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Destin Daniel Cretton Returns for Shang-Chi Sequel

Being one of the top grossing films of the year pretty much guarantees a sequel. Deadline is reporting that Destin Daniel Cretton has signed a multi-year deal with Disney‘s Marvel Studios and Hulu‘s Onyx Collective. Cretton is already developing a new Marvel show for Disney+. The filmmaker is returning to write and direct the sequel to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the highest grossing domestic release so far this year with $224.5 million and set a Labor Day record with $94.6 million. The film has grossed over $432 million worldwide.

Cretton is working on American Born Chinese based on the 2006 graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang. The series has gone straight-to-series order coming from Disney Branded Television/20th Television.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Susan Arnold will Replace Bob Iger as Disney’s Board Chair

Disney logo

Susan Arnold will take over as Disney‘s chairman of the board. She succeeds former CEO Bob Iger who has been the board chairman since 2012. Iger is set to step away by the end of this year. Arnold is the first woman to hold the position in the company’s 98 year history.

Arnold has been on Disney’s board for 14 years and been the independent lead director since 2018. She was an operating executive at The Carlyle Group until this year. She has also served as president of the global business units of Procter & Gamble from 2007 to 2008 and was a member of McDonald’s board from 2008 to 2016. The Carlyle Group has been the center of numerous controversies including Taylor Swift’s music buyout, accused of profiting from conflict, and missteps from leadership.

Disney’s executive structure will keep the roles of CEO and chairman separate for now. Bob Chapek was named Disney’s CEO in February of 2020.

Preview: Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures #11

Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures #11

(W) Daniel Jose Older (A/CA) Harvey Tolibao
In Shops: Dec 01, 2021
SRP: $3.99

The Masters and Padawans take a much needed break to participate in the Great Jedi Rumble Race! It’s the most important event in the galaxy (probably) and there’s only one rule… THERE ARE NO RULES! But Lula is too stuck in her own head to enjoy the raucous, no holds barred tussle to the finish line.
Meanwhile, on Corellia, trouble brews…

Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures #11

Underrated: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

I may have spent far too much time over the last week watching Disney+. Because of that, I wanted to rerun an older column, and what better column than one focusing on the first chronological Star Wars movie? For no other reason than I’ve been watching a lot of Mandalorian.


This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace


Star_Wars_Phantom_Menace_poster.jpg

Released in 1999, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace was written and directed by George Lucas, produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is the first installment in the Star Wars prequel trilogy and stars Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Ian McDiarmid, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Ahmed Best, Pernilla August, Brian Blessed, Ray Park, and Frank Oz. It  is also widely known for being a stonking pile of manure.

Released sixteen years after Return Of The JediThe Phantom Menace was set 32 years before Star Wars, and follows Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi as they protect Queen Amidala, in hopes of securing a peaceful end to a large-scale interplanetary trade dispute. Joined by Anakin Skywalker—a young slave with unusually strong natural powers of the Force—they simultaneously contend with the mysterious return of the Sith.

Now that you’ve read (basically) the first two paragraphs of the Wikipedia entry, allow me to tell you why this movie is underrated.

Look, I’m not claiming it’s good, just that it isn’t (quite) as bad as you think it is. And it does have good moments. If I can’t convince you, maybe I’ll make you laugh…?

Anyway.

If you’re of a certain age, or your parents are, then you would have been beyond excited to see this movie when it hit the theaters in 1999. I remember watching the lines on the local news back in England being in awe that anybody would care about a movie that much, but nearly twenty years later I can begin understand the level of excitement people would feel surrounding the return of such a beloved franchise – indeed, as I type this I am already planning to line up for the latest Star Wars flick, The Last Jedi, two hours before the screen doors open. But that’s after having two good movies released in the last two years, so can you imagine the excite fans of the franchise would have had in the weeks and months (hell, years) leading up to May 19th, 1999 when the movie finally opened for the masses. It would have been incredible! In the years before the widespread usage of the Internet (in comparison to what we see now), there were conversations in schools, at the water cooler and frankly anywhere fans would gather. The excitement was palpable wherever nerds and fans gathered. It’s hard to overstate how much hype was in the air surrounding the first Star Wars movie in sixteen years.

