Kevin Feige Announcess Disney-Fox Deal Won’t Affect MCU Films Already in Progress

When the Disney-Fox merger was announced a few weeks ago many fans of the movies produced for the Marvel Cinematic Universe wondered if and more importantly when characters from the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises would work their way into the MCU.

The media website Vulture spoke to MCU head Kevin Feige during the press junket for Black Panther and asked him about the looming deal and the impact it will have on the MCU. Feige said that he had no prior knowledge of the deal taking place, stating that he “found out about it in the press like everybody else.”  He also confirmed that they won’t be changing their next six films.

“The truth of the matter as I understand it is the deal has to be figured out. There’s been no communication. We’re not thinking about it. We’re focusing on everything we’ve already announced. If and when the deal actually happens, we’ll start to think more about it. Until then, we have a lot to do. … It would be years away. We’ve announced everything through 2019, so none of those would be adjusted.”

This isn’t a huge surprise considering the complexity of the merger and what people associated with the MCU have been saying recently.  It’s likely that the Disney-Fox merger will take up to a year to finalize.  So we’re looking at late 2018 or early 2019 for that to happen.

James Gunn recently confirmed that the deal won’t change his plans for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.  It also echoes what one of Marvel’s artists said earlier this month.

The delay in integrating the Fox Marvel characters also makes sense when you look at Marvel Studios’ production slate. Infinity War is coming out in just a few months, and while reshoots are still coming, the introduction of mutants or Marvel’s first family would involve more than minor rewrites. Ant-Man and The Wasp is in a similar boat and may even take place chronologically before Infinity War.  That leaves Captain Marvel and the culmination of the entire MCU in Avengers 4, as well as Spidey’s sequel, to bring in these new toys.  With Avengers 4 already done filming and the other two in deep pre-production, it would be nearly impossible to implement major changes that would be needed to integrate the new characters at this point.

Let the speculation begin about what will happen after 2019 or 2020.

Personally, I’ve never been a huge fan of the X-Men either in the movies or the comic books, so I can go either way on this.  If Feige decides that they need to be integrated into the MCU, I’m sure it would be done well.  But on the other hand, if he decides that they should remain in their own universe I’d be okay with that too.

Do you want to see an integration of the newly acquired characters with the MCU characters or would you prefer that that Marvel keep these characters in their own cinematic universe?

 

 

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Walt Disney World Files Permits for Tron Coaster

At the D23 Expo last July Disney announced that a new TRON roller coaster would be coming to the Magic Kingdom.  Many of us hoped that the attraction would be open for Magic Kingdom’s 50th Anniversary, with the recent filing of government paperwork we at least have somewhat of an idea when construction will likely begin.

Back in November Environmental Resource permits were filed with the South Florida Water Management District.  These permits gave an exact location for the TRON  Lightcycle Power Run, though we had a pretty good idea when the attraction was announced at D23 Expo.

The “Notices of Commencement Permits” don’t give a lot of details other than that we should see a groundbreaking soon and who will be managing the project.  The permits filed with Orange County indicate that Disney hired a local construction company, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company to oversee the construction project.

According to sources, we should see ground clearing and site preparation in the coming months before the rainy season begins.  Vertical construction is expected to begin before the end of the year.  When this happens it is expected that the Walt Disney World Railroad will go down for an unknown amount of time while the TRON ride building is extended over the railroad.

While it is thought that there will be a two-year build timeline, when we look at the construction of the TRON coaster at Shanghai it’s unclear how long construction will take for the project in Walt Disney World.  For Shanghai the groundbreaking took place in 2011, but construction didn’t really take off until late 2013 and didn’t open for testing and guests until 2016.

I was excited, as were others, when this attraction was announced at the D23 Expo.  I’ve even more excited now that we know that permits have been filed and that groundbreaking is imminent and construction should be following hopefully shortly after that.

How excited are you about the new TRON Lightcycle Power Run attraction?

Emily Blunt to Star With Dwayne Johnson in Disney’s ‘Jungle Cruise’

According to sources talking to VarietyEmily Blunt is scheduled to co-star with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in Disney’s ‘Jungle Cruise.”

The film is based on the classic theme park attraction, which operates in  Disney Parks around the world and takes guests on a guided tour through the rivers of the world.

