The Star Wars-themed hotel that’s coming to Disney World in Florida will connect directly to the Galaxy’s Edge expansion at Hollywood Studios, Disney announced today at D23 Expo Japan. The fully-immersive hotel sounds like… A lot.
From the moment guests arrive at the hotel, [Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Bob] Chapek said, their journey through space will begin as everyone boards a starship and departs together for a multi-day Star Wars adventure. An opening date for the new hotel has not yet been announced. But it can’t come too soon — we’re ready to vacation in a galaxy far, far away.
Her Universe and Disney are expanding their merchandise partnership, the companies announced today. The new deal includes an athleisure line for kids and tweens called “Our Universe.” It debuts with Black Panther and Disney Princess products, with Star Wars additions coming soon. The products will be avaliable exclusively through shopDisney.com and at Disney Store locations.
Disney’s streaming service is expected to debut in 2019. New releases through 2018 (which include The Last Jedi and the upcoming Han Solo standalone) will probably still debut on Netflix due to Disney’s shortened contract.
The deal will end with the 2019 releases, so December 2017’s The Last Jedi and 2018’s Han Solo spinoff may still appear on Netflix. Still, this means our long wait for the rest of Star Wars is probably in vain. (And yes, those of you not in the U.S. may see Star Wars leave your Netflixes as well – assuming the Disney service goes international.)
I find this all a bit perplexing (except for the ESPN bit, because sports are their own thing.) Hardcore Disney fans may pay for a Disney-only streaming service, but everyone else? As a consumer, I’d rather not. \
Disney CEO Bob Iger doesn’t expect Rogue One to do quite as well at the box office as The Force Awakens, but he says the audience interest they’ve seen has been just as high for the new film. (Did anyone expect that? You don’t get a $2B film every year.) “We love what we’ve seen,” he told investors of the Rogue One rough cut.
He also revealed that they have a writer for the third Star Wars standalone due in 2020, and he recently met with Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy to plot out beyond that as well.
We’ve known since the Disney purchase that Lucasfilm plans to take the saga films beyond 2019’s Episode IX, but it remains to be seen if they’ll keep to the current schedule to leave only a year between the current and next trilogy.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Disney’s Bob Iger talks about the futures of Star Wars and Indiana Jones, as well as the challenges of running Disney.
On Rogue One:
I’ve seen Rogue One. I’ve seen not only an edited picture but I’ve seen significantly more footage than was even in that picture. That’s actually going to be a fine film.
Iger doesn’t expect Indiana Jones to become as extensive a franchise as Star Wars, but he does say that Indy 5 won’t be a one-off. “We’re focused on a reboot, or a continuum and then a reboot of some sort.” On Harrison Ford:
Well, we’ll bring him back, then we have to figure out what comes next. That’s what I mean. It’s not really a reboot, it’s a boot — a reboot. I don’t know.
That’s… Intriguing? But anything after Indy 5 all seems a way off at this point.
The interview also goes into the ever-present parks and ESPN business.
In a bit of a surprise announcement, Disney’s toys-to-life game, Disney Infinity, which introduced Star Wars characters in its 2015 release of Infinity 3.0, is going to be shut down in June.
In line with the company’s quarterly financial report, Disney decided to end the popular game, which was first introduced in 2013, and shutter the game studio, Avalanche as the company moves out of game publishing and toward solely being a game-licensing company, much like when Lucasfilm shifted LucasArts out of making games and just into licensing games to companies like EA. Disney won’t be pulling the plug immediately, as there are a few more products coming out this month and in June.
On the plus side, those Disney Infinity figures that have already been spotted on clearance will probably get even more discounted at the retailers. Star Wars figurines include characters from the original trilogy, The Clone Wars, The Force Awakens and Rebels.
Disney’s earnings call yesterday, CEO Bob Iger said that the release date for 2018’s Han Solo standalone will remain in May – at least for the moment – despite Episode VIII’s pushback to December.
He revealed that filming has begun on VIII, and that The Force Awakens tie-ins have earned the company more than $3 billion globally. Hopefully this means we’ll get a dedicated announcement and updated cast list very soon…
Filming on the next Star Wars film, December’s Rogue One, is “virtually completed.” He also confirmed that Disney will break ground on the new Star Wars attractions at Disneyland and Disney World later this year. (A blink-and-you’ll-miss-it glimpse of one of the attractions showed up in a commercial for the Disneyland 60 TV special.)