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Exclusive : Talks underway for Nightmare Before Christmas follow-up

No surprise, Disney considering a return to Halloweentown.

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With everything from ‘’Aladdin’’ to ‘’The Lion King’’, ‘’Dumbo’’ and “Toy Story” renewing their leases at the House of Mouse this year, you won’t be at all surprised to hear what could be next on the brand restitution card at Disney.

“The Nightmare Before Christmas”, the gloriously enchanting and everlastingly entertaining stop-motion film (sometimes mistaken for a Tim Burton film but actually the work of Henry Selick; with Burton responsible for the story and producing), is as popular today as it was when it was released in October of 1993 – maybe even more so. With Disney continuing to exploit the brand big-time in recent years, bringing out fresh t-shirts, snow globes, collectible figures, re-issuing the film every holiday season and pushing other tie-in merchandising for the halloweeny-christmas film, the studio clearly doesn’t plan to let the movie disappear from the public subconscious anytime soon.

And if this latest tip is anything to go by, Jack Skellington is going to become just a permanent fixture of the next decade too.

There’s talk at Disney to “do something with “Nightmare Before Christmas” – probably a sequel but live-action possible” we’ve been informed (the tip comes from someone who has given Moviehole credible intent in the past; in particular, they were spot-on with the “Backdraft 2” scoop they offered us).

Now that doesn’t mean there’s a live-action “Nightmare” movie on the way – would that even work? I don’t know… – it just means that Disney are considering all options for some sort of sequel or follow-up, and one of those is having “Nightmare Before Christmas” go the way of their “Lion King”, “Aladdin” and “Dumbo” remakes and have us humans headline it. No surprise, really.
On the other hand, maybe they’ll give us a standard stop-motion sequel and heck, if they can come up with a script that’s decent, I think fans would much prefer that over seeing an A-lister get about in a skeleton-suit.
Either way, there’s definitely some “Nightmare Before Christmas” talks, and I guess Disney will look at how some of their other returning brands, like the aforesaid live-action remakes, go before locking in their return to Halloweentown.

In 2018, TokyoPop released a comic-book sequel to the film, “Nightmare Before Christmas: Zero’s Journey,” which followed Jack Skellington’s dog, Zero, as he gets lost in Christmas Town.

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Exclusive : The Ewoks will return!

A small-screen series featuring the Empire-hating creatures could be on the way

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Is it the Endor or just the beginning?

Unless the wi-fi has been playing up in the Cantina, you’ll be aware that Disney’s streaming channel Disney + are about to ‘force’ a couple of new “Star Wars” related series on us – most notably, the recently wrapped “The Mandalorian” (which is apparently terrific), from EP Jon Favreau.

And it won’t end there, with the house of mouse and the house of Kennedy already secretly working on other “Star Wars” projects that’ll premiere on the small screen.
One of those upcoming may feature the return of the Ewoks.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the pint-sized moon creatures are one of the most recognizable species in the “Star Wars” universe. And with Disney+ not just in the business of making shows for us, older “Star Wars” fans, but also the excitable younglings, it should be no surprise to hear that a new Ewoks series is being discussed.

The news of the Empire-hating Ewoks’ return to the screen – which comes courtesy a reputable insider, someone who has also provided us with extra info on a scoop we ran last week on “The Quarry” to star Michael Shannon and Shea Whigham, which we’ll run soon – will no doubt be music to the ears of toy retailers, who’ll likely sell furballs in the millions once the show hits. It’s unlikely to be part of the first phase of “Star Wars” shows, which are rumored to kick off around Halloween, but could be part of the second run, rumored to launch in the next 12-18 months.

The Ewoks made their debut in “Return of the Jedi” on the bigscreen before getting their own solo outing in 1984 telemovie “The Ewok Adventure” (aka “Caravan of Courage”). A second telemovie “Battle for Endor” aired in 1985. That same year ABC premiered the popular animated series “Ewoks”, which ran for two seasons.

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Exclusive : Whigham, Shannon reunite for The Quarry

Duo previously co-starred in Paramount mini-series “Waco”

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Confirmation today on a solid-sounding project, headlined by two fantastic actors, I was tipped off to a few days back.

“Waco” and “Boardwalk Empire” co-stars Shea Whigham and Michael Shannon will reunite for “The Quarry”, scripted and directed by Scott Teems. This one is shooting later this month in New Orleans with the “To the Stars” team of Laura D. Smith and Kristin Mann producing.

Teems is one to watch out for. His work on “Rectify”, of which he’s written many episodes and directed a couple, are some of the best of the SundanceTV drama.

Film tells the ‘Banshee’-like account of a man, on the run from his own sins, who finds himself in a small border town in Texas, impersonating a reverend. The town are quickly drawn to the man’s unorthodox sermons – but so is the police chief (Shannon), who find’s the reverend’s presence interesting for a different reason.

Michael Shannon and Shea Whigham in “Waco” (2018)

Academy Award Nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno (“Maria Full of Grace”) and Bobby Soto (“Besties”) also star.

Floridian Whigham, who is currently filming limited series “Modern Love” for Amazon Studios, recently wrapped “Joker” for director Todd Phillips and Warner Bros. his upcoming credits include John Pollono’s “Small Engine Repair”, the comedy “Vampires Vs. The Bronx” and “Low Tide” for writer-director Kevin McMullin.

Shannon recently wrapped Rian Johnson’s “Knive’s Out”, and will next appear in Seth Savoy’s action-crime drama “Echo Boomers”.

These two were absolutely magic on screen together in Paramount’s “Waco” mini-series as Mitch Decker and Gary Noesner, respectively, so expect more fireworks here.

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Exclusive : Blood Moon set for May start ; casting update

A girl with unusual powers escapes from a mental asylum

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Ana Lily Amirpour fantasy “Blood Moon” is inching forward, with a mid-May shoot now locked in, Moviehole can confirm.

As reported during AFM in October, Kate Hudson, Zac Efron and Craig Robinson have signed the film, which tells of a girl with “unusual powers” who escapes from a mental asylum in New Orleans.

The film, produced by John Lesher (“Birdman”, “Fury”), begins its shoot in New Orleans on May 18.

The search is on for a fourth key player, a young actor to play the role of Hudson’s 10-year-old son. Described as a “cool rad weirdo hero. He’s grown up with a single mom, who’s gone a lot so he’s pretty self sufficient. He’s a creative kid with street smarts. Like his mom, he’s a survivor.”

One of the best new filmmakers on the circuit, Amirpour directed the ‘past perfect’ episode on the first season of “Castle Rock” last year.  Though I haven’t read it myself, the script for “Blood Moon” is apparently a “winner”.

No word on a release date.

 

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