Entertainment news round-up for March 30

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Twilight actor Patrick Brennan will join the cast of ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for two upcoming episodes.  The actor, who played Liam in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, will play Blackout, a villain with the power to suck the energy from everything around him.  “It’s just rare to have a character that’s [this] interesting,” he told […]

Entertainment news round-up for March 6

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Idris Elba is in final talks to join the cast of Disney’s animated The Jungle Book reboot, directed by Jon Favreau.  Elba would voice Shere Khan the tiger.  Elba has recently been seen in Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom and Thor: The Dark World.  For more on The Jungle Book and on Elba’s other projects, click here. FX […]

Entertainment news round-up for Feb. 13

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Netflix will air the final season of animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, thanks to a new deal with Disney/ABC TV Group and Lucasfilm.  The 13-episode season will premiere on the site on March 7th, along with all previous episodes of the show.  “Star Wars is one of the most iconic franchises of all time […]

Critic finds ‘Frozen’ enjoyable, but not exceptional

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I’m among the few people who did not completely adore Frozen.  Don’t get me wrong – I thought it was a sweet, charming film with a refreshingly modern message.  However, I don’t believe it lives up to the standard set by earlier Disney films. Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, the film follows “Anna” (Kristen […]

Entertainment news round-up for Jan. 14

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Johnny Depp is in talks with Marvel Studios to play Steven Strange in the upcoming Doctor Strange film.  Whether or not the actor will take the role will depend on his schedule, which currently includes soon-to-be-greenlit projects such as a fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film and an Alice in Wonderland sequel.  For more information on the project and on […]

Entertainment news round-up for Dec. 6

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Disney has taken over the distribution and marketing rights for the Indiana Jones franchise from Paramount.  This means that Paramount will still control the rights for the original four films, while Disney will be responsible for any future projects in the franchise.  Disney has not yet announced that a fifth Indiana Jones feature is in the works. […]

Entertainment news round-up for Nov. 6

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James Badge Dale has joined Cate Blanchett in the cast of writer-director David Mamet’s upcoming Blackbird.  Dale will play a military major trying to discover the truth about his grandfather who worked for the US special ops in the 1960s.  For more on the project and on Dale’s career, click here. The Bold and the […]

Entertainment news round-up for Oct. 16

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Lost creator Damon Lindelof has decided to deactivate his Twitter account.  Lindelof was an previously highly active on the social media site and was one of the first film and television producers to use it as a way of communicating with fans.  However, many viewers used the site as a way of criticizing his work.  His […]

Entertainment news round-up for Oct. 9

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Disney has decided to close Pixar Canada, which operates out of Vancouver.  The shutdown will eliminate 100 jobs.  ”The team at Pixar Canada is incredibly talented and we are so proud of the excellent work we have produced there,” a Pixar spokesman said in a statement on Tuesday.  ”However, as we look at the creative […]

Alan Arkin cast in ‘Million Dollar Arm’

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By Amanda Ack Alan Arkin has joined the cast of Disney’s upcoming baseball drama “Million Dollar Arm.”  Jon Hamm will also star in the film. For more information on the project, click here.

Layoffs underway at Disney

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By Amanda Ack, Film Critic Disney has begun laying off around 150 employees at Walt Disney Studios.  The company plans to rely more on its Marvel, Pixar, and LucasFilm banners. For more information, click here.

China to get its own version of ‘Iron Man 3′

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By Amanda Ack, Film Critic Disney plans to produce two versions of Marvel Entertainment’s upcoming “Iron Man 3,” with one designed specifically for Chinese audiences.  The film will include “significant Chinese elements,” Marvel said in a statement. For more information, click here.

Disney keeps DreamWorks films at Showtime

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By Amanda Ack, Film Critic Disney has renewed its output deal with Showtime for the titles the network distributes for DreamWorks.  Showtime plans to air up to 35 DreamWorks films through 2015. For more information on the deal, click here.

Disney Imagineering documentary in the works

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By Amanda Ack, Film Critic Production for a Disney-commissioned documentary about the company’s Imagineering department is under way.  The film will be directed by Leslie Iwerks, granddaughter of Mickey Mouse creator Ub Iwerks. For more information on the project, click here.

Harrison Ford rumored for new ‘Star Wars’ film

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By Amanda Ack, Film Critic Harrison Ford has reportedly made a deal to reprise his role as Han Solo in “Star Wars: Episode VII.”  Disney has not yet confirmed the rumor. For more information, click here.

Hugh Laurie in talks for top-secret Disney project

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By Amanda Ack, Film Critic Hugh Laurie is reportedly in talks to play the villain in Brad Bird’s upcoming “Tomorrowland.”  The film will also star George Clooney. For more information on the project, click here.

New trailers to air during Super Bowl broadcast

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By Amanda Ack Universal, Disney, and Paramount will air new TV spots for their upcoming films during this Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVII broadcast on CBS.  Films to be advertised include Oz the Great and Powerful, Star Trek Into Darkness, and The Fast and the Furious 6. For more information, click here.

Ron Howard to direct “The Graveyard Book” adaptation

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By Amanda Ack, Film Critic Ron Howard is in negotiations to direct Disney’s upcoming live-action film adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book.  The director will also oversee the writing of the screenplay. For more information on the film and on Howard’s other upcoming projects, click here.

J.J. Abrams to direct new ‘Star Wars’ film

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By Amanda Ack Star Trek director J.J. Abrams is set to helm the first installment of Disney’s Star Wars franchise relaunch.  The film will be released in 2015 and will be the first Star Wars feature since 2005′s Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. For more information on the project, click here.

Disney closes deal for new Depp-produced ‘Don Quixote’ pitch

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By Amanda Ack Disney has closed a deal for a new, as-yet-untitled re-imagining of Don Quixote.  The project will be produced by production company Infinitum Nihil’s Johnny Depp and and Christi Dembrowski. For more information on the film, click here.

Disney inks exclusive deal with Netflix

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By Amanda Ack Netflix will now be the sole U.S. subscription service to get Disney’s first run live-action and animated films.  The agreement includes titles from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios and Disneynature. For more information on the deal, click here.

Blanchett to play evil stepmother in new Cinderella film

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By Amanda Ack, Film Critic Cate Blanchett, actress from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, is in negotiations to play the wicked stepmother in Disney’s as-yet-untitled Cinderella film.  Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go) is slated to direct. For more information on the film and on Blanchett’s other current projects, click here.

Disney acquires Lucasfilm, plans new Star Wars movie

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The Walt Disney Co. has purchased Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion in cash and stock. The company plans to release a new Star Wars movie in 2015.

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