Disney+ Launches ‘The Book of Boba Fett’ With New Character-Study Featurette

Disney+ Dec. 29 debuted a new featurette for “The Book of Boba Fett,” the streamer’s much-ballyhooed “Star Wars” spinoff series that launches the same day.

In the new featurette, “Being Boba Fett,” filmmakers Dave Filoni and Robert Rodriguez, along with star Temuera Morrison, take a look at the Boba Fett character and what Morrison brings to the role of the mysterious bounty hunter.

“The Book of Boba Fett,” from Lucasfilm, concludes its seven-episode run in February. The series follows bounty hunter Boba Fett and mercenary Fennec Shand as they navigate the galaxy’s underworld when they return to the sands of Tatooine to stake their claim on the territory once ruled by Jabba the Hutt and his crime syndicate.

“The Book of Boba Fett” stars Morrison and Ming-Na Wen. Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Robert Rodriguez, Kathleen Kennedy and Colin Wilson are the executive producers. Karen Gilchrist and Carrie Beck serve as co-executive producers, with John Bartnicki producing and John Hampian as co-producer.

‘Return of the Jedi’ Tops 2021 National Film Registry List

The Library of Congress Dec. 14 announced that the 25 films joining the National Film Registry in 2021 would include the “Star Wars” sequel Return of the Jedi, as well as films such as Wall-E, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Strangers on a Train, Selena and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

Under the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Librarian of Congress names to the National Film Registry 25 motion pictures that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. The films must be at least 10 years old. The Librarian makes the selections after conferring with members of the National Film Preservation Board and a cadre of Library specialists. Also considered were more than 6,100 titles nominated by the public.

Return of the Jedi from 1983 was selected after receiving the most votes from the public. Its inclusion completes the placement of the original “Star Wars” trilogy onto the National Film Registry, making it the first franchise with at least three films on the list. The original 1977 film was included in the inaugural list in 1989, while 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back was included in 2010.

“Little did I know when I started writing a tale about good, evil, friendship and the Force, it would become a lifelong journey of creativity, imagination and innovation for so many,” said “Star Wars” creator George Lucas. “A great honor of learning ‘Return of the Jedi’ has been included in the National Film Registry is knowing the original trilogy of the Star Wars Saga will be preserved in full as nominated by the public, safeguarded as part of our shared American Cinema heritage by our nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, the Library of Congress, and the National Film Preservation Board.”

The kickoff to another trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring from 2001, based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien, also earned strong public support.

Also making the list were a pair of animated projects from Disney — the 1932 short film Flowers and Trees, which was the first three-strip Technicolor film shown to the public, and Pixar Animation Studios 2008 CG-animated sci-fi film Wall-E.

Wes Craven’s 1984 film A Nightmare on Elm Street is considered a horror classic, introducing the character of Freddy Krueger, the spirit of a serial killer who haunts children in their dreams.

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Director Alfred Hitchcock’s 1951 classic Strangers on a Train tells of two men who hatch a plan to “swap” murders, each killing someone the other knows and, thereby, giving the other an air-tight alibi. Strangers on a Train is the ninth Hitchcock film added to the Registry, following 1940’s Rebecca, 1943’s Shadow of a Doubt, 1946’s Notorious, 1954’s Rear Window, 1958’s Vertigo, 1959’s North by Northwest, 1960’s Psycho and 1963’s The Birds.

The biopic Selena, from 1997, features a breakthrough performance by Jennifer Lopez as Tejana star Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, who was shot to death in 1995 at age 23 by the head of her fan club. The film also stars Edward James Olmos as Selena’s father, Abraham.

“It will stand the test of time,” Olmos told the Library. “[It’s] a masterpiece because it allows people to learn about themselves by watching other peoples’ culture.”

Another entry on the 2021 list is Robert Altman’s 1973 detective caper The Long Goodbye, starring Elliott Gould as Raymond Chandler’s iconic depression-era detective Philip Marlowe transplanted into a contemporary Hollywood-infused setting where his moral compass seems anachronistic. Kino Lorber released a new Blu-ray Disc edition of the film Dec. 7.

