2019 Class of Disney Legends Include Alumni and Stars from MCU, “Star Wars”

Ever since its establishment in 1987 the Disney Legend Awards honored people whose works have been integral to the success of the House of Mouse. Whether they were animators, theme park designers, musicians, film/TV production personnel, and artists, many have been named Disney Legends. Now, the 2019 awardees are revealed.

Disney announced the ten names that make up this year’s class of Disney Legends on May 16. Two are from the company’s theme park arm, two are from ABC News. The rest made their marks in Disney films and television. Some of them however, are from the MCU film franchise.

It’s perhaps appropriate that following the decade-one culmination of the MCU storyline, some of its stars will be honored. Some of them will continue with the franchise’s future installments and shows. One however, may have taken his final bow for the MCU. Becoming a Disney Legend makes a proper sendoff.

Here’s a list of the honorees for Disney Legends 2019:

  1. Robert Downey Jr. – Tony Stark/Iron Man, Marvel Cinematic Universe (2008-2019)
  2. Jon Favreau – Happy Hogan, MCU; also film director for “Iron Man” 1-2, “Jungle Book” and “Lion King” remakes (2016, 2019)
  3. Ming-Na Wen – voice of “Mulan” (1998); also Melinda May in ABC-MCU series “Agents of SHIELD”
  4. Hans Zimmer – composer for “Lion King” (animation and remake) and the first four “Pirates of the Caribbean” films
  5. James Earl Jones – voices of Darth Vader (“Star Wars”) and Mufasa (“Lion King”)
  6. Kenny Ortega – film director; currently famous for Disney Channel originals (“High School Musical” and “Descendants”)
  7. Bette Midler – film star for Disney (“Hocus Pocus” and Touchstone label
  8. Robin Roberts – ABC journalist
  9. Diane Sawyer – ABC journalist
  10. Barnette Ricci – Walt Disney Studios President/Show Director
  11. Wing Chao – Disney Parks and Resorts Asia Pacific VP (Development); Disney Imagineering Executive VP
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“Avengers: Endgame” Co-Writer Explains Drastically Small Screen-time of Brie Larson/Captain Marvel

Enough time has passed, perhaps, for the hype of “Avengers: Endgame” to subside. The MCU film has broken box office records and is gunning to become all-time highest-grosser by beating James Cameron’s “Avatar.” And it had all the superhero-vs.-super-villain action sequences audiences worldwide could ever want or need for years.

But blockbuster as “Endgame” may be, it’s not perfect. One qualm viewers had with it – especially if they liked “Captain Marvel” – was that the character’s screen-time was short. It may have been to hold back the powerful Captain (Brie Larson) until the critical moment in the Thanos fight. But audiences also noted her colder personality compared to her earlier solo.

“Avengers: Endgame” co-screenwriter Steve McFeely explains why that is. Owing to the “assembly-line” method of making films at Marvel Studios, the “Endgame” scenes with Larson/Carol Danvers were actually shot before work on her “Captain Marvel” film even began. Feeling confused?

“We shot [Brie Larson] before she shot her movie,” notes McFeely. Since filming for “Endgame” and its predecessor “Infinity Wars” was rather close, that meant Captain Marvel was being shot on camera before her origin story (set in the 1980s-90s) was even finalized on script.

Brie Larson could act a bit more in “Captain Marvel” (despite detractors claiming otherwise) because the script was centered on her character’s development. Her jaunt in “Avengers: Endgame,” while happening later story-wise, was produced earlier behind the scenes. That Larson had to act as if her character development was complete instead made her wooden and necessarily absent most the time.

“Endgame” is still running in theaters, but “Spider-Man: Far from Home” is coming in July.

Marvel Studios to Reveal Definitive List of Post-Phase 3 MCU Films this Summer – Bob Iger

It was expected, but still it was a heavy feeling. The ending of “Avengers: Endgame” really did feel like the closing of 10 years of MCU storyline. And there’s still “Spider-Man: Far from Home” serving as an epilogue. But that’s not stopping Marvel Studios from further adapting other comic stories.

We’ve once offered a potential list of these upcoming MCU films late last year. They were all speculation at the time (and “Far from Home” was actually the last of Phase 3). But pretty soon we might get a good – official – picture of upcoming movies for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Just this Wednesday, May 8, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed that Marvel Studios will be making a public announcement of their future MCU lineup. He offered no specific details other than that hints of what the franchise setting will be like after “Endgame” were show all throughout the film’s runtime.