And then the movie was released.

fanboys.jpg
If you’ve never seen this movie, then you should check it out. It’s a great send up of nerd culture circa 1998 with a touching heart. Rumour has it the movie is based on real events – whether that’s true or not I’m unsure.

Look, without beating around the bush, it’s safe to say that it didn’t live up to expectations. At all. The movie is widely regarded as the worst live action entry into the saga, and rightly so, and fans have often said that the movie is best left forgotten in the deep recesses of history. Which is a touch harsh, but I understand where they’re coming from. But here’s the thing; despite the movie’s obvious flaws, I still feel like it gets the short end of the stick quite a bit.

Why? Well let me break out the bullet points…

  • Firstly, it was the first Star Wars movie in a generation, and as such it was the first time that many of us were able to sit in a chair and experience that title sequence – next time you see a Star Wars movie in the theatre and those titles start to roll with that music… you tell me that isn’t an incredible moment. Almost makes what came after those titles worth watching.
  •  Secondly, you can’t tell me you weren’t grinning from ear to ear with the extensive lightsaber duels. Everything is better with lightsabers.
  •  Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, there were people for whom this was the first Star Wars movie they’d experienced and as such it served, for those folks at least, as a gateway into the franchise.
  •  How many of you who did see, and loath, this movie in the cinema rushed out to see Episode II – Attack Of The Clones opening night because it couldn’t have been as band as this one, right? It wasn’t, was it? If nothing else, that the first movie was the worst in the new trilogy should be seen as a bright spot.
  • Dual lightsaber! Darth Maul’s dual blades were the first time we had seen a break from the standard style lightsaber from the original trilogy, which opened up a breadth of on-screen options for the iconic weapon going forward.
    darth maul.jpeg

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace was always doomed to fail. No movie with as much hype as this one will ever meet expectations. But eighteen years on, while the movie may not hold up visually any more with the advances in digital technology, and Jar Jar Binks is still an annoying fuckwit, I came to realize that the movie isn’t as bad as you would think. Aside from Jar Jar, and a little too much time spent on the pod racing subplot, the movie isn’t bad. Could it have been better? Absolutely – I won’t argue that. But it wasn’t as  bad as you’ve heard, certainly not as bad as its reputation would have you believe.



Next week we’ll return to a more comic themed Underrated. Until next time!

Preview: Star Wars Adventures Annual 2021

Star Wars Adventures Annual 2021

(W) Cavan Scott, Chip Zdarsky, Jason Loo (A/CA) Arianna Florean
In Shops: Nov 24, 2021
SRP: $7.99

Desperate to get into Jabba the Hutt’s good books, Han Solo and Chewbacca take the galactic gangster a very special present. Han thinks the adorable Hoojib will make a perfect addition to Jabba’s menagerie, but the cute critter hides a terrible secret. Cavan Scott (Star Wars: The High Republic) and Arianna Florean (Marvel Action) reintroduce a legendary alien species to Star Wars canon, 40 years after their first appearance!

THEN, follow a group of troublesome kids on Cloud City when they come across a rare coin worth a pretty credit. But when the coin turns out to belong to the one and only Lando Calrissian, the kids quickly find out they are in over their head. Chip Zdarsky (Daredevil) and Jason Loo (The Pitiful Human-Lizard) join forces to tell this Bespin-based story.

Star Wars Adventures Annual 2021

Preview: Star Wars Adventures #12

Star Wars Adventures #12

(W) Cavan Scott, Andrew Griffith (A) Manuel Bracchi, Andrew Griffith (CA) Francesco Francavilla
In Shops: Nov 24, 2021
SRP: $3.99

First, it’s a trap! Luke Skywalker and Rogue Squadron has been snared by the Empire. But who is the traitor and why is new recruit Ibti Myrak fighting with Admiral Ackbar on the deck of Home One? X-Wings and TIE fighters clash in “Squad Goals,” part two by Cavan Scott and Manuel Bracchi.

Then, from author and artist Andrew Griffith comes a new “Tales of Villainy.” Asajj Ventress must face off with Aayla Secura, who is dangerously close to uncovering the early stages of the Death Star Project.

