Disney This Week: Exclusive Lupita Nyong’o interview & more!
Welcome to another edition of our new regular weekly feature Disney This Week here at ComingSoon.net, this time featuring a special exclusive interview with Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) about the inspirational Queen of Katwe. We’re also rounding up the latest news on all things Disney, including movies, TV, Blu-ray/DVD, Marvel Studios, theme parks, fan art and Disney history. Let us know what you like or want to see more out of in Disney This Week in the comments below!
Marvel Studios has announced that Black Panther production has begun! Marvel’s official announcement includes all sorts of interesting details, including a full cast list that confirms Andy Serkis will be returning to the MCU. As fans will recall, we saw his Klaw make a debut in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
The full Black Panther cast includes Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, with Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett, with Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis. Additional cast members include Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba, Sterling K. Brown and John Kani.
Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station) directs from a screenplay he co-wrote with Joe Robert Cole (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story). The film opens in U.S. theaters on February 16, 2018. Black Panther production will take place in Atlanta and South Korea.
Production has officially begun today on the upcoming, highly-anticipated Avengers: Infinity War and directors Anthony and Joe Russo have offered a unique teaser for the film by showing the extensive amount of trailers (not that kind) that are on set.
The feature is expected to have a giant cast, combining the the forces of both The Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy, so the trailer budget is probably even higher than usual for the production.
Production is underway on Avengers: Infinity War and quite a few Marvel Cinematic Universe faces will be gathering at the Pinewood Studios stages in Atlanta, Georgia in the weeks to come. Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Sean Gunn has shared a social media post from the Infinity War set, offering a look at a very cool title logo that appears on the crew hats. Check it out above!
Gunn’s presence is very likely so that he can play Rocket Raccoon in the forthcoming blockbuster. Sean Gunn, the brother of GotG writer and director James Gunn, plays the Rocket role during filming and is later dubbed over with Bradley Cooper’s voice. Gunn also plays the role of the Kraglin, first mate among Yondu’s Ravagers, who could also appear in the 2018 release.
Following its Oscar nomination for visual effects, Marvel Studios and The Walt Disney Studios are bringing Doctor Strange home next month with a Digital HD release on February 14 and a release on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, Digital SD, DVD and On Demand on February 28. We had the chance to talk to director Scott Derrickson 1-on-1, and we asked him about whether the more overtly supernatural horror elements of the comics (Dracula, Nightmare) might have a place in Doctor Strange 2 and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is generally sci-fi oriented.
“I wouldn’t necessarily rule anything out,” said Derrickson. “That’s certainly where the comics went in the ’80s but I also think that was probably the weakest era of the comics. The alternate dimensions and possibilities of the multiverse that we set up with the first film already give limitless possibilities. What I will say is that the goal would not be to underutilize that, or to create something that was less innovative than the first ‘Doctor Strange.’ The comics, especially the Lee/Ditko comics, were always pushing into unexpectedly weird places and storylines. That has continued on into the current Doctor Strange comics, which are really great. So anything’s possible with Doctor Strange, I wouldn’t rule anything out.”
Director James Gunn has taken to Facebook to offer a special look at the post-production process for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as the score for the film is officially being recorded! Get your first sneak peek at the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 score from composer Tyler Bates for the sequel in the player above!
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today announced that it will develop and publish the Cars 3 video game, scheduled for 2017, based on the upcoming Disney•Pixar film. The game will be developed by Avalanche Software, which has re-opened under Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and will be led by John Blackburn. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has also obtained rights to the Octane engine technology, previously developed by Avalanche Software, which will be used to develop the Cars 3 video game.
Multi-platinum international recording artist and songwriter Josh Groban has recorded an all-new original song, “Evermore,” for Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast. “Evermore” will appear in the film’s end credits as well as the soundtrack. The announcement of “Evermore” also coincides with the release of a new poster for the film!
Described as “a soaring ballad,” “Evermore” is performed in the film by the Beast (Dan Stevens) after he releases Belle (Emma Watson) to be with her father. The song was written by eight-time Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin) and veteran lyricist and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (The Lion King, Evita). Menken also provides the film score, as well as new recordings of the classic songs from the animated film written by himself and Ashman. The original motion picture soundtrack will be released by Walt Disney Records on March 10.
Following the motion posters, The Walt Disney Studios has also provided us with 12 Beauty and the Beast character posters, which include both the Beast version and prince version of Dan Stevens’ character! Take a look at the Beauty and the Beast character posters in the gallery below, and stay tuned for the final trailer on Monday!
This week we’re very pleased to give you an exclusive conversation with Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o, who headlines the Blu-ray release of last year’s inspirational Disney live-action drama Queen of Katwe. The film, directed by the acclaimed Mira Nair (Vanity Fair, Monsoon Wedding), focuses on a young chess prodigy named Phiona (Madina Nalwanga) who uses her gifts to become a champion and help her single mother Nakku Harriet (Nyong’o) and siblings leave the slums of Uganda.
