Castles, Capes & Clones News Round-Up - Week of February 2, 2014

Notes from Disney's Earnings Call with Investors
There seemed to be a lot of information in the Bob Iger's First Quarter Earnings report to shareholders, but I'm just going to share some of the more interesting pieces of information.  Iger mentioned that the company has been impressed by the performance of Frozen and that there is a great deal of potential in the franchise.  Without saying what might happen, he did leave investors with the sense that we'll be seeing the franchise for "quite a while."  Also, speaking of franchises, he told investors that Captain America: The Winter Soldier will lead into Avengers: Age of Ultron as well as some events in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., highlighting the importance of crossover potential within the Marvel Universe.  Iger also talked about Star Wars, saying he was excited about Star Wars: Episode VII and noted that, in the meantime, there will be a Star Wars: Rebels movie and some shorts coming this summer to Disney XD.  (source: Bleeding Cool/Film)

Casting!  Casting!  Casting!
So, lots of interesting casting news over the week.  The biggest news was the confirmation that Paul Bettany, who has provided the voice of Jarvis in the Iron Man movies, will be playing the Vision in the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron.  There was some speculation that Agent Coulson from the Phase 1 Marvel Cinematic Universe films and now on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. might be revealed to be the Vision.  But, what this news could confirm is speculation that Ultron in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be created by Tony Stark rather than Hank Pym as he is in the comics.  On Amazing Spider-Man 2, it was also revealed that B.J. Novak will be playing Alistair Smythe who comic book fans know as the Spider-Slayer.  It is unknown as to whether the character will be also appearing as the Spider-Man foe.  There has also been news that Evangeline Lilly has been in discussion for the female lead in the upcoming Ant-Man.  While it is unknown what role this will be, there are rumors that she would play the daughter of Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and love interest for Scott Lang (Paul Rudd).  This would veer from the comics as Hank Pym has no daughter, but there is much speculation that this role could lead to her being the Wasp.  And, finally, Gary Oldman confirmed that he has had some discussion about roles for Star Wars: Episode VII, although this is just discussion and not a confirmation or offer of any role. (source: PJ CampbellGeek League of AmericaComic Book ResourcesSuperHeroHype!)

Marvel Rumors
There are rumors that there is still one final superhero to be cast in Avengers: Age of Ultron.  According to Latino Review (via ComicBookMovies.Com), they are still looking for somebody to play Ms. Marvel.  If this rumor is true, it will be interesting to see if they go with that code name or Carol Danvers current code name of Captain Marvel.  Also, while we know Ant-Man will kick off Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there still needs to be confirmation of any other films being planned.  It has long been speculated that Dr. Strange and Black Panther could be next, but, apparently, there are rumors that a sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy is already being planned for 2016.  Again, it is important to note that these stories are rumors and yet to be confirmed. (source: ComicBookMovies.Com, Bleeding Cool)

Marvel and Star Wars coming to Disney Infinity
Within a Wall Street Journal report on expected layoffs at Disney Interactive was an interesting note from an unnamed source: "New versions of Infinity featuring characters from Disney’s Marvel superhero unit and the Star Wars universe it acquired along with Lucasfilm in 2012 are being developed." While no particular characters have been announced, the news has caused much excitement. (source: Bleeding Cool)

Main Street "Alley" Proposed for Disneyland
Disneyland is considering building an "alley" that would allow guests to by-pass Main Street USA during the parades and other busy times.  The proposed alley, which would have the same turn of the century theme as Main Street USA, would begin just past the Baby Care Center and exit at Town Square.  It would also be covered to not only protect from inclement weather, but to prevent people from stopping to watch the fireworks.  This sounds something akin to the Arcades that line either side of Main Street USA at Disneyland Paris. (source: MousePlanet)

Linguini to meet at Walt Disney Studios at Disneyland Paris
DLRP Express posted a casting audition for Alfredo Linguini from Ratatouille who will meet at "La Place de Rémy" outside the much anticipated upcoming attraction Ratatouille: L'Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy (or, as it is also being called, Ratatouille The Ride) at Walt Disney Studios at the Disneyland Paris Resort.  This will be the first time the character of Linguini will appear as a meet-and-greet character at a Disney Parks. (source: DLRP Express)

Filming of Brad Bird's Tomorrowland at Disneyland; Synopsis Given
Over the week, Brad Bird and his crew were filming the much anticipated and equally mysterious Tomorrowland at Disneyland.  The filming was done in front of "it's a small world" in Fantasy.  Stitch Kingdom received a synopsis of the film: "From Disney comes two-time Oscar® winner Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland, a riveting mystery adventure starring Academy Award® winner George Clooney. Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank (Clooney) — jaded by disillusionment — and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as Tomorrowland. What they must do there changes the world — and them — forever. Featuring a screenplay by Brad Bird and ‘Lost’ writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof, from a story by Lindelof & Jeff Jensen and Bird, Tomorrowland promises to take audiences on a thrill ride of nonstop adventures through new dimensions that have only been dreamed of." (source: Stitch Kingdom)

Disney wins big at the Annies!
During the 41st Annie Awards, honoring excellence in animation, Disney took home several awards.  The biggest winner of the evening was Frozen which took home 5 awards, including best animated feature, direction, voice acting, music and production design.  Walt Disney Animation Studios also took home the best animated short subject award for Get A Horse! Pixar Animation Studio took home a storyboarding and editorial awards for Monsters University and direction, character animation and storyboarding awards for Toy Story of TERROR!  Distributed by Touchstone Pictures, Studio Ghibli film The Wind Rises garnered Hayao Miyazaki an award for best writing.  Disney Television Animation won character design, music and editorial awards for Disney Mickey Mouse.  Also, Disney Legend Alice Davis was honored with the June Foray Award which is "given to individuals who have made a significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation."  (source: Annie Awards)

Josh Gad surprised El Capitan guests at Frozen Sing-A-Long
Josh Gad, the voice of the lovable Olaf the Snowman, surprised guest attending the Frozen Sing-A-Long at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, CA.  He came up on stage to introduce the film and thank the audience for their support of the film.  Another highlight was the screening of Get A Horse! accompanied on the Mighty Wurltizer by Rob Richards, the award winning organist who entertains guests at the El Capitan Theatre before film screenings.   (source: MouseInfo)

Frozen breaks box office records in South Korea
Last weekend, Frozen became the highest grossing animated film in South Korea.  It made $44.17 million over the weekend, surpassing Kung Fu Panda 2 which was the previous record holder at $41 million. (source: Disney by Mark)

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