Disney postpones Soul release by five months

Disney executives have delayed the release of upcoming Pixar animation Soul from June to November. The children’s movie follows a school music teacher, voiced by Jamie Foxx, who gets involved in an accident that causes his soul to be separated from hi…

Disney executives have delayed the release of upcoming Pixar animation Soul from June to November.

The children’s movie follows a school music teacher, voiced by Jamie Foxx, who gets involved in an accident that causes his soul to be separated from his body. It was originally slated to open on 19 June and was Disney’s nearest big release after officials reshuffled the majority of its cinema calendar.

However, on Monday, Disney bosses announced that Soul would be delayed like many of their other titles, and would now open on 20 November.

Foxx shared the news on his Instagram Stories with the caption: “I pray we will all be safe and healthy, watching in theatres together.”

In addition, Disney executives also announced that Raya and the Last Dragon, an original fantasy film, had been postponed from 25 November to 12 March 2021, so an untitled live-action movie originally scheduled for that date has been removed from the schedule.

Now Soul has been postponed, a major studio movie isn’t set to open in cinemas until July, when Christopher Nolan’s Tenet is still scheduled for release. Disney officials have also set the rescheduled release date for their live-action remake of Mulan for 24 July.

They underwent a huge reshuffle in March, moving films like Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow to November and The Eternals to February 2021. They also opted to move children’s sci-fi movie Artemis Fowl onto their streaming service Disney+, with chairman Bob Iger recently hinting that more films will follow in its footsteps.

Soul is the second Pixar title to debut this year following fantasy adventure Onward, featuring the voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt. Onward was showing in cinemas when they closed due to the coronavirus pandemic and has since been released early on Disney+.

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Bob Iger hints more Disney movies might skip cinemas

Disney boss Bob Iger has hinted more movies will skip cinemas and go straight to Disney+ as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. With cinemas being closed in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19, studio executives have been forced to postpone the rel…

Disney boss Bob Iger has hinted more movies will skip cinemas and go straight to Disney+ as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

With cinemas being closed in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19, studio executives have been forced to postpone the releases of their spring-summer 2020 movies and reshuffle the schedule accordingly.

Last week, Disney bosses unveiled their revised calendar and announced that sci-fi adventure film Artemis Fowl, which was due to debut in cinemas in May, would be skipping a theatrical run altogether and be made available on Disney+ at an undisclosed date, making it the studio’s first film to lose its cinema release.

And in a new interview with Barron’s magazine, Iger, who is the executive chairman of The Walt Disney Company, hinted that other movies could be following the same route.

“In terms of movies going ahead after Artemis, there may be a few more that we end up putting directly onto Disney+, but for the most part a lot of the big tentpole Disney films, we’ll simply wait for slots. In some cases, we’ve announced new ones already, but later on in the calendar,” he said. “In some cases, we’ve moved things onto Disney+ faster than we would have. Frozen 2 was one of them, but Onward would be the biggest example. It was in theatres when this happened. We moved to a pay-per-view period for a couple of weeks where people could buy it and own it. And then we ended up putting it on Disney+.”

While Iger didn’t name any of the films that may jump directly to Disney+, it has long been rumoured that X-Men spin-off The New Mutants, which has been delayed multiple times since its original April 2018 release date, will go to Hulu, a streaming service majority-owned by Disney. The superhero movie, starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, and Charlie Heaton, is currently without a release date.

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Meghan, Duchess of Sussex narrates new documentary for Disney+

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has been tapped to narrate a new nature documentary for Disney+.The film, titled Elephant, will mark the first project for the 38-year-old former actress after she and husband Prince Harry formally step away from their roles w…

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has been tapped to narrate a new nature documentary for Disney+.

The film, titled Elephant, will mark the first project for the 38-year-old former actress after she and husband Prince Harry formally step away from their roles within the royal family on 31 March.

“Disneynature’s Elephant, an Original Movie narrated by Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, starts streaming April 3, only on #DisneyPlus,” the studio announced on social media.

The documentary, directed by Mark Linfield, follows an African elephant named Shani and her male child Jomo as they migrate with their herd and its matriarch, Gaia, across the Kalahari Desert in Botswana.

The Duchess of Sussex’s fee for the voiceover gig will be donated to the conservation organisation Elephants Without Borders, which protects animals from poaching in Botswana.

