Pirates of the Caribbean,” which was based on one of their theme park rides. The very first movie in 2003 can be argued to have revitalized the pirate movie genre, and in over a decade and a half the film franchise achieved a $4.5 billion global box office gross.

Recent entries haven’t been as lucrative in earnings, doubled with problems trying to keep on actor Jonny Depp who plays the “Pirates” face character Captain Jack Sparrow. Disney has bounced ideas of a reboot without Depp/Jack, even tapping some writers for it. But things have stalled.

Fortune tells us that Disney has fallen back into a rut regarding the production of a new installment of “Pirates of the Caribbean,” which would also serve as a reboot to the film franchise. That is because assigned screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, best known recently from 20th Century Fox’s blockbuster “Deadpool” movies, are announced to no longer be attached to the “Pirates” project.

With the departure of the writing team, and with now update on anyone else picking up where they left off, it appears any production for more “Pirates of the Caribbean” may no longer be on.

The genesis of the “Pirates” franchise had been a very unusual story of unlikely success in itself. As already stated, it was originally a theme park ride. And when the initial movie “Curse of the Black Pearl” came out, it was under the shadow of prevailing moviemaking wisdom that pirate films don’t sell at all.

To this, “Black Pearl” had answered with an astonishing $300 box office blitz in the US for 2003. It also netted a Best Actor Oscar nomination for Johnny Depp, crystalizing his characterization of Captain Jack Sparrow as the new-age archetype of a romanticized Caribbean pirate.

Disney had been frantic to revitalize the “Pirates” film series as a possible alternative should its current reigning subsidiary franchises “Star Wars” and the MCU begin to falter. But with the loss of their writers for a sixth film, and the feasibility of making such a movie without the iconic Jack Sparrow character, it may be time for the studio to figuratively bury the franchise.

Filming for Post-Phase 3 MCU Film “Eternals” Might Start Early this August

Marvel Cinematic Universe fans are all on tenterhooks this year as the film “Avengers: Endgame” nears its premiere date on April. With that, the longest storyline arc of the live-action superhero franchise, Phase 3, comes to an end with what feels like a soft MCU reboot. Post-Phase 3 movies are already on the way such as “Spider-Man: Far from Home” following in July, and more.

The general theme for some of the announced MCU titles after “Endgame” is that some of them are from lesser-known Marvel Comics series. One of these is “Eternals,” which has a new filming schedule announced.

Screen Rant has it that Marvel Studios has stated a new date for the official start of camera work for “The Eternals” a full month ahead of the last date scheduled. This also comes with a set location change. Whereas production was first reported in November 2018 to begin this September in the UK, this time filming will be done in August at Atlanta instead.

Already Marvel Studios has tapped names to spearhead this MCU film, with brothers Matthew and Ryan Firpo to work on the script as of May last year, and then Chloe Zhao to sit in the director’s chair later in fall 2018. Barring any delays in getting casting started, there is the possibility that “Eternals” will be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movie lineup 2020.

Part of the reason for this schedule adjustment is a general reshuffling of filming dates for MCU films in the wake of “Avengers: Endgame” and the end of Phase 3. A potentially R-rated “Black Widow” solo movie under director Cate Shortland was supposed to start its own production at the end of this month, but has been moved to June.

Little is known about the plot for “The Eternals,” based on characters created by legendary comic book artists Jack Kirby. Rumor has it that, like the source comics, it might begin millions of years ago well before prehistoric times, and thus serve as a prequel to the whole MCU franchise.

“Frozen II” Trailer: List of Points to Discuss

When Disney’s 2013 animated film “Frozen” became an avalanche of an international blockbuster and fountain of memes, talk immediately turned to making a sequel for it; and not just any home-video follow-up like of old but a true theatrical-release continuation. True, there have been two shorts during the interim, but fans are really looking forward to “Frozen 2” which Disney pegged for 2019.

After a disappointingly hilarious “teaser” after the end credits of “Ralph Breaks the Internet” last year, “Frozen” followers can finally bask in the glory of the first official preview for the second film, released Wednesday, February 13.

In just about a minute and a half, the “Frozen II” sticker may have just cured some fans who may still have franchise fatigue from the original film and its subsequent shorts, plus intrigued bandwagon detractors by its more action-packed sequences and foreboding visuals. Let’s list the trailer’s important scene points and talk about them.

  1. Elsa’s new getup – from the prim and restrained royal gown to her ice dress with thigh-high slit, Elsa in “Frozen” evolved from a paranoid fidgety lady to a sassy woman reveling in freedom; her reconciliation with her sister Anna aside, Elsa maintained her snowflake-pattern dress fashion with only minimum seasonal modifications; for the sequel the Queen of Arendelle finally goes significantly different with what appears to be an ice pantsuit with leggings, for greater mobility
  2. Elsa’s sea run training – the escape across from the coronation was one of the many stunning visual sequences from the first film, done by a scared witless Elsa across a relatively calm fjord; having already worked past her issues Elsa looks more confident in testing the potential of her ice powers further by trying to navigate a stormy sea; but why her intense physical exercise?
  3. The strange ice diamonds – as Anna is witness, Arendelle palace seems to have been suddenly surrounded by numerous snowflake-like diamonds; perhaps they have something to do with her sister; but where did they come from?
  4. Kristoff’s reindeer army – yes, Kristoff is never too far from his trusty reindeer mount Sven; but now it seems they have to answer a situation that needs lots of hoofed reinforcements; what do you think?
  5. Anna’s “Cliffhanger” act – famously remembered for initially failing at rock climbing in “Frozen,” Anna certain seems to match Elsa for picking up some action girl physical skills; is there a motivation for their peak form?
  6. The unquenchable fire – there has never been a physical flame that Elsa’s ice cannot quench, until now; and if she can’t put out these strangely-colored fires, Olaf might pay the price
  7. The girl and the figure – we see a new brown-haired girl walking along an autumnal forest until she’s startled by a figure bursting through the leaves, as if yanked up; could the first one be the “girlfriend” desired by LGBT Elsa-fans for their queen?
  8. Where are they going? – Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Sven seem to be taking leave of Arendelle in order to go into a new land that is in autumn; what could be waiting for them ahead?
  9. The ambush – great danger instincts, reflexes and swordplay on Anna’s part; but who or what was that which tried to ambush their adventuring party at the end of the teaser?

“Frozen II” premieres this November.

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