DISNEY PLANS TO STREAM A GALAXY OF STAR WARS, MARVEL SERIES
NEW YORK (AP) – The Walt Disney Co. unveiled a galaxy’s worth of new streaming offerings on Thursday, including plans for 10 “Star Wars” series spinoffs and 10 Marvel series that will debut on Disney+. But even as Disney emphasized its expanding streaming portfolio, the company said it remains dedicated to releasing many of its big-budget spectacles in movie theaters. In a virtual presentation for investors, Disney chief executive Bob Chapek laid out super-sized ambitions for its direct-to-consumer efforts, leaning heavily on some of the company’s biggest brands. Chapek said Disney+ subscribers worldwide have reached 86.8 million, up from 74 million last month.
SODERBERGH SCARES STREEP AND BERGEN FOR “LET THEM ALL TALK”
NEW YORK (AP) – You wouldn’t think there would be much you could throw at Meryl Streep and Candice Bergen on a movie set that would surprise them, but director Steven Soderbergh did with the film “Let Them All Talk.” He didn’t give them a script. Streep says improvising all her dialogue “lit the white blue flame of terror” in her. Bergen says making it all up as they went along gave her a shot of adrenaline that kept her up most nights. Furthermore, they filmed the whole movie in less than two weeks on the ship Queen Mary 2. “Let Them All Talk” is playing on HBO Max.
STEPHEN LANG WEAVES TALE OF BONDING AMID GETTYSBURG HORRORS
NEW YORK (AP) – For a guy who has made a career out of playing villains, Stephen Lang certainly has a knack for turning a dark period in American history into a children’s book with a message. The actor who played the evil Col. Miles Quaritch in “Avatar” has written a Civil War tale with an uplifting message: enemies can come together. Lang’s story, “The Wheatfield,” tells the story of a wounded Union soldier saved by a man fighting for the Confederacy during the battle of Gettysburg. Lang believes this story serves as a metaphor in a politically divided nation. The book is available now through the Gettysburg Foundation.
KELLI O’HARA, RICHARD THOMAS JOIN TABERNACLE CHOIR CHRISTMAS
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Broadway’s Kelli O’Hara and Richard Thomas of “The Waltons” are the guest artists for “Christmas with The Tabernacle Choir.” The annual event was taped in December 2019 free of coronavirus restrictions or virtual tricks. The concert takes place at a 21,000-seat auditorium with the 360-member choir and a 110-musician orchestra. It’s standard practice to record the elaborate Christmas event and air it the following year. “Christmas with The Tabernacle Choir,” taped in Salt Lake City, airs as an hourlong special Dec. 14 on PBS stations, with a 90-minute version Dec. 17 carried by cable and streaming channel BYUtv.