Disney is dominating nerdy entertainment at this point. Not only does Disney produce Marvel and Star Wars movies, but it also produces its own movies, which have as many fans as Iron Man and Darth Vader. Disney has almost cornered the nerdy entertainment market, so much so that its shareholders’ meeting has more breaking news than Comic-Con.
Yesterday Disney held its annual meeting for shareholders and dropped some major news concerning the first Star Wars spinoff, Episode VIII and the return of Elsa and Anna. Check out the news below.
Gareth Edwards, the director of Godzilla, will be directing the first Star Wars spinoff movie. A few weeks ago Disney announced that Felicity Jones, fresh off her role as Stephen Hawking’s wife in The Theory of Everything, had been cast for a lead in Edwards’s spinoff. Yesterday Disney announced that the spinoff is titled Rogue One, which led to plenty of speculation. Luke Skywalker was a part of Rogue Squadron during the Battle of Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back. Beyond its inclusion in Empire, Rogue Squadron has a rich history in the Expanded Universe. The Expanded Universe is dead, though, so Rogue One isn’t beholden to any existing storylines. If Rogue One is about Rogue Squadron, then I am very excited. I even wrote about a potential Rogue Squadron spinoff after Disney had purchased Lucasfilm. Whether Felicity Jones will don an orange flightsuit or not, we won’t have to wait too long as Rogue Squadron is set to release on December 16, 2016.
I was blown away by the announcement of Rogue One, but Disney had another ace up its corporate sleeve. Disney also announced that Episode VIII would premiere on May 26, 2017. The Force Awakens doesn’t come out for another 279 days but, not too longer after its release, Episode VIII will premiere. Disney wants to honor the 40th anniversary of A New Hope’s release, which took place on May 25, 1977. Disney also wants to release its Star Wars movies in the summer. The Star Wars movies were some of the original summer blockbusters; Disney wants its Star Wars movies to carry that mantle and make some of that summer blockbuster money. Disney even wanted The Force Awakens to come out in the summer of 2015, but J.J. Abrams got the release pushed back to December. Earlier this week I wrote about trusting Disney’s preservation of the Star Wars legacy, even if that means releasing Episode VIII 525 days after Episode VII.
I loved Frozen. It is a great movie with infectious songs you don’t mind getting stuck in your head. Frozen is a great example of Disney’s commitment to quality, which produces almost limitless revenue streams through merchandising. A sequel seemed like a no-brainer, but yesterday was the first time Disney officially announced that Frozen 2 was in development. The same creative team from the original will be back for the sequel, which is great, but they have a high standard to meet. As ubiquitous and potentially annoying as it became, “Let It Go” was a great song and its success will be hard to match.
Between all of their entertainment success and everyone I know owning a Disneyland pass, I’d say that things are going well for Mickey and company. I’m not even a shareholder and I’m happy with what Disney is doing.
What did you think of Disney’s news from yesterday?