Too little, too late?
Do not count out Andrew Stanton and Pixar!
The News Blog of Comics Culture
With less than a month to the premiere of JOHN CARTER, Disney is releasing all kinds of new goodies, to try to explain why you should see this.
You can be sympathetic to Gary Friedrich’s current situation—older, broke and in bad health—while still being alarmed over all the issues his court case has raised. My own email and IMs are full of variant views on it. So let’s trace the evolution of this a bit.
From the moment Disney purchased Marvel, people were drawing a line between their Disney XD channel — an attempt to lure more of the lucrative audience of young boys — and the Marvel characters. Marvel animation has been running non-stop on the cable channel ever since, but in April, the Marvel Universe programming block will roll out with the new Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon as the tentpole. Produced by Man of Action — Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, Duncan Rouleau and Steven Seagle—the creators behind Ben 10 and Generator Rex, with input from Jeph Loeb,joe Quesada and Brian Michael Bendis, the show does not lack for comic book bonafides.
Plus, it’s got JK Simmons reprising his lifetime role as J. Jonah Jameson. Soundboard that.
Over at CBR, Kiel Phigley had a chat with John Rood, DC’s Executive VP-Sales, Marketing and Business Development, about DC’s digital sales and it’s worth taking a closer look at.
The biggest question, which is still utterly unanswered, is how many copies these digital comics are selling. The second biggest question is where these sales are coming from and Rood does get into that, just a little:
Led Zeppelin: check
Avatar references: check
300 references: check
Vast CGI alien crowd scenes: check
Insane shots of Helium flyer fleet: Check.
JOHN CARTER is coming in March, and several stills have just been released. From EW, there’s a picture of John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) fighting a giant white ape. Director Andrew Stanton told EW:
One of the major — if not THE major — reasons that Disney purchased Marvel two years ago for $4 billion was that the House of Ideas supplied a ready-made audience of material aimed at boys under 18 — the one quadrant Disney has always had the toughest time reaching. Disney does princesses and Pooh great, but they had to create a whole cable network that could be specifically branded for boys — Disney XD, which already airs various Marvel cartoons.
So this look at just how Disney has used the Marvel universe by Mike Gold is quite interesting as he points out that Marvel TV shows in development at Disney include the Hulk, AKA Jessica Jones (ALIAS), Cloak and Dagger, and a possible Miley Cyrus vehicle based on Mockingbird:
When DIsney bought Marvel, the idea of them teaming up for “Mouserine” was the topic of laughs. but now such things are actually happening, with the cartoon character Prep & Landing entering The Avengers, Spider-Man and Marvel Super Heroes comics. Actually, it’s just an INSERT story about the tooners trying to prepare for Santa, not an actual, coninuity-shattering crossover, but it does show that these titles are super kid-friendly. Even John Lasseter approves of this mingling.
We’re not savvy enough on the West Coast operations of Marvel to know what was behind this, but it’s fairly safe to say that Disney cares much more about Marvel Studios than Marvel Comics. Implementation of the Disney-Marvel relationship has been an odd one — on the one side, you have a corporate juggernaut who wants to reach the boy market for toys and toons. On the other, you have a company that is very much still led by chairman Ike Perlmutter, who, by some accounts, is Disney’s second biggest shareholder after Steve Jobs. Marvel Studios is known for knowing the value of a penny — something Disney also knows. But whereas Disney has controlling costs down to an art, Perlmutter has it down to a science. The relationship is still evolving.
Despite what seemed like a logical timeline, Disney did not reveal the identity of two mystery Marvel movies planned for Summer 2014 at this weekend’s D23. A mystery Pixar film was shown to be “The Untitled Pixar film about Dinosaurs” and “The Untitled Pixar Movie that Takes You Inside the Mind.” Well, fair enough. The only Marvel movie touched on was THE AVENGERS — Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Chris Hemsworth all showed up to wave to the crowd — however, and a no cell phones policy meant that no pictures or leaked footage got out.
So, this weekend in Anaheim (home of Disneyland), the D23 Expo is taking place.
Dedicated to All Things Disney, this show will feature Marvel Comics for the first time, with appearances by Joe Quesada, Kevin Feige, and Marvel creators.
Joe Quesada will be hosting a panel on Sunday, at 10:15 AM.
I hope someone pulls a “Batgirl” and questions Mr. Quesada about the “legends” of Marvel, and how Marvel honors their contributions to Marvel’s legacy. Given the concentrated nature of the fan-fest at “The Happiest Place on Earth”, it is very unlikely. So I’ll ask them here!
With Disney’s D23 Expo coming up in a few days, the Mouse is priming the pump for some possible Marvel-related announcements. At the Television Critics Association press tour, ABC president Paul Lee confirmed that the AKA Jessica Jones and Guillermo del Toro=produced Hulk pilots are still in the works, saying both were being “aggressively” developed. He also dropped some arcane hints about…Castle?
If you’re a Carl Barks collector, Heritage Auctions is selling a ton of great stuff, including autographed comics, correspondence, and, at the very high end some of Barks incredibly collectible — and expensive — oil paintings, like “Red Sails in the Sunset” which starts at $30,000.
There’s also this Barks Treasury Gold Limited Edition with Signed Certificate #320/1000 (Applewood Books, 1997) made out to “Steve.”
AWOOGA! ALL HANDS ON DECK!
Arcade Fire soundtrack — check — but the remake by Peter Gabriel? “My body is a cage.” So this is a remake of AVATAR?
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