Special on “Avengers: Infinity War” Showing Friday Night on Disney Channel

We’re breaking the monotony of articles leading up to the potentially historical box office premiere of Black Panther, in order to bring this new update regarding the next MCU film to premiere after that. Some two weeks have passed without any new word about Avengers: Infinity War. That changes now.

MCU fans who have access to Disney Channel, pay attention. They’re going to have a special feature exclusive to them that will air on the evening of February 16. It hasn’t been specified what to expect from the special, but it’s most likely a behind-the scenes look on Infinity War.

The Avengers feature, which will probably have interviews with the actors and the people behind the camera, is part of a special event block called Night of Heroes. Incidentally, Friday night is also the premiere of a new Disney Channel Original Movie, Zombies, which will be promoted during the Night of Heroes block.

But that mini-feature on Avengers: Infinity War is priority for MCU fans. Marvel Studios may have already released trailers of it, and LEGO has announced tie-in play sets that spoil a few things about it, but we’re still not quite knowledgeable about what happens in the film.

We do know however that Black Panther’s storyline will connect to it. It’s hard to forget Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa demanding a shield be given to Chris Evans’ (bearded) Captain America. Other films to get an inside look at after Infinity War, are The Incredibles 2 and A Wrinkle in Time.

Night of Heroes starts at 8PM Eastern/5PM Pacific on Disney Channel. No timeslot was given as to when the Avengers: Infinity Wars special will go on however; so you might just have to sit down through the whole program yourself.

Gary L. Goldman Forces Round 2 vs. Disney with New Lawsuit Over “Zootopia”

The 2016 Disney animated film Zootopia has been hailed as one of the best family movies to come out this decade, thanks to its perfect blend of stunning visuals, great story and contemporary social commentary. But it hasn’t been all praise for the film; it’s had its share of controversy.

On March 2017, Gary L. Goldman filed suit against Disney for his company Esplanade Productions, accusing the Mouse’s animation studios of plagiarism. He cited similarities between Zootopia and Looney, an animation film he pitched to Disney in 2000 and 2009 but was rejected. The suit was dismissed at Federal Court.

But Goldman isn’t one to give up anytime soon. His new legal battlefield is the Los Angeles Superior Court. Similar to his original accusation, Goldman and Esplanade Productions insist that Disney blatantly copied “artwork, dialogue, characters’ traits and designs, themes, settings, and plot structure”.

This time, Goldman isn’t going to pursue a copyright claim but will instead attack Disney from the angle of having breached “implied fact contract”, adding how the studio even took the name Zootopia from his Looney pitch (an in-universe TV cartoon). Amazingly, the points of argument in his new suit are almost unchanged from the original.

It should be recalled that in the Federal Court’s dismissal of the first complaint from Esplanade, U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald ruled that the similarities Goldman pointed out are all of generalized themes and not plot points or events, the former not being protected by copyright law at all.

For the moment, Disney itself has not made any official comment on the rematch that’s being forced on them by Gary L. Goldman and Esplanade Productions. Goldman is known to film buffs as the co-screenwriter of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1990 sci-fi thriller Total Recall, a box-office number one and also among the first super-expensive mega-blockbusters.

Disney Denies Planning to Ruin Netflix by Pulling Content for Own Service

When one assumes the worst case concerning the future consolidation of their media content onto one exclusive streaming platform, that action appears to come across as a death sentence for the other streaming services that originally hosted said content. One of those platforms is Netflix, standing to lose almost everything.

But that’s exaggerated fear-mongering, if Disney has anything to say about it. True, their video streaming project goes on as scheduled, but their objective is merely to gain more consumers as the media landscape shifts. An executive of the company denies any ulterior motive amounting to hobbling soon-to-be rival platforms.

Disney chief strategy officer Kevin Mayer is emphatic in his assurances care of The House of Mouse. “We are not trying to hurt or kill Netflix,” he said at the Code Media conference in Huntington Beach on Tuesday. “We are trying to serve consumers…Our success will not come from Netflix’s expense.”

