Disney Shuts Down Disney Infinity 3.0, Will No Longer Publish Video Games

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In a rather shocking move that sent shockwaves throughout the toys-to-life landscape, Disney execs have decided to shut down their Avalanche Software division – the company’s gaming and software publication arm for almost 20 years which employs 300 or so personnel. This means that the curtain has now been closed on Disney Infinity as well, just 3 years after its debut in 2013. This is quite unexpected for fans of the game considering the exciting plans that were announced by John Vignocchi, Vice President of Production, and John Blackburn, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Disney Infinity during their March 1 episode of Disney Infinity NEXT.

According to a letter that Blackburn released at Disney Interactive’s blog site, they have made “the difficult decision to discontinue production of Disney Infinity” without going into the details of explaining why. The LA Times reports that Disney CEO and Chairman Robert Iger said during a call with analysts that while Disney Infinity is hugely popular, the risk and costs of developing them in-house has caught up with the company. Iger said, “We thought we had a really good opportunity to launch our own product in that space. We did quite well with the first iteration of it, and we did OK with the second iteration, but that business is a changing business.” Revenues were on a downhill slide for Disney’s consumer products and interactive division which includes Disney Infinity. Disney reports lost revenue of as much as 2% to $1.2 billion. The popularity that came along with Disney Infinity also has a huge price tag amidst the tightening competition in the toys-to-life business.  When Disney Infinity was launched in 2013, it costs the company $100 million in production alone.

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Cinelinx also reports that Disney will be switching back to a pure licensing model and using partnerships with other gaming studios instead. The high cost of production vis-à-vis the poor revenue doesn’t add up for Disney to continue its in-house production of Disney Infinity. According to Blackburn, fans can still expect the last Disney Infinity figures of Alice Through the Looking Glass and a Finding Dory Playset to be out by June. This means that any speculations of adding more characters to its Marvel Battlegrounds roster, and a possibility of seeing a set from the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story film has finally put to an end.

This is discouraging news to all fans of Disney Infinity, who have invested heavily on the game. Will keep you posted as more news comes in.

Marvel Studio Top Brass Announces Black Widow Solo Movie In The Near Future

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We’re now half-way through Marvel’s Cinematic Universe with the release of Disney and Marvel Studios’ Captain America: Civil War – the latest in the string of remarkable box office achievements under the helm of Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. With nine more movies to launch until 2019, one may wonder, what’s next with our comic book superheroes?

Perhaps in response to the clamor of fans, or simply with regards to the wealth of back stories that can be explored, Feige, in a recent interview with Deadline.com’s Mike Fleming, revealed that the stealthy Russian Avenger will get her own spin-off and that plans are on its way to give her time on the spotlight. Here’s what the Marvel Studio exec has to say:

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Deadline.com: You’ve got a bunch of characters in this movie from Falcon and War Machine and Black Widow and Hawkeye, who have so far guest starred in movies with another characters title above the fold. Is there one destined to get a solo movie down the line?

Feige: We’ve announced the next nine movies, 10 counting Civil War, through the end of 2019. Where we go beyond that are ongoing discussions that we’ll focus on in the next few years because we have a lot to do before then. Of the characters that you’ve just mentioned I would say certainly the one creatively and emotionally that we are most committing to doing is Black Widow… We think she’s an amazing character. We think Scarlett Johansson’s portrayal of her is amazing. She’s a lead Avenger and has amazing stories in her own right to tell that we think would be fun to turn into a stand-alone franchise.

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Fans will surely welcome this stand-alone project for the lead Avenger. Johansson’s Black Widow may not be the most flashy, high-powered member among the superhero squad, but her resilience and story of personal redemption from a lone spy and assassin to a highly principled member of the Avengers next only to Cap, shows a lot of back story potential that the audience will surely love to see.

In the meantime, you can still catch Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) as she struggles to make sense of the conflict that is ripping her team apart in Captain America: Civil War which is now showing in US theaters. It will be followed by Doctor Strange in November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok on November 3, 2017; Black Panther on February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 on May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 on May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.

 

 

Source: Deadline via Inside the Magic

WATCH: Pink Is Just Like Fire In Her Latest Music Video for Alice Through The Looking Glass

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Last week, we heard the powerful voice of Pink in Disney’s latest trailer of the live action sequel, Alice Through The Looking Glass. Her song entitled “Just Like Fire” perfectly conveys the courage and determination of Alice as she goes back to Underland to save her cherished friend the Mad Hatter. Disney never went wrong in having the powerhouse vocalist on board, as this is the very first original score that Pink composed for any theatrical film release.

