Disney Film Head, Alan Horn, sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to talk about the Fox Merger, Pixar post-Lasseter and Star Wars.
When asked about the Fox Merger, he praised CEO, Bob Iger by saying, “Bob has managed to top even himself. To take over a major motion picture studio with a storied history and a hundred years of history is a very bold move,” He then began to explain how they’re going to implement such a big company under the Disney umbrella and have it run smoothly. “We’re not even allowed to provide what Alan Braverman, our general counsel, refers to as “actionable direction” [until the acquisition is finalized]. We’re being very, very careful.”
When the deal finalizes, staff and chairman will be implemented into the Disney company. Horn explains how they’ll manage the mature-rating properties they’ll be obtaining. “The audience for a Disney movie may not know what they are going to see, but they know what they aren’t going to see. There are certain things we just can’t include because we’ll get letters.”
Horn moves on to talk about their newest streaming service, Disney + and how they’ll implement their film catalog, “The quality of the idea and the piece itself will drive whether we can make it or not. Sean may have three or four a year that he can contribute, and Marvel has a few things,” He then confirms the new series about young Loki, “we’re doing [a series] with Tom Hiddleston playing the Loki character.”
Disney•Pixar has been a hot topic over the last year, with John Lasseter leaving due to misconduct. “I’m incredibly proud of the way our animation studios have handled the transition, and that is due to the passionate, dedicated people who call these studios home and the leadership of Pete Docter and Jim Morris at Pixar and Jennifer Lee and Andrew Millstein at Disney Animation. We have a deep bench.” Horn seems very optimistic for the future of their animation studios and they seem to be happy with their new choices.
Star Wars: Episode IX has had very little presence since it began production; nothing has really been confirmed. Horn just got back from a set visit in London and shows his praise for the film. “I watched a couple of scenes being shot and then we all had dinner. I have not seen a cut of it yet, but I watch dailies every weekend and send J.J. and Kathy a note every weekend. It’s a big deal, and it’s going to be terrific.” When asked if there will be anything after the last film of the new trilogy, “It’s all in discussion.”
To wrap things up, he gives us some insight in to a possible Mary Poppins Returns sequel, “We have nothing in the works.” He then moves on to The Lion King, which is set to release this year. “Bring a handkerchief. It’s so emotional. But it’s a remake of an animated film, so there must be some percentage of the audience who will say, “Well, I saw the first picture.” All I can say for sure is you cannot tell these animals aren’t real.”
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