The most certified of these probable MCU installments are “The Eternals,” which has already cast Angelina Jolie and (possibly) Richard “Robb Stark” Madden. The same case could be made for the martial arts hero “Shang-Chi.”

Marvel Studios once held a memorable press event where they outlined the first few movies of MCU Phase 3. Memorable highlights then included the introduction of Chadwick Boseman as “Black Panther,” and the trick reveal of 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War.” When the film was initially shown, it was subtitled “Serpent Society” after a super-villain team that Cap repeated fought in the comic books.

Avengers: Endgame” is still in cinemas.

Another “Game of Thrones” Alumni Being Tapped for MCU Production: “The Eternals” Film

It seems Marvel has been hitting on the idea of casting actors from HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” Fox had gotten Maisie “Arya Stark” Williams for its “X-Men” spinoff film “New Mutants.” Iwan “Ramsay Bolton” again got to play a scheming villain in the panned one-season MCU-set ABC series, “The Inhumans.”

Now another veteran of the dark medieval fantasy is being courted by Marvel Studios. Richard Madden, who portrayed Robb Stark on the first three seasons of “Game of Thrones,” is being tapped to join the cast of “The Eternals.” Madden has remained a hot star on TV thanks to his lead role in BBC/Netflix’s “Bodyguard.”

Marvel Studios has yet to comment on casting, which may have already secured Angelina Jolie and Kumail Nanjiani. “The Eternals” is one of the MCU films being developed after the 10-year, 22-film and 3-phase “Infinity” saga. Matthew and Ryan Firpo are writing the script, with Chloe Zhao set to direct.

“The Eternals” in Marvel are another ancient race of super-humans, created by comic creator Jack Kirby in 1976. They came to be when primitive men millions of years ago were experimented by cosmic entities called Celestials. One Celestial has already appeared in the MCU. He is the “living planet” Ego (Kurt Russel), father of Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) on “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.”

Before work on “The Eternals” proceeds, Richard Madden will be appearing on film this year in the Elton John biopic “Rocketman.” No date on the release of “The Eternals” has been set. Meanwhile, the Maisie Williams Fox starrer “New Mutants” has been delayed until 2020.

Tom Holland Introduces Spoilery “Spider-Man: Far from Home” Trailer, with Points of Discussion

When Marvel Studios released their first trailer for “Spider-Man: Far from Home,” fans tended to assume it was a prequel. Their opinion was that it took place before 2018’s “Avengers: Infinity War” where Peter Parker ultimately got “Thanos-snapped.” Such speculation died down with the release of this new movie trailer.

This fact was pretty much reinforced by current Spider-Man actor Tom Holland, who introduced the second “Far from Home” trailer. In his signature “bad secret-keeper” style, he confirms that the film happens after “Avengers: Endgame,” which premiered last month. With that, let’s do a list of major plot points revealed:

  1. Peter Parker (Holland) is mourning the death of his mentor figure, Tony Stark/Iron Man as depicted in “Endgame.”
  2. Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) notes to Peter that if Tony hadn’t known that Peter would return after the Thanos snap was undone, he might not have done his heroic sacrifice.
  3. Even NYPD cops see Spidey as possibly trying to fill the void by becoming the “new” Iron Man. Peter denies this (“I’m too busy doing your work.”)
  4. Apparently Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) has been trying to contact Peter. He just puts the director of SHIELD on voicemail.
  5. Peter’s high-school class goes on a summer vacation field trip to Europe. Cue Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori) posing with historical re-enactors at the San Marco in Venice (and getting a groin attack from a passerby).
  6. Peter seems to be getting closer with Michelle “MJ” Jones (Zendaya), with his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) as the snarky side witness.
  7. We get to see a follow-up on Fury recruiting Peter/Spider-Man for a mission. Here he meets Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal), a costumed figure from Earth, “but not ours” according to Fury.
  8. Apparently the various uses of the Infinity Stones on Earth tore a hole between dimensions, dumping Beck and several dangerous elemental-based beings on their doorstep.
  9. Peter learns the other Avengers are busy elsewhere, and all SHIELD has left to turn to is the “Friendly Neighborhood” Spider-Man. Fury lampshades his “veteran hero” reputation by reminding Pete he’s gone to space already.
  10. Apparently Michelle has already figured out that Peter is Spider-Man.
  11. Peter discusses the points of heroism with Beck. The latter says that while he understands Pete wanting to keep a normal life outside of costume, “saving the world requires sacrifice” and that “sometimes people die.”
  12. Seeing the damage the Elementals do spurs Peter to embrace his possible legacy as the next Iron Man. Cue him taking on the Elementals in his new black covert-ups suit.
  13. The classic 1966 “Spider-Man” animated intro (rescored by Mark Giacchino) returns from “Homecoming” as possibly the default theme for for MCU Spidey.
  14. Happy tries to evacuate Peter’s friends in a Stark jet during an Elemental attack. He gets distracted when his explanation of “working with Spider-Man” is misheard as “working for Spider-Man.” Cue exploding jet.