During the weekend, Pink can barely contain her excitement as she posted in Facebook that the song’s official music video is now up over at YouTube just a few days after it premiered on Ellen DeGeneres the week before. Under the helm of Director Dave Meyers, the video featured Pink’s husband Carey Hart and their daughter Willow Sage, and the singer’s apparent physical power and flexibility even being a mom at 36.

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Pink is very impressive both in her acting and acrobatic skills considering that she virtually portrayed almost all of the major characters in the film. The video itself is a cool precursor of what to expect once Alice Through The Looking Glass sets movie houses on fire on May 27.

Directed by James Bobin, Alice Through The Looking Glass is written by Linda Woolverton based on characters created by Lewis Carroll and produced by Joe Roth, Suzanne Todd and Jennifer Todd and Tim Burton with John G. Scotti serving as executive producer. The film reunites the all-star cast from the worldwide blockbuster phenomenon Alice in Wonderland, including: Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska and Helena Bonham Carter, along with the voices of Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall. We are also introduced to several new characters: Zanik Hightopp (Rhys Ifans), the Mad Hatter’s father and Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen), a peculiar creature who is part human, part clock.

Source: The Disney Blog

WATCH: May the 4th Couldn’t Be Any Bigger Than This 200,000 Piece LEGO Brick Built Millennium Falcon

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Star Wars Day has sure been celebrated in a lot of ways, by a lot of different people. At LEGOLAND Resort in Malaysia, in-house Master Builders, Dan and Chris Steininger surely want to celebrate it as ‘big’ as they can. Together with the help of resort visitors, the father and son duo came up with the ambitious project of putting together the largest brick-built Star Wars Millennium Falcon using LEGO. The building process took approximately 30 working hours across a span of three days, not including the actual man hours exerted by the theme park’s visitors. According to Chris Steininger, “If you include all the man hours that the kids are putting in… there’s probably hundreds of hours going into this model.” Watch this behind-the-scene video interview if the Steiningers.

This massive LEGO Millennium Falcon model was built using “four-times building bricks,” LEGO blocks that are four times the size of regular bricks and that have been assembled by visitors using regular blocks. Imagine scaling up a typical 2×4 brick 4 times its normal size. As a result, more than 200,000 bricks were used to build this one-of-a-kind model that measure 16 feet long and weighs at 500 kg. Impressive as it may look, this LEGO Millennium Falcon must grow larger if it wants to take the title of the largest Star Wars starship ever made using LEGO from its full-scale, 5.3 million pieces, X-Wing counterpart back in 2013.

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According to Dan Steininger, a lot of iconic starships and vehicles (such as the TIE Fighter and the Death Star) were considered for this project, but none of them truly resonated with the older and younger generation of Star Wars fans the way the Millennium Falcon does.  He explains, “Everybody likes the Millennium Falcon,” he explains. “I think the Millennium Falcon is iconic, not just for old people like me who saw the first movie when it came out, but now, in the latest movie, the Millennium Falcon plays a pretty pivotal role and so young kids will be able to connect to the Millennium Falcon as old kids like me can.”

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In addition to viewing Dan and Chris’ LEGO Millennium Falcon, visitors of LEGOLAND Malaysia can also take part in building two equally large TIE Fighters made similarly from LEGO bricks, together with the resort’s LEGO Model Builders.

 

Source: Inside the Magic

WATCH: Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man Contemplates On Civil War

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It has been more than a decade since the Golden Age of comic book movies has been ushered in. Since 2003, we have seen several of our superheroes jump from their comic iterations and into the big screen. From Daredevil to X-Men, we now even have multiple versions of our iconic superheroes in the likes of Superman, Batman and our friendly neighborhood crawler, Spider-Man.

Last week’s theatrical debut of Disney and Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War introduced us to another version of the web slinging superhero that we learned to grow up with. Third in the line of web crawlers to don the red mask and web shooters next to Andrew Garfield and the original Spidey Tobey Maguire, Tom Holland now takes his swing alongside Tony Stark and together with the rest of Team Iron Man. The latest actor to take the role of Spider-Man, Holland has been praised in several reviews for giving justice to the character, dishing out one of the best scenes in Civil War.

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Even more important perhaps than the critics’ reviews are the thoughts of the ones who went before him. The soon-to-be 20 year old actor could never be more proud when Maguire gives him his seal of approval in the most unconventional way. Expressing his admiration via Instagram through a parody of one of the scenes in the original Spider-Man film, Maguire was all praise to the young, budding actor.

