Andrew Stanton’s ‘John Carter of Mars’ Begins Principal Photography in London

Principal photography is underway in London for Walt Disney Pictures’ “JOHN CARTER OF MARS.” Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton brings this captivating hero to the big screen in a stunning adventure epic set on the wounded planet of Mars, a world inhabited by warrior tribes and exotic desert beings.  Based on the first of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Barsoom Series,” the film chronicles the journey of Civil-War veteran John Carter, who finds himself battling a new and mysterious war amidst a host of strange Martian inhabitants, including Tars Tarkas (WILLEM DAFOE) and Dejah Thoris (LYNN COLLINS).

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New Contest from Radio Disney Will Leave Winner ‘StarStruck’ with Star Sterling Knight

Radio Disney will give kids the chance to win a family vacation in Hollywood, through local station events beginning SATURDAY, JANUARY 16 through the February 14 premiere of “StarStruck, a Disney Channel Original Movie set in Hollywood.

Events and premiere parties in nearly 40 local markets give kids the chance to enter to win a trip to Hollywood, California, to have lunch with the star of the movie, Sterling Knight (also of Disney Channel’s “Sonny With A Chance”), at a Hollywood hotspot. The winner and his/her guests will also receive a private tour of some of the most famous places in Los Angeles, including Beverly Hills and Bel-Air, Rodeo Drive, Sunset Boulevard and Hollywood. Radio Disney on-air personality Ernie D will announce the winner Friday, February 12.

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‘TRON Legacy’ Producer Sean Bailey Named New Disney Studios Production Chief

Rich Ross, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios (TWDS), announced today that Sean Bailey has been named President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production as the segment continues to restructure its operation.  In his new role, he will oversee all aspects of live-action development, film production and physical production for Walt Disney Pictures and Touchstone Pictures.  Additional changes to international theatrical distribution, multicultural initiatives, publicity, communications and Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment were made as part of the business’ new strategic direction.

“Building upon a strong foundation with the company, Sean brings great creative instincts and considerable filmmaking experience to his new role at The Walt Disney Studios.  His close relationships throughout the creative community and industry at large make him an ideal leader to set the direction of TWDS’ future film slates,” said Ross. “Sean’s talent, energy, and commitment to delivering quality content will help us achieve our goals of producing and distributing Disney-branded movies that entertain audiences worldwide.”

“I am honored and thrilled to join a company with the history and tradition of The Walt Disney Studios,” said Bailey.  “Working with the strong team that has been assembled under Rich’s leadership, I look forward to working with the Studios’ impressive array of talented filmmakers to create entertaining, inspiring films that uphold the legacy and quality of classic Disney movies and capture the imagination of our global audiences.”

Bailey’s feature film producing credits include Matchstick Men, Gone Baby Gone and the upcoming Disney film, Tron Legacy. He is the founder and president of the production company, Idealogy, Inc. He also co-founded the integrated media firm, LivePlanet, with Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Chris Moore and was the executive producer of several high profile television programs including LivePlanet’s three-time Emmy-nominated Project Greenlight. Sean wrote the screenplay Liberty for The Walt Disney Company and co-wrote the screenplay Solace.

(more…)

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Disney May Be Seeking to Limit Starz Control Over Online Distribution of Films

Bloomberg reports that Disney and Starz are in negotiations concerning future exclusivity the network has to upcoming releases from Walt Disney Studios. Currently, the Starz cable network has first rights to live action films from Disney and wishes to continue the option for as long as five years, but at dispute is the digital rights to the films which Starz would would be able to farm out to online services such as Netflix, whereas Disney is reportedly looking to prevent Starz from having such capabilities.

This shouldn’t come as any surprise, however, as Disney has been generating news lately with Iger constantly promoting Disney’s own subscription-based services, not to mention the forthcoming Keychest technology.

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ABC Family Sets Premiere Dates for ‘The Cutting Edge: Fire & Ice’ and ‘Business of Falling in Love’

ABC Family’s two upcoming original movies will have spring premiere dates. “The Cutting Edge: Fire & Ice,” starring Francia Raisa (“The Secret Life of the American Teenager”) and Brendan Fehr, will premiere on Sunday, March 14 (8:00-10:00PM ET/PT). “Business of Falling in Love,” starring Hilary Duff, with Matt Dallas, Michael McMillan and Chris Carmack, will premiere on Sunday, April 18 (8:00-10:00PM ET/PT).

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Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmations, Jungle Book to Go Back Into Disney Vault

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (WDSHE) announces the return of seven movie favorites to the Disney vault on January 30, 2010.  Treasured by families, fans and coveted by collectors, the exciting, limited-time releases that return to the vault include multiple animated classics and live-action favorites.

  • Sleeping Beauty (animated) Blu-ray™ Hi-Def & DVD
  • The Jungle Book (animated) on DVD
  • The Jungle Book 2 (animated) on DVD
  • 101 Dalmatians DVD (animated) on DVD
  • 101 Dalmatians II (animated) on DVD
  • 101 Dalmatians (live-action) on DVD
  • 102 Dalmatians (live action) on DVD

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Academy Determines ‘The Princess and the Frog’ Ineligible for Best Original Score

Originally considered as a nominee for an Oscar in the category of Best Original Score, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has determined that The Princess and the Frog fails to meet eligibility requirements.

Citing Rule 16, Section II, Paragraph E, the Academy’s Music Branch Executive Committee decided that the film’s soundtrack satisfies the following element, making it ineligible:

‘…scores diluted by the use of tracked themes or other preexisting music, diminished in impact by the predominant use of songs, or assembled from the music of more than one composer shall not be eligible.’

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Track List for ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Soundtrack Revealed

Buena Vista Records will release two albums capturing the wonder of Lewis Carroll’s beloved books and visionary director Tim Burton.   ALMOST ALICE is a 16-song compilation featuring ALICE IN WONDERLAND’S end credit track “Alice (Underground)” written by Avril Lavigne and produced by Butch Walker.  Danny Elfman composes the score for the original motion picture soundtrack.  Hot Topic will issue an exclusive version of ALMOST ALICE which includes two bonus tracks.  All three albums will be released on March 2, 2010.  ALICE IN WONDERLAND comes to the big screen in Disney Digital 3D™ on March 5, 2010 (U.S. theaters).

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New Clip from ‘When in Rome’ Featuring Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard

We just received the following clip from When in Rome from Touchstone Pictures featuring Beth (Kristen Bell) and one of her many quirky suitors, Gale (Dax Shepard). In the scene, parts of which are featured in the trailer, Gale introduces himself to Beth and makes a great first impression — at least on himself.

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A Christmas Carol, Alice in Wonderland and Toy Story 3 to Make Blu-ray 3D Debut in 2010

It will require a 3D capable television and a 3D capable blu-ray player, but The Hollywood Reporter has relayed Disney’s announcement that the newly established Blu-ray 3D standard will be embraced and rushed to market beginning with at least three releases this year (all presumably around the holiday season): A Christmas Carol, Alice in Wonderland and Toy Story 3. Perhaps it’s too soon, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Disney/Pixar’s UPthrown into the mix shortly thereafter either.

At D23 Expo, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment demo’d a prototype of a 3D home system from Panasonic. The home system, which uses special shutter-oriented glasses to alternate between eyes, almost faithfully recreates the current 3D movie-going experience at home.

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