For the past few months, ever since Disney began dropping hints, we’ve been following all significant updates on Disney+. This is the much-promoted exclusive online streaming service that would carry as much of the Disney media library, plus all-new original content. Despite news of what stuff might be put in it, Disney has kept mum on when Disney+ will launch.
That silence was broken by the House of Mouse this Thursday, April 11. At long last Disney+ has been properly introduced by the media giant’s CEO Bob Iger. From live-action Disney films to the Animated Canon, everything will eventually fit in the platform as the practice of putting past media on a figurative “vault” (storing in between official release and re-releases) is gradually phased out.
And let’s not forget the added productions from Pixar, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm aka “Star Wars” and even TV documentaries like National Geographic. Some new original series that will debut on Disney+ will tie either with the MCU film franchise, or the “Star Wars” Disney canon.
But what about the subscription service itself? Iger finally gets down to the nitty-gritty on details. A monthly subscription on Disney+ will cost $7. That’s tantamount to “shots fired” against established streaming juggernaut Netflix, which has a $13 monthly plan and a $9 lowest-budget alternative.
The Disney+ service will officially launch on November 12, and will also come in a mobile app version. Disney promises 10 new films and 25 series, all original, within the first year of the streaming platform. It’ll also carry content from Fox, like all seasons of “The Simpsons” just to start. Netflix should start worrying.
There is still no specific date other than that it’ll be launching this year, so anticipation for the Disney+ exclusive streaming platform is high. We’ve already gotten a peek at what the House of Mouse and its partner studios could pack into that service: more live-action adaptations of animation, MCU and “Star Wars” TV series.
Quite recently a second big batch of upcoming programs has been announced for Disney+. As with the content already announced before, it’s unknown when they will arrive, as they’re likely only under development at present. We’ll provide a list of the new Disney+ stuff, plus brief descriptions of each program. Some titles are still temporary:
Marvel’s Hero Project – spotlight on various youth who do positive acts and make great changes in their community, making them real-life young heroes
Marvel’s 616 – documentary anthology exploring the greater Marvel franchise umbrella, from superhero characters to settings and their creators; to be presented by various filmmakers
Be Our Chef – reality cooking competition where contestant family groups strive to create a winning dish that would actually be added somewhere in the Walt Disney World menu
Earthkeepers – documentary showcase on conservationists and the endangered species they’re observing
Cinema Relics: Iconic Art of the Movies – behind-the-scenes look on production costumes and props from some of the most famous Disney movies
(Re)Connect – reality series wherein families whose members have grown apart are taken to unique experiences in the hope of restoring and strengthening their bonds
Encore! – reality comedy series with Kristen Bell as executive producer, that follows the now-adult production members of a high school musical, who are challenged to do their production all over again
Rogue Trip – travelogue hosted by father-son tandem Bob and Mack Woodruff; their itinerary is described as the “overlooked” corners of the world
Shop Class – reality competition with student teams working to create new gadgets through the three-stage process of design, assembly and testing
Walt Disney Imagineering Documentary Series – an exploration of Disney theme parks focusing on the work of the Imagineering division, in celebration of their over 60 years of incredible work
“Captain Marvel” on the MCU certainly had a hard row to hoe on the road to premiere, and beyond. Criticism for the film was mostly flavored by a dislike for either the lead star Brie Larson, or the perceived excessive feminist bias. Despite that, “Captain Marvel” rocked the box office.
How well is it actually doing? The penultimate MCU Phase 3 installment is earning really strongly. That’s because as of this week, “Captain Marvel” is now past the $1 billion global box office milestone. Marvel Studio’s first film with a solo female main character and a female co-director has already made $358 domestically, and $645 million outside of North America.
While other detractors may compare “Captain Marvel” unfavorably to the first blockbuster super-heroine film “Wonder Woman” from Warner Bros. and DC, it still doesn’t change the fact that with its over $1 billion box-office take, the MCU movie has surpassed the well-received Gal Gadot starrer and its $841 global earnings.
MCU fans can expect Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel to play a main part in this April’s “Avengers: Endgame.” Here the overarching plotline of 10 years, three Phases and 21 preceding movies finally come together for a deservedly epic conclusion.
By now “Captain Marvel” is among the seven MCU films that achieved the $1 billion mark during their theater run. To learn the rest, we invite you to look here.
