"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
Surprising no one, CEO Bob Iger revealed Tuesday that Disney has plans for “a far greater Star Wars presence” at its theme parks.
According to Entertainment Weekly, he promised that the sci-fi franchise would become one of Disney’s answer to Universal Studios’ Harry Potter attractions. Details are expected sometime next year.
Bloomberg Businessweek‘s profile of Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, timed to coincide with the release this week of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, naturally focuses on the film division, but it also drops some fascinating nuggets about the company’s corporate culture and the 2009 purchase by Disney.
• “In March, Feige gave me a tour of Marvel Studios at Disney headquarters in Burbank, Calif.,” writes Devin Leonard. “The offices are furnished like a college dormitory, with threadbare couches. The hallways are decorated with cardboard superheroes hawking Pizza Hut and Burger King. There’s barely enough room in Feige’s office for a replica of Thor’s hammer.” While that description may come as a surprise to some, Marvel CEO Isaac Perlmutter has a well-established reputation as a penny-pincher, reusing paper, limiting the number of coffee pots and even fishing paperclips out of trashcans.
Fans who have been hoping to see Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk in a Disney theme park ever since the entertainment giant purchased Marvel in 2009 will finally get their wish — in Hong Kong.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Hong Kong Financial Secretary John Tsang announced the seven-year-old Hong Kong Disneyland will add a Marvel superheroes area as part of its expansion program. Jointly owned by the government and Disney, the resort now has six themed areas: Main Street, U.S.A., Fantasyland, Adventureland, Tomorrowland, Grizzly Gulch and Toy Story Land.
Theme parks | Disney CEO Bob Iger said the company has begun preliminary design work that will pave the way for Marvel superheroes to one day appear alongside familiar characters in Disney theme parks. Iger told shareholders attending the annual meeting Tuesday that the company has been working on some concepts, but hasn’t announced anything yet. Disney is currently developing attractions based on James Cameron’s Avatar film for its Animal Kingdom park in Orlando, Florida, which are expected to be ready in 2015. [Los Angeles Times]
Comic strips | Alan Gardner counts 57 newspapers that aren’t carrying this week’s Doonesbury comics, which address a Texas law requiring women requesting an abortion to submit to a transvaginal ultrasound. But according to Universal UClick, no papers have dropped Garry Trudeau’s strip. [The Daily Cartoonist]
Publishing | John Jackson Miller discusses the Rule of Eight, which holds that independent publishers start to falter once they put out more than eight titles per month, and goes into the nuances of the theory with its originator of the idea, Marc Patten. [The Comichron]
Mouse in the House! Robert Iger, President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, stopped by Marvel’s Manhattan offices this morning for a company-wide meeting to discuss Disney’s acquisition of the comics, film, and licensing giant. And while on-the-record comments from employees were difficult to come by, a multitude of Twitter posts indicate that the meeting went over like gangbusters.
The most retweeted comment of the day came via Talent Liaison C.B. Cebulski, who quoted Iger as saying, “The essence of Marvel, that lives mainly in its comic books, will remain as is.” Marketing Manager and New Avengers: The Reunion writer Jim McCann similarly reported that, “we were all assured the Marvel we all love will remain that same Marvel.”
While that initial meeting between corporate titan and new acquisition is rarely a time for talking turkey about the future of the relationship — on either side — it’s at least a time for making first impressions. This particular first impression seems positive.