17 December 2009

NEWS of the BLOG: Roy Disney Dies at 79, Alexander Tweets THOR...plus More!

December's proving to be a busy month, dabblers! Comics, movies, TV, and more, the world of superhero pop culture isn't slowing down, not even for Santa. Here's just a few of the tidbits and treats we've got to share with you today, in our new and potentially re-occurring NEWS Of The Blog! Duh-Duh-duh-DUMMMMM!!!
The Los Angeles Times was one of many sites to report that Roy E. Disney, Walt Disney's nephew and heir-apparent to the Disney company, died yesterday morning of cancer. Most known for the Disney-shareholder responsible for twice-ousting senior management - including former Disney CEO Michael Eisner - in order to align the company more closely to his own views of 'family entertainment,' he also helped to revive Disney's investment in the animated features which now have characterized Disney for much of the last two decades. Among the films, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King. Disney was 79. [link]
Speaking of Disney, their new Studio Chief, Rich Ross, is leading the company's return to The Black Hole, a pretty cool 1979 sci-fi flick I loved as a kid despite the Mouse's involvement. The movie, rated PG, was clearly Disney's answer to Star Wars, and it's budget of $26M marked the film as Disney's most expensive movie to date. Hole also helped move Disney onto the special effects map George Lucas' LucasFilm had charted two years prior.
If you haven't seen The Black Hole, it's worth a look, although you'll probably find it a bit slow by today's standards. But Disney introduced some very memorable robotic characters in the movie, including the menacing and just a little scary red robot Maximilian, who's rumored to be coming back for the remake. On-board the project is Tron: Legacy's director, Joseph Kosinski, and script duties are being handled by Clash of the Titans scribe Travis Beacham. [link]
And Marvel movie news keeps
pouring forth from the venerable house of ideas this week, too. Tobey McGuire, everyone's favorite Spider-Man, had little to say about the rumors we hashed out on the blog Monday. His lack of silence was coupled with a few smiles, and John Malkovich's Vulture may be a flying high in Spider-Man 4 after all. [Link]
Also getting some Spider-press is an article posted by Irish newspaper The Dundalk Democrat, which ran an April Fool's Day article that Sam Raimi would be filming scenes from Spider-Man 4 in the town. The town apparently has massive wind turbine featured earlier this year in a New York Times article, which Raimi saw and wanted his web-spinning hero to eventually ascend. The Democrat claims that they re-ran the story by mistake a month and half later, and have since printed a retraction on their website. All we can say is, somebody was drunk!
And last but not least, Kyle XY star Jaimie Alexander revealed via Twitter that she and her fellow Thor cast members will be beginning rehearsals within the next couple of weeks. Thor's production schedule has called for a January start date for months, so the news means that Marvel's next big movie is right on track. Alexander's tweets said that she was "excited" to start her rehearsals, and really, can you blame her? She'll be playing Sif, Thor's Asgardian lover, so she'll have plenty of on-camera time with actor Chris Hemsworth. Lucky, lucky lady!
And lest we forget, the super-sweet illustration of the Thunder God we've been talking about comes to us from superstar comics artist Frank Cho's Apes and Babes blog. The Marvel Comics artist is currently hard at work on the company's big Hulk event this winter, Fall of the Hulks. Even so, Cho hasn't relaxed his duties on the next Ultimates series he'll be co-creating with Mark Millar, either. Marvel's 'Ultimate Universe' characters have been the primary influences on its movies, from Spider-Man to the X-Men, and Thor. Their "Ultimate" versi0n of the Nick Fury was even based on actor Samuel L. Jackson, which of course made his portrayal of the super-agent a done-deal before the character's first cameo had even be conceived. The Ultimates are Marvel's modernized Avengers, so look to Cho and Millar's next comic as a storyboard for the 2013-slated feature film.

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