Following the completed acquisition of 20th Century Fox and other related media assets last month, it was only a matter of time before Disney begins showing them off alongside its other subsidiaries. That time came with the 2019 Cinema-Con film industry trade show, running Monday to Thursday this week at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.
Off the bat, Disney chairman Alan Horn spoke of the sheer cinematic firepower that is “Disney and Fox combined” in future. He says during his opening address, “We are truly excited because we believe that together we will be more than the sum of our parts. It’s just an unbelievable collection…coming from bold visionary filmmakers…”
This was followed by exclusive footage from upcoming Disney – and Fox – films for this year. Here’s a list of the choice preview highlights from them:
Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) is fairly confident she can beat Thanos (Josh Brolin) and rubs all the surviving Avengers the wrong way.
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) tests Marvel/Carol by summoning Stormbreaker close to her head (like in the trailer).
Nebula (Karen Gillian) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) volunteer locations where Thanos may be; the former knows where he might be resting while the latter discovers another world that had its life population halved (ie. Thanos).
X-Men: Dark Phoenix – This is the final installment of Fox’s “X-Men” reboot (from “First Class”) before MCU possibly integrates the characters.
Prof. Xavier (James McAvoy) volunteers the X-Men to rescue NASA astronauts in a space crisis.
The rescue mission ends with Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) left behind and possessed by the Phoenix.
Her return to the Xavier School triggers gossip and uneasiness, especially as Jean feels herself losing control, and liking it.
Magneto apparently attacks the school, only for Phoenix Jean to “shut him down.”
April 26. On that day, over three weeks from now, “Avengers: Endgame” will premiere. Fans of Marvel superheroes, particularly as portrayed in the MCU, are looking forward to this film. It will after all conclude the saga of Thanos and the Infinity Stones. For some, the wait is almost unbearable.
AMC Theaters is offering something for the impatient. They will be screening “Avengers: Endgame” on April 23, three days before its official premiere. Cool? You’ll probably change your mind if you learn the rest. AMC will be hosting another film marathon that day. It’ll be a Marvel Cinematic Universe marathon.
Just to drive home just how long AMC audiences must wait, consider this figure. There are 21 MCU films already premiered. On average they clock at over one and a half hours per film. At the end of movie 21, “Captain Marvel,” the marathon would end with “Avengers: Endgame” which runs for about three hours.
All told, this 22-installment MCU marathon by AMC Theaters will come close to 60 hours. There will be half-hour breaks every few films. In hindsight, that means the audience will arrive at “Avengers: Endgame” one hour before the conventional premiere.
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But are there any dedicated moviegoers around who can stand non-stop viewing for over two days straight? There are. As soon as AMC began selling tickets to the marathon their online booking site went down. It’ll be up to you, if you have an AMC nearby, if you want to take them up on this.
AMC Marvel Marathon Movie List
That said we have a superfluous marathon film catalog here:
One of Disney’s current theme park-related projects is to increasingly integrate the Marvel brand with all its high-flying superhero flair. We’ve seen these first steps in Disneyland Park (at Disney’s California Adventure) and Hong Kong. The former has “Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!” while the latter has the “Iron Man Experience,” the first Marvel attraction in a Disney park.
While Iron man Experience has been the lone Marvel attraction in Hong Kong Disneyland since 2017, it changes this Sunday. A new Marvel-themed ride is coming this March 31: “Ant-Man & the Wasp: Nano Battle!”
But before the new indoor interactive dark ride opens to HKD guests, there was a formal launch ceremony held Thursday, March 28. What’s especially awesome about this was, in addition to officials from HKD and Hong Kong SAR welcoming the attraction, “Ant-Man” star Paul Rudd himself was as special guest along with director Peyton Reed.
Drawing on his comedy background, Rudd was able to engage the launch event audience with his great wit and appreciation, not just for the ride but for Hong Kong. Following the ceremonial start-button-press, Rudd and select passengers went on the first full ride for “Ant-Man & the Wasp: Nano Battle!”