“Spider-Man: Far from Home” also stars Cobie Smoulders, JB Smoove, Martin Starr, Marisa Tomei, Angourie Rice and Hemky Madera. The film premieres on July 2.

“Avengers: Endgame” Surpasses $2-Billion Mark; Now 2nd-Highest All-Time Box-Office After Passing “Titanic”

It took only its own opening weekend for “Avengers: Endgame” to pass the $1-billion box office milestone. Since it’s been hyped as the definitive conclusion for a decade’s worth of MCU storytelling, that earning is expected. And with the rate it’s going, to double that take is apparently no sweat.

As of its second weekend in cinemas around the world, “Avengers: Endgame” has exceeded $2 billion in global box office. To summarize, the blockbuster superhero film’s combined domestic and overseas earnings are $2.188 billion. That achievement puts it past James Cameron’s “Titanic” (1997) as the new 2nd-highest all-time top grossers.

What really helped Marvel Studios’ big 3-plus-hour superhero bonanza earn that much was its very early release in China. That massive cinematic market contributed $575 million to the 1.56 billion that “Endgame” made outside North America. And in there, it’s now counted as the 9th highest all-time domestic film release.

By now, the only obstacle to the fourth “Avengers” film in become the all-time box office king is 2009’s “Avatar,” also by James Cameron. Its $2.787 billion mark will not be easily reached, especially this summer movie season. Other studios, even Disney itself, have major movie releases that might cut into further earnings for “Endgame.”

This is the 22nd installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the penultimate chapter of its massive “Phase 3” film classification. The final movie of that phase will be “Spider-Man: Far from Home,” which will follow up in July 2.

Disney Screening “Avengers: Endgame” before AMPAS Hints at Possible Oscar Drive

If you recall, films under the Disney umbrella got a respectable number of nominations in this year’s Oscars last February. True, only a lesser number became wins, but that’s beside the point. One of the Disney-affiliated nominees was Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther,” the first superhero film to get an actual Best Picture nomination (of a total 7, with 3 wins).

So, barring extreme circumstances, you’d all know that “Avengers: Endgame” premiered late last month and is now an unstoppable force in critics and box office. That it’s got strong reviews might factor into a recent action by Disney that might be the prelude to a major “Endgame” Academy Awards push.

Fandango managing editor Erik Davis noted on his Twitter page that Disney just held a screening of “Avengers: Endgame.” Why does this matter? It’s because the audience were members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science. Yes, it’s the Oscars’ award-giving body themselves.

Is the House of Mouse getting an early start towards pushing their 2019 films for nominations at the 92nd Oscars? The company might be encouraged by the Best Picture inclusion of “Black Panther” in 2018. But is “Avengers: Endgame” worthy of that beyond being making oodles of box-office money worldwide?

“Endgame” is the culmination of directors Joe and Anthony Russo’s work in the MCU franchise. This is indicated by a total lack of mid and post-credits teasers for the movie. The Russo brothers also noted that they’re steeping back from the MCU for a time, but haven’t ruled out a return someday. “Avengers: Endgame” is currently still running in cinemas.

“Avengers: Endgame” Breaks 1 Billion Worldwide – on Opening Weekend

When Marvel Studios unleashed “Avengers: Infinity” war to the global movie-going audience last year, the film’s conclusion shocked everyone mightily. It also ensured that the fans will wait for the concluding “Avengers” installment, subtitled “Endgame,” with a fevered dedication. When it did premiere last week, it did not fail, both to impress and make bank.