Other films selected for the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 2021 include:

  • Ringling Brothers Parade Film (1902)
  • Jubilo (1919)
  • The Flying Ace (1926)
  • Hellbound Train (1930)
  • What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
  • Evergreen (1965)
  • Requiem-29 (1970)
  • The Murder of Fred Hampton (1971)
  • Pink Flamingos (1972)
  • Sounder (1972)
  • Cooley High (1975)
  • Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979)
  • Chicana (1979)
  • The Wobblies (1979)
  • Stop Making Sense (1984)
  • Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1987)
  • The Watermelon Woman (1996)

 

The selections bring the number of films in the registry to 825, representing a portion of the 1.7 million films in the Library’s collections.

“Films help reflect our cultural history and creativity — and show us new ways of looking at ourselves — though movies haven’t always been deemed worthy of preservation,” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in a statement. “The Library of Congress will work with our partners in the film community to ensure these films are preserved for generations to come.”

In addition to advising the Librarian of Congress on the annual selection of titles to the National Film Registry, the National Film Preservation Board provides counsel on national preservation planning policy. Many titles named to the registry have already been preserved by the copyright holders, filmmakers or other archives. In cases where a selected title has not already been preserved, the Library of Congress National Audio-Visual Conservation Center works to ensure that the film will be preserved by some entity and available for future generations, either through the Library’s motion picture preservation program or through collaborative ventures with other archives, motion picture studios and independent filmmakers. The center is located at the Library’s Packard Campus in Culpeper, Va.

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Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will host a television special Friday, Dec. 17, starting at 8 p.m. ET to screen a selection of motion pictures named to the registry this year. Hayden will join TCM host and film historian Jacqueline Stewart, who is chair of the National Film Preservation Board, to discuss the films. Also, select titles from 30 years of the National Film Registry are freely available online in the National Screening Room.

More information about the National Film Registry can be found at loc.gov/film. Nominations for next year will be accepted through Aug. 15, 2022, at loc.gov/programs/national-film-preservation-board/film-registry/nominate/.

 

Netflix’s ‘The Witcher’ Top Returning Show, Disney+’s ‘Book of Boba Fett’ Top New Show Anticipated in December

Netflix’s “The Witcher” was the most anticipated returning show, Disney+’s “The Book of Boba Fett” was the top anticipated new show, and Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home was the top anticipated movie on the Whip Media chart for December.

Netflix took all five spots on the returning shows chart, and none of the spots on the new shows chart.

Netflix’s “The Witcher,” which begins streaming its second season Dec. 17, is a fantasy drama based on the book series. It stars Henry Cavill as the witcher Geralt, a mutated monster hunter.

“The Book of Boba Fett” debuts Dec. 29. It follows the exploits of bounty hunter Boba Fett in the “Star Wars” universe.

Spider-Man: No Way Home, only in theaters starting Dec. 15, is the third film starring Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, and also stars Zendaya. With Spider-Man’s identity revealed, Peter asks for help from Doctor Strange.

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TV Time, owned by Whip Media, is a free TV viewership tracking app that tracks consumers’ viewing habits worldwide and is visited by more than 1 million consumers every day, according to the company. TV Time’s “Anticipation Report” is based on data from those users.

Most Anticipated New Shows for December:

  1. “The Book of Boba Fett” (Disney+) — Dec. 29
  2. “1883” (Paramount+) — Dec. 19
  3. “And Just Like That…” (HBO Max) — Dec. 9
  4. “Station Eleven” (HBO Max) — Dec. 16
  5. “Abbott Elementary” (ABC) — Dec. 7

 

Most Anticipated Returning Shows for December:

  1. “The Witcher” (Netflix) — Dec. 17
  2. “Emily in Paris” (Netflix) — Dec. 22
  3. “Cobra Kai” (Netflix) — Dec. 31
  4. “Crime Scene” (2021) (Netflix) — Dec. 29
  5. “Lost in Space” (2018) (Netflix) — Dec. 1

 

Most Anticipated Movies for December:

  1. Spider-Man: No Way Home — Dec. 15
  2. The Matrix Resurrections — Dec. 22
  3. The King’s Man — Dec. 22
  4. Don’t Look Up — Dec. 24
  5. Sing 2 — Dec. 22
  6. West Side Story — Dec. 10
  7. Nightmare Alley — Dec. 17
  8. The Power of the Dog — Dec. 1
  9. The Unforgivable — Dec. 10
  10. Jujutsu Kaisen O — Dec. 24

Key Art and Trailer Debut for Disney+’s ‘Book of Boba Fett’ Streaming Dec. 29

Disney+ has unveiled the trailer and new key art for “The Book of Boba Fett,” a new series from Lucasfilm launching exclusively on the streaming service Dec. 29.