According to sources, Jaume Collet-Serra (Reverie, The Commuter, The Shallows) is on board to direct the film. Oscar nominee Michael Green (“Logan”) wrote the most recent draft of the script. He rewrote a screenplay by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay.

When talking to Disney about this movie, sources say Disney sees the film as another major franchise in the vein of its billion dollar “Pirates of the Caribbean” series.

Sources say Disney has been overjoyed with early footage of Blunt in “Mary Poppins” returns and that they are looking for a way to keep her in the family with another potential franchise.

I’ll admit I’m somewhat excited about the potential of this movie, but since it’s really early I’m not too excited…yet.  This announcement gives me some hope because this movie has another bankable, well-known star set for it. With this star power maybe, just maybe, there will be enough money spent on this movie to produce a quality picture that all of us can get excited about seeing.

Star Wars: Galactic Nights is Returning to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

For all you Star Wars fans out there, Disney recently announced that the one-night special event Star Wars: Galactic Nights will be returning to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 27th.

For those that are unfamiliar with the event,  Star Wars: Galactic Nights is an exciting Star Wars-themed event held at Disney’s Hollywood Studios after park hours, 7 PM to Midnight.  The event celebrates all that is Star Wars  with themed entertainment, special photo opportunities, event-exclusive merchandise along with food and beverage, and of course encounters with rarely seen characters that guests can only experience during this special hard ticketed event.

Specific examples of what guests can experience during Star Wars: Galactic Nights include –

  • Star Wars: Galactic Destinations Projections Transform The Hollywood Tower Hotel– Visible on the Sunset Boulevard area of the park the facade of the Hollywood Tower Hotel will transform via stunning projection technology to showcase familiar locations from across the galaxy. Favorite film moments, special effects, lighting, and of course the stellar Star Warscinematic score supports each galactic location moment all night long. Star Wars Galactic Destinations is currently an event exclusive.
  • Existing Star Wars Entertainment Will Debut New Enhancements – The park’s existing Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks and the Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away stage show will both debut new saga elements for the first time during Star Wars: Galactic Nights.
  • Special Photo Ops – Throughout the park, guests can step into immersive and iconic scenes from their favorite Star Wars films in a series of incredibly detailed photo locations. These special photo ops will only be available at Disney’s Hollywood Studios during Star Wars: Galactic Nights
  • Character Encounters – Expect to encounter Star Wars characters from throughout the galaxy. Guests will also be able to view an Imperial Stormtrooper March with Darth Vader.
  • Exclusive Food & Beverage offerings – Taste your way around the galaxy with specialty food and beverage offerings created for Galactic Nights. Inspired by the stories and iconic characters of Star Wars, these tasting-sized sips and bites bring a delectable addition to this event.
  • Enjoy park attractions – Select attractions will be open to all guests – and some may even offer a special Star Wars twist on May 27 only.

Did anyone else notice that this last point is very close to the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story?  I wonder what guests will get to experience?

This event is something that I’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t had the chance to.  It sounds like a lot of fun.

What I really like about this event is that it seems to have something for any Star Wars fan, from the guest just discovering Star Wars, the casual fan and including the die-hard Star Wars nerd…it has everything.

I consider myself a Star Wars fan, though not an uber-fan.  I love the movies and the attractions and experiences in the parks that are tied to Star Wars.  If I could attend I’d love to experience the character encounters, but the things that excite me the most are the entertainment and the food…which is like an attraction…right?

Are you going to this event?  What excites you the most?

Synopsis for Han Solo Movie Released….And “I Have a Bad Feeling”About This Movie

A few days ago Disney and Lucasfilm released the synopsis for the upcoming Han Solo movie ‘Solo:A Star Wars Movie’. That synopsis summarized the movie by saying –

Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in Solo: A Star Wars Story, an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes.

Wow…I don’t know about you but that just doesn’t excite me much.

When Disney and Lucasfilm announced this movie I was a excited because I thought there was so much potential for the story. Then last summer, with less than a year before the film’s release the film’s directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord were fired, I got really nervous. Soon after that I felt a bit better when Lucasfilm hired director Ron Howard to take over the film.

Since then we have not heard much of anything. We have not seen any stills or a trailer. Now, I can give Howard a bit of a break on some of this because I’m sure he’s been very busy with reshoots and editing to get the film done by the May 25th release date that Disney and Lucasfilm are sticking to. What we have gotten is a bland, vanilla synopsis that doesn’t appear to excite a lot of people.

