When it comes to selling toys… TV is still ruling over feature films - at least that’s how it looks on the pre-holiday toy hit lists.
This years big hits for character toys include Disney’s Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins, Nick’s TMNT and Sesame Street’s Elmo (have you seen Big Hugs Elmo yet?!) After that you might see some Despicable Me love … and that’s about it. No mention of Turbo, Epic, Monsters University or Smurfs 2.
As ratings continue to climb for both Disney and Nick and animation feature releases become even busier - Deadline have a great line from Marty Brochstein of the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association:
TV seems to be grabbing more of the attention and shelf space. In licensing it’s all about share of mind, and if you have several films vying with each other, it’s hard to focus.
The re-launch of iconic kids series Thunderbirds Are Go! is looking more and more promising - ITV Studios, Pukeko Pictures and Weta Workshophave signed up Rosamund Pike to star alongside original cast member David Graham (reprising his role as chauffeur and International Rescue agent Parker), Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Rasmus Hardiker and David Menkin
The 26 half-hours won’t appear until 2015 - featuring a mix of CGI animation and live-action miniature sets.
All you need to know is that Rob Hoegee is writing and David Scott is helming.
BIG news for any/all fans of Harry Potter… that JK Rowling is to write a new film series based inside the world of wizarding and muggles.
The first, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, will be based around Newt Scamander, the writer of a textbook used by Harry Potter at Hogwarts school.
I thought it was a fun idea, but the idea of seeing Newt Scamander, the supposed author of Fantastic Beasts, realised by another writer was difficult. Having lived for so long in my fictional universe, I feel very protective of it and I already knew a lot about Newt. As hard-core Harry Potter fans will know, I liked him so much that I even married his grandson, Rolf, to one of my favourite characters from the Harry Potter series, Luna Lovegood. As I considered Warners’ proposal, an idea took shape that I couldn’t dislodge. That is how I ended up pitching my own idea for a film to Warner Bros. Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for 17 years, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world. The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, 70 years before Harry’s gets underway.
I always said that I would only revisit the wizarding world if I had an idea that I was really excited about and this is it.
Sad news from Lemington-Spa - UK games developer Blitz Studios have announced that they are closing after 23 years.
Home to Blitz Games and Volatile Games the company had 175 staff - some of them are in talks with other studios including Oxford-based studio Rebellion - and some slated projects will be seen through to the end with 50 of the current staff staying on to finish the work.