And the documentary credits the mother-of-one as Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, rather than using her royal title of Her Royal Highness.

Back in January, it was reported that the former Suits star had sealed a deal with Disney to do voiceover work, which was signed before she and husband Harry announced their decision to step back from their senior roles in the royal family.

In July last year, Harry discussed his wife’s future career with Disney boss Bob Iger at The Lion King premiere in London.

“You do know she does voiceovers?” he said in a clip from the red carpet meeting.

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Disney boss recalls Tom Holland’s desperate phone call bid to save Spider-Man

Disney boss Bob Iger has recalled the conversation he had with Tom Holland that ultimately led to Spider-Man rejoining the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).The web-slinging superhero was briefly ousted from the MCU after talks between heads at Disney, w…

Disney boss Bob Iger has recalled the conversation he had with Tom Holland that ultimately led to Spider-Man rejoining the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

The web-slinging superhero was briefly ousted from the MCU after talks between heads at Disney, who own Marvel, and Sony Pictures, who own the screen rights to the comic book character, stalled over the summer.

It was later revealed that a call by Holland, who plays Spider-Man in the latest films, had made bosses reconsider, with the actor admitting he was “drunk” at the time of the conversation as he’d been at a pub quiz in London.

On Wednesday, Iger spoke to Us Weekly about the “good conversation” he and Holland had, admitting the screen star pulled out all of the stops to try and get him to reconsider.

“I couldn’t tell if he was drunk, but I called him because I knew that he was upset and he wanted to talk to me about the status of Spider-Man,” Iger said. “And at the time that I called him, he was at a pub in, I think, London with his family, and he said, ‘If it’s noisy, I just stepped out of a pub.’

“The reason I called him is I knew how important it was to him and I knew how important he was to us. He asked to talk to me about it, to express how upset he was. And because of how much I cared about him, I called him. And he said, ‘Please, please.’ He (pleaded) with me. ‘Is there anything you can do? Just please, sir, please? Is there anything that you can do?’ I said, ‘Tom, I will try.’… I immediately got on the phone afterward and started trying.”

A new deal between Disney and Sony was announced in September, a month after negotiations had originally broken down. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige will produce the third film in the Spider-Man: Homecoming franchise and Spider-Man will appear in a future Marvel Studios film.

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Bob Iger fires back at criticism of Marvel movies

Disney boss Bob Iger has hit back at Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola over their criticism of Marvel movies.Iger, who serves as chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company, which owns Marvel Studios, made an appearance at Th…

Disney boss Bob Iger has hit back at Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola over their criticism of Marvel movies.

Iger, who serves as chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company, which owns Marvel Studios, made an appearance at The Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference in California on Tuesday night, and during an interview, was asked what he thought of Scorsese’s view that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) flicks are “not cinema”, and Coppola’s opinion that such blockbusters are “despicable”.

“Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese are people I hold in the highest regard in terms of the films they’ve made, the films I’ve liked, the films we’ve all watched,” he stated, according to reporters at Fast Company. “But when Francis uses the words ‘those films are despicable,’ I’d reserve the word ‘despicable’ for someone who had committed mass murder.

“I don’t get what they’re criticising us for when we’re making films that people are obviously enjoying going to and they’re doing so by the millions.”

Iger then insisted that Marvel films actually support the wider movie industry because they draw in viewers and allow cinema executives to show more independent films. He also compared Ryan Coogler’s box office smash, Black Panther, to Scorsese and Coppola’s movies.

“Are you telling me that Ryan Coogler making Black Panther is doing something that somehow or another is less than anything Marty Scorsese or Francis Ford Coppola have ever done on any one of their movies? Come on,” the 68-year-old asked.

Following Scorsese and Coppola’s criticism, the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, Robert Downey, Jr., Natalie Portman, and Sebastian Stan have all defended the MCU. However, Doctor Strange star Benedict Cumberbatch expressed support for both sides of the argument during a chat on SiriusXM’s The Jenny McCarthy Show on Tuesday.

“I know there’s been a lot of debate recently with some very fine filmmakers coming to the fore saying these film franchises are taking over everything,” he explained. “But, lucky us actors who get to do both kinds of variety, at either polarity (in terms) of budgeting.

