Dwayne Johnson’s ‘Jungle Cruise’ Disney Movie Is Official

If we’re going to have a movie based on a theme park ride, then at least it stars Dwayne Johnson. The Rock himself has been attached to a Jungle Cruise movie, based on the Disney adventure, since 2015, but the project has gone through a number of script rewrites and changes (which feels like a smart move). But Johnson is also a very busy actor, attached to so many projects it’s hard to keep up. Nevertheless, it looks like Jungle Cruise will get slotted into spring of 2018 to start production.

As THR reports, Johnson will again team up with Dany Garcia, his co-CEO of the production company Seven Bucks, which is also behind Ballers, Baywatch, the Jumanji remake. Now that a new Jungle Cruise script by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay reportedly looks solid, it seems the Rock is ready,

Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

MovieBabble

Disney has taken it upon themselves to give all their classic stories a face lift by making them into live-action films.  The next one on the list may just be the most popular Disney story of all: Beauty and the Beast.  The following review will be spoiler free.

Beauty and the Beast is directed by Bill Condon and stars Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, and Luke Evans.  The film is a re-imagining of the timeless story which follows Belle (Watson) as she is taken prisoner in a castle owned by a Beast (Stevens).  Despite her worries, Belle befriends the enchanted staff members of the castle and begins to learn that the Beast may not be as gruesome as he seems.  All the while, the treacherous Gaston (Evans) bans the townsfolk against the Beast in order to get rid of him once and for all.

Beauty and the Beast image via Moviefone

As the marketing for…

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S.J. Clarkson Set As ‘The Defenders’ Director

Per Marvel, S.J. Clarkson will be helming the first two episodes of The Defenders and will serve as an executive producer on the first installment of the eight-episode miniseries. The filmmaker is no stranger to Marvel series, as she did a terrific job directing the first two episodes of Jessica Jones, which still stands as the best show Marvel has released thus far. Clarkson has also helmed episodes of Vinyl, Orange Is the New Black, and Dexter.

Marco Ramirez and Doug Petrie, the showrunners of Daredevil Season 2, are serving as the showrunners of The Defenders and are executive producing alongside Drew Goddard and Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb. The Defenders will bring together the stars of the individual Netflix shows—Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Iron Fist (Finn Jones)—as they team up to defeat a looming threat.

It’ll be interesting to see how these characters mesh together in The Defenders, and even more interesting to see just how long it’ll take to get them to team up. The Avengers only had two hours to have the group meet, break up, and become a team, but The Defenders has eight hours’ worth of storytelling.

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Disney Developing ‘Don Quixote’

The studio is developing an adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra‘s classic 1605 novel with producers Gordon Gray (Million Dollar Arm, Secretariat) and Billy Ray. Ray, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Captain Phillips will also pen the script. Fully titled The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, Don follows Alonso Quixana, an older man in the Spanish countryside obsessed with tales of chivalry who loses his grasp on reality, refashions himself in the image of a valiant knight by the name of Don Quixote, and sets off “tilting at windmills”.

THR reports that the plan is to reenvision Don Quixote with a tone that “recalls the madcap and fantastical nature” of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. That seems a fine comparison since those stories also follow an affable and courageous semi-madman.

In addition to Gilliam’s famously beleaguered project, Don Quixote has hit the big screen a couple times. Most notably with the 2002 TV movie that starred John Lithgow and Bob Hoskins and the 2015 adaptation Don Quixote: The Ingenious Man of La Mancha that premiered at Palm Springs International Film Festival.

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‘Finding Dory’ Crosses $1 Billion

After opening this past June, Finding Dory finally crossed the $1 billion worldwide box office mark this weekend. The movie has grossed $485 million domestically and $517 million internationally for a total of $1,001.5 million worldwide. It becomes Pixar’s second movie to gross $1 billion worldwide (the first being Toy Story 3, which made $1,067 million worldwide).

Finding Dory is currently the highest-grossing domestic release of the year, and it may very well keep that record. Its only serious competition for the crown is Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and I don’t see either of those outgrossing Dory because even though one is a Harry Potter spin-off and the other is a Star Wars spin-off, that’s their issue: they’re spin-offs. I don’t think they’re going to make more than a bona fide sequel, especially one that has the built-in love that Dory had.

I’m curious to see if Dory has any staying power in the long run. Finding Nemo wore out parents’ DVD players, but I don’t think Dory is going to be at the level of a Toy Story 2 where it’s as beloved as the original. It’s probably going to operate at the level of Toy Story 3.

‘Enchanted’ Sequel Lands New Director

Enchanted 2, otherwise known by its official title Disenchanted, has struggled to get its mojo working over the last decade. The last news we’d heard about the sequel was confirmation of that title just over a year ago when Anne Fletcher (The Proposal) was still attached to direct.

As THR reports, Adam Shankman (Hairspray) is in negotiations to direct Disenchanted. Adams is expected to return for the musically inclined sequel and current plans are to get the picture filming before the summer of next year.