The Disney-branded media streaming service is due to launch late next year in 2019. Its initial library would be a hoard of Disney animated and live-action films plus TV shows reaching back into past decades, alongside exclusive original content. Netflix, already carrying some of said programming, must compensate by creating more new original content of its own as replacements.

However, all content that would go to the Disney streaming platform (and the sports-oriented ESPN-Plus) will be different from what’s already on at the “traditional” Disney cable TV networks like Disney Channel and XD, plus ESPN and ABC.

“The model serves us well,” Mayer said, about ensuring that Disney’s cable channels and streaming will not overlap to prevent redundancy of one or the other. “I’m not sure there is an urgent need to disrupt it.” He also hasn’t said anything about possible Fox content, as that mega-deal isn’t done yet.

Official Story Synopsis for “Incredibles 2” Out from Disney

Disney-Pixar is raring to reintroduce us to their superhero family again this coming June when Incredibles 2 premieres in cinemas. The first snippets of information we got about this sequel to the blockbuster 2004 movie have it that it picks up from said film’s cliffhanger.

If you’ve seen the first Incredibles you’ll remember that it ended with the appearance of a new bad guy for the Parr family and their ally Frozone to fight. In fact, a tie-in console videogame played out that plot already. But the first teaser for Incredibles 2 and this new synopsis tells a divergent story.

The official synopsis has it that the Parr family’s dynamic have switched, with Bob Parr/Mr. incredible becoming a stay-at-home dad while his wife Helen/Elastigirl becomes an active “Super” in a public campaign to have superheroes return to duty. This setup is derailed when a new super-villain appears to wreak havoc.

Is this a retelling of the emergence of sequel-hook villain Underminer from the first film? One divergence known is that the Incredibles and Frozone are already acquainted with a new hero, a former Elastigirl fan. Whether this treads familiar ground with the original antagonist or not remains to be seen.

Incredibles 2 reprises almost all of its original 2004 voice talent: Craig T. Nelson as Mr. Incredible, Holly Hunter as / Elastigirl, Sarah Vowell as Violet, and Samuel L. Jackson Frozone. New VA’s include Huck Milner as Dash, Sophia Bush as new hero Voyd and John Ratzenberger as The Underminer.

With Brad Bird returning to direct (as well as voicing super costume designer Edna Mode), Incredibles 2 from Disney-Pixar will come out on June 15.

2018-19 Schedule for Disney Live-Action Versions of Its Animated Films

With the smashing success of Beauty and the Beast last year, it seems safe to say that Walt Disney Pictures won’t be cutting out their current trend of producing live-action adaptations of their animated films. From Maleficent to The Jungle Book, they’ve all been consistent, if not epic, box-office moneymakers.

Another subsidiary of the greater Disney umbrella, Marvel Studios, seems to have perfected the “production line” method of filmmaking when it comes to their MCU, now a decade old this year. They’ve got schedules listing which movie gets premiered as early as two years in advance. It’s fairly remarkable.

The House of Mouse once showed a lineup of their projects in this vein during the D23 Expo last year. After referring to Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, Pete’s Dragon and (naturally) Beauty and the Beast, they had made the first teases of the following films.

Here’s what to expect from Walt Disney Pictures in 2018:

  1. Christopher Robin (August 3) – Starring Ewan McGregor and Hayley Atwell; it’s a retelling of the Winnie-the-Pooh stories, but involving an adult Christopher Robin trying to find his imagination once more.
  2. Mary Poppins Returns (December 24) – Starring Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda. A sequel to the original movie starring Julie Andrews, it also involves child characters now grown up and needing a little childlike magic back in their lives.

