The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Debuts New Collection of Interactive Ollivanders Wands Available Exclusively At Universal Parks

A brand-new collection of authentic, interactive Ollivanders wands has arrived at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal theme parks around the globe, bringing 12 all-new wands  – plus an additional one that is exclusive to each destination – to Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Japan and Universal Beijing Resort. 

Each original wand within the new assortment pairs a wood type with one of the three powerful cores preferred by master wandmaker Garrick Ollivander from the Harry Potter film series – unicorn hair, dragon heartstring and phoenix feather – and comes with a first-ever “wand lore” insert that details the distinct properties of that specific wand and the attributes of its ideal owner. Guests can also use the new wands to cast spells and reveal magical surprises with the right incantation and a gentle flick of the wrist at select locations within the spectacularly themed lands.

The new collection also brings a unique wand to each Universal park that is exclusive to that destination and not available anywhere else, including:

– a larch and phoenix feather wand at Universal Orlando Resort

– a walnut and dragon heartstring wand at Universal Studios Hollywood

– a cherry and unicorn hair wand at Universal Studios Japan

– a red oak and unicorn hair wand at Universal Beijing Resort

The lineup of new interactive Ollivanders wands is available now at Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Japan and Universal Beijing Resort, and joins each park’s current selection of wands inspired by beloved characters from the Harry Potter series. For more information about Universal Parks & Resorts, visit www.universalparks.com.

Bong Joon Ho’s “Mickey 17,” Starring Robert Pattinson, Will Arrive in Theaters March 29, 2024

Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that the next feature film from Oscar-winning writer/director/producer Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite,” “Snowpiercer”) will release in theaters on March 29, 2024. The film, “Mickey 17,” is currently in production and is directed, produced and scripted by the filmmaker; it is based on the novel entitled Mickey 7 by Edward Ashton.

Here is the synopsis from the novel:

Dying isn’t any fun…but at least it’s a living.

“Mickey7 is an Expendable: a disposable employee on a human expedition sent to colonize the ice world Niflheim. Whenever there’s a mission that’s too dangerous—even suicidal—the crew turns to Mickey. After one iteration dies, a new body is regenerated with most of his memories intact. After six deaths, Mickey7 understands the terms of his deal…and why it was the only colonial position unfilled when he took it.

On a fairly routine scouting mission, Mickey7 goes missing and is presumed dead. By the time he returns to the colony base, surprisingly helped back by native life, Mickey7’s fate has been sealed. There’s a new clone, Mickey8, reporting for Expendable duties. The idea of duplicate Expendables is universally loathed, and if caught, they will likely be thrown into the recycler for protein.

Mickey7 must keep his double a secret from the rest of the colony. Meanwhile, life on Niflheim is getting worse. The atmosphere is unsuitable for humans, food is in short supply, and terraforming is going poorly. The native species are growing curious about their new neighbors, and that curiosity has Commander Marshall very afraid. Ultimately, the survival of both lifeforms will come down to Mickey7. 

That is, if he can just keep from dying for good.”

Pattinson (“The Batman”) stars in the title role, alongside Oscar nominee Steven Yeun (“Minari,” “The Walking Dead”), Naomi Ackie (“I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” “Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker”), with Oscar nominee Toni Collette (“Hereditary,” “The Sixth Sense”), and Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo (the “Avengers” films, “Spotlight”).

Watch The Champions Trailer

Woody Harrelson stars in the hilarious and heartwarming story of a former minor-league basketball coach who, after a series of missteps, is ordered by the court to manage a team of players with intellectual disabilities. He soon realizes that despite his doubts, together, this team can go further than they ever imagined. 

In theaters March 24.

Watch The “You People” Teaser Trailer

Meeting the parents is never easy, but in Netflix’s new rom-com You People, things are about to get extra messy. Kenya Barris’ directorial debut, which he co-wrote with star Jonah Hill, puts an interfaith, culture-clash twist on the relationship rite of passage. The film follows Ezra and Amira as they navigate the treacherous waters that link family and romance. 

Theirs is a modern meet cute: Ezra Cohen (Hill) accidentally gets into Amira Mohammed’s (Lauren London) car one day, mistakenly convinced that she’s his rideshare. Once she’s gotten over the shock and accepts his offer of a date, the two quickly bond over a shared love of sneakers and music. Soon, it’s clear that they’ve finally found that special someone. So special, in fact, that it’s time to think about merging their families. Enter Ezra’s progressive and semi-woke Jewish parents (Julia Louis-Dreyfus and David Duchovny) and Amira’s unyielding yet concerned Muslim parents (Eddie Murphy and Nia Long). The one thing they have in common? The ability to mercilessly interfere with their children’s lives — with hilarious results. For proof, look no further than the film’s teaser, which shows Hill facing off with Murphy and Long as Ezra asks Amira’s parents for permission to propose. The venue? Los Angeles’ iconic Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, one of many landmarks you’ll spot in the film. 