Click here to purchase Queen of Katwe on Digital HD, or you can buy the Blu-ray on January 31!
ComingSoon.net: You actually had worked previously as a production assistant on Director Mira Nair’s “The Namesake”back in 2006. What was it like making the leap from PA to star in only a decade?
Lupita Nyong’o: It was wonderful! The beginning of my career in the film industry was with her on “The Namesake” and now as an actress to be able to work in front of her camera is like a dream come true. For me it a no-brainer when she approached me to play Harriet because I love the character and I love her so much. I really do have complete confidence in her perspective and her skill. I was just so honored and thrilled to be able to work with her as an actress, which is what I wanted to do from the beginning anyway. (laughs)
CS: Mira is really good at capturing a sense of naturalism, where you almost feel like you’re watching a documentary. From your first-hand experience how do you think she pulls that off?
Nyong’o: She’s a very keen observer of life. Mira knows where to point her camera, and she watches actors between takes. She did that a lot, especially with the children on this film, and was able to capture things they did naturally and include them in the movie. She’s always watching, and she was trained in cinéma vérité and she uses those principles. She gives you space as a performer to find the moment, which is very useful and very revealing.
CS: Your character has a very fierce dignity to her, despite her impoverished circumstances. Where do you think she summons that from?
Nyong’o: I met the real Harriet and she struck me as a woman who would do anything for her children except compromise her principles. At the end of the day, Dignity doesn’t have a price tag to it, she just has a real strong sense of who she is and what she needs to be in the world. She instilled that in Fiona for sure. Fiona does have that quiet dignity to her, and she has such incredible focus. Even when this film was coming out, Fiona would leave events early so she could go study. That kind of devotion to one’s self and one’s future definitely comes from one’s mother.
CS: Have you been able to talk to any young girls who might have been inspired by “Queen of Katwe” since it came out?
Nyong’o: A friend of mine sponsored a group of inner-city kids from Oakland to go see the film, and it brought me a lot of joy to hear that they felt they really related to the experience of the kids in Katwe and that they were really empowered by it. The fact that their circumstances are so different –Oakland and Kampala, Uganda- but that they were able to see themselves in those children is powerful and speaks to the universal quality of the film.
CS: What’s fascinating too is that even though this film feels very simpatico with Mira’s other movies, especially “Salaam Bombay!”, it’s also very much in the spirit of a Disney movie! As someone who’s done her five most recent movies for Disney, what do you think makes “Queen of Katwe” a Disney movie?
Nyong’o: (laughs) Well, it has a young girl at the center of it, but there’s this magical quality to what she is able to achieve. I think every Disney movie has that touch of magic, and the fact that this is a story of a young girl who really does find her way in the world with the help of other children and a mother and really a community that supports her dream, that’s very Disney as well. Also the idea that where you come from is not necessarily where you evolve is very Disney.
CS: You’re currently shooting “Black Panther” in Atlanta. Do you think that could be a landmark film in terms of representation?
Nyong’o: Yes, I think it could very well be. I don’t think we’ve seen anything like what we’re doing right now. Plain and simple.
Marvel Entertainment has officially announced a brand-new Avengers video game starring Earth’s mightiest heroes which is set to come from publisher Square Enix and developers Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal. Check it out in the player above!
Hasbro has revealed the very first Spider-Man: Homecoming toys that fans can expect to find on store shelves in the coming months, including a 6-inch figure for the titular hero, his main villain Vulture, and even a figure of his original home-made suit from Captain America: Civil War! Check them out in the link above!
Fan Art of the Week
In celebration of Black Panther starting production this week (and our interview with its co-star Lupita!), we chose a cool, beefy, cartoonish rendering by Corey Smith. Check out the other heroes in his gallery by clicking here!
This Week in Disney History
On January 25, 1961 Disney releases the animated classic One Hundred and One Dalmatians in selected theaters. It cost $4 million to make and was based on the book “The Hundred and One Dalmatians” by Dodie Smith. This week also saw the release of Freaky Friday in 1977, Three Fugitives in 1989 and Prefontaine in 1999.
Each week we highlight an underappreciated Disney classic! This week we’re celebrating the greatest Silly Symphony of all-time, 1937’s The Old Mill. A tale of animals trapped inside a mill during a furious storm, this 8-minute short broke ground for being the inaugural use of Disney’s multiplane camera, which created the illusion of depth and was something of a trial run for Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. It’s also notable for being a dramatic departure from the usual depiction of animals, as they are shown behaving in more natural ways. Check it out below!