“I agree, we don’t want one king to rule it all and have a monopoly and all that, and it’s hopefully not the case and we should really look into continuing to support auteur filmmakers at every level.”

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Tom Holland: ‘Spider-Man split from MCU was the most stressful week of my life’

Tom Holland has described Spider-Man’s temporary departure from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as the most “stressful week” of his life.In August, it was revealed Sony and Disney executives couldn’t agree on new co-financing and profit-sharing ter…

Tom Holland has described Spider-Man’s temporary departure from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as the most “stressful week” of his life.

In August, it was revealed Sony and Disney executives couldn’t agree on new co-financing and profit-sharing terms, so the deal they made in 2015 to share the film rights to Spider-Man was off – meaning the web-slinging superhero, played by Holland, would no longer be a part of the MCU.

However, both companies announced in September that they had reached an agreement and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige will produce a third MCU Spider-Man film starring Holland – which came as a huge relief to Tom.

Speaking on a panel alongside Spider-Man: Far From Home co-star Jake Gyllenhaal at ACE Comic Con Midwest over the weekend, the actor initially described rehearsals for his performance of Rihanna’s Umbrella on U.S. TV show Lip Sync Battle in 2017 as his “most stressful week” – before reflecting on more recent events.

“Well…maybe the whole Disney/Sony thing when that happened,” he mused. “That was a bit of a stressful week. I’m sure there’s some contractual obliged thing where I can’t say anything about anything, so I’m just going to keep my mouth shut.”

After a new deal between Disney and Sony was announced, The Hollywood Reporter claimed the star played a key role in negotiations, reporting that Tom made “multiple appeals to Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger and Sony film chairman Tom Rothman to reach a resolution”.

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George Lucas ‘felt betrayed’ by new Star Wars trilogy

Star Wars creator George Lucas felt “upset” and “betrayed” over the new trilogy, according to Disney boss Bob Iger. In his memoir, The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned From 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company, Iger revealed that he was compe…

Star Wars creator George Lucas felt “upset” and “betrayed” over the new trilogy, according to Disney boss Bob Iger.

In his memoir, The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned From 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company, Iger revealed that he was compelled to buy Lucas’s outlines for three new movies as part of Disney’s acquisition of the movie mogul’s Lucasfilm company in 2012, but made it clear that they weren’t “contractually obligated to adhere to the plot lines he’d laid out”.

Despite this warning, Lucas felt let down when he met with Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy and Star Wars: The Force Awakens writers J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt to discuss the first film in the new trilogy, The Force Awakens.

“George immediately got upset as they began to describe the plot and it dawned on him that we weren’t using one of the stories he submitted during the negotiations,” Iger wrote. “George knew we weren’t contractually bound to anything, but he thought that our buying the story treatments was a tacit promise that we’d follow them, and he was disappointed that his story was being discarded. I’d been so careful since our first conversation not to mislead him in any way, and I didn’t think I had now, but I could have handled it better.

“George felt betrayed, and while this whole process would never have been easy for him, we’d gotten off to an unnecessarily rocky start.”

Matters got worse when the Star Wars creator watched a final cut of the movie ahead of its 2015 release and “didn’t hide his disappointment” that the film presented viewers with “nothing new”.

“We’d intentionally created a world that was visually and tonally connected to the earlier films, to not stray too far from what people loved and expected,” the 68-year-old explained. “And George was criticising us for the very thing we were trying to do.”

Iger is set to leave his position as chief executive and chairman at Disney when his contract expires in 2021.

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Tommy Hilfiger to be honoured by Save the Children

Tommy Hilfiger is to be honoured by bosses of nonprofit organisation Save the Children.The American designer will receive the organisation’s Humanitarian Award in recognition for his efforts in helping to improve youth education, environment and health…

Tommy Hilfiger is to be honoured by bosses of nonprofit organisation Save the Children.

The American designer will receive the organisation’s Humanitarian Award in recognition for his efforts in helping to improve youth education, environment and health with his charitable causes across the U.S.

“By continuing to advocate for the rights of children globally, Tommy Hilfiger has not only become a notable humanitarian figure, but he has built a brand based on corporate responsibility. We’re looking forward to honouring him for those efforts in New York in September,” Carolyn Miles, chief executive officer of Save the Children, said in a statement.