“The Book of Boba Fett,” a “Star Wars” adventure teased in an end-credit sequence following the season two finale of “The Mandalorian,” finds legendary bounty hunter Boba Fett and mercenary Fennec Shand navigating the galaxy’s underworld when they return to the sands of Tatooine to stake their claim on the territory once ruled by Jabba the Hutt and his crime syndicate.

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“The Book of Boba Fett” stars Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen. Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Robert Rodriguez, Kathleen Kennedy and Colin Wilson are the executive producers. Karen Gilchrist and Carrie Beck serve as co-executive producers, with John Bartnicki producing and John Hampian as co-producer.

Disney+ to Debut ‘Book of Boba Fett’ Dec. 29

“The Book of Boba Fett” — the new Lucasfilm series teased in an end-credit sequence following the season two finale of “The Mandalorian” — will premiere Dec. 29 exclusively on Disney+.

Disney+ also debuted the key art for the series.

The “Star Wars” adventure “The Book of Boba Fett” finds legendary bounty hunter Boba Fett and mercenary Fennec Shand navigating the Galaxy’s underworld when they return to the sands of Tatooine to stake their claim on the territory once ruled by Jabba the Hutt and his crime syndicate.

“The Book of Boba Fett” stars Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen. Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Robert Rodriguez, Kathleen Kennedy and Colin Wilson are the executive producers. Karen Gilchrist and Carrie Beck serve as co-executive producers, with John Bartnicki producing and John Hampian as co-producer.

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‘Lego Star Wars’ Halloween Special Premiering on Disney+ Oct. 1

The new animated special Lego Star Wars: Terrifying Tales will premiere Oct. 1 on the Disney+ streaming service as part of its Hallowstream celebration.

After the events of Rise of Skywalker, Poe and BB-8 must make an emergency landing on the volcanic planet Mustafar, where they meet the greedy and conniving Graballa the Hutt, who has purchased Darth Vader’s castle and is renovating it into the galaxy’s first all-inclusive Sith-inspired luxury hotel. While waiting for his X-Wing to be repaired, Poe, BB-8, Graballa and Dean (a plucky and courageous young boy who works as Graballa’s mechanic) venture deep into the mysterious castle with Vader’s loyal servant, Vaneé. Along the way, Vaneé shares three creepy stories linked to ancient artifacts and iconic villains from across all eras of “Star Wars.”

The voice cast includes Jake Green as Poe Dameron, Raphael Alejandro as Dean, Dana Snyder as Graballa the Hutt, Tony Hale as Vaneé, Christian Slater as Ren, Trevor Devall as Emperor Palpatine, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn as NI-L8, and Matt Sloan as Darth Vader.

 

Disney+ Reveals Details for ‘Star Wars: Visions’ Anime Series to Debut Sept. 22

At Anime Expo Lite July 3, Disney+ announced seven Japanese anime studios working on “Star Wars: Visions” — a collection of animated short films from Lucasfilm that will stream exclusively on Disney+ Sept. 22.

They are Kamikaze Douga, Geno Studio (Twin Engine), Studio Colorido (Twin Engine), Trigger, Kinema Citrus, Science Saru, and Production IG.

Lucasfilm’s Jacqui Lopez (executive producer), James Waugh (executive producer), Josh Rimes (executive producer), and Qubic Pictures’ Justin Leach (co-executive producer) and Kanako Shirasaki (producer) were on hand to reveal each studio and give fans a special look at the environment and concept art as they debuted the title and first details of each short.

The shorts are The Duel (Kamikaze Douga), Lop and Ochō (Geno Studio, Twin Engine), Tatooine Rhapsody (Studio Colorido, Twin Engine), The Twins (Trigger), The Elder (Trigger),  The Village Bride (Kinema Citrus), Akakiri (Science Saru),  T0-B1 (Science Saru) and The Ninth Jedi (Production IG).

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“As a first formal venture into anime, each ‘Star Wars: Visions’ short bears a unique Japanese sensibility, which in many ways aligns with the tone and spirit of Star Wars storytelling,” according to Disney+. “From the beginning, stories told in the Star Wars galaxy have counted Japanese mythology and the films of Akira Kurosawa among their many influences, and these new visions will further explore that cultural heritage through the unique animation style and perspective of each anime studio.”

