Tag Archives: Walt Disney Pictures

The Finest Hours To Be Directed By Robert Schwentke

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Robert Schwentke, the director behind the films, RED and R.I.P.D., is reportedly in talks to direct Walt Disney Pictures’ The Finest Hours according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film is an adaptation of the novel of the same name written by  Casey Sherman and Michael J. Touglas and was originally published in 2009.  Continue reading

Ron Howard Eyes Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book Adaptation

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It was announced last summer that Neil Gaiman would be adapting his 2008 Newberry Medal winner novel, “The Graveyard Book.” Disney bought the movie rights after several years of attempts by different studios to adapt the novel. Now, the big screen adaptation has seemingly found a new director in Ron Howard.

Inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 classic “The Jungle Book,” Gaiman’s novel is officially described as follows:

Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place-he’s the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians’ time as well as their timely ghostly teachings-like the ability to Fade. Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? And then there are things like ghouls that aren’t really one thing or the other.

This will be Gaiman’s third film, preceded by 2009’s Coraline and 2007’s Stardust, both of which received positive reviews. Gaiman also has a television series in the works with HBO based on his novel American Gods. His two movie adaptations have both received relative success in the box office as well. Coraline has an IMDb rating of 7.7 out of 10 and Stardust received a 7.8.

Henry Selick had plans to adapt The Graveyard Book as a stop-motion feature for Walt Disney Pictures, but the new vision of the project has it moving forward as a live-action film. There is no word on when they expect this adaptation to move forward into production or who they wish to star in the feature. However, with Ron Howard at the helm, the movie appears to be in good hands.

Character Guide To Oz The Great And Powerful

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Walt Disney is preparing for the release of their upcoming film, Oz The Great and Powerful based on the novels by L. Frank Baum (such as the most notable, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”) by releasing an official character guide to the film.

The film follows Diggs (Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, who is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz. He thinks he’s hit the jackpot and that fame and fortune are his for the taking — that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Kunis), Evanora (Weisz) and Glinda (Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity — and even a bit of wizardry — Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.

Below, you can check out a guide to some of the incredible characters set to soon hit the big screen, paired against original passages from Baum’s first book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

OZ (OSCAR DIGGS)

James Franco

“Well, one day I went up in a balloon and the ropes got twisted, so that I couldn’t come down again. It went way up above the clouds, so far that a current of air struck it and carried it many, many miles away. For a day and a night I traveled through the air, and on the morning of the second day I awoke and found the balloon floating over a strange and beautiful country.” – Oz

Oscar Diggs, aka Oz, is a small-time magician who takes his magic act on the road as part of a traveling circus in the Midwest. A man with dubious ethics, Oz is a handsome, charming charlatan who is skilled at smooth-talking his way out of problems. When he is hurled into the magical Land of Oz, Oscar faces a fight-or-flight dilemma that holds the fate of a kingdom in the balance, forcing him to decide what kind of man he truly is before it is too late.

THEODORA

Mila Kunis

“In the civilized countries I believe there are no witches left, nor wizards, nor sorceresses, nor magicians. But, you see, the Land of Oz has never been civilized, for we are cut off from the rest of the world. Therefore we still have witches and wizards amongst us.” – Glinda

Theodora is a beautiful, naïve witch who is protected by her powerful sister Evanora. Theodora only wants peace to come to the Land of Oz and truly believes that a prophesied wizard will arrive someday to restore order.

EVANORA

Rachel Weisz

“One of my greatest fears was the Witches, for while I had no magical powers at all I soon found out that the Witches were really able to do wonderful things.” – Oz

A witch to be feared, Evanora is Theodora’s over-protective sister. With her penetrating gaze, she exudes a powerful presence and has positioned herself as the royal advisor and protector of Emerald City.

GLINDA

Michelle Williams

“The Witch of the South. She is the most powerful of all the Witches, and rules over the Quadlings… She is kind to everyone. I have heard that Glinda is a beautiful woman, who knows how to keep young in spite of the many years she has lived.” – Soldier

Glinda is a good witch who rules over a peaceful kingdom of simple, kind folk. Beautiful Glinda is not only a compassionate and benevolent witch, but also a fierce protector of her people. Though Glinda sees through Oz’s façade early on, she knows genuine goodness lies within and helps Oz achieve his true destiny.