Back in 1995, the 68-year-old founded The Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation which helps underprivileged youths through educational and cultural programs. And since 1999, he has provided opportunities for boys aged 13 to 15 from low-income families in New York to attend his outdoor summer camp, Camp Tommy, in Fishkill, upstate New York.

Hilfiger is also actively involved in a number of charities and causes including Autism Speaks, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and Race to Erase MS (Multiple Sclerosis).

Hilfiger will join Camila Cabello, who was previously announced as the recipient of Save the Children’s Voice Award, at a star-studded gala in New York on 12 September which will be co-hosted by news anchors Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie.

Other honourees include Walt Disney Company boss Bob Iger, who will receive the organisation’s Centennial Award at the Los Angeles event on 2 October. That ceremony will be hosted by Jennifer Garner and feature a musical performance from James Taylor.

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Disney planning to reboot Home Alone and Night at the Museum

Disney executives are planning to reboot the Home Alone and Night at the Museum franchises for their upcoming streaming service.  In recent years, Disney bosses have invested heavily in remaking their own properties, releasing updated takes on Th…

Disney executives are planning to reboot the Home Alone and Night at the Museum franchises for their upcoming streaming service. 

 In recent years, Disney bosses have invested heavily in remaking their own properties, releasing updated takes on The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King.  

Now, it seems they are looking to reboot franchises in the Fox movie library too, following their acquisition of the company earlier this year.  

 During a conference call on Tuesday, Disney chief executive Bob Iger told reporters that they were planning to reboot franchises including Home Alone, which kicked off in 1990 with Macaulay Culkin; Night at the Museum, the fantasy adventure starring Ben Stiller which ran between 2006 and 2014; Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which includes four films from 2010 and 2017; and Cheaper by the Dozen, which starred Steve Martin in 2003 and 2005.  

 According to editors at Deadline, Iger commented that the titles will be “reimagined” for “a new generation” of viewers for the new streaming service, Disney+. He did not specify if the remakes will be films or TV spin-offs.  

 “We’re also focused on leveraging Fox’s vast library of great titles to further enrich the content mix on our DTC (direct to consumer) platforms,” he said.  

 The announcement marks the first time anyone from Disney has shared concrete plans about using Fox’s library for source material.  

 The company has been giving its recent reboots a theatrical release, but previously revealed the remake of Lady and the Tramp, which features the voices of Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux, would be available exclusively on Disney+ when it launches in the U.S. on 12 November. 

 When it debuts, the new streaming service will also feature 300 hours of Fox content, including all 30 seasons of The Simpsons, while titles like The Sound of Music, The Princess Bride, and Malcolm in the Middle will join in the first year. 

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Disney boss threatens to pull Marvel films from Georgia

Disney chairman Bob Iger has threatened to stop making blockbusters like Avengers: Endgame in the state of Georgia due to new anti-abortion laws. Some of Disney’s biggest hits, including Black Panther and the most recent movie in the Avengers franchis…

Disney chairman Bob Iger has threatened to stop making blockbusters like Avengers: Endgame in the state of Georgia due to new anti-abortion laws.

Some of Disney’s biggest hits, including Black Panther and the most recent movie in the Avengers franchise, were filmed in Georgia’s capital Atlanta, but the city’s status as a Hollywood hub is now under threat after lawmakers passed a “heartbeat” bill banning abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

In an interview with Reuters, Iger said that the law, which will come into effect next year, could force his company’s star-studded productions out of the state.

“I think many people who work for us will not want to work there, and we will have to heed their wishes in that regard. Right now, we are watching it very carefully,” he said, adding that if the law comes into effect he doesn’t “see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there.”

Iger joins several Hollywood figures considering a boycott of Georgia, with Kristen Wiig having already pulled production of her new comedy Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar from the state. Ozark star Jason Bateman has also said he will no longer work in the state due to the law, despite his hit Netflix series being filmed there. Bosses at the streaming service have backed the star, and claimed they are “reconsidering” filming future productions in Georgia and promising to help the legal fight against the law.

A host of stars, including Amy Schumer, Ben Stiller, Christina Applegate, Laverne Cox, and Alec Baldwin recently wrote to Georgia’s governor Brian Kemp, who signed the bill into law, pledging they would “do everything in our power to move our industry to a safer state for women”.

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