Disney says it has removed Phineas And Ferb from its schedule. A film adaptation of Disney Channel’s hit animated series had been targeted for 2014 after being bumped from its original July 2013 date. Screenwriter Michael Arndt, who won an Oscar for Little Miss Sunshine and was nominated for Toy Story 3, had been pegged to write Phineas. Disney today also confirmed final titles for The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, previously Marvel’s The Avengers Untitled Sequel, and Inside Out, formerly The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside The Mind. Both titles were announced at Comic-Con last month.
Last month Disney said its Marvel characters will cross over to Disney Channel’s most popular animated series for an episode set to air next month in which the titular stepbrothers team with Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor and Hulk. Now another big Disney brand is getting in on the action: a one-hour episode of Phineas And Ferb is in production that will see the toon’s characters in the same space and time as the world of Star Wars. The announcement was made today at Comic-Con by Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, the series’ creators and executive producers. The plot: Phineas and Ferb are living happily on Tatooine, just one moisture farm over from Luke Skywalker. They love simply hanging out and creating new adventures under the twin suns but find themselves thrust into a global rebellion when the plans for blowing up the Death Star accidentally fall into their hands. The episode is set to air in 2014. The Marvel-themed episode, meanwhile, airs August 16 on Disney Channel and August 25 on Disney XD. Disney Television Animation produces the toon.
The lucrative brand integration of Disney and Marvel is hardly exclusive to the big screen. The latter’s superheroes are already familiar faces in such TV shows as Ultimate Spider-Man and Avengers Assemble on Disney’s XD. Now those super-characters are set to cross over into Disney Channel‘s most popular animated series in “Phineas And Ferb: Mission Marvel,” in which the titular stepbrothers team with Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor and Hulk to battle a gaggle of supervillains and Phineas And Ferb baddie Dr. Doofenshmirtz. The episode will premiere August 16 on Disney Channel, be available for download the next day, and bow August 25 on XD.
Disney Channel has renewed its flagship animated series Phineas and Ferb for a fourth season. With the pickup, the cable channel will have new episodes of the show, which ranks as TV’s No.1 animated series in Kids 6-11 and Tweens 9-14 rolling out through 2014. The renewal comes after Phineas and Ferb producer Disney TV Animation recently signed exclusive, multi-year, multimillion-dollar deals with series creators/executive producers Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh. Under the pact, the duo are working on a Phineas And Ferb feature and a potential spinoff series. With over 100 episodes and counting, Phineas and Ferb is TV’s #1 animated series among Tweens for four years. Its latest offshoot, the original movie Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension, is the #1 animated cable telecast of all time among Kids 2-11 in the U.S. and just recently broke Disney Channel ratings records in India, Japan and France.
Michael Arndt, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter on Toy Story 3, has come aboard Disney’s feature version of Phineas and Ferb, Deadline confirmed Friday. Arndt, who also was among scribes on Rock of Ages and an Oscar winner for Little Miss Sunshine, is doing a polish on the script by the Disney Channel series creators Jeff “Swampy” Marsh and Dan Povenmire. Addition of Arndt to the mix illustrates the importance to Disney of transferring the whimsical stepbrothers’ adventures to the big screen. The plotline for the Phineas and Ferb movie hasn’t been revealed, but the LA Times reported that unlike the TV show it will be a mix of live-action and animation. It’s scheduled to hit theaters July 26, 2013, accompanied by scads of licensed marketing tie-ins.
BREAKING: Disney has confirmed that the Gore Verbinski-directed Johnny Depp-starrer The Lone Ranger has come back on track, with the studio setting the film for a May 31, 2013 release. As Deadline revealed yesterday, the film will begin production February 6. The film was originally supposed to get underway this fall for a December 21, 2012 release, but all that changed when Disney shocked Hollywood by unplugging the film over fears that its budget could reach $275 million. Deadline revealed that news exclusively on August 12. It was a surprising move, considering that Bruckheimer is a cornerstone producer and Depp has starred in the studio’s highest-grossing films, with both of them teaming with Verbinski on the first three installments of The Pirates Of The Caribbean.
