Obi-Wan, Lizzie McGuire join new Disney Plus platform

Disney Plus will launch on Nov. 12 and will compete with out streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, HBO Now and soon Apple TV Plus. (AFP/Robyn Beck)
Updated 24 August 2019
0

Obi-Wan, Lizzie McGuire join new Disney Plus platform

  • The audience of about 6,000 at a convention center adjacent to Disneyland also voiced enthusiasm for another “Star Wars“-related series
  • The new channel will also feature a reboot of popular series ‘Lizzie McGuire’

ANAHEIM, Calif: Ewan McGregor is reprising his “Star Wars” role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in a new series, one of the many splashy projects that Disney is banking on to make its new streaming platform competitive.
The as-yet untitled Disney Plus show drew big cheers when it was announced Friday at the D23 Expo fan event, as did a “Lizzie McGuire” reboot with original star Hilary Duff playing a grown-up version of the title character.
The audience of about 6,000 at a convention center adjacent to Disneyland also voiced enthusiasm for another “Star Wars“-related series, “The Mandalorian,” which its producers said is set in an unexplored time for the space saga and features new characters.
Disney Plus had a receptive crowd, with expo attendees lining up to buy discounted subscriptions before the showcase. But it laid out a two-hour banquet of show trailers and stars to further whet fans’ appetite, starting with a performance by cast members of the new “High School Musical” series and appearances by McGregor, Duff, Kristen Bell, Anna Kendrick and others.
“It’s been four years of saying, ‘I don’t know’” when he was asked about the long-discussed Obi-Wan project, McGregor said. “Now I can say, ‘Yes, we’re going to do it.’”




Known currently as ‘Untitled Obi-Wan Kenobi Series,’ starring Ewan McGregor, will stream exclusively on Disney+, which launches Nov. 12. (Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney/AFP)

Among the movies set for the streaming service launching Nov. 12: the holiday comedy “Noelle,” starring Kendrick, Bill Hader and Billy Eichner, and a live-action remake of 1955’s animated film “Lady and the Tramp,” with Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux voicing the canine couple. Yvette Nicole Brown, who hosted the Disney Plus showcase, also stars.
Disney is reaching into its library for the streaming service with classic projects and updates on them, like “Lady and the Tramp.” But it’s also relying on brands that were acquired by Disney, including Marvel, Pixar, Fox’s entertainment businesses, and “Star Wars” home Lucasfilm, making it a formidable newcomer.
“Ms. Marvel,” “Moon Knight” and “She-Hulk,” derived from Marvel comics, are being developed as live-action series for Disney Plus, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige announced. Also coming is “What If...?” an animated series that imagines alternate Marvel universe realities, such as Peggy Carter as Captain America.




 ‘Lizzie McGuire’ starring Hilary Duff (R), will stream exclusively on Disney+. (Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney/AFP)

“Monsters At Work” is a series inspired by the Pixar movie “Monsters, Inc.” with a new cast of monsters and starring Ben Feldman and Aisha Tyler in its voice cast.
Among the other programs for Disney Plus, which is launching with a $7 monthly price tag (pricing to vary outside the United States):
— “Diary of a Female President,” a comedy series about a Cuban-American girl’s middle-school experience and her path to becoming the US president. Tess Romero plays Elena, with Gina Rodriguez producing and guest-starring as the adult version.
— “The World According to Jeff Goldblum,” a National Geographic series in which the actor explores such things as sneakers, ice cream and synchronized swimming.
— “Encore!” from executive producer Bell, which gives former castmates of high school musicals the chance to perform together again and revisit their teenage insecurities.
— “Forky Asks a Question,” with Tony Hale reprising his role from “Toy Story 4” in new Pixar animated shorts about the inquisitive toy.


Celine Dion returns to Canada to kick off world tour

Updated 19 September 2019

Celine Dion returns to Canada to kick off world tour

  • The Grammy winner also recently announced the release of a new album titled “Courage”
  • She said in April that she felt motivated to create new music and hit the road after the 2016 death of her husband and manager

QUEBEC CITY: After living and crooning for years in Las Vegas, French-Canadian superstar Celine Dion returned home to Quebec to kick off her first world tour in a decade on Wednesday.
At 51, the Grammy winner also recently announced the release of a new album titled “Courage,” which will be her 12th in English and is due out on November 15.
The first single “Flying On My Own,” featuring her powerful vocals backed by techno beats, has already hit the airwaves, while three more dropped Wednesday: “Courage,” “Lying Down” and “Imperfections.”
Known for her blockbuster ballads, Dion said in April that she felt motivated to create new music and hit the road after the 2016 death of her husband and manager Rene Angelil.
“When I lost Rene, he wanted me back on stage. He wanted to make sure I was still practicing my passion,” she said. “I wanted to prove to him that I’m fine, we’re fine, we’re going to be OK. I’ve got this.”
So, after more than 1,140 concerts for 4.5 million fans over 16 years in Sin City, she bid adieu to the Colosseum at Caesars Palace with a final two-hour show.
“Courage is exactly the way I feel,” she told public broadcaster CBC at the time, talking up the upcoming tour of the same name.
“In the past three years, it has been difficult for me to talk to my children, to raise them, to lose my husband, wondering am I going to sing again... so much has happened, but at the same time I feel that I’m in control of my life.”
Some 60 dates in North American have been confirmed so far, her label said, with two arena shows in Quebec City on Wednesday and Saturday kicking off the tour, which will run through April 2020, and will be her first world tour since 2008-2009.
Her show was almost two hours of mastery, as she performed some of her greatest hits — from “I’m Alive” to “My Heart Will Go On” — as well as new material to an ecstatic crowd of roughly 20,000.
“It was really impossible to miss Celine at home,” Nicolas Delivre, a French university exchange student in Montreal, told AFP.
Donald Berard, from Quebec City, said he had grown up listening to Dion. “We love her like a member of our family.”
“Courage” marks the first album and tour in Dion’s long career without Angelil, who steered her success beginning in 1981 when he mortgaged his house to finance the young teen’s debut album.
The pair began a personal relationship in 1988 when she was only 19 years old, and married in a lavish ceremony in 1994. Angelil died of throat cancer at age 73.
In an interview with NBC’s Today show, Dion revealed that she longs for the hugs and laughs that come with a relationship, but added, “I’m not ready to date.”
The youngest of a family of 14 children raised in the suburbs of Montreal, Dion has sold 250 million copies of 23 studio albums in English and French, including collaborations with French singer-songwriter Jean-Jacques Goldman, Barbra Streisand and Stevie Wonder.
Back in Canada, she told the Montreal Gazette that the tour schedule was “a little crazy,” but that she had found time in advance to take in life’s small pleasures.
At a press junket last Friday, Dion told Radio-Canada: “There are good wines that age well, and there are good wines that age badly. I hope to be a good bottle of wine.”
“I’m not a new Celine,” Dion added. “I’m a continuity of myself.”