You People premieres on Netflix January 27, 2023.

Guillermo del Toro On Bringing “Pinocchio” To Life

Stop-motion animators, under the direction of Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro, have given life to puppets in the new Netflix feature, “Pinocchio.” Correspondent Tracy Smith from CBS Sunday Morning talks with Del Toro about his lifelong passion project that evokes the darker original tale of a wooden boy who becomes real.

Guillermo del Toro’s “Pinocchio” will stream on Netflix December 9.

Paul McCartney The 7” Singles Box

2022 has seen Paul McCartney celebrate yet another series of landmarks. Just one week after his 80th birthday, Paul headlined the 2022 Glastonbury Festival, playing an unforgettable set that inspired deafening singalongs from the largest crowd the main stage had ever seen. Hailed as the best gig ever by critics and fans alike, it was a fitting celebration of an extraordinary career. The revelry continues as Paul announces the release of The 7″ Singles Box, featuring 80 x 7″ Paul McCartney singles – including such global chart smashing tracks as “My Love,” “Live and Let Die,” “Band on the Run,” “Silly Love Songs,” “Coming Up,” “Ebony and Ivory,” “Say Say Say,” “No More Lonely Nights,” “Wonderful Christmastime” and many more. The box set includes 163 tracks totaling over 10 hours of music and will also be released digitally.

Watch the unboxing video HERE.

Recognized by Guinness World Records as “the most successful songwriter of all time,” Paul’s 7″ Singles Box is a remarkable testament to this accolade, featuring songs that have sound-tracked our lives and that are loved and sung around the world today.

The format of the 7″ single had a profound impact and influence on Paul both as a songwriter and as a music fan. Paul recalls in his foreword that comes with this set how he still enjoys the thrill of flicking through crates in record shops looking for new discoveries and how much respect he and The Beatles had for the B-side.

The 7″ Singles Box is the ultimate package for any McCartney fan. From 1971’s “Another Day” to a 7″ version of 2022’s Record Store Day Song of the Year, “Women and Wives” (taken from 2020’s chart-topping McCartney III) – the 80 singles included represent half a century of Paul’s life showcasing his prolific creativity and relentless innovation. An absolute treasure trove of music, the box set features recreations of 65 singles – complete with their original B-sides (using restored artwork from 11 different countries) as well as 15 singles never before released on 7″. These 15 singles are made up from tracks previously released on 12″, picture discs, CD singles & promos, digital downloads, music videos, two previously unheard demos, and a previously unheard 7″ single edit.

The box set is beautifully presented in a special wooden art crate, designed and built in Derbyshire, UK, and is packed with incredible content, including a 148-page book that features a personal foreword by Paul, an essay by music journalist Rob Sheffield and extensive chart information, liner notes, and single artwork. Each box includes a randomly selected exclusive test pressing of one of the singles.

Features:

– Limited to 3000 copies
– This numbered limited-edition collection of 80 x 7” singles has been personally supervised by Paul McCartney
– Recreations of 65 singles/promos using restored original artwork from 11 different countries
– 15 singles never-before released on 7”
– Includes singles previously released on 12”, picture discs, CD singles/promos, digital downloads, and music videos
– 1 x EP
– 1 exclusive test pressing randomly selected from the manufacturing process
– 148-page book containing foreword from Paul, essay by Rob Sheffield, recording notes, release dates, and chart information on each of the singles
– Also available digitally
– Housed in a two-piece, four-walled, FSC approved Redwood pine and Birch Ply wooden art crate manufactured in the United Kingdom

To see the track list, click HERE. You can order Paul McCartney The 7” Singles Box at this LINK.

A New Scene And New Critters Are Introduced For Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

We’re getting closer to going down the bayou with Tiana and friends as progress continues on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Since the attraction was announced in 2020, Imagineers have been hard at work designing an immersive experience inspired by the Walt Disney Animation Studios film “The Princess and the Frog” and the heart and culture of New Orleans.

Disney Parks provided a first look at a new scene and some of the brand-new characters they’re creating specifically for this attraction. In Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, you’ll join Princess Tiana and jazz-loving alligator Louis during Mardi Gras season as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind celebration for the people of New Orleans. This new scene is the thrilling moment you first drop into the bayou and encounter some friends both new and familiar.  

Fireflies will light up the night and invite you deeper into the bayou … almost like they’re waving you forward. What you can’t tell from this rendering is that beautiful zydeco music will fill the air. Zydeco is a special blend of rhythm and blues that was born in Louisiana, and when you hear it, you’ll feel like you’ve truly stepped into Tiana’s world.

