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WIRE Buzz: Disney's Soul & Raya delayed, Boom Studios signs Netflix deal, more
Ten days after Disney and Marvel shifted the massive blockbuster films they’ve got scheduled for the next year in order to make up for the film-free summer that has befallen fans thanks to the coronavirus, Disney’s animation side has started a similar rollback. While the superheroes were a seismic shift, there was still hope that some of Disney’s animated fare (less set-intensive and perhaps viable under social-distancing guidelines) would stay the course. Sadly, that’s not the case.
The upcoming Disney/Pixar film Soul and Disney Animation’s Raya and the Last Dragon have both been bumped by at least a few months — after the former had already pushed out its first full trailer. Now the story of a jazz musician visiting the afterlife will need to wait.
Take a look:
So Soul is now scheduled around Raya’s old date of Nov. 25, while Raya moves a while down the road to March 12 of next year.
The latter is exactly a month after The Eternals’ new date, and about a month before the Bob’s Burgers movie. According to a release, Raya is bumping an untitled live-action Disney film, which was previously set for the March date, from the schedule entirely.
Next, Netflix has nabbed the rights to another comic publisher’s TV adaptations. After the streamer snapped up Millarworld and Dark Horse deals to bolster its roster of original content, it looks like Boom Studios (the comic house behind the Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance prequel comic and many, many more) is the latest to fall in line.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the comic studio and streamer have signed a first-look deal seeing the former “produce live-action and animated series” based on its comics. Boom Studios founder/CEO Ross Richie and development president Stephen Christy will oversee the effort. Boom already has such a deal with regards to feature films with Disney’s 20th Century Fox. Now Netflix’s library of comic IP is massive — one of the largest around, aside from juggernauts Marvel and DC.
Netflix is expectedly jazzed to have access to this new wealth of content to adapt. "Boom characters are innately special," said Brian Wright, VP originals at Netflix, per THR. "They’re colorful, diverse and varied and their stories have the power to ignite something in all of us.”
Finally, Lionsgate joins the trend of studios offering up their greatest hits as free streaming fuel for content-hungry audiences. Paramount recently scheduled a series of Sunday-night movies on CBS, but Lionsgate is offering four films to stream for free on upcoming Fridays.
According to a release, the effort — titled Lionsgate Live! A Night at the Movies — will bring The Hunger Games, Dirty Dancing, La La Land, and John Wick to YouTube for free over the next four weeks. And the best part (aside from free movies)? Jamie Lee Curtis is hosting. There will be trivia, special guests, and much more during the screenings.
Lionsgate is also donating — and encouraging those tuning in to donate — to The Will Rogers Foundation, which is helping furloughed theater employees make it through the pandemic. Things kick off with The Hunger Games on April 17, with each consecutive Friday after showing the next film in the programming series.
The films start streaming at 9 p.m. ET.