‘Stranger Things’ Keeps No. 1 Spot on Parrot’s Digital Originals Chart for Fourth Week

Netflix’s perennially popular “Stranger Things” remained in the No. 1 spot on Parrot Analytics’ digital originals U.S. chart the week ended May 22. It had 43.5 times the demand of an average series after a 7.5% drop in demand expressions, the proprietary metric Parrot uses to gauge a show’s popularity. It was No. 6 on Parrot’s list of all TV shows after a trailer for the fourth season was released.

It’s the fourth week in a row the 1980s-set supernatural drama has claimed the top spot on a digital originals that it many ways seems stuck on autopilot, as the top five shows repeated in the same spots from the previous week.

The Disney+ live-action “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian” remained No. 2, garnering 36.4 times the demand of the average show after a 0.4% drop in demand expressions. It was No. 9 on the list of overall TV shows.

Another Disney+ “Star Wars” series, the animated “The Clone Wars,” had a 0.7% drop in demand expressions but remained No. 3 with 35.9 times average demand. It was No. 10 on the list of overall TV shows. Strangely, while “Clone Wars” is no longer presenting new episodes, a spinoff series called “The Bad Batch” is in the midst of its first season but apparently has yet to make a dent in Parrot’s metric measurements since it bowed May 4, though that hasn’t stopped Parrot from crediting the spinoff for keeping up fan interest in “Clone Wars.”

Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” stayed No. 4, registering 32.4 times average demand after a 1.2% drop in demand expressions.

The Disney+ original Marvel Cinematic Universe series “WandaVision” remained No. 5, registering a 0.2% rise in demand expressions, giving it 31.8 times average demand.

Another Disney+ MCU series, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” dropped a spot to No. 7 with a 3.7% dip in demand expressions, giving it 30 times the demand of an average series.

Two of Netflix’s animated originals joined the top 10, with “Castlevania,” based on the video game of the same name, rising six spots to No. 6, earning 30.3 times average demand after a 46.4% growth in demand expressions. The anthology “Love, Death, and Robots” reached No. 10, up from No. 28 the previous week, growing 70.2% in demand expressions to reach 25.3 times average demand.

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A “digital original” is Parrot’s term for a multi-episode series in which the most recent season was first made available on a streaming platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or Disney+.

The No. 1 overall TV series in terms of online demand was “SpongeBob SquarePants,” with 63.4 times average demand.

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Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures demand for TV content in a given market through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites. Results are expressed as a comparison with the average demand for a TV show of any kind in the market.

Disney+ Presenting ‘Simpsons’ Short Based on ‘Star Wars’ May 4

Streaming service Disney+ on May 4 — Star Wars Day — will release the new original “Star Wars” spinoff series “Star Wars: The Bad Batch” alongside a first-of-its-kind short from “The Simpsons” and multiple themed cinematic experiences in celebration of a galaxy far, far away.

Disney+ will debut “Maggie Simpson in The Force Awakens From Its Nap,” a new Star Wars-inspired short, bringing characters from the Star Wars galaxy to the fictional town of Springfield. The new promotional short is the first of several from “The Simpsons” that Disney+ will release throughout the year paying tribute to the service’s marquee brands and titles.

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Additionally, Lucasfilm and Disney+ have commissioned original artwork to take over the service for several days — a first for the platform. A global group of artists and Star Wars fans have created illustrations representing an assortment of Star Wars movies and original series, bringing them to life in their own unique styles. The artwork will be featured on the service until May 9 and will also be available for purchase through Amazon.

“The Bad Batch” follows the elite and experimental clones of the Bad Batch (first introduced in “The Clone Wars”) as they find their way in a rapidly changing galaxy in the immediate aftermath of the Clone War. Members of Bad Batch — a unique squad of clones who vary genetically from their brothers in the Clone Army — each possess a singular exceptional skill which makes them extraordinarily effective soldiers and a formidable crew. In the post-Clone War era, they will take on daring mercenary missions as they struggle to stay afloat and find new purpose.

The new “Simpsons” short finds baby Maggie on an epic quest for her stolen pacifier. Her adventure brings her face-to-face with young Padawans, Sith Lords, familiar droids, Rebel scum, and an ultimate battle against the dark side.

