Tag Archives: bob iger

Star Wars lands coming to Disneyland and Disney World; Star Tours update, Launch Bay coming late 2015

disney-swland1-1000

During Disney’s biennial D23 Expo, Bob Iger stormed the stage to the tune of John Williams’ titular Imperial March to deliver arguably the biggest news of the Worlds, Galaxies, and Universes: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios panel: Dual, 14-acre themed Star Wars lands in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida and the Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California.

From the official press release: “I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars,” said Iger. “We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single themed land expansion ever. These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new Star Wars planet, including an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.”

disney-swland2-1000

A true collaboration between Disney Imagineering, ILM, and Lucasfilm, the Star Wars land will be a truly immersive and authentic experience. Both lands will feature two signature attractions, one of which is piloting the Millennium Falcon on a clandestine mission. Iger stressed that every element would feel as if you were a part of the world: restaurants, storefronts, and entertainment would all feature galactic characters for an authentic interactive experience.

And yes, there’s going to be a cantina.

disney-swland3-1000

Later Saturday, during D23 Expo’s Parks and Resorts panel, additional details on the recently announced Star Wars Land were revealed along with more immediate changes coming to the domestic parks towards the end of this year.

Hyperspace Mountain (only at Disneyland)Season of the Force
Season of the Force will be a limited-time, seasonal event in 2016 at both Disney World and the Disneyland, bringing new Star Wars experiences to both parks. At Tomorrowland in Disneyland, guests will have an opportunity to partake of Star Wars-themed entertainment, food and beverages, and new merchandise. The popular Space Mountain coaster will be turned into Hyperspace Mountain with a temporary Star Wars layover in which you’ll get to experience a high-octane X-Wing battle. On the other side of the country, guests of Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be treated to a new fireworks spectacular set to John Williams’ memorable Star Wars scores.

Star Wars Launch Bay
Also at both parks will be the newly created Star Wars Launch Bay that will be located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland’s Tomorrowland. The Launch Bay will be a hub for interactive experiences for guests that want to learn more about The Force Awakens, as well as an opportunity to purchase special merchandise and food. It’s expected to open late this year.

Star Wars Launch Bay

Star Tours
The ever-popular Star Tours: The Adventure Continues will see a new update later this year in both U.S. parks. (Information on the update availability coming to the international parks is currently unknown.) The anticipated updates will be include locations and characters from The Force Awakens.

At this point, the Star Wars invasion is real and it’s happening. I’ll see you all in the pit.

Disney’s Bob Iger tries to temper The Force Awakens’ box office expectations, speaks highly of Netflix

iger-falconDisney CEO Bob Iger tried to downplay box office expectations for The Force Awakens on the company’s earnings call yesterday – a wise movie, as the speculation seems more and more out of hand every time it comes up. (Mostly.)

In less tedious speculation, anyone keeping up with the latest live-action show rumors will be happy to hear what Iger to is saying regarding Netflix. In an interview with CNBC, he talked about “taking advantage of Netflix’s great growth” and that they’ve come forward as “an aggressive buyer of original programming.”

The Force Awakens: Disney playing it slow with marketing

vf-abrams-ridleyDisney had their earnings call today, in the aftermath of May 4, where Bob Iger talked up their “carefully designed marketing plan” for Star Wars. (…Yeah.) A research film, meanwhile, revealed that the franchise had “197 percent more digital consumption” yesterday than Avengers: Age of Ultron had on the day it was released.

Looking back, Chris Taylor explores how Star Wars has made billions.

→ The Vanity Fair newsletter photo reveal is an alternate take of Lupita Nyong’o, and a bit of an interview with J.J. Abrams. The full interview goes up tomorrow.

→ Spoiler corner: The day before we got the VF photos, Making Star Wars reported about a scene where Kylo Ren is helmetless. After the photos, Jason has a possible name for Maz Kanata’s location. (On that note, Jason was profiled over at The Daily Dot.)

→ Also… Domhnall Gleeson on meeting Harrison Ford | Magic Mike’s Star Wars-style poster

This week in The Force Awakens: Publicity shots, future release dates

STAR WARS RUMORS: Take seriously at your own riskJason at Making Star Wars has seen a yet-unreleased publicity picture of Han, Leia and Chewbacca. Yes, Leia! It’s a January miracle.

→ In a Disney shareholder meeting, Bob Iger praised Episode VII (why wouldn’t he?) and reiterates that we can expect VIII in 2017, IX in 2019, and hints that there may be more Episodes after this. (Which, to be fair, we’ve known since the start. None of this is really new information, people are just treating it like it is.) /Film unpacks the statement, and while I think they’re reaching at parts (“these characters” to me reads more Star Wars in general than just the new folks) the analysis is pretty sound.

