Golden Globe winning actor Alan Rickman has died after a fight with cancer at the age of 69. The British actor was famous around the globe for his roles as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise, and as villain Hans Gruber in the original Die Hard, opposite Bruce Willis. Having worked as an actor, writer, and director, Rickman was a veteran of both the stage and screen, appearing in such Broadway productions as Private Lives in the West End and in films including Galaxy Quest, Love Actually, Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderland, Lee Daniel’s The Butler, Dogma, Sense and Sensibility, and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. His absence from the world of acting and filmmaking will sorely be missed in the years to come.
It seems Walt Disney Pictures is well on its way in its mission to monopolize Hollywood’s great film franchises. Disney acquired the rights to Star Wars when they bought out Lucasfilm last year, and they have made millions of dollars on the Marvel comic films, including Iron Man, Thor, and The Avengers. Disney also owns the rights to the Muppets series and recently made a new installment for that franchise with Jason Segel and Amy Adams. But now there is another franchise that has joined the Disney crowd, that of the 1980s Steven Spielberg classic Indiana Jones. Raiders of the Lost Ark was originally released by Paramount Pictures in 1981, and was also partly produced by Lucasfilm. Spielberg and George Lucas worked on all the original Indiana Jones films with Harrison Ford in the leading role, and now both film series (Star Wars and Indiana Jones) have been acquired by Disney for the rights to future sequels and distribution of old and new material. The production company is already in the process of filming the 7th Star Wars movie with Star Trek director J.J. Abrams, and now they could potentially make another Indiana Jones movie with Speilberg. Whether or not this will actually happen is still to be determined since Disney is pretty busy with a Star Wars and Avengers sequel in the works, but I wouldn’t count it out as not possible. I’ll keep my eye out for more news on this story.