Rumor: Star Wars makeover of Tomorrowland greenlit but on hold

vader-kingarthurAs we’ve been reporting, the makeover of Disneyland’s Tomorrowland with a new Star Wars spaceport feel has another step forward, but only a small step. MiceAge, which has been the primary source of Disneyland expansion rumors, has reported that the “first phase of the Star Wars makeover of Tomorrowland did get the green light from Burbank in December.”

However, they go on to report that the first phase, of re-doing the front half of the Anaheim’s Tomorrowland area as a Star Wars-themed spaceport, as well as the second phase of creating a bunch of new attractions for a Star Wars land, might be on hold due to funding, and that on-hold state has allowed the design team to switch from just original trilogy elements to incorporating things from Episode VII:

The Imagineers assigned to the Star Wars Tomorrowland project have now been debriefed on the characters and plotlines coming for Star Wars Episode VII that opens in theaters in about two years. …. Those key [original trilogy based] attractions are all still part of phase two, but they are being layered or tweaked to include references from Episode VII that will be released in theaters at least 18 months before any of those attractions open.

As for bringing more Star Wars to Orlando? The word is that it “appears to be simply cancelled for Disney’s Hollywood Studios.”

With Episode VII scheduled to open December 2015, that “at least 18 month” timeframe puts into June 2017 or later.

Roundup: Lucasfilm will follow Marvel’s blueprint; Was Star Wars just a cover for Cumberbatch?

Merchandising! Disney CFO Jay Rasulo spoke at an investor conference today and spoke of Lucasfilm following in Marvel’s footprints for distribution across different platforms – though he did say that they’re willing to look outside their own networks for distribution. Nothing earth shattering here – he also said that there’ll be more Star Wars rides coming to the parks over time – but it confirms that there’s plenty more in the pipeline than just new films. And, yes, expect the full merchandising blitz for Episode VII. Whatever could the sequel trilogy equivalent of a Jar Jar lollipop be, I wonder?

Rumors. Were the rumors of Benedict Cumberbatch in Star Wars just a smokescreen? The Daily Superhero has a source that claims that the rumors were manufactured by Disney as a cover… Because they actually want him for a Marvel role, perhaps Doctor Strange. Sounds pretty plausible to me – and what’s easier to play on than the internet’s unending ability for uninspired fancastings?