CHINA GIRL

Joey King (voice)

“But the strangest of all were the people who lived in this queer country. There were milkmaids and shepherdesses, with brightly colored bodices and golden spots all over their gowns; and princesses with most gorgeous frocks of silver and gold and purple; and shepherds dressed in knee breeches with pink and yellow and blue stripes down them, and golden buckles on their shoes; and princes with jeweled crowns upon their heads, wearing ermine robes and satin doublets; and funny clowns in ruffled gowns, with round red spots upon their cheeks and tall, pointed caps. And, strangest of all, these people were all made of china, even to their clothes, and were so small that the tallest of them was no higher than Dorothy’s knee.”

China Girl is from the village of China Town, where everything, including the inhabitants, is made of china. When destruction befalls her land, the brave, resilient China Girl encounters Oz and they strike up an unlikely friendship.

FINLEY

Zach Braff (voice)

“But if you are going to call the Winged Monkeys we must run away, for they are full of mischief and think it great fun to plague us.” – Oz

The Queen of the MiceFinley is a winged monkey that accompanies Oz on his journey. Finley doesn’t have a high opinion of Oscar and lets him know it. Ultimately he becomes a loyal ally and helps Oz discover his true self.

FRANK

Zach Braff

“I do not know where Kansas is, for I have never heard that country mentioned before. But tell me, is it a civilized country?” – Glinda

Frank is Oz’s assistant and right-hand man—he’s the money handler, costume mender and prop wrangler for Oz’s magic act. Frank is put upon and underappreciated but is Oz’s only friend.

KNUCK

Tony Cox

“I am the Guardian of the Gates, and since you demand to see the Great Oz I must take you to his Palace. But first you must put on the spectacles… [I]f you did not wear spectacles the brightness and glory of the Emerald City would blind you. Even those who live in the City must wear spectacles night and day. They are all locked on, for Oz so ordered it when the City was first built, and I have the only key that will unlock them.”– The Guardian of the Gates

Knuck is a dour, unsmiling Munchkin, who, as the Herald of Emerald City, announces all the visitors. Despite his cantankerous demeanor, he is loyal to Glinda and thus reluctantly becomes Oz’s ally.

WINKIES

“The Winkies were very kind to me, and wanted me to rule over them after the Wicked Witch died. I am fond of the Winkies, and if I could get back again to the Country of the West, I should like nothing better than to rule over them forever.” – The Tin Woodman

The Winkies are the formidable, spear-carrying, 8-foot tall, uniformed guards of Emerald City under the command of Evanora.

QUADLINGS

“The country of the Quadlings seemed rich and happy. There was field upon field of ripening grain, with well-paved roads running between, and pretty rippling brooks with strong bridges across them. The fences and houses and bridges were all painted bright red, just as they had been painted yellow in the country of the Winkies and blue in the country of the Munchkins. The Quadlings themselves, who were short and fat and looked chubby and good-natured, were dressed all in red, which showed bright against the green grass and the yellowing grain.”

The Quadlings are inhabitants of Glinda’s kingdom. They are kind-hearted, simple country folk who are mostly farmers.

MUNCHKINS

While she stood looking eagerly at the strange and beautiful sights, she noticed coming toward her a group of the queerest people she had ever seen. They were not as big as the grown folk she had always been used to; but neither were they very small. In fact, they seemed about as tall as Dorothy, who was a well-grown child for her age, although they were, so far as looks go, many years older.

The Munchkins are giggling, happy little people, who live peaceful lives singing and making pretty clothes. Though they don’t have a care in the world, they are loyal to Glinda and do their best to help her if and when she needs them.

The upcoming film version, opening in North American theaters on March 8 and Australia on March 7, tells the story of how the wizard, Oscar Diggs, came to Oz (a story never told in any of the books). The movie is directed by Sam Raimi (Spider-Man) and stars James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff and Joey King.

First Photo of Angelina Jolie As Maleficent Revealed

Walt Disney Studios announced the beginning of production on the upcoming film Maleficient by releasing the first photo showing actress Angelina Jolie in the titular role.

The film is being directed by the two-time Oscar winning production designer Robert Stromberg most known for his work on hit films such as Avatar and Alice in Wonderland. This will be his directorial debut. Linda Woolverton wrote the screenplay with the project being executive produced by Angelina Jolie, Don Hahn, Matt Smith and Palak Patel.

Sharlto Copley, known for his role in District 9, Elle Fanning, from Super 8, and Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Juno Temple, and Lesley Manville will be co-starring in the production.

Maleficent focuses on the side of the story according the villain from the classic Sleeping Beauty. It will reveal what caused the evil queen to be so hardened and what drive her to curse baby Aurora. In the original movie, she is the self-proclaimed “Mistress of All Evil” who, after not being invited to the baby’s christening, curses the infant Princess Aurora to “prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die” before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday. The character is Disney’s half-dragon adaptation of the evil fairy godmother from the original fairy tale.

