More sad news on the Coronavirus front as several actors and artists have passed away from the deadly disease sweeping the globe. Actor Jay Benedict died Monday from the disease at age 68. He is best known in the states for roles in 1986's classic sci-fi thriller Aliens and 2012's blockbuster hit The Dark Knight Rises. Overseas he is perhaps best known for his starring role in the U.K. TV series Emmerdale.
The news of Jay Benedict's death was first reported by TCG Artist Management's Kristin Tarry. She has represented the actor for over twenty years. She had this to say about his death on Monday.'It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear client Jay Benedict, who this afternoon lost his battle with COVID-19. Our thoughts are with his family.'
Jay Benedict's role in Aliens was greatly expanded in James Cameron's director's cut of the 1986 box office hit. He played Newt's father, with a major scene featuring the actor returned in a later version of the movie. In The Dark Knight Rises he played Rich Twit for director Christopher Nolan. On Emmerdale, he played Doug Hamilton in the series, which has aired in the UK. since 1972. He made his first appearance on the show in the late '90s.
The actor is survived by wife Phoebe Scholfield and their two sons Freddie andLeopold. Friend Pierce Brosnan posted a lengthy tribute on Instagram to the late actor. He had this to say about Jay Benedict.'My dearest friend Jay Benedict, brother in this life, has passed on... we were friends for so many years, forty years and change. This is a photo taken last May outside the stage door of the Lyric theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue London. Jay and I played brothers in a Franco Zeffirelli production of Filumena... Life was so much fun with Jay, on stage and off, we laughed a lot at the world around us, at our selves, saw the funny side of life always.' 'He was a courageous man of handsome life force, that shone its light in every room he walked into, down every road he traveled, he shared his joyful radiance of kinship with all who knew him, a fine mind of intellect and compassion, he gave of himself in every way to the craft of acting, but above all else, he gave us all his great love of life, himself.'
Vicki Michelle, who co-starred with Benedict on Emmerdale, also had fond words for her friend, which she posted on twitter.
Jay Benedict was also remembered by actor David Menkin, who went onto say, 'Jay Benedict - one of the greats - passed away today. If you work in ADR, dubbing, voiceovers, theatre or film in London, you know why we're heartbroken; a big voice and even bigger personality has left us.' Benedict is the most recent in a list of celebrities, actors and artist who have lost their lives to the deadly virus sweeping across the globe at this time. Patricia Bosworth succumbed to the disease on Thursday at 86. She acted opposite Audrey Hepburn but was perhaps better known for...
Disney+ may benefit from further delays with the studio's theatrical releases as more movies may be going directly to the streaming service in the future. This, according to former Disney CEO and current Executive Chairman Bob Iger. It was recently revealed that Artemis Fowl will debut on Disney+ sometime this year, skipping a theatrical release. As Iger explains, that may not be the only title to make the move from theatrical to streaming, but don't expect to see it happen with the studio's upcoming tentpole releases.
Given what's going on in the world right now, most movie theaters are shut down entirely and virtually all major releases through June have been delayed. Some have wondered if Disney might put movies like Black Widow or Mulan on Disney+ instead. While that won't be happening, Bob Iger isn't ruling out other movies making the shift. Here's what Iger had to say about it in a recent interview.'There are some we've decided to put on Disney+. We already announced one, Artemis Fowl, that would have been released in theaters. Others we've simply delayed. In some cases we've moved things onto Disney+ faster than we would have. Frozen 2 was one of them, but Onward would be the biggest example. It was in theaters when this happened.' 'We moved to a pay-per-view period for a couple of weeks where people could buy it and own it. And then we ended up putting it on Disney+. In terms of movies going ahead after Artemis, there may be a few more that we end up putting directly onto Disney+, but for the most part a lot of the big tentpole Disney films, we'll simply wait for slots. In some cases we've announced new ones already, but later on in the calendar.'
There is a lot to unpack here. Black Widow and several other delayed movies were recently given new release dates as Disney reshuffled its 2020/2021 calendar. Black Widow and other big-budget tentpoles stand to make far more money in theaters, even with a relatively uncertain future ahead, than they could possibly generate via streaming. So putting movies like them directly on Disney+ doesn't make that much business sense.
In the meantime, taking riskier projects such as Artemis Fowl and giving Disney+ subscribers something flashy and exclusive is helpful. But what other movies might fit the bill for streaming debuts? The New Mutants perhaps? Whatever the case, as Bob Iger points out, the studio is content to wait until things return to normal. Disney, more than any other studio in Hollywood, is capable of raking in big dollars at the box office. So this truly isn't that surprising.
Other studios, on the other hand, may see value in doing a VOD/Digital release. Universal kicked that door wide open a couple of weeks back by putting recent releases such as The Invisible Man and The Hunt online. Trolls: World Tour, which was destined for theaters, will arrive digitally this month. Disney has not yet set a premiere date for Artemis Fowl, but it's...