Obi-Wan, Lizzie McGuire join new Disney Plus platform

Disney Plus will launch on Nov. 12 and will compete with out streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, HBO Now and soon Apple TV Plus. (AFP/Robyn Beck)
Updated 24 August 2019

Obi-Wan, Lizzie McGuire join new Disney Plus platform

  • The audience of about 6,000 at a convention center adjacent to Disneyland also voiced enthusiasm for another “Star Wars“-related series
  • The new channel will also feature a reboot of popular series ‘Lizzie McGuire’

ANAHEIM, Calif: Ewan McGregor is reprising his “Star Wars” role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in a new series, one of the many splashy projects that Disney is banking on to make its new streaming platform competitive.
The as-yet untitled Disney Plus show drew big cheers when it was announced Friday at the D23 Expo fan event, as did a “Lizzie McGuire” reboot with original star Hilary Duff playing a grown-up version of the title character.
The audience of about 6,000 at a convention center adjacent to Disneyland also voiced enthusiasm for another “Star Wars“-related series, “The Mandalorian,” which its producers said is set in an unexplored time for the space saga and features new characters.
Disney Plus had a receptive crowd, with expo attendees lining up to buy discounted subscriptions before the showcase. But it laid out a two-hour banquet of show trailers and stars to further whet fans’ appetite, starting with a performance by cast members of the new “High School Musical” series and appearances by McGregor, Duff, Kristen Bell, Anna Kendrick and others.
“It’s been four years of saying, ‘I don’t know’” when he was asked about the long-discussed Obi-Wan project, McGregor said. “Now I can say, ‘Yes, we’re going to do it.’”




Known currently as ‘Untitled Obi-Wan Kenobi Series,’ starring Ewan McGregor, will stream exclusively on Disney+, which launches Nov. 12. (Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney/AFP)

Among the movies set for the streaming service launching Nov. 12: the holiday comedy “Noelle,” starring Kendrick, Bill Hader and Billy Eichner, and a live-action remake of 1955’s animated film “Lady and the Tramp,” with Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux voicing the canine couple. Yvette Nicole Brown, who hosted the Disney Plus showcase, also stars.
Disney is reaching into its library for the streaming service with classic projects and updates on them, like “Lady and the Tramp.” But it’s also relying on brands that were acquired by Disney, including Marvel, Pixar, Fox’s entertainment businesses, and “Star Wars” home Lucasfilm, making it a formidable newcomer.
“Ms. Marvel,” “Moon Knight” and “She-Hulk,” derived from Marvel comics, are being developed as live-action series for Disney Plus, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige announced. Also coming is “What If...?” an animated series that imagines alternate Marvel universe realities, such as Peggy Carter as Captain America.




 ‘Lizzie McGuire’ starring Hilary Duff (R), will stream exclusively on Disney+. (Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney/AFP)

“Monsters At Work” is a series inspired by the Pixar movie “Monsters, Inc.” with a new cast of monsters and starring Ben Feldman and Aisha Tyler in its voice cast.
Among the other programs for Disney Plus, which is launching with a $7 monthly price tag (pricing to vary outside the United States):
— “Diary of a Female President,” a comedy series about a Cuban-American girl’s middle-school experience and her path to becoming the US president. Tess Romero plays Elena, with Gina Rodriguez producing and guest-starring as the adult version.
— “The World According to Jeff Goldblum,” a National Geographic series in which the actor explores such things as sneakers, ice cream and synchronized swimming.
— “Encore!” from executive producer Bell, which gives former castmates of high school musicals the chance to perform together again and revisit their teenage insecurities.
— “Forky Asks a Question,” with Tony Hale reprising his role from “Toy Story 4” in new Pixar animated shorts about the inquisitive toy.


Archaeologists unveil possible shrine to Rome’s first king

Updated 21 February 2020

Archaeologists unveil possible shrine to Rome’s first king

  • Possible shrine to Romulus is found at the heart of Rome, on the site of the old Roman forum
  • The founder of Rome was abandoned by the banks of the river Tiber, before being nursed back to health by a she-wolf

ROME: Archaeologists said on Friday they had discovered an ancient cenotaph that almost certainly commemorated the legendary founder of Rome, Romulus, buried in the heart of the Italian capital.
The small chamber containing a simple sarcophagus and round stone block was originally found at the start of the last century beneath the Capitoline Hill inside the old Roman forum.
However, officials say the significance of the find has only just become clear following fresh excavations and new research.
Alfonsina Russo, the head of the Colosseum Archaeological Park, said the site probably dated back to the sixth century BC, and was located in the most ancient part of the city which was directly linked in historical texts to Rome’s first king.
“This area is highly symbolic. This surely cannot be Romulus’ tomb, but it is a place of memory, a cenotaph,” Russo told Reuters TV.
The shrine is buried beneath the entrance to the Curia, one of the meeting places for Roman senators which was subsequently converted into a church — a move that protected it from being dismantled for its stones as happened to other forum buildings.

The underground chamber was also located close to the “Lapis Niger,” an antique slab of marble that was venerated by Romans and covered a stone column that was dedicated to “the King” and appeared to curse anyone who thought to disturb it.
Russo said the Roman poet Horace and ancient Roman historian Marcus Terentius Varro had related that Romulus was buried behind the “rostra” — a tribune where speakers addressed the crowd in the forum. “The rostra are right here,” she said.
No body was found in the sarcophagus, which was made of volcanic tuff rock, but according to at least one legend, Romulus vanished into the sky following his death to become the God Quirinus, meaning that possibly he never had a tomb.
According to the myth, Romulus and his brother Remus, the sons of the god Mars, were abandoned by the banks of the river Tiber where a she-wolf found them and fed them with her milk.
The brothers are said to have founded Rome at the site in 753 BC and ended up fighting over who should be in charge. Romulus killed Remus.