Unexpected Cherry On Top: Disney Chairman Dick Cook Fired? ‘Pirates 4’ Doomed?!
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If you visit the site everyday (or any movie site, for that matter), you know that recently there was a massive shower of Disney-related news announced at their D23 Expo — most of which were revealed by Disney Chairman, Dick Cook. Most of the news was very exciting, including big news about a Muppet takeover, information on big Pixar sequels Toy Story 3 and Cars 2, and the official title for the fourth movie in their Pirates franchise: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

After this Christmas morning of announcements, the last thing you would expect to top it all off would be bad news, but that’s just what we’ve been given. It’s being reported by Nikki Finke that after 38 years of service, and an impressively popular reputation, Chairman Dick Cook has now been fired by Disney President and CEO Bob Iger. There are reports that the two weren’t exactly seeing eye-to-eye, as well.

It was initially reported that he had innocently just “stepped down” from his position, which Disney is standing by, even though Finke has multiple updates on her report that quote various Disney insiders who are saying that it was a firing, and not one that is being taken lightly. People that have worked with him are crushed by this news, and that it reminds them of when former Disney topper Michael Eisner fired Jeffrey Katzenberg. Even worse, they’re wondering who they could possibly replace him with, saying “I don’t know who Iger thinks he can find who’ll be able to come in there and already have relations with Spielberg, and Zemeckis, and Bruckheimer, and Lasseter, and Burton, like this guy had,” which is accompanied by rumors that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige “impressed the hell out of” Iger while the Marvel deal was being worked out…so take that as you will.

Click over for more, including the possible fate of Pirates of the Caribbean straight from the mouth of Johnny Depp, and the official statements from both Cook and Iger.

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Michael Eisner Developing ‘Bazooka Joe’ Movie
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In 2007, former Disney Chief Michael Eisner purchased Topps, the trading card company that also owns Bazooka gum, for $380 Million in hopes of resurrecting the company. Many have questioned this investment, as both Bazooka gum and trading cards aren’t nearly as popular as they once were, and there’s no clear path to them ever being popular again. One plan Eisner has, is to go Hollywood with a movie based on the face of the gum: Bazooka Joe!

Bazooka Joe comics are a pile of nostalgia for many people. We all remember opening up a piece of the gum, taking off the little comic and reading it while we chewed away. By the time we were done reading, the gum was a flavor-less lump of hardened silly putty, but we had fun while it lasted and moved on. Joe the character is a little boy with an eye patch, for which has long been a universal mystery. I personally believe he lost it in ‘Nam, but no one knows for sure.

Eisner and his Tornate Co. have hired Mark Hammer to script the movie. Hammer is a newcomer who wrote a script called Sonny Takes to Peru, but it never sold. Even so, the writing was impressive enough to catch some eyes, and now he has this bubble-gum job in-hand.

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