The character is also one of the most “loved” and well known of the evil villains from Disney films.

Maleficent is scheduled for a March 14, 2014 release in 3D.

Disney To Adapt Neil Gaiman Novel The Graveyard Book

Disney recently announced that they have bought the movie rights to adapt Neil Gaiman’s 2008 children’s novel The Graveyard Book. After several years of attempt by different studios to adapt the novel it seems that it is finally moving forward with Disney. As the fourth studio to purchase the rights to the film, they wasted no time handing the project over to producer Gil Netter, who just finished producing another Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, another book-to-film adaptation.

This will be Gaiman’s third film, preceded by 2009’s Coraline and 2007’s Stardust, both of which received positive reviews. Gaiman also has a television series in the works with HBO based on his novel American Gods.

His two movie adaptations have both received relative success in the box office as well. Coraline has an IMDb rating of 7.7 out of 10 and Stardust received a 7.8.

The next adaptation for Gaiman, The Graveyard Book, tells the story of a young boy who lost his parents and is raised instead by the ghosts of graveyard inhabitants.

The official plot synopsis is below:

Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place-he’s the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians’ time as well as their timely ghostly teachings-like the ability to Fade. Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? And then there are things like ghouls that aren’t really one thing or the other. This chilling tale is Neil Gaiman’s first full-length novel for middle-grade readers since the internationally bestselling and universally acclaimed Coraline. Like Coraline, this book is sure to enchant and surprise young readers as well as Neil Gaiman’s legion of adult fans.”

In the novel, each of the eight chapters is a short story, telling the story 2 years apart allowing the audience to see the protagonist growing up.

The book, already a commercial success, won the 2008 Newberry Medal for distinguished contributions to children’s literature.  It also won the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Novel, Locus Award for Best Young Adult Book, and the 2010 Carnegie Medal.

Gaiman based his tale on a previous short story called The Witch’s Headstone, according to TGDaily.com.

It is unknown whether the movie will be live-action or animated, and no other production details have been announced.

Marvel’s The Avengers Storms International Theaters

As of May 2nd, Walt Disney Pictures and Marvel Studios announced that Marvel’s the Avengers had already grossed $260.5 million before it opens in North America this Friday. Premiering in 39 foreign territories, the film earned $185.1 million in its first week.

The film is currently ranked number one in 25 different foreign territories. With these figures, it appears Marvel’s the Avengers will be the film to take the top U.S. spot from Think Like a Man, which is in its 16th week.

Marvel’s The Avengers is the superhero team up of a lifetime. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as SHIELD, finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

The highly anticipated film has an all star cast which includes:

  • Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man:
A self-described genius, billionaire, playboy and philanthropist with a mechanical suit of armor of his own invention. 
  • Chris Evans as Steve Rogers / Captain America:
A World War II veteran who was enhanced to the peak of human physicality by an experimental serum. 
  • Mark Ruffalo as Dr. Bruce Banner / Hulk:
A genius scientist who, because of exposure to gamma radiation, transforms into a monster when enraged or excited. Ruffalo was cast after negotiations between Marvel and Edward Norton broke down.

  • Lou Ferrigno will voice the Hulk.
  • Chris Hemsworth as Thor:
The god of thunder based on the Norse deity of the same name. Hemsworth was cast as part of a multiple movie deal. Hemsworth stated that he was able to maintain the strength he built up for Thor by increasing his food intake, consisting of a number of chicken breasts, fish, steak and eggs a day.
  • Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow:
A highly trained spy working for the international peacekeeping organization, S.H.I.E.L.D. 
  • Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton / Hawkeye:
A S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and master archer known in the comics as the “World’s Greatest Marksman”. Renner said it was a very physical role and that he trained physically and practiced archery as much as possible in preparation. 
  • Tom Hiddleston as Loki:
Thor’s adoptive brother and nemesis based on the deity of the same name. 
  • Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury:
The director of S.H.I.E.L.D., who was revealed in previous films to be coordinating the “Avenger Initiative”. Jackson was brought to the project with a deal containing an option to play the character in up to nine Marvel films.
  • Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill:
A S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who works closely with Jackson’s Nick Fury. 

Joss Whedon (“Buffy The Vampire Slayer”, “Dollhouse” and “Firefly”) directed the film. Both Hemsworth and Whedon have another current top 10 film as well. Hemsworth acted and Whedon co-wrote Cabin in the Woods, currently ranked number 10 in the U.S. in its third week.

With the North American release happening tomorrow, they have released a brand new TV spot to entice you even more to see the film.