Image: Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Animation Studios

TOP STORY OF THE WEEK:

DISNEY SPLASHES WITH A LIVE-ACTION ‘LITTLE MERMAID’

Disney is on a roll lately with the mega success of their fairytale/animated films being turned into live-action adaptations. While it started rocky quality wise with 2010’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and 2014’s ‘Maleficent’, they no doubtingly made a lot of money at the box office with ‘Alice’ making over a billion dollars, while ‘Maleficent’ grossed over $750 million worldwide. However, as of last year (with the exception of the ‘Alice’ sequel) their films have been successful both critically and financially with last year’s ‘Cinderella’, sporting a solid B+ and grossing over $540 million, while this year’s ‘Jungle Book’ has currently grossed $955 million and still counting, while scoring a positive B grade. Next year, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is bound to continue the live-action success of their classic animated films, now Disney is “swimming” to the film that started the Disney Renaissance and revived the animation studio that brought us classics like ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Aladdin’ and ‘The Lion King’ to name a few. Disney is actively developing a live-action adaptation of ‘The Little Mermaid’ with Variety reporting that Lin-Manuel Miranda (who is starring in ‘Mary Poppins Returns’) and Alan Menken (who wrote the animated film’s songs) will be writing new songs for the film, and is rumored the film will focus on some of the animated film’s classic songs, while featuring new songs for the live-action flick. Miranda will also produce the film. While we wait to see who Disney casts as Ariel, the 1989 animated film has a rare A+ grade.

ZENDAYA’S ROLE IN ‘SPIDER-MAN’ MAY HAVE BEEN REVEALED

Apparently this is considered to be a spoiler, so if you don’t want to know, better look away, although you probably already know as it was one of the biggest movie news stories that broke in the past week. The reason why I don’t find this as a spoiler is that surely Marvel and Sony will be marketing her as this character, although her character has been surrounded in mystery when it was revealed earlier this year that Zendaya (‘Shake It Up’) will be playing “Michele” which people started pointing towards Michele Gonzales, or perhaps a new character who wasn’t introduced in the comics. However, (and if you haven’t stopped reading by now then you don’t care about this news being spoiled) The Wrap broke the news that Zendaya is actually playing Peter Parker’s popular love interest Mary Jane Watson in next year’s ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ which is being produced by both Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures for a July 7th, 2017 release.

WILL FERRELL IS SHERLOCK HOLMES

Variety is reporting that Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly will play as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson for Sony’s upcoming comedy ‘Holmes and Watson’. For someone who isn’t a real fan for the character of Sherlock Holmes, I’m interested to see what Ferrell and Reilly bring to these characters. This is their third film collaboration, following 2006’s ‘Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby’ and 2008’s ‘Step Brothers’. Etan Cohen (last year’s ‘Get Hard’) will write and direct the comedy version of ‘Holmes and Watson’.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY STARS IN DISNEY’S ‘THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS’

Disney continues to make headlines as Variety broke the news that Keira Knightley (‘Pirates of the Caribbean’) will star in ‘The Nutcracker and the Four Realms’ and will play the Sugar Plum Fairy. Knightley joins ballet star Misty Copeland and ‘Interstellar’ star Mackenzie Foy, along with Morgan Freeman.

‘DETECTIVE PIKACHU’ HIRES WRITERS FOR ITS LIVE-ACTION FILM

Legendary Pictures is moving forward at high speed with its recently announced live-action ‘Detective Pikachu’ movie. Variety broke the news that writers Nicole Perlman (‘Guardians of the Galaxy’) and Alex Hirsch (creator of ‘Gravity Falls’) are writing the film’s screenplay. No word yet if this is an original story or if it will be based on this year’s ‘Detective Pikachu’ game which was released exclusively in Japan, so far.

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