Thursday, February 25, 2021

Disney Has Some Major Marvel And Star Wars Projects Planned!

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Fans of Disney, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Star Wars had an embarrassment of riches to pour over yesterday. During the 2020 Investor Day presentation for The Walt Disney Company, creative forces Kevin Feige, Kathleen Kennedy, and more, were on hand to tease out much of what’s coming in the next few years. A lot of their focus is on Disney+ shows, as well as Pixar efforts that will be headed to the service, but they saved some room for feature talk, as well. Both properties have some high profile movie announcements that were made, exciting the fan base. Suffice it to say, the film world, once it gets back to normal, will have plenty to look forward to in the years to come.

First, the Marvel news was largely centered on the new series coming to Disney+, as you’ll see below, but Kevin Fiege and company also announced their Fantastic Four movie is in development, with Spider-Man franchise helmer Jon Watts taking the charge. That was probably their most surprising news, alongside announcing the title for the third Ant-Man film, which will be called Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. More next…

Here’s a bit from the official Marvel write up of the news:

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is expanding in huge, exciting ways! Revealed during The Walt Disney Company’s 2020 Investor Day presentation by Kevin Feige, president, Marvel Studios, and chief creative officer, Marvel, get ready for new series coming to Disney+, along with brand new films in the near future.

“The Cinematic Universe weaves storylines, heroes and villains across 23 feature films to date,” Fiege said. “And with Disney+, we’re able to extend this way of storytelling to a new format — creating series that are connected to our theatrical releases, making the MCU more immersive than ever.”

Phase 4 of the MCU kicks off with Marvel Studios’ WandaVision, premiering on Disney+ on January 15, and continues throughout 2021 with new films — like Marvel Studios’ Black Widow, Marvel Studios’ Eternals, and more! In addition to that, the superhero adventures are just getting started on the small screen and additional Disney+ series will feature characters like Loki, Ms. Marvel, and Kate Bishop. But that’s still not all!

Now, Star Wars wise, there was a ton. You can see it all next, but the biggest news, and most surprising, was that Patty Jenkins is blasting off into space to helm a Rogue Squadron flick. They’re obviously also focusing on a number of Disney+ series, including the Obi-Wan series everyone has long awaited (with Hayden Christensen returning as Darth Vader!), so it was a huge day all around for Disney.

Their own official write up goes like this:

Today at The Walt Disney Company’s Investor Day event, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy announced a staggering number of new films, series, and surprises that will expand the Star Wars galaxy like never before.

Rogue Squadron

The next Star Wars feature film will be Rogue Squadron — directed by Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman franchise). The story will introduce a new generation of starfighter pilots as they earn their wings and risk their lives in a boundary-pushing, high-speed thrill-ride, and move the saga into the future era of the galaxy.

“It’s been a lifelong dream as a filmmaker to one day make a great fighter pilot film,” said Jenkins. “As the daughter of a great fighter pilot myself, some of the best memories of my life are of seeing my father’s squadron take off in their F4s every morning, and hearing and feeling the awe-inspiring power and grace. When he passed away in service to this country it ignited a burning desire to one day channel all of those emotions into one great film. When the perfect story arrived in combination with another true love of mine, the incomparable world of Star Wars, I knew I’d finally found my next film. I’m extremely honored and excited to take it on, and grateful to Lucasfilm, Disney, and the fans for extending that thrill to me.”

“Patty has established herself as one of the top directors working in the film industry today,” said Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “She’s a visionary who knows how to strike the balance between action and heart, and I can’t wait to see what she does in the Star Wars galaxy.”

Lock S-foils in attack position: Rogue Squadron arrives in theaters Christmas 2023.

Untitled Taika Waititi Film

A brand-new Star Wars feature with acclaimed filmmaker and Academy Award-winner Taika Waititi is in development. “Taika’s approach to Star Wars will be fresh, unexpected, and…unique,” said Kennedy. “His enormous talent and sense of humor will ensure that audiences are in for an unforgettable ride.”

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Last August at D23 Expo, Lucasfilm announced the return of Ewan McGregor in the iconic role of Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi for a special event series on Disney+. Officially titled Obi-Wan Kenobi, the series begins 10 years after the dramatic events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith where he faced his greatest defeat, the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker turned evil Sith Lord Darth Vader. The series is directed by Deborah Chow, who helmed memorable episodes of The Mandalorian Season 1.