The attraction has its passengers assisting Scott /Ant-Man and Hope/Wasp in a mission to disable a HYDRA doomsday machine. On the ride-train, guests use blasters to hit hostile targets on the videogame screen surroundings to rack up high scores. “Nano Battle!” was repurposed from HKD’s original Buzz Lightyear ride, but is now an exciting interactive indoor adventure. Hong Kong Disneyland guests can check it out for themselves this March 31.
Last year, Marvel Animation launched a media franchise to introduce young viewers to their stable of young superheroes. “Marvel Rising” would see the creation of tie-in Marvel Comics series, animated shorts, specials, and the “Secret Warriors” TV movie that aired in Disney Channel and XD.
Regarding the “Marvel Rising” animated shorts, following the “Initiation” miniseries that introduced the Marvel characters in the lead-up to “Secret Warriors,” Marvel Animation released a new series on the Marvel HQ YouTube channel. These videos are called “Ultimate Comics,” each showcasing team-up adventures between established Marvel heroes and the young members of the Secret Warriors.
The “Marvel Rising: Ultimate Comics” short series are like a contemporary take on the 1966 “Marvel Super Heroes” cartoons produced by Gantry-Lawrence Animation. Take the limited animation frames that make scenes reminiscent of a comic-book scene then add special effects and you get Ultimate Comics.
Here’s a list of all videos on the videos that have been released thus far:
With only one month left before Marvel Studios ends its MCU Phase 3, fans are now spurred like their surviving film superheroes to “Avenge the Fallen.” This is the tagline being assigned to a new wave of promotional posters for “Avengers: Endgame.” These images also serve to confirm “painful” partings.
As has been stated repeated about the upcoming film’s predecessor, “Avengers: Infinity” ended with the mad titan Thanos (Josh Brolin) using the Infinity Stones to erase 50% of all living creatures in the existing universe. Many of these losses include big names from the MCU roster of heroes, as driven home by these new posters.
There are two poster “lineups,” one in color and the other in black and white (for the photos at least). The former represents the survivors while the latter either got killed in the course of “Infinity War” or were “snapped” by Thanos in the climax.
When the first MCU film “Iron Man” premiered in 2008, one of the best visuals there was the depiction of Tony Stark in his armor flying through the air and above the clouds. This is also enhanced by the awesome SFX shots of Tony looking at his flight path through the HUD of his helmet.
Attractions like the Iron Man Experience in Hong Kong Disneyland have tried to replicate the first-person view effect of flying like Iron Man. But a more personal experience can be had if you happen to own a PlayStation 4 with an accompanying PlayStation VR headset.
Marvel Games, Sony Interactive Entertainment and Camouflaj present “Iron Man VR,” a virtual-reality game experience for the PlayStation VR accessory of the PS4. It was unveiled Monday, March 26 during the first ever Sony-exclusive game reveal event, the State of Play. Here’s arguably the ultimate means for players to be in the Iron Man armor.
Ryan Payton, director of the game from developers Camouflaj, says they wanted “Iron Man VR” to be a “thrilling moment-to-moment action experience that’s also personal and funny,” the exact way fans might use to describe Tony Stark/Iron Man and even the whole MCU film franchise.
To this Marvel Games VP and Creative Director Bill Rosemann adds how Iron Man is an ideal hero to experience in VR, to which the simulator is Marvel and Sony’s way of giving fans an “affordable and less dangerous” way of getting into Tony Stark’s metal shoes. No word has been given on the release date for “Iron Man VR.”
In a corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) setting, super-powered teenagers are fighting “in secret” against their super-villain parents. This has been the plot of “Runaways,” a Marvel series on Hulu that’s run through two seasons since December 2018. That season finale ended with a darkest-hour cliffhanger, despite no word of a follow-up announced.
Fans need worry no more, with “Runaways” season 3 green-lighted by Hulu very recently. Granted, this one’s shorter than its predecessor at just 10 episodes, but it continues the story so there’re no complaints. The fact that Marvel’s parent company Disney now has 60% stake in Hulu seems a factor.
What a season 3 being promised, too! The show-runners hint that the show will finally interact more with the MCU the way ABC’s “Agents of SHIELD” have, and the Marvel Netflix series once did. “Season three will be a magical time on Runaways, as we deepen our connection to the Marvel universe,” stated executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage.
To celebrate more “Runaways” in the future, here’s a short list of episode titles from season 2, the entirety of which was released on Hulu on December 21, 2018: