Lin Manuel Miranda to Score The Little Mermaid Remake With Alan Menken

Lin-Manuel Miranda continues his streak as Disney’s darling, first jumping on the House of Mouse’s ship to co-write the songs to 2016’s animated Polynesian-set adventure, Moana. He then was announced as the co-lead of Mary Poppins Returns, the new sequel with Emily Blunt to the musical classic that originally starred Julie Andrews.

Now, Miranda is signing on to score the live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid with one of his idols, and the original composer of the 1989 animated classic, Alan Menken.

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Mary Poppins Returns motion poster

Emily Blunt – she’s the new Mary Poppins, ya’ll. If anyone could capture that character’s sense of joy and kindness, it’s Blunt. Director Rob Marshall and Disney hired a remarkable actress to play a remarkable character. During D23, footage was screened for an audience of Disney fanatics and the crowd liked what they saw of the film, especially Blunt. Our editor-in-chief Peter Sciretta said the footage was “lovely, delightful, full of fun, wonder, and magic.”

Below, you can see Blunt as Poppins in the Marry Poppins Returns motion poster.

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aladdin remake

The other day, it was reported Disney and filmmaker Guy Ritchie were having trouble finding their stars for Aladdin following a worldwide search. The news was a bit of a surprise considering they met with over 2,000 actors, looking for unknowns of Middle Eastern or Indian descent to play Aladdin and Jasmine in the musical. Producer Dan Lin previously said “we’re not here to make Prince of Persia,” to put worries about whitewashing to rest – although we later heard a rumor both ridiculous but believable that Tom Hardy was looked at for the villianous role of Jafar.

At the D23 Expo, we learned that live-action adaptation of Aladdin has found the stars it was reportedly having so much difficulty casting.

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Coco Songs

Pixar Animation has another film hitting theaters this fall, and it’s unlike any movie they’ve made before. This time, the animation studio has assembled an all-Latino cast to bring to life the story of a young boy (Anthony Gonzales) who meets the deceased members of his family in The Land of the Dead after defying his living family’s ban against music in the Land of the Living.

At the D23 Expo, Pixar provided two Coco clips for the audience to watch and announced details on the music that will be a key part of the movie, featuring new songs from Frozen songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.

Check out our rundown of the news on the Coco songs and new footagebelow. Read More »

What Would Diplo Do Trailer

The first song many people still think of when they think of James Van Der Beek is Paula Cole’s “I Don’t Want to Wait,” which was the theme song of his WB teen TV series Dawson’s Creek. But the actor is looking to change that tune by playing a comedic version of producer/singer/songwriter Diplo (he’s one half of Jack Ü with Skrillex and a founder of Major Lazer) in a new Viceland series called What Would Diplo Do? This looks like it could be Van Der Beek’s version of the Lonely Island’s underrated comedy Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping – only as a TV show instead of a movie. Check out the first What Would Diplo Do trailer below.
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Baby Driver Sequel

This past weekend, Baby Driver exceeded the modest box office forecasts by pulling in $21 million for the regular three day weekend, and a total of $35 million since opening exactly one week ago today (not including whatever business it did on Independence Day yesterday). That already puts it over the $34 million budget, so this movie will certainly turn a profit for Sony, and that has them interested in a sequel, even if it seems Anthony Bourdain may not be.

Baby Driver writer and director Edgar Wright recently appeared on the Empire Spoiler Special Podcast where he revealed that the studio has already asked him to contemplate possibly writing a sequel, which would be a first for the filmmaker. The good news for fans of the music-infused car chase musical is that he might actually do it.

Find out more about the Baby Driver sequel below, but beware of spoilers. Read More »

Edgar Wright - Movies That Inspired Baby Driver

Leading up to the release of Baby Driver, director Edgar Wright was a guest programmer at the British Film Institute for a series of films under the banner Car Car Land. The filmmaker rounded up 10 of the movies that influenced Baby Driver in some way for cinephiles in London to enjoy. Since not everyone can attend those screenings and hear all the wonderful things he has to say about these movies, some of which he introduced himself, we wanted to hear from the man himself why he loves these movies and how they inspired his new film, which is being called a “dazzling car chase musical.”

A little over a week ago, we had an extensive phone call with Edgar Wright where he laid down his passion for these 10 movies and provided some fun facts. Since this is such an extensive conversation, we’ve split it up into two parts.

Below is part two of this feature, which covers the second five movies, and you’d do well to read the first part before you go any further.

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Movies That Inspired Baby Driver

Leading up to the release of Baby Driver, director Edgar Wright was a guest programmer at the British Film Institute for a series of films under the banner Car Car Land. The filmmaker rounded up 10 of the movies that influenced Baby Driver in some way for cinephiles in London to enjoy. Since not everyone can attend those screenings and hear all the wonderful things he has to say about these movies, some of which he introduced himself, we wanted to hear from the man himself why he loves these movies and how they inspired his new film, which is being called a “dazzling car chase musical.”

A little over a week ago, we had an extensive phone call with Edgar Wright where he laid down his passion for these 10 movies and provided some fun facts. Since this is such an extensive conversation, we’ve split it up into two parts. Below is the first part going through the first five movies, and we’ll be posting the second part tomorrow with the remaining five. Read More »

Baby Driver BTS - Jamie Foxx, Lanny Joon, Ansel Elgort, Edgar Wright

The junket scene was not built for Edgar Wright. How do you have a proper conversation with the director of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and The World’s End in just a few minutes? You can’t. He’s too much of a raconteur, has too much to say, and you only get a few questions before the publicist pops his head in and tells you that time is up.

I sat down to talk to Wright about Baby Driver, but I ended up mostly listening to Wright talk about Baby Driver. But that’s okay! It may even be the best case scenario. Our almost entirely one-sided conversation was full of great information about how he made his spectacular, music-driven car chase movie, the film’s earliest origins, and his favorite cinematic “needle drops.”

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VOTD: How ‘Moana’ Should Have Ended

How Moana Should Have Ended

Last year’s adventure musical Moana from Walt Disney Animation was one of my favorite movies of the year, and it was beloved by many critics and viewers alike, largely thanks to the film’s memorable characters, infectious soundtrack and stunning animation. But did our title character really need to go on a journey across the ocean to replace the Heart of Te Fiti in order to break the curse that beginning to devastate her island home?

Watch How Moana Should Have Ended below. Read More »