Disney con dishes on Toy Story 3, Pirates 4

It might not be Comic Con, but it’s getting close. I know I promised more TIFF coverage today, but I’ve lost my research, so that’s out. Anyway, Disney’s D23 convention made some big movie headlines Friday and over the weekend that I figured were worth scooping despite being a few days late. I’ve bulleted them here. Most everyone had this news covered, but I’m paraphrasing this all from Variety.

– A lot has come out about “Toy Story 3” these last few days. Here’s what we know. The premise is that Andy goes to college and his toys get donated to a daycare facility except for Woody, who Andy takes with him. Timothy Dalton will play a thespian hedgehog named Mr. Prickplepants, Michael Keaton will play a Ken doll and Bonnie Hunt, Jeff Garland and Whoopie Goldberg are among other new voices. At some point, we know Buzz malfunctions and speaks Spanish. That’s a good deal to be excited about for next June. 

– Yes, Johnny Depp was sailed on stage in costume to announce “Pirates of the Carribbean: On Stranger Tides” would be coming to dominate another July weekend in 2011. The details don’t go beyond that, so all the rumors over Pirates 4 are still in play. No director is attached and it appears unlikely Gore Verbinski will return. I’m a big fan of the Russell Brand as some member of the Sparrow family idea to be honest and after Brand worked with Disney on “Bedtime Stories,” it seems possible. Disney Chairman Dick Cook also announced Depp is to play Tonto in a “Lone Ranger” update. Apparently Depp has no limits as we suspected.

– The Muppets will be returning to the movies and yes, Jason Segel is involved. Let me say that again: yes, Jason Segel is involved. If you didn’t see “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” Segel cannot contain his Muppet love. I could care less about a Muppet movie, but Jason Segel’s script is partly behind this project and for them to dust off an old property with limited 3D potential to create what Cook says is called “The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made,” something good must be brewing here.

– Robert Zemeckis, the CGI-happy filmmaker, showed “A Christmas Carol” footage, but then announced his next project: a 3D adaptation of the Beatles’ animated film “Yellow Submarine.” That announcement met a lot of excitement after the Beatles big video game and album release date last week.

– Guillermo Del Toro, who was rumored to be working on a big project, came out to announce a partnership to create Disney’s Double Dare You, which will focus on scarier stuff (kids level scary I’m guessing), but anything Del Toro puts his creative mind into warrants attention.

– Tim Burton, who showed off some more of next spring’s “Alice in Wonderland,” will apparently have his Disney short film “Frankenweenie” (1984)  turned into a full-length feature. The short was about a boy who revives his dog the Frankenstein way but the dog goes crazy. It’s a childrens’ Frankenstein story I guess.


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