Here you’ll find Louis, who explains where this amazing music is coming from. Tiana made some new friends out here – a band full of adorable critters, including an otter, a rabbit, a raccoon, a beaver, a turtle and others. The band members sing and play instruments made of natural materials they found in the bayou.

Like so many musical genres, zydeco brings together the sounds and styles of many cultures. Disney wanted that spirit reflected in this scene (and throughout the attraction) so that all their guests feel welcome to join in the celebration.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will take you on a journey inspired by the story and characters from the hit film, picking up where that story left off. In preparation for this new experience and the many exciting updates ahead, Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World Resort will be closed starting January 23, 2023, so the park can begin the next phase of this attraction’s development. Additional information about Splash Mountain at Disneyland Resort will be shared at a later date.

The Mandalorian Season 3 Will Premiere On Disney+ On March 1, 2023

Comic Con Experience (CCXP) 2022 kicked off in São Paulo, Brazil, yesterday, showcasing news, highlights and exclusive content from feature films and series from Disney Animation, Pixar Animation Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Studios and Marvel Studios. 

Day one of the event welcomed the Mandalorian himself, Pedro Pascal, and executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, who joined virtually from set, shared details about the third season of the Disney+ series from Lucasfilm, “The Mandalorian,” which premieres March 1, 2023. In the third season, the Mandalorian and Grogu are reunited and continue their journey through the lawless galaxy.

For the First Time In Nearly 95 Years, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Stars In An All-New Walt Disney Animation Studios Short to Celebrate Disney 100 Years of Wonder

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit returns to the studio that bears his creator’s name – Walt Disney Animation Studios – with an all-new animated short, over 94 years since Disney’s last Oswald cartoon. Created by Disney Animation’s hand-drawn animation team to help celebrate the start of Disney 100 Years of Wonder that marks 100th anniversary of The Walt Disney Company, the short, appropriately titled “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit,” is directed by famed animator Eric Goldberg (“How To Stay At Home (Starring Goofy),” “Pocahontas,” “Fantasia/2000”) and produced by Emmy Award-winning producer Dorothy McKim (“Prep & Landing,” “Get A Horse!,” “Meet The Robinsons”) and available on Walt Disney Animation Studios’ YouTube channel.

“On the eve of Disney’s 100th anniversary, it was such a joy to create the first new Oswald short from our studio since 1928,” says McKim. “Our hand-drawn animation team – including our hand-drawn legends Mark Henn, Randy Haycock and Eric Goldberg, as well our wonderful team of 2D apprentices, had a ball animating in the style of Oswald’s era.”

“Oswald is such a plucky scamp. We wanted to bring Oswald back, and in the short, he literally returns to his original home, the movie screen,” says Goldberg. “We wanted to have Oswald do all of the ‘squash-and-stretch,’ ‘rubber hose’-animation style, celebrating that first generation of Walt Disney’s artists.”

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is considered Walt Disney’s first breakout animated star, and widely considered one of the first characters in animation history to feature a unique personality. Walt Disney introduced Oswald to moviegoers in 1927 with the short “Trolley Troubles.” 26 Oswald short films were created by Walt Disney and his team, with the final Disney shorts starring the character releasing in late summer 1928, the same year Walt lost creative control over his beloved rabbit. In 2006, Disney CEO Bob Iger made an unprecedented deal with NBC/Universal, that included permitting sportscaster Al Michaels to contract with NBC in exchange for the return of Oswald to his original home. Since then, Oswald has appeared in video games and merchandise, an animated short, and in Disney theme parks globally.

Watch The New “A Man Called Otto” Trailer

Based on the # 1 New York Times bestseller “A Man Called Ove,” A Man Called Otto tells the story of Otto Anderson (Tom Hanks), a grump who no longer sees purpose in his life following the loss of his wife. Otto is ready to end it all, but his plans are interrupted when a lively young family moves in next door, and he meets his match in quick-witted Marisol. She challenges him to see life differently, leading to an unlikely friendship that turns his world around. A heartwarming and funny story about love, loss, and life, A Man Called Otto shows that family can sometimes be found in the most unexpected places.

Directed by Marc Forster (Finding Neverland), A Man Called Otto stars Tom Hanks (Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, Cast Away), Mariana Treviño (Club the Cuervos), Rachel Keller (Fargo) and Manuel Garcia-Rulfo (The Magnificent Seven). The screenplay is written by Academy Award nominee David Magee (Best Adapted Screenplay, Life of Pi, 2012; Best Adapted Screenplay, Finding Neverland, 2004) based upon the best-selling novel “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman, and the film A Man Called Ove by Hannes Holm.

The film will be released on January 13.

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