Yes, as Star Wars fans we’ve always wondered how Han and Chewie met and the history of Lando and Han. But I think we all were expecting or at least hoping for something more than the backstory of Han Solo.

I’m really hoping that the synopsis is the backbone of the film’s story…and not THE story.

From what we’ve gotten, there’s potential for the movie to be good or it could be really bad. I don’t think I’m the only one that’s nervous about this movie. Of all of the movies Disney is releasing in 2018 this movie is the one I’m most curious about, the most hopeful about, and the most nervous about.

At this point I’m not expecting great, but I am hoping for good….and that might be good enough for many fans. Though I’m not entirely confident about the idea that it will be good.

That bad feeling I mentioned earlier?  It’s a feeling of nervousness and unease.

What do you think?

ESPN Wide World of Sports Opens New Arena…Are Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular’s Days Numbered?

On Friday Walt Disney World opened The Arena at ESPN Wide World of Sports, a new multi-purpose arena at the sports complex, further expanding the 220-acre sports venue that is widely regarded as the leading facility for youth sports in America.

The new 300,000 square-foot venue will host a variety of sports for girls and boys, such as basketball, volleyball, gymnastics and, in particular, cheerleading and dance competitions. The use of the space started with the prestigious UCA & UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship that took place this past weekend. In fact, the 8,000-seat arena is one of the largest in the country designed specifically for cheer and dance events.

This is indeed a wonderful addition to the facilities at ESPN Wide World of Sports, but I have to wonder what this means for the future of the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular.

While not an opening day attraction for the then Disney-MGM Studios, it did open a few months later on August 25th of 1989.  Despite a six-month rehab in 2000 and the change out of Nazi Swastikas for stylized Greek Crosses on vehicles, aircraft and uniforms in 2004 the attraction has existed pretty much unaltered for nearly 30 years.

The attraction is still extremely popular, with shows being full or nearly full, yet the show is showing its age.  With the re-imagineering of the park which includes the addition Galaxy’s Edge, known to many as “Star Wars Land,” could this space be better used for newer and possibly Star Wars related shows or attractions?

Undoubtably one of the reasons this show has remained, essentially untouched for as long it has, is because of its popularity and its ability to “eat people” or occupy the attention of a lot of people.

One of the other reasons that Indy has remained, according to some sources is that Disney has needed the space for the above mentioned cheer and dance competitions.  According to the same sources, the space has been booked out for years.  Without another venue for these competitions Disney has been forced to keep Indy around.

With the opening of The Arena, does Disney still need Indy to stay?  My guess is that Indy probably sticks around until at least when the opening of Galaxy’s Edge.  With all of the construction going on and the limited amount of attractions available, Indy needs to stay so guests have something to do especially families with kids.  After Galaxy’s Edge opens I say all bets are off.  Could this area be used for a Phase 2 of Galaxy’s Edge?  Or maybe a new Indiana Jones area will use the space.

How about you, what do you think?

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Debuts New Background Music

Going all the way back to the earliest movies, every great Hollywood story came with a great soundtrack that set the narrative and tone of the movie.  Today Disney’s Hollywood Studios as part of the park’s redevelopment debuts it’s new background music throughout the park.

As guests enter the Main Entrance to the park, guests will hear Big Band arrangements of the Disney Music that we all know and love.

Along Hollywood Boulevard the background music shifts to Big Band instrumental arrangements of songs that were popular of the 1930’s and 1940’s.

Music on Sunset Boulevard will compliment the music heard on Hollywood Boulevard with vocal arrangements similar to the Big Band hits guest heard there.

Guests in the Echo Lake area will continue to hear Big Band music with bright, brassy horns and lush string arrangements.

The music of each area will compliment the theme of the area.  According to reports the Grand Avenue area guests will hear music that includes retro-contemporary west-coast funk with strong basslines, electric guitars, horns and synthesizers.  The music in the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster courtyard will include live versions of classic rock songs, including of course Aerosmith.

I’ve listened to some of the music and I have to say I love it.  I always liked the previous background music of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but I have to say that the Imagineers have created an even better mood and background theme with the new music.  I think, based on what I’ve heard, that the music of the various areas do a better job of complimenting each other.  I personally cannot wait until I can hear the new music live in the parks when I visit Walt Disney World in June.