For 2019:

  1. Dumbo (March 29) – With Colin Farrell, Eva Green, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, and an elephant performer with CGI long ears, the character of which is mocked until we learn that it can fly; directed by Tim Burton.
  2. Aladdin (May 24) – Guy Ritchie directs a remake of the 1992 hit, with Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott and Marwan Kenzari as the primary cast. Will Smith also stars as the Genie immortalized by Robin Williams.
  3. The Lion King (July 19) – The first movie being done by Jon Favreau for this year; it’s a live-action animal film with CGI speech effects. Some cast recycling is also in play as all the voice talent has been in Disney, Marvel or Star Wars movies. James Earl Jones reprises his animated outing as Mufasa.
  4. Mulan (December 20) – Development is ongoing despite concerns for casting of Caucasian actors in a classical Chinese setting. Liu Yifei stars, with Nick Caro as director.

And would you believe, there’s more beyond all that? These however are the ones with set dates like in the MCU, so you’ll have plenty to look forward to in this year and the next.

Emily Blunt to Be Female Lead Opposite Dwayne Johnson in In-Development “Jungle Cruise” Film

Only a media giant like Disney could ever consider making a movie based on a theme park attraction. Indeed, only the House of Mouse has a decent chance to make such a film successful. Pirates of the Caribbean is a stellar example, though Disney’s made missteps like Haunted Mansion too.

But you’ve got to give the studio props for carrying on, with plans of adapting another classic standard attraction of a majority of the Disney theme parks: Jungle Cruise. Early news announcements of this project have listed Dwayne Johnson as the lead, but his leading lady might blow your mind.

The latest info has it that British-American actress Emily Blunt has been cast as the female lead of the Jungle Cruise film adaptation. That’s quite the bombshell considering that Blunt is already starring in Mary Poppins Returns, sequel to the 1964 musical with Julie Andrews, set to premiere in December.

Having Blunt as part of the cast would make sense considering that the default setting of the Disney Jungle Cruise ride has always been a river surrounded by rainforest with a colonial British-style explorer’s lodge as a riverboat station. It’s yet to be divulged what genre the film will be.

Jungle Cruise is set to be directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. Its original script by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay has been expanded by Michael Green, who’s had a busy 2017 screenwriting portfolio including Logan, Alien: Covenant, Blade Runner 2049 and Murder on the Orient Express. Production’s slated to start May.

Dwayne Johnson is something of an old hand in adventure movies ranging from Journey 2: The Mysterious Island to the very recent Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Discussion has already started regarding the similarities of the latter film with the in-development Disney movie, though Collet-Serra assures they’ll be different enough.

Final Trailer Up for “A Wrinkle in Time”

Only two months remain before Disney premieres its big-budget big-screen adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s science fantasy book classic A Wrinkle in Time. Following a series of TV spots and character image posters that came out since the initial teasers from from last year, a final official trailer has now been put out that’s just as visually out there as the ones that came before.

While several of the scenes in trailer 3 of A Wrinkle in Time have been recycled from past ones, there are some new elements here that flesh out the movie narrative some more without unreasonably spoiling the major details already shared before. Storm Reid is as always in top form as the brilliant but emotionally hurting Meg Murry, who is pining for her missing scientist father while going through a difficult school life.

We’ve already seen Meg reach interact with her classmate Calvin O’Keefe (Levi Miller) by explaining her dad’s “wrinkle” instant travel theory, but now we see how their surreal psychedelic adventure begins when the Murrys’ strange neighbor Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) invites them and Meg’s little brother Charles (Deric McCabe) to join her in searching for Dr. Murry (Chris Pine), which entails some universal travel.

Disney has quite the relationship with A Wrinkle in Time; they first produced a TV movie version of the book for ABC back in 2003. The constraints of a low budget meant not much could be done in terms of visual storytelling, and author Madeleine L’Engle was herself quite let down by it.

This time the feature film remake looks ready to translate the surreal atmosphere of the book and even go beyond it. Directed by Ava DuVernay from a screenplay by Frozen writer Jennifer Lee, A Wrinkle in Time also stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mindy Kaling, Oprah Winfrey, Zach Galifianakis and Michael Peña. Catch it on cinemas this March 9.