→ Oscar Isaac revealed to HuffPostUK how J.J. Abrams reacted to Harrison Ford’s leg injury, which kind of makes it sound like Ford slipped the guy some of the good drugs, honestly.

Latino Review says we’ll see practical versions of a familiar alien, which will likely be reused for the spin-off.

The big picture: Bob Iger and the Millennium Falcon

iger-falcon

Fortune has a photo of Bob Iger with The Force Awaken’s Millennium Falcon, courtesy Industrial Light & Magic:

Yannick Dusseault, visual effects art director for The Force Awakens, and his team gave Fortune six options showing the Falcon in different ways. The resulting image required the custom rendering of ILM’s computer generated Falcon. According to ILM, the fabled ship was rendered in wireframe form (a skeletal version) as well as a more layered “textured render,” which were combined in Photoshop to create the final image.

Iger is the magazine’s latest cover story, one focusing on Disney and technology.

The Force Awakens: Disney attractions to be based on new films

tfa-promo1-falcon-imax800Variety hosted a Bob Iger Q&A today, where the Disney chief revealed that theme park plans for the franchise will be based mainly on things from the upcoming films. “I didn’t want someone to say, ‘I just saw the movie and there’s nothing in that movie in this (attraction),” he said. “We waited to see what this film would have in it.”

He also revealed that they debated whether to release an early trailer at all, and that J.J. Abrams’ use of physical sets and props have given the film a “wow factor.”

Andy Serkis says that his trailer speech “emotionally rooted” his character – go ahead and add that one to your speculation file.

→ In light of yesterday’s revelation that George Lucas hasn’t seen The Force Awakens trailer and all the hay that was made of it yesterday, Eleven Thirty-Eight has a nice reminder today that George’s perspective is not our perspective.

→ Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy is #13 on The Hollywood Reporter’s Power 100 list of women in entertainment.

Cracked’s four stupidest reactions to The Force Awakens trailer. Yeah, pretty much.

→ Rumor corner: Making Star Wars details a chase scene, and some new ships.

Rumor: Struggle over Episode VII release date continues behind the scenes

STAR WARS RUMORS: Take seriously at your own riskToday, Latino Review’s Da7e Gonzales claims that there’s indeed a struggle behind the scenes to push Episode VII back to May 2016, with JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy on one side and Disney’s Bob Iger on the other. (As we’ve heard before – but from LR, so.) Their bargaining tool? Harrison Ford’s leg, which I think has more press than rest of the cast combined at this point.

Of course we know Lucasfilm is still sticking to December 18, 2015 – but then, they would be. That is the release date – at the moment, anyway.

There are a thousand other considerations when a huge corporation like Disney is involved, but from the fan end, would any of us really object to May, if it comes to pass? I’d certainly prefer it, but the movie’s release date was never going to be my hill to die on.

In any case, this paragraph in particular makes the upmost sense to me:

The franchise and it’s spinoff films will likely be big no matter what, but the value of owning Star Wars is owning the bottomless well of potential money and that means plugging into nostalgia. Star Wars as a franchise can’t pull a Rise/Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and drastically change tones, Star Wars can’t reboot. Star Wars is continuous. Kathleen Kennedy cannot have an Episode VII that botches the handoff between Star Was and Star Is.

Star Wars may not really need to be ‘fixed’ after the prequels – I’m not even a big prequel fan and I think it’s silly to say the franchise was ‘broken’ by them – but there is a perception issue in the mainstream. The mainstream thought the prequels were bad. We can argue about whether that’s been softening until the cows come home, but the fact remains that the perception is there and it’s still plenty powerful. It still, to this day, colors how many people see Star Wars.

Kennedy needs to usher Star Wars into something that can last for Disney. She knows they can’t afford to stick the landing by releasing a rushed, subpar Episode VII with the future of the franchise hanging in the balance.

Episode VII will make Disney millions, maybe billons, not matter when it’s released or how good (or bad) it is. No matter what movie it opens against. But if Star Wars is going to last beyond a third trilogy, it’s going to need some careful cultivation. There are a whole lot of people to convince, and most of them aren’t those of us who follow every drip and drabble of news, or who know that just using the terms ‘bad’ and ‘prequels’ in the same sentence will lead to a tedious debate in certain company. Lucasfilm and Disney both need the mainstream, and they need to convince them that Star Wars is, and can be, ‘good’ again.

Of course, this story of an internal struggle and using an old man’s innocent leg as a bargaining chip is only a rumor, and none of this may pan out in any way; You know the drill. And even if it is true, plenty of great films have come from crazier turmoil than this. We simply won’t know until the movie actually comes out – whenever that ends up being.