If you want to hear a sample of the music, I’ve provided a link below to the music from WDWMagic.

New Background Music

My Pixar Tournament and Pixar Movie Rankings

The Christmas and New Years holidays are now over and the news in the Disney Community is a little slow, so how about we delve into the area of the movies and podcasts.

If you are not already subscribed to Disney Magic Hour I suggest that you at least check it out and if you like it, please give it a 5-Star review and subscribe to it.  I personally love this show.  It is one of my favorite shows.  If you are a fan of Disney movies along with the movie studios that fall under the Disney umbrella, this the show for you. Pete has also put together a great community page on Facebook.  I was introduced to the show and the host, Peter Tedone, on the WDW Radio Show.  This show, which publishes weekly, primarily focuses on Disney movies and timely discussion of Disney news.  One of the more popular types of shows that they put out is the “Tournament Bracket” shows where Pete and the gang pit various themes/movies against each other to find the “best of”.

About a month ago, on Show 116 (December 3, 2017), Pete and the gang put together a PIXAR Bracket Tournament, pitting all of the Pixar movies against each other.

Here is the initial bracket –

On the show, the movie WALL-E was chosen as the winner of the tournament.

Here is how my bracket shakes out…

Opening Round –

Monsters University vs. The Good Dinosaur

While neither of these movies is a great movie (by Pixar standards) by any means and I do find Monsters University funny there are just too many plot holes in its connection to Monsters, Inc. for me to totally accept this movie.  And….I do like The Good Dinosaur.  It’s not Pixar’s best effort by any means, but I did like it.  It’s a ‘Buddy Western’ set in the Jurassic Period.  This movie gets my vote because I like it a bit better.

WINNER – The Good Dinosaur

Cars vs. Cars 3

This is a hard one for me since I like both of these movies.  My nod goes to Cars because it was the original and without it we wouldn’t have Cars Land in Disney California Adventure.

WINNER – Cars

Brave vs. Cars 2

While Brave has its faults, the music is wonderful and the background art is gorgeous.  I could go on about how this movie is better, but come on, we’re talking Cars 2 here.

WINNER – Brave

Round 1 –

Toy Story vs. The Good Dinosaur

Is this even a contest?  The Good Dinosaur is cute, but come on, we’re talking Toy Story here.

WINNER – Toy Story

Toy Story 2 vs. The Incredibles

This might be one of the hardest early round decisions.  Both of these movies prior to this tournament are in my Top 5 Pixar movies.  I really like both of these movies….a lot.  I found Toy Story 2 to be very good. We get new toys introduced to the world of toys and we care about them.  If you don’t well up a little during “Jesse’s Song” there might seriously be something wrong with you.  With that being said, The Incredibles is a nearly a perfect superhero movie.  Fans of this movie are finally going to get what we’ve been asking for thirteen years….a sequel.  I guess that I just like The Incredibles more.

WINNER – The Incredibles

Inside Out vs. A Bugs Life

Okay….this is also going to be a hard decision for me, but not for what you think.  I’m not a huge fan of either movie.  A Bugs Life has always ranked near the bottom of my list of Pixar movies.  And I’ll openly admit here that I know I’m in the vast minority about Inside Out, but I thought it was only okay.  It just didn’t appeal to me as much as it did for other people. Pixar really didn’t do anything in this movie that made me care for what happened to any of the characters.  Even though I’m not crazy about either of these movies, Inside Out scratches out a victory here.

WINNER –  Inside Out

Ratatouille vs. Finding Dory

While I enjoyed Finding Dory especially considering that it was a sequel to a movie (Finding Nemo) that wasn’t necessarily asking for a sequel.  It was a cute movie.  In Ratatouille Pixar got us to care about rats, and not just any rats, rats in a restaurant.  This movie has also ranked high in my lists of favorite Pixar movies.

WINNER – Ratatouille

WALL-E vs. Cars

I really liked Cars….I really did.  I wasn’t sure going in whether I’d like it or not, but the more I watched it, them more I liked it.  I also didn’t know what to expect going into WALL-E.  WALL-E is on an entire different level.  This movie has absolutely no dialogue for the first 20 minutes or so, yet you care about what’s going on.  You care about a robot….and a cockroach.  Even when the humans do show up in the movie you still care about the robots.  This is a great movie.