Verbinski, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Depp rose to the challenge, though, even though it was a painful one. They reworked their compensation deals and figured out ways to save money in the production budget. They brought the budget down to a figure that is around $215 million, I’m told. Taking responsibility to bring the film in for that price was the only way that the studio was going to make the film. Considering that most Westerns don’t travel overseas as well as some other genres (Cowboys & Aliens has proven to be an offshore disappointment), The Lone Ranger is still a big bet by a studio that is backing John Carter, a film that costs more than $250 million, and Oz The Great And Powerful, which hovers at around $200 million. At least now, Disney’s risk on The Lone Ranger has been contained.
EXCLUSIVE: Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, co-creators of Disney Channel’s flagship animated series Phineas and Ferb, have signed separate exclusive, multi-year, multimillion-dollar deals with Disney Television Animation. Under the pacts, the two will continue on the Emmy-winning series they created and executive produce for another season. Also as part of the deals, Povenmire and Marsh are now officially attached to the Phineas and Ferb feature being developed at Disney. The two are already working on the script. Additionally, the deals include a new pilot, likely a Phineas and Ferb spinoff, and other future development for Povenmire and Marsh, who also have a piece of the franchise’s merchandising profits.
Disney Publishing Worldwide announced today it is adding four titles based on its properties to join a U.S. roster that included the moms-skewing monthly Disney FamilyFun. The first, Phineas and Ferb, based on the hit Disney XD TV series, will be bi-monthly and cost $4.99 on newsstands and $23.95 for an annual subscription. Three more based on upcoming films — Thor in April, followed by Cars 2 and Captain America — will be stand-alone issues that will sell for $9.99. Another title, Cars, will be a monthly beginning in the fall.
DPW is attempting to grow a model that already is a success overseas, where the company publishes kid-targeted books and magazines that reach 75 countries in 85 languages.
From Ray Richmond, who is contributing to Deadline Hollywood’s TCA coverage:
Disney Channel’s Worldwide chief Gary Marsh announced Monday afternoon that Disney is in the early stages of developing a feature centered on the hit Disney Channel animated series Phineas and Ferb. The film, which is being developed by Disney head of production Sean Bailey, will be a combo of live action and animation, Marsh said. The series premiered on the channel three years ago as a 2D animated comedy and branched in December into a live action/animation talk show, Take Two with Phineas and Ferb, on which the characters interview celebs including Taylor Swift, Jack Black, Neil Patrick Harris, Seth Rogan and Emma Roberts. A Phineas and Ferb full-length made-for-TV movie, Phineas and Ferb Across the 2nd Dimension, is slated to air on Disney Channel next summer.
EXCLUSIVE: The rebuilding of Disney Television Animation, which started in 2008 with the hire of Nickelodeon veteran Eric Coleman as SVP Original Series, continues. Coleman has assembled his new executive team, which includes Michael McGahey, Khaki Jones and Jonathan Schneider. Additionally, the division’s project Gravity Falls has been picked to series at Disney Channel for a spring 2012 premiere, while freshman Disney Channel series Fish Hooks has been renewed for a second season.
Since its September premiere, Fish Hooks, which features 2D animation characters set against photo-real backgrounds, has unseated Disney TV Animation’s other hit, Phineas and Ferb, as TV’s No.1 animated series among kids 6-14. The series was created by and is co-executive produced by illustrator Noah Z. Jones, developed by Alex Hirsch and executive produced by Maxwell Atoms. Hot up-and-comer Hirsch, a recent Cal Arts graduate, created Gravity Falls, a stylized animated comedy about twin siblings who are thrust into the mysterious town of Gravity Falls, Oregon. Hirsch is voicing the show along with Jason Ritter and Kristen Schaal. Under Coleman, Disney TV Animation, which supplies Disney Channel, Disney XD and the upcoming Disney Junior, has been focusing on creator-driven series, in which the project’s creator also runs the series to maintain the original creative vision.
Reporting to Coleman will be McGahey, who has been named VP development. He most recently served as Executive Director, …