SciFi Weekend: Disney Buys Marvel; Fantastic Four Reboot; Jack Bauer on Health Care Reform

Iron Man Mickey

Will the next blockbuster movie be Iron Man versus Cinderella? Will Spider-Man dump Mary Jane to date Hanna Montana? Is the next High School Musical to be preformed at Dr. Xavier’s school for mutants?

The big news of the week is that Disney has acquired Marvel. I know some Marvel fans are upset  but there is no reason to worry that the Marvel characters will become Disneized. Disney is far more than Mickey Mouse and the Disney princesses. Disney owns ABC, meaning that Lost is part of Disney. Disney owns Pixar which has produced films such as Wall-E. Disney also owns Mirimax, which has put out movies such as Pulp Fiction.

Disney’s strengths are in marketing and cross promotion of its properties, between television, movies, books, merchandise, and the theme parks. Disney can help Marvel continue to take advantage of its characters in ways beyond comic books. Current licensing arrangements will leave some of movies in the hands of other studios for some time, but ultimately there will be no need to compromise with other studios to develop movie versions of Marvel characters.

Disney might be able to market some aspects of Marvel to girls, the market where it is weak, but the more important aspect of the deal is to increase interest in Disney’s characters among boys. Disney does well with young children and girls, but Marvel characters would be far more attractive to older boys than Cinderella and Snow White.

The Disney theme parks have added some thrill rides, but Disney’s strength has been with the more elaborately themed rides which lack the thrills which teenage boys might prefer. I can imagine adding some superhero themed rides at some of the existing parks. There has been speculation for years over a possible fifth park at Walt Disney World. I wonder if the Marvel characters might even provide the theme for a new park.

Currently many Marvel characters reside at competing Universal and reportedly that arrangement will continue as long as Universal desires to continue its current contract. I wouldn’t be surprised if Disney either finds a way to bring over their own group of Marvel superheroes, or if Disney simply continues to profit from Universal paying for the rights to the characters.

Fantastic_Four_Promo

The other Marvel news of the week involves 20th Century Fox rather than Disney. They are planning to reboot the Fantastic Four movies with a script by Michael Green, who has worked on Lost and Green Lantern. There is no word as to whether they will use the cast of the previous movies or whether they will start with a new origins movie. There is also talk of rebooting the Spider-Man movie series.

Conservatives often cite Jack Bauer and 24 as if they were real sources to justify terrorism. It is a shame that instead they don’t quote Jack Bauer’s views on health care as seen in the above video. It even turns out that Keifer Sutherland has a real connection to health care.

Palin’s Resignation Cost Alaska Over $40,000

AP estimates that Sarah Palin’s resignation as Governor of Alaska will cost the state at least $40,000:

Early estimates put the cost of Sarah Palin’s midterm resignation as Alaska governor at a minimum of $40,000, not including a special legislative session partly linked to her departure.

The preliminary figures obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request show it cost the state almost $14,100 for the swearing-in ceremony of new Gov. Sean Parnell in Fairbanks on July 26 after Palin formally stepped down the same day before a massive crowd in the interior city. The price tag for moving Palin — the former GOP vice presidential candidate — and her family from the governor’s mansion in Juneau amounted to more than $3,328. Travel costs for the governor’s office associated with the transition totaled more than $6,700.

Not included in the tally is the estimated cost of more than $100,000 for a one-day special session held last month in which state lawmakers confirmed Palin’s surprise pick to replace Parnell as lieutenant governor and overrode her May 21 veto of $28.6 million in federal stimulus funds intended for energy efficiency projects.

The final price tag will be a mere fraction of the roughly $2 million Palin has said it cost the state dealing with “frivolous” ethics complaints against her. Still, bloggers, residents, newspaper letter writers and lawmakers alike have questioned what they saw as unnecessary costs associated with Palin’s resignation 16 months before the end of her first term.

They are not including the $100,000 for the special session as they would have had to meet anyways–to override Palin’s veto of federal stimulus funds for energy efficiency.

These extra costs might be offset by no longer having the per deim payments to Palin along with any other means by which Palin might have managed to get the state government to pay her personal expenses had she remained in office.

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