To put it bluntly, it took only opening weekend for “Avengers: Endgame” to break the $1 billion global box-office milestone. Domestically it has grossed $350 million, while overseas it got $640.5 million for a total of $1.2 billion. It took “Endgame” half the time “Infinity War” needed to achieve this.

One helpful factor towards the superhero blockbuster’s early $1B record was the fact that “Endgame” opened early in the global box-office kingmaker, China. From there alone did the film earn $330.5 million, or nearly half the rest of the countries around the world where it has premiered, outside the US.

This momentous occasion was credited by Disney chairman Alan horn to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige. The highly successful producer had, in Horn’s words, “challenged the notions for what is possible at the movie theater.” The result was a Marvel superhero film that fans everywhere just ate up with gusto.

“Avengers: Endgame” is the penultimate chapter of Phase 3 for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The franchise has released 22 movies over a 10-year period connected by a shared universe and a sweeping mythic storyline, nearly all of which has been resolved in the movie itself.

Thanks to the positive reception, “Endgame” is now the highest-grossing film of 2019, as well as the 18th highest-grossing movie of all time, though this position might change as the film goes into its cinematic run over the following weeks.

List of MCU Characters in Truck Torrence’s “Avengers: Endgame” Twitter Emoji Series

We’re now in the home stretch of waiting. After the world premiere this Monday, for the rest of the week “Avengers: Endgame” will start generally premiering around the world. We get our resolution to the threat of Thanos, and with it an ending to the first decade of storytelling in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise.

In yet another celebratory gesture for this obvious upcoming blockbuster, Marvel has collaborated with graphic artist Truck Torrence aka 100% Soft. Those who know Torrence’s stomping grounds will realize what this means: new Twitter emojis.

No less than 40 emojis of MCU characters and other stuff are now available to use on Twitter. Let’s do the expected and list them:

  1. Iron Man
  2. Hulk
  3. Hawkeye/Ronin
  4. War Machine
  5. Black Widow
  6. Okoye
  7. Thor
  8. Ant-Man
  9. Rocket
  10. Captain Marvel
  11. Captain America
  12. Nebula
  13. Agent Coulson
  14. Agent Carter(?)
  15. Wong
  16. Doctor Strange
  17. Spider-Man
  18. Nick Fury
  19. Falcon
  20. Scarlet Witch
  21. Maria Hill
  22. Bucky/Winter Soldier
  23. Red Skull
  24. Groot
  25. Thanos
  26. Gamora
  27. Star-Lord
  28. M’Baku
  29. Wasp
  30. Black Panther
  31. Drax
  32. Mantis
  33. Valkyrie
  34. Loki
  35. Miek
  36. Korg
  37. Shuri
  38. Kevin Feige
  39. Avengers logo
  40. Infinity Gauntlet

Yeah, those last three items were really surprising, for the first few seconds. But Feige is the overseer of Marvel Studios and the MCU, and the film needs its iconic logos as well.

“Avengers: Endgame” premieres in the US this Friday, August 26.

Disney and Lenovo Files for Possible Marvel AR Game on Lenovo Mirage Headset

The Lenovo Mirage headset is kind of unique in that rather than being used only for VR, it also does augmented reality (AR). The device saw a boost in sales in 2017 thanks to Disney licensing Lenovo with the development of a “Star Wars” AR game, “Jedi Challenges,” that had users wielding the Mirage remote unit like a lightsaber to parry blaster bolts and enemy sabers seen in their headsets.

Recently Lenovo filed for an FCC ID regarding a new remote control unit used for interaction with their Mirage headset. The filing called for a “Lenovo Mirage 1.5 Marvel Controller.”

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If the previous Mirage controller could be used to stand for an AR lightsaber in “Star Wars: Jedi Challenges,” then what would the Marvel version do? In a Disney-Lenovo Marvel AR game, the controller could be manipulated in several ways. These means might be replications of several Marvel heroes’ abilities.

To make an example, a Mirage user playing this hypothetical Marvel AR game could wave the controller up and “swing” to emulate Spider-Man web-swinging across buildings. Or he could mimic “throwing” the controller to similarly throw Captain America’s shield or Thor’s Mjolnir. He could then see the effects in his Lenovo Mirage headset AR display.

Both Disney and Lenovo haven’t deigned to give comments on the FCC filing for now. The application does cover either an alternate controller for existing Mirage headsets, or a full Marvel package, both surely with the Marvel game installed. For now, we must wait for further updates on this development.