Haha seriously, who made this? @tomholland2013 good job! You are great as Spider-Man. Keep it up!

A video posted by mrtobeymaguire (@mrtobeymaguire) on

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We’re not really sure who came up with this ‘crossover’ clip, but judging from Maguire’s call to reblog the video, it means he’s clearly happy about it. Its shows a surprised Peter Parker from the early Spider-Man films as he tries to make sense of what he is seeing from the Civil War trailer. He then picks up his old costume, admires the classic look and feel of it, and perhaps contemplated on how far Spidey has gone through in this superhero business. Well, we can only speculate.

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One thing’s for sure is that we will see more of the web crawler specially that Marvel and Sony has already announced a follow-up, Spider-Man: Homecoming, releasing next year. The full-length film will have Peter Parker jumping into action together with Tony Stark and other Avengers, or what seems to remain of them at least.

Captain America: Civil War is currently showing in theaters. Doctor Strange is slated for November 4, 2016, with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on May 5, 2017, and Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 7, 2017.

Source: Screen Rant

Alden Ehrenreich Cast To Be Young Han Solo for 2018’s Star Wars Spinoff

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Amidst a sea of 2,500 young hopefuls considered to play the role of the galaxy’s most beloved scoundrel, it seems that the iconic vest of Star Wars’ legendary smuggler Hans Solo will now fall on Alden Ehrenreich. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the young actor is now in negotiations for the next Star Wars spinoff after Rogue One as he was officially chosen among the final group of Han hopefuls, including Kingsman actor Taron Egerton, Transformers: Age of Extinction’s Jack Reynor, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort and Brooklyn breakout Emory Cohen.

Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller of 21 Jump Street and Lego Movie will be at the helm of this yet untitled spinoff slated to be released in 2018. Ehrenreich will be taking over the Han Solo mantle from Harrison Ford, who first appeared as the daring intergalactic smuggler in 1977’s Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope, including the next two sequels after it. Since then, the name Han Solo has become a legend in Star Wars lore, which saw a fitting comeback for Ford when he returned on the big screen in J.J. Abram’s 2015 multi-million dollar blockbuster hit Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens.

It can be said that Ford and Ehrenreich have something in common more than swag. Just as Ford was picked out among a handful of actors who were auditioning then for the Han Solo role for A New Hope (he was initially turned down but his comedic and appealing sarcasm drew the attention of Lucas, and winning him eventually), Ehrenreich has an interesting story to tell as well. Steven Spielberg discovered him in a bat mitzvah video where Ehrenreich’s antics impressed the filmmaker leading to open doors afterwards. After a couple of television appearances, he made his theatrical debut with Francis Ford Coppola’s 2009 film, Tetro. More recently, the actor earned the applause of critics through his wit and charm alongside Hollywood A-listers such as George Clooney and Josh Brolin in the Coen Bros.’s ‘Hail, Caesar!’

Watch Ehrenreich in this video clip from the comedy film of Hail, Caesar!’

With such talent and charisma at his disposal, Ehrenreich will sure steal the heart of younger generation of Star Wars fans once the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film hits theaters in May 25, 2018.

JUST FOR FUN: Disney’s Emoji Parody of The Force Awakens is One Hilarious Spoiler

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I hope by now you have seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens before watching this emoji parody of Disney and Lucasfilm’s 7th instalment from the galaxy far away. With almost a month since the Blu-ray/DVD release of Episode VII, with plenty of articles written on the topic here at Disney News Blog (more than 50 as a matter of fact), figuring out this emoji spoof from Disney Interactive is a no brainer.

BE WARNED: MAJOR, HILARIOUS SPOILERS AHEAD (in case you were in a coma or something, and were out for the last 5 months or so… just kidding)!

Using just the mechanics of a typical smartphone, text threads, calendar alerts, lock screens, and more, Disney Interactive managed to retell more than 2 hours of film in just a little over 3 minutes. Plus, its fun! The Star Wars: The Force Awakens as Told by Emoji is the 5th instalment from Disney’s series of animated shorts, retelling classic Disney tales such as Aladdin, Frozen, Tangled and Frozen Fever using these nifty graphical shortcuts. You may check out Disney’s YouTube channel for other As Told by Emoji videos.

 

Now… let me see how that “Chewber” service works. 🙂

 

Source: Disney Interactive via Inside the Magic