Multi-Year Agreement with The Walt Disney Studios Brings Epic Star Wars Films to Corus Networks Including Canadian Broadcast Premieres of Upcoming Theatrical Releases
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TORONTO, June 8, 2017 /CNW/ - Corus Entertainment is set to take Canadians to a galaxy far, far away. Revealed moments ago during its 2017 Upfront presentation, Corus announced tonight a multi-year licensing agreement with The Walt Disney Studios for the broadcast rights to one of the most revered and astronomically successful movie franchises of all time – Star Wars. Beginning fall 2017, 11 films from the epic franchise, including original trilogy titles and yet-to-be-seen theatrical releases, will make their debuts on Corus' empire of conventional and specialty networks, including Global, Showcase, W Network, ABC Spark, YTV, Disney Channel, Disney XD, and more.
"Star Wars is undoubtedly a cultural phenomenon with versatile, imaginative, and character-rich storylines, and a prolific library of titles that continue to captivate audiences around the world," said Barb Williams, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Corus Entertainment. "We're thrilled to be expanding our relationship with Disney to connect Canadians with one of the most recognized and universally appealing brands."
The agreement with The Walt Disney Studios includes five of the six original classic Star Wars films, the Canadian network premieres of record-breaking blockbuster films Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, plus the highly-anticipated Star Wars: The Last Jedi slated for theatrical release in December 2017 and the yet-to-be-released standalone Han Solo Star Wars adventure. The installment that launched the enduring franchise, Star Wars: A New Hope, comes to Corus through a separate deal with 20th Century Fox. Broadcast details for all films will be announced at a later date.
The deal strengthens Corus' existing relationship with The Walt Disney Company, as the official home of all three Disney networks in Canada – Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior – along with millennial network ABC Spark (Freeform). The fourth and final season of the critically acclaimed animated series Star Wars Rebels returns to Disney XD this fall, as the Ghost crew completes their last mission, continuing the epic tradition of the legendary Star Wars saga with new action-packed adventures that draw the series closer to the events of Star Wars: A New Hope.
Please see below for descriptions of the Star Wars films.
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999)
Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) rescue Queen Amidala (Natalie Portman), ruler of a peaceful planet invaded by dark forces. On their escape, they discover nine-year-old Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd), a child prodigy who is unusually strong in the Force.
Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (2002)
When Jedi apprentice Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is assigned to protect Senator Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman), he discovers his love for her…and his own darker side. Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) uncovers a secret clone army as the galaxy marches towards full-scale war.
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
The Clone Wars rage across the galaxy. The sinister Sith Lord Darth Sidious seizes control of the Republic and corrupts Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) to be his dark apprentice, Darth Vader. Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) must confront his fallen friend in an epic lightsaber duel.
Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) (licensed from 20th Century Fox)
Young farm boy Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is thrust into a galaxy of adventure when he intercepts a distress call from the captive Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher). The event launches him on a daring mission to rescue her from the clutches of Darth Vader and the evil Empire.
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
The Rebels scatter after the Empire attacks their base on the ice planet Hoth. Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) are pursued by Imperials, while Luke (Mark Hamill) trains with Jedi Master Yoda. Luke must battle Darth Vader and learns the shocking truth of his past.
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)
The Empire prepares to crush the Rebellion with a more powerful Death Star. The Rebel fleet counters with a massive attack on the space station. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) confronts Darth Vader in a final climactic duel.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
As Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the sinister First Order rise from the ashes of the Empire, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is missing when the galaxy needs him most. It's up to Rey (Daisy Ridley), a desert scavenger, and Finn (John Boyega), a defecting stormtrooper, to join forces with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca in a desperate search for the one hope of restoring peace to the galaxy.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (to be released theatrically in December 2017)
Star Wars: Episode IX (to be released theatrically in 2019)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
The first of the Star Wars standalone films, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, recounts events just prior to those seen in Star Wars: A New Hope. The adventure follows a daring band of unlikely heroes on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire's ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things and, in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.
Standalone Han Solo Star Wars Film (to be released theatrically in 2018)
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About Corus Entertainment Inc.
Corus Entertainment Inc. (TSX: CJR.B) is a leading media and content company that creates and delivers high quality brands and content across platforms for audiences around the world. The company's portfolio of multimedia offerings encompasses 45 specialty television services, 39 radio stations, 15 conventional television stations, a global content business, digital assets, live events, children's book publishing, animation software, technology and media services. Corus' roster of premium brands includes Global Television, W Network, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network Canada, HGTV Canada, Food Network Canada, HISTORY®, Showcase, National Geographic, Q107, CKNW, Fresh Radio, Disney Channel Canada, YTV, and Nickelodeon Canada. Visit Corus at www.corusent.com.
About Lucasfilm Ltd.
Lucasfilm Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is a global leader in film, television and digital entertainment production. In addition to its motion picture and television production, the company's activities include visual effects and audio post-production, cutting-edge digital animation, interactive entertainment software, and the management of the global merchandising activities for its entertainment properties including the legendary Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. Lucasfilm Ltd. is headquartered in northern California.
About The Walt Disney Studios
For over 90 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. Feature films are released under the following banners: Disney, including Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios; Disneynature; Marvel Studios; Lucasfilm; and Touchstone Pictures. The Disney Music Group encompasses the Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records labels, as well as Disney Music Publishing. The Disney Theatrical Group produces and licenses live events, including Disney on Broadway, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!.
SOURCE Corus Entertainment Inc.
For further information: Ashley Applebaum, Publicity Manager, Global Television, Corus Entertainment, 416.860.4217, [email protected]; Michelle McTeague, Publicity Manager, General Entertainment and Kids Content, Corus Entertainment, 416.966.7724, [email protected]; Catrina Jaricot, Publicity Manager, Women and Lifestyle Content, Corus Entertainment, 416.479.6397, [email protected]