Star Wars Adventures #12

A New Star Wars Deluxe Action Figure Launches at ShopDisney.com!

Since the first two offerings in the line, the question has repeatedly been asked: “When will Diamond Select Toys release more Star Wars figures at the Disney Store?” Diamond Select Toys and ShopDisney.com have announced the third figure in the line, a classic Stormtrooper!

This all-new 7-inch action figure of a Stormtrooper from the original Star Wars Trilogy features 17 points of articulation, and authentic movie details. It includes five interchangeable hands, three interchangeable weapons, and a detachable blast effect that works on each weapon. It also includes an in-scale MSE droid!

The deluxe Stormtrooper, accessories and droid come packaged in a full-color window box. Look for it today on shopdisney.com, as well as at Disney parks!

Preview: Star Wars Adventures #11

Star Wars Adventures #11

(W) Cavan Scott, Anne Toole (A) Manuel Bracchi, Nick Brokenshire (CA) Francesco Francavilla
In Shops: Oct 20, 2021
SRP: $3.99

Commanded by Luke Skywalker, Rogue Squadron tangles with the Empire in the Outer Rim, but the young Jedi has more than Imperial TIE fighters to deal with. New recruit Myra Chimor just won’t listen to orders. Can the hot-headed pilot learn how to fly as part of a team or will her need to go it alone lead to disaster? Cavan Scott joins Manuel Bracchi for the beginning of a two-part X-wing adventure, “SQUAD GOALS”!

Then, in “BUBO’S ADVENTURE,” by Anne Toole and Nick Brokenshire, Ree-Yees has lost Jabba the Hutt’s beloved pet, Buboicullaar! Explore every inch of the filthy Hutt barge with Ree-Yees as he races to find Bubo before Jabba can toss him off the ship!

Star Wars Adventures #11

Preview: Star Wars Adventures: Ghost of Vader’s Castle #5 (of 5)

Star Wars Adventures: Ghost of Vader’s Castle #5 (of 5)

(W) Cavan Scott (A/CA) Francesco Francavilla
In Shops: Oct 20, 2021
SRP: $3.99

Join Cavan Scott, Francesco Francavilla, and a host of classic Star Wars artists in the epic conclusion to the Vader’s Castle saga! Star Wars Adventures: Ghosts of Vader’s Castle is a horror-packed, star-studded, five-week event guaranteed to haunt your dreams.

In the final Vader’s Castle tale, Lina, Hudd, Skritt, and Jaxxon race to Mustafar to save Milo and Crater. Will the group be able to fight the ghosts that still haunt the castle, or will the galaxy forever be bound to suffer from the wrath of the GHOSTS OF VADER’S CASTLE?

Star Wars Adventures: Ghost of Vader’s Castle #5 (of 5)

Disney Delays its Marvel 2022 Movie Slate and More

Marvel Studios

Disney has announced that it is delaying its upcoming releases for some major films. The decision is related to “production” not concerns about COVID and box office returns according to reports. Multiple unknown films have also been removed from the schedule as a whole with one actually moving up its release date.

Below is the list of what’s delayed including the original and new dates.

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Disney) previously dated on 3/25/22 moves to 5/6/22
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (Disney) previously dated on 5/6/22 moves to 7/8/22
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Disney) previously dated on 7/8/22 moves to 11/11/22
  • “Untitled Indiana Jones” (Disney) previously dated on 7/29/22 moves to 6/30/23
  • “Untitled Disney Live Action” (Disney) previously dated on 7/14/23 is removed from schedule
  • The Marvels (Disney) previously dated on 11/11/22 moves to 2/17/23
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (Disney) previously dated on 2/17/23 moves to 7/28/23
  • “Untitled Marvel” (Disney) previously dated on 7/28/23 is removed from schedule
  • “Untitled Marvel” (Disney) previously dated on 10/6/23 is removed from schedule
  • Untitled 20th Century” (20th) previously dated on 10/20/23 is removed from schedule
  • “Untitled Marvel (Disney) previously dated on 11/10/23 moves to 11/3/23
Almost American
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