This will truly be a day long remembered, as it was confirmed that Hayden Christensen will be returning as Darth Vader. “This will be the rematch of the century,” Kennedy said.

“It was such an incredible journey playing Anakin Skywalker,” said Christensen. “Of course, Anakin and Obi-Wan weren’t on the greatest of terms when we last saw them… It will be interesting to see what an amazing director like Deborah Chow has in store for us all. I’m excited to work with Ewan again. It feels good to be back.”

Ahsoka

After making her long awaited live-action debut in The Mandalorian, Ahsoka Tano’s story, written by Dave Filoni, will continue in a limited series starring Rosario Dawson and executive produced by Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau.

Rangers of the New Republic

Set within the timeline of The Mandalorian, this new live-action series from executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni will intersect with future stories and culminate into a climactic story event.

Lando

Everyone’s favorite scoundrel Lando Calrissian will return in a brand-new event series for Disney+. Justin Simien, creator of the critically-acclaimed Dear White People and a huge Star Wars fan, is developing the story.

Andor

Andor, a tense nail-biting spy thriller created by Tony Gilroy, is set to arrive on Disney+ in 2022. Diego Luna, reprising the role of rebel spy Cassian Andor from Rogue One, will be joined by a fantastic new cast that includes Stellan Skarsgard, Adria Arjona, Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough, Kyle Soller, and Genevieve O’Reilly as Mon Mothma. Production kicked off three weeks ago in London.

The Acolyte

Leslye Headland, Emmy Award-nominated creator of the mind-bending series Russian Doll, brings a new Star Wars series to Disney+ with The Acolyte. The Acolyte is a mystery-thriller that will take the audience into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark side powers in the final days of the High Republic era.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch

The series follows the elite and experimental clones of the Bad Batch (first introduced in The Clone Wars) as they find their way in a rapidly changing galaxy in the immediate aftermath of the Clone War. Members of Bad Batch — a unique squad of clones who vary genetically from their brothers in the Clone Army — each possess a singular exceptional skill which makes them extraordinarily effective soldiers and a formidable crew. In the post-Clone War era, they will take on daring mercenary missions as they struggle to stay afloat and find new purpose.

The animated series will arrive exclusively on Disney+.

Star Wars: Visions

Presenting all-new, creative takes on the galaxy far, far away, Star Wars: Visions will be a series of animated short films celebrating Star Wars through the lens of the world’s best anime creators. The anthology collection will bring 10 fantastic visions from several of the leading Japanese anime studios, offering a fresh and diverse cultural perspective to Star Wars.

A Droid Story

As Lucasfilm continues to develop new stories, the intersection of animation and visual effects offers new opportunities to explore. Lucasfilm Animation will be teaming up with Lucasfilm’s visual effects team, Industrial Light & Magic, to develop a special Star Wars adventure for Disney+, A Droid Story. This epic journey will introduce us to a new hero, guided by legendary duo R2-D2 and C-3PO.

Other Lucasfilm Stories

Lucasfilm is currently in pre-production on the next installment of the Indiana Jones franchise. At the helm is James Mangold, director of the Academy Award-winning Ford v Ferrari, and Indy himself, Harrison Ford, will be back to continue his iconic character’s journey. Indy will begin shooting late spring of 2021 and will arrive July 2022.

Willow, coming to Disney+, will be set decades after Ron Howard’s 1988 movie, continuing the spirit of adventure, heroics, and humor of the original film. Warwick Davis will return in the role of the great sorcerer, Willow Ufgood, with Jon Chu (director of the groundbreaking Crazy Rich Asians) directing the pilot. Willow begins shooting next March in Wales and will debut on Disney+ in 2022.

Finally, the Lucasfilm catalog is expanding further with a story that will introduce a new hero and explore an original world that feels perfectly paired with Lucasfilm storytelling: Tomi Adeyemi’s New York Times bestselling novel Children of Blood & Bone. The story will center around a young African girl’s heart-racing quest to restore magic to her forsaken people, the Maji. Lucasfilm will partner with 20th Century Studios on this coming-of-age adventure.

Stay tuned for more!

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