#FIRSTLOOK: WALT DISNEY STUDIOS CANADA 2019 HOLIDAY PREVIEW
By George Kozera for Mr. Will Wong
Walt Disney Studios Canada sure knows how to throw an event! Invited guests were treated to goodies galore and then asked to take their seats at the Bell TIFF Lightbox Theatre where Disney had a lot to celebrate. Their streaming service, Disney+, had over 10 million sign-ups in its first day. And now, their Film Libraries include movies from Marvel, Fox, Fox Searchlight and much more. Alongside FROZEN 2, their other big end-of-year releases include STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER and what looks to be a quirky animated spy movie, SPIES IN DISGUISE featuring the voices of Will Smith and Tom Holland. But what had me excited was some of their Feature Films to be released in 2020.
THE KING’S MAN: An Action Adventure piece set during World War I and starring Harris Dickinson, Ralph Fiennes, this one has all the makings of a monster hit. The sequences shown were exquisitely filmed with a Cast of characters that tickle the imagination.
BLACK WIDOW: If the rest of this Movie has the same intensity as the fight scene between Scarlett Johannson (reprising her AVENGERS character) and Florence Pugh, it is going to soar! No more spoilers.
SOUL: Pixar definitely has another classic on its hands with this Animated Movie about a musician who has lost his passion for music is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself. The talented voices include Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey and Daveed Diggs and a sultry jazz Soundtrack, I cannot wait to see this.
ONWARDS: Set in a suburban fantasy world, two teenage elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, go on a journey to discover if there is still a little magic left out there in order to spend one last day with their father, who died when they were too young to remember him. This Animated Feature, voiced by Tom Holland, Chris Pratt and Julia Louis-Dreyfus should appeal to the young in age and the young at heart.
MULAN: A live-action version of the Disney Animated Classic about a young girl who disguises herself as a male warrior to save her father, just might hit all the right notes. The sequences shown were dazzling and the all-Asian Cast, exuded sheer power.
THE JUNGLE CRUISE: Another movie inspired by a Disney Amusement Park ride and starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, this one looks to be pure entertainment with a story that looks to be inspired by the Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn Classic THE AFRICAN QUEEN. The energy is high, the puns instill giggly groans and everyone on screen looks like they are having the time of their life.
(Photo credit: Walt Disney Studios Canada)
#FIRSTLOOK: 2019 SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE ANNOUNCEMENTS
Some exciting stuff coming out of Comic-Con this weekend in San Diego! A Series of announcements have been made as to the next set of Films to come out in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of them features our v. own Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience) in the titual role of Shang-Chi in Shang-Chi and the Legend of The Ten Rings!
Feige kicked off with an overview of the feature film “The Eternals,” an exciting new team of Super Heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Feige introduced the director, Chloé Zhao, followed by stars from the film, including, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Don Lee as Gilgamesh and Angelina Jolie as Thena.
“The Eternals” will make their Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in theatres on November 6, 2020.
THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER
Feige brought news on the Disney+ original series “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier,” which pairs up two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most popular heroes—Sam Wilson aka The Falcon and Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier—in a series of action-filled adventures as they fight together against evil after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.”
Anthony Mackie (The Falcon) and Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier) came on stage to greet the fans, and it was revealed that Daniel Brühl will return as the villain, Baron Zemo.
“The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” is set to debut on Disney+ in the fall of 2020.
SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS
Feige spoke about the feature film “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and detailed how the legend has been hinted at in the MCU films since the first “Iron Man.”
In an unanticipated surprise for all, Kevin Feige then announced the confirmed casting of Simu Liu in the title role of Shang-Chi and both the actor and the director, Destin Daniel Cretton, came on stage to greet the audience. Kevin also shared with the audience the casting of Awkwafina in a yet-to-be-disclosed role. Then, Kevin revealed to the Hall H audience that the real Mandarin will be played by celebrated Chinese actor Tony Leung.
“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” will be in theatres on February 12, 2021.
Next, Feige offered the latest on “WandaVision,” a Disney+ original series where Paul Bettany reprises the role of Vision and Elizabeth Olsen returns to her role of Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch.
Bettany and Olsen were joined on stage by MCU newcomer Teyonah Parris, and Feige announced that Parris will be playing the grown-up version of Monica Rambeau, who was introduced to audiences in “Captain Marvel.”
“WandaVision” premieres on Disney+ in the spring of 2021.
Feige offered news on “Loki,” a Marvel Studios original series streaming on Disney+ in the spring of 2021. Tom Hiddleston—back in his role of the mercurial Loki, the god of mischief and everyone’s favorite villain—received a huge welcome from fans when Feige brought him out on stage.
Then to the delight of the audience, Hiddleston answered the biggest question from “Avengers: Endgame”: “Where did Loki go when he took the Space Stone?”
DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS
Feige introduced the second film in the “Doctor Strange” franchise, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” and called the director, Scott Derrickson, and star Benedict Cumberbatch to the stage to a rousing welcome.
In a surprise twist, Feige brought out Elizabeth Olsen, who also stars in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” and they talked about how “WandaVision”—the Disney+ series that Olsen will star in as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch—connects directly to the feature-film storyline.
“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” hits theatres on May 7, 2021.
Feige offered new information on “What If…?,” the first animated series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “What If…?” is being created exclusively for Disney+ and features stories that present alternate realities in the Marvel universe.
Feige mentioned that many actors from across the Marvel Cinematic Universe will reprise their roles as voice talent in the series. He then surprised the audience by bringing Jeffrey Wright to the stage and introducing him as the voice of the popular character The Watcher in the new series.
“What If…?” joins the Disney+ lineup in the summer of 2021.
Jeremy Renner came on stage and revealed the previously undisclosed title of the Hawkeye Disney+ original series. He joined Kevin Feige to give exciting news about “Hawkeye,” including details about Kate Bishop, a character well-known in Marvel comics, who will be an integral part of the series.
“Hawkeye” launches on Disney+ in the fall of 2021.
THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER
Feige talked about the next Thor film, “Thor: Love and Thunder,” which will be the fourth feature film in the “Thor” franchise. It was revealed that Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman, will become the Mighty Thor, the goddess of Thunder.
Director Taika Waititi, Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson and Natalie Portman all came on stage for the presentation, eliciting a wild response from the Hall H audience who are looking forward to the film’s November 5, 2021 debut in theatres.
Feige officially announced the feature film “Black Widow,” which is slated for a May 1, 2020 release in theatres, making it the first film of Phase Four to hit the big screen.
Feige surprised the audience with the first footage from “Black Widow,” which is currently in production. The film is directed by Cate Shortland who was on hand to greet the Hall H audience along with Scarlett Johansson, reprising her role of Natasha Romanoff, as well as newcomers to the Marvel Cinematic Universe David Harbour as Alexei aka The Red Guardian, Florence Pugh as Yelena, O-T Fagbenle as Mason and Rachel Weisz as Melina.
Following the “Black Widow” presentation, Feige had another big surprise up his sleeve for the enthusiastic Hall H crowd. He was joined on stage by actor Mahershala Ali and then announced the new Marvel Studios feature film “Blade” that Ali will star in.
(Photo/video credit: Walt Disney Studios Canada)