The Disney and Jon Favreau Show, featuring Me (ICYMI April 13, 2024)

The Disney and Jon Favreau Show, featuring Me (ICYMI April 13, 2024)

“In Case You Missed It” is a roundup of the news and stories in faith, culture, and entertainment over the past week that you might have missed, with some context that we hope you’ll find thought-provoking or interesting.

Welcome to the third edition of ICYMI, covering the week ending April 13, 2024! The world didn’t end, so let’s celebrate with some news:

We start off this week where we ended last week: with a total eclipse of the heart sun. Even though the world didn’t end, it still felt earth-shattering. Several of our staff were actually in the path of totality, and let me tell you—it really was something else. I had about 98% of totality in 2017, and I was underwhelmed. But this time…I honestly can’t find the words to describe the experience. At the moment of totality, all seven kids in our backyard spontaneously started running around the yard, and that’s as good a recap as any I could give.

Photos completely fail to capture the uncanny experience, one which felt at the same time holy and portentous, but that’s not to say there aren’t some cool ones; like this one, by Indianapolis photographer Chandu Prem Lal, who lined up the statue in the center of the city with the eclipse and came up with something unforgettable.

It’s one of the worst-kept secrets in the Marvel fandom that a Robert Downey Jr. ad-lib actually created one of the most shocking moments in superhero cinema: Tony Stark’s deadpan “I am Iron Man” at the end of the 2008 blockbuster, delivering a smirking battering ram to every superhero film that toys with secret identities. Director Jon Favreau wisely decided to rework the ending around that bombshell.

But in an interview with Esquire, costar Gwyneth Paltrow says that Downey’s refusal to give in to the campiest part of the superhero role resulted in “many of those famous lines [being] written ten minutes before we said them.”

Downey was also asked if he was still open to returning to the role that he made his own, even after his character’s heroic sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame: “Happily. It’s too integral a part of my DNA. That role chose me. And look, I always say, Never, ever bet against Kevin Feige. It is a losing bet. He’s the house. He will always win.”

Big news in the Bluey fandom. Yes, really. Stop looking at me like that. A special episode of the cozy Australian kids’ show airs tomorrow (on Disney+ in the States), and a cliffhanger at the end of the previous episode might portend some big changes; something that series creator Joe Brumm has dropped some hints (or maybe not!) about.

If you have kids, you probably get it. If you don’t, you probably think this report constitutes the ravings of a madman. But…look, it’s surprisingly great, ok?

Almost twenty years to the day after Genndy Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars revealed General Grievous—the big bad of Revenge of the Sith—with his murder of Jedi apprentice Sha’a Gi (like, zoinks, man!), Disney shuffled around some Star Wars release dates (and some other stuff, too):

  • Tron: Ares returns to the grid on October 10, 2025, reactivating the franchise for the first time since 2010’s Legacy with Jared Leto in the starring role;
  • The Mandalorian & Grogu, directed by Jon Favreau, returns the galaxy far, far away to the silver screen for the first time since 2019 on May 22, 2026;
  • Toy Story 5 (sigh) hits theaters on June 19, 2026;
  • Moana (the live-action remake of the 2016 animated film) has been bumped to July 10, 2026. This doesn’t affect Moana 2, the animated sequel that’s still slotted for November 27 of this year.

Of course, these are still only theoretical; several of these titles have yet to enter production. But whatever happens, Gina Carano is unlikely to be in any of these films.

It’s always a surprise when Disney releases a real clunker, and with their 2023 animated film Wish, the critical response has been a resounding clunk. But in the first week after its release on Disney+, the homage-laden film racked up over 13 million views (one of which was my family, in fact), making its streaming debut third in terms of Disney animated features behind only Encanto and Frozen 2. The film, which was intended as a celebration of a century of Disney films, has found a new audience on streaming; and while probably we shouldn’t expect a sequel anytime soon, it was clearly more-enjoyed than many realized after its theatrical release.

Redeeming Culture managing editor David Atwell (oh, that’s me!) is part of Trektember alum Kevin C. Neece’s podcast The Gospel According to Star Trek with another Trektember alum, Mike Poteet; it’s all about the Star Trek universe, and after a two year hiatus temporal anomaly, we’ve stepped back behind the microphone to record reviews of Discovery season 5, episodes 1 & 2. Take a listen!

That’s not the only Star Trek news, though. Sadly, Paramount+ announced on Friday that Lower Decks‘s star is falling; the upcoming fifth season, scheduled for this fall, will be its last. But as one star falls, another rises, with Strange New Worlds getting the pickup order for season four even before season three airs, which is expected to drop sometime in 2025.

And an “origin story” for the Star Trek film series, led by Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk, has been officially added to the release slate for next year. The film has no title, no director attached, and no cast announcements, but it still has a fundamental flaw: namely, that there’s already a prequel to the Kelvin-universe films! It’s called Star Trek: Enterprise.

Amazon Prime’s adaptation of Fallout—Bethesda’s blockbuster post-apocalyptic RPG video game—is getting high praise for its fidelity to the source material, despite the fact that it’s not telling the story of any specific game, but rather a new story set in the same bombed-out world.

I’ve often said that adaptations need to move beyond simply retelling the exact events that happened in the source material if they’re to be in transcendent. The MCU has proven that time and time again; and while there are exceptions that break the rule (like The Princess Bride), most transcendent adaptations recognize that the story a film tells will, by nature, be different from the story told in a book or a video game upon which it’s based; and making the story work often has to include reworking parts of the film for a visual (or in this case non-interactive) story format. Treating Fallout as a world to explore, rather than as a story to slavishly reproduce, line-for-line, is a great choice—and the critical & fan response is proving it.

• • •

Adaptations, Eclipses, and Jon Favreau—what a week! Be sure to return next week for more news; just in case you miss it.

ICYMI is a Redeeming Culture/Reel World Theology experiment. If you value or enjoy this, have tips for future stories, or suggestions for how we could improve, please let us know in the comments below!

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