Teen Creates Imaginative TikTok Video for Disney – and Bob Iger, James Gunn and Sony Respond
A talented teen has caught the eye of some Hollywood bigwigs — with a little help from the Twitterverse.
On Thursday, Julian Bass tweeted out a TikTok video of himself taking on different looks of his "favorite heroes," including two Disney ones: a Star Wars Jedi and Spider-Man.
Set to Harry Styles' summer hit "Watermelon Sugar" as a background track, the 20-second clip shows Julian wielding a lightsaber (channeling a look clearly inspired by Lando Calrissian), donning the Spidey suit and even transforming a la Cartoon Network's Ben 10.
"If y'all can retweet this enough times that Disney calls, that'd be greatly appreciated," Julian wrote in his tweet, which has since garnered more than 900,000 likes, 380,000 retweets and 5,000 responses.
Perhaps the most exciting? Disney Executive Chairman and former CEO Bob Iger, who replied enthusiastically, "The world's gonna know your name!!!" — to which Julian responded, "This is the beginning!!!" and "Let's schedule a time to talk!!!" in consecutive tweets.
The video also snagged the attention of Sony, who replied simply with side-eye and mind-blown emojis, and Guardians of the Galaxy and Suicide Squad director James