WINNER – WALL-E

Up vs. Coco

This match up is not really fair because I have not seen Coco.  I’ve heard great things about the movie though. Up like WALL-E has a portion of the movie with no dialogue….only music that is wonderfully done.  I loved Up and I have no doubt that I’d love Coco, but I have to go with Up because I’ve seen Coco. Once I see Coco the vote on this could change.

WINNER – Up

Toy Story 3 vs. Brave

Toy Story 3 very well could be the best movie of the Toy Story franchise.  It wraps up the trilogy wonderfully.  I don’t care who you are, if you’re not moved or well up at the end of the movie, I have doubts about you.  As I said earlier, Brave is a beautiful movie.  The music is beautiful.  Kelly Macdonald as the voice of Merida is great.  The problem is the story….too much time is spent with “my Mom is a bear” and that part drags.  This isn’t close…..Toy Story 3 gets the vote.

WINNER – Toy Story 3

Finding Nemo vs. Monsters, Inc.

I really like both of these movies.  Both are enjoyable and both are wonderfully done.  Great animation and great stories and plots.  This comes down to two characters Marlin from Finding Nemo and Boo from Monsters, Inc.  I’m not a fan of Albert Brooks and after awhile the Marlin character gets annoying.  Boo….is cute.  In fact, when my daughter was two or three we liked to call her Boo because she reminded us of the character.  Boo wins.

WINNER – Monsters, Inc.

Quarter Finals –

Toy Story vs. The Incredibles

Okay, I didn’t say much about Toy Story earlier because not much needed to be said.  Toy Story started it all.  We wouldn’t even be having this tournament if this movie hadn’t worked and been a success.  Twenty-two years later this movie still holds up.  Like the battle earlier with Toy Story 2The Incredibles is still a more fun movie for me.  I love both movies. Both movies are in my Top 5 of Pixar movies.  Elasti-Girl stretches for a photo finish here.

WINNER – The Incredibles

Inside Out vs. Ratatouille

As I mentioned earlier, I thought Inside Out was only an okay movie.  So it comes down to rats that Pixar made me care about or characters that they didn’t make me care about….rats win.

WINNER – Ratatouille

WALL-E vs. Up

Both of these movies are among my favorites of Pixar movies.  I just like WALL-E better.

WINNER – WALL-E

Toy Story 3 vs. Monsters, Inc.

Another match up of my Pixar favorites.  I will watch and have watched either of these movies when ever they’re on.  I really like both of them.  They are both well done.  The emotional ending of Toy Story 3 gives it the edge.

WINNER – Toy Story 3

Semi-Finals –

The Incredibles vs. Ratatouille

Have I mentioned how much I really like The Incredibles?  As mentioned earlier, I also really like Ratatouille but we’re talking Superheroes against a cooking rat.  Both really good movie, but Dash crosses the finish line first.

WINNER – The Incredibles

WALL-E vs. Toy Story 3

Both of these movies are great movies.  I’m not sure I can add much to what I’ve already said.  Robots vs. toys…..robots win.

WINNER – WALL-E

Final –

The Incredibles vs. WALL-E

Can we give the trophy to both?  No?  I seriously cannot wait until the sequel to The Incredibles comes out.  Why?  Because I love this movie.  I love the Parr family and I love the villains.  WALL-E is a great movie too, but when I’m looking for my super-suit because the world is in danger….I’m going with the supers.

CHAMPION – The Incredibles

I hope you enjoyed this tournament.  Now for my ranking of Pixar movies.  I will admit that after listening to the show and doing my own bracket the ranking of some of my movies have moved.  Please note (as mentioned above) I have not seen Coco, so it’s ranking is purely based on what I’ve read and heard.

PIXAR MOVIE RANKING –

  1. The Incredibles
  2. WALL-E
  3. Toy Story 3
  4. Toy Story
  5. Ratatouille
  6. Toy Story 2
  7. Up
  8. Coco
  9. Monsters, Inc.
  10. Cars
  11. Finding Nemo
  12. Cars 3
  13. Finding Dory
  14. Brave
  15. Monsters U
  16. The Good Dinosaur
  17. Inside Out
  18. A Bugs Life
  19. Cars 2

Listening to the show that this article has been based on was very thought provoking as was writing this article.  I really had to re-think about what I thought of the movies and how I had them ranked.  How do you have the Pixar movies ranked?  Did you do your own tournament?

That’s it for today.   See you next time.