The original film saw the animated Princess Giselle (Adams) prevented from marrying her Prince Charming (James Marsden) due to an evil queen (Susan Sarandon) flinging her into the live-action world of New York City. There she met a lawyer (Patrick Dempsey) who was engaged to someone who wasn’t his soul mate (Idina Menzel).

The sequel is expected to take place 10 years after the events of the first movie “with Giselle finding herself questioning her happily ever after, and accidentally triggering events that make everyone’s lives turn upside down in both the real world and in the animated kingdom of Andalasia.”

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Disney’s Live-Action ‘Mulan’ Movie Gets Release Date

Back in March of 2015, it was reported that Disney was working on a live-action adaptation of their animated property Mulan. One of those dates that were announced back then – specifically the November 2018 release–has been now confirmed to be a live-action take on Mulan.

The modern, live-action adaptation of the 1998 animated film based on the Chinese legend of the female Chinese warrior Hua Mulan was originally scripted by Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek, though Variety reports Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver will pen the current draft. Presumably, producers Jason ReedChris Bender and Jake Weiner will soon begin searching for a director before preparing the casting search for a Chinese lead and supporting cast (hopefully Ming-Na Wen will also return in some capacity), and you’d better believe the coveted voice role of Mushu the Dragon is one that anyone and everyone will be angling for. Should Eddie Murphy return for the role?

Here’s Disney’s official announcement:

MULAN (Live Action) is final title of previous UNTITLED DISNEY FAIRY TALE – previously announced 11/2/18 wide playdate is unchanged and will be in 3D

Stay tuned for more news on cast and crew announcements in the coming weeks and months. Please share and follow!

Mary Poppins 2 May Add Ben Whishaw In A Familiar Role That Connects To The Original

Ben Whishaw is no stranger to family films, what with his role as the titular bear in Paddington managing to be a surprise hit at last year’s box office.But now he’ll possibly have another legendary franchise of British children’s literature under his belt. Brace yourselves, as Michael Banks is all grown up, and he might end up looking a lot like Ben Whishaw.

Variety reported Whishaw as in talks to take the role of one of the two children Mary Poppins helped nurture as children. The events of Mary Poppins Returns would see Mary returning to Michael, and his sister Jane, “following a personal loss.” One could presume that the nature of that loss is the death of their father. Mary will be bringing some new characters into the mix, including her cousin, Topsy Poppins, and a lamplighter named Jack. Those roles are played by Meryl Streep and Lin-Manuel Miranda, respectively. Mary Poppins herself is being played by Emily Blunt.

In addition to his role in Paddington, which should start production on its sequel this fall, Wishaw is also the most recent incarnation of Q in the James Bond series. So Ben Whishaw is no stranger to well-respected ensemble casts, nor is he a fish out of water when it comes to inhabiting a classic character with an extensive background.

Mary Poppins Returns hopes to be practically perfect in every way, when it hits theaters on December 25, 2018.

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Wreck-It Ralph Sequel Arrives In 2018

We’ve known for a while that a Wreck-It Ralph sequel was in the works at Disney, especially because Ralph himself has talked about it several times in the past (that would be John C. Reilly, in case you forgot). But now, announced via a Facebook Live video you can find here – which references Reilly’s loose lips – it’s officially official and headed our way in 2018.

Rich Moore, who directed the original and returns for the sequel along with Phil Johnston (a writer on the first stepping up to co-direct this one), made the announcement and let Reilly talk up the basic concept: Ralph leaves the arcade, and wrecks the internet.

The first slice of 8-bit adventure grossed $471m worldwide, a more than respectable return on its $150m+ budget, wowed nostalgic gamers and dazzled kids, so this was hardly a shocker. And for the sequel, there’s talk of Moore and co. finally getting Nintendo to let them use Mario and some of the company’s other signature characters.

Disney’s Feature Animation team has been on a real roll these last few years, and the people behind Ralph know what they’re doing, so we’re hoping for something fun here.

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First Trailer for Disney’s Animated Adventure ‘Moana’ Released

The first teaser trailer for Disney’s sea-set adventure ‘Moana’ has officially been released, giving a short insight into the world that the studio is going to sail in next.

Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, the duo behind The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, the film revolves around Moana, a spirited teenaged girl named who sets sail to prove herself a master sailor and fulfill her ancestors’ unfinished quest, with Maui in tow. Featuring original songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda and the voice talent of Alan Tudyk, Moana opens in theaters on November 23th.

While stating the release date at Thanksgiving at the end of the trailer, Disney also published the films synopsis on there website:

Three thousand years ago, the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the vast South Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped – and no one today knows why. From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Moana,” a sweeping, CG-animated adventure about a spirited teenager who sails out on a daring mission to prove herself a master wayfinder and fulfill her ancestors’ unfinished quest. During her journey, Moana (voice of Auli’i Cravalho) meets the once-mighty demi-god Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), and together, they traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous fiery creatures and impossible odds. Directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “The Princess & the Frog”), and produced by Osnat Shurer (“Lifted,” “One Man Band”), “Moana” sails into U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016.