Star Wars Biomes” offers a virtual vacation to some of the “Star Wars” films’ most iconic and beloved locations such as Hoth, Tatooine, and Sorgan.

“Star Wars Vehicle Flythroughs” gives a look at two of the “Star Wars” films’ most iconic and beloved ships, examining the memorable interiors and exteriors of the Millennium Falcon and a First Order Star Destroyer.

Blu-ray Collection Focused on Making of Creature Features Due July 13

Music Box Films specialty label Doppelganger Releasing July 13 presents The Monster Collection, a three-disc Blu-ray set containing the feature-length documentaries Phil Tippett: Mad Dreams and Monsters and The Frankenstein Complex.

Both films are directed by Alexandre Poncet and Gilles Penso.

Released in 2019, Phil Tippett: Mad Dreams and Monsters examines the life and career of Phil Tippett, the Oscar and Emmy Award-winning visual effects genius whose work in creature design, stop-motion and computerized character animation has been seen in such classics as the original “Star Wars” trilogy, the “Jurassic Park” and “Twilight” franchises, and the effects powerhouses RoboCop, Dragonheart and Starship Troopers.

The Frankenstein Complex, from 2015, offers an appreciation of the greatest movie monsters in film history and the talented effects artists who have been bringing them to life for the past century. The film goes behind the scenes of such classics as King Kong, Avatar, The Lord of the Rings, An American Werewolf in London, Alien and more to talk to the filmmakers responsible, including Rick Baker, Greg Nicotero, Chris Wallas, Guillermo del Toro, Paul Verhoeven, Joe Dante, John Landis, Kevin Smith and others.

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The Blu-ray set also includes 12 hours of bonus materials, including:

  • Feature Commentary with Phil Tippett and directors Alexandre Poncet and Gilles Penso;
  • “Meeting the Monsters” making-of documentary;
  • Prehistoric Beast (1985), a short film by Phil Tippett with audio commentary;
  • Mutant Land (2010), a short film by Phil Tippett with audio commentary;
  • Phil Tippett Museum: A Virtual Gallery of Tippett Creations;
  • “Joy of Working With Phil,” an interview with Paul Verhoeven;
  • “Phil Will Fix This!,” an interview with Joe Johnston;
  • “Animating With Phil,” an interview with Tom St. Amand;
  • “Phil’s Vision,” an interview with Chris Walas;
  • “Friendship, Robots, and Dinosaurs,” an interview with Dennis Muren;
  • “From Stop-Motion to Computer,” an interview with Craig Hayes;
  • Memories and Archives with Phil Tippett;
  • Dinosaur Supervisor (Jurassic Park) with Phil Tippett;
  • Starship Troopers 2 with Phil Tippet and Jon Davison;
  • “Dinosaur!” with Paul Verhoeven and Jon Davison;
  • Mutant Fish (Piranha) with Joe Dante (1978);
  • “Modern Craftsmanship” with Alec Gillis-Robot Design with Craig Hayes;
  • “The Birth of a Poster” with Paul Wee;
  • “Musical Storytelling” with Alexandre Poncet;
  • Mad Dreams and Monsters Isolated Musical Score;
  • “The Frankenstein Odyssey” making-of documentary;
  • “Digital Craftmanship” post-production featurette;
  • The Frankenstein Complex Musical Score;
  • Master Class with Guillermo Del Toro;
  • An Extended Conversation with John Landis and Joe Dante;
  • An Extended Conversation with Mick Garris;
  • An Extended Conversation with Steve Johnson and John Vulich;
  • Q&A with Joe Dante, Alexandre Poncet and Gilles Penso;
  • Inside the Lair of Rick Baker;
  • Inside the Lair of Tom Woodruff and Alec Gillis;
  • “Paper Monsters: The Art of Charles Chiodo”;
  • “Living With Monsters: The Art of Kevin Yagh”;
  • “Sympathy for the Devil,” an interview with Bernard Rose;
  • “The Gremlins Pool,” an interview with Sacha Feiner;
  • “From Latex to Pixels: The Art of Gino Acevedo”;
  • “The Beauty and the Beasts: The Art of Ve Neill”;
  • Deleted and alternate scenes;
  • Photo galleries;
  • Theatrical trailers;

 

In addition, Phil Tippett: Mad Dreams and Monsters and The Frankenstein Complex will be released individually on VOD starting July 13.