Want to make family movies and have $625 million laying around? Then you can partner with former Disney executive Dick Cook and create your own studio. The former head of Disney, who was replaced in 2009 by Rich Ross, is reportedly “soliciting investors, including private-equity firms, hedge funds and wealthy individuals” to get money to start a new company which would, like Disney, focus on the lucrative family film business. Is this the first news is what will soon be the next major film studio? We’ll have to wait and see. Thanks to Bloomberg (via The Wrap) for the news.

Most geeks know the number 42 as Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything in Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. And if that’s the case, Jackie Robinson is the Ultimate Question. Robinson was the first African American Major League Baseball player and is the only player to have his number, 42, universally retired throughout Major League Baseball (at least it will be when Mariano Rivera stops saving games for the Yankees) as well as his own day celebrated throughout the sport. He is one of the most important sports figures in history and his struggle and triumph is ripe for dramatization.

Legendary Pictures, hot off another rousing financial success with The Hangover Part II, has announced that they’re working with the family of the sports and civil rights icon on an official biopic based on Robinson’s life that will be written and directed by Brian Helgeland. And while we’ve previously reported that Helgeland would be making a Robinson film with Robert Redford, this seems to be a different take. Read More »


jennifer's body posterIn this week’s /Filmcast, Dave Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley discuss the sad state of Disney’s live action brand, assess Tomas Alfredson’s proclivities for gender-bending storylines, offer up some unabashed praise for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and report back on the first week of the fall TV season. Special guest Adam Kempenaar joins us from the Filmspotting podcast.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next Monday at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST at Slashfilm’s live page as we review Surrogates.

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johnny depp pirates of the caribbean

As you’ve probably heard by now, Dick Cook has been fired OR stepped down as Disney Chairman after working for the company for 38 years. The effects of this shocking move will be felt in the weeks to come, but we’re starting to hear of some of the possible aftershocks.

For example, one of the reasons DreamWorks signed with Disney was because of Steven Speilberg‘s relationship with Cook. “Steven worships Dick,” an insider told Nikki Finke,and now that he is no longer part of the company, Spielberg is “devastated.”

But the more immediate aftershock is the now uncertain future of the Pirates of the Caribbean series.

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After three days of no significant news, it’s crazy that the week’s biggest event went down literally at five PM Pacific on a Friday night. Dick Cook, the popular chairman of Disney who’s been working for the mouse house for the past 38 years (chairman for the last seven years), was fired tonight by CEO Robert Iger. Or did he leave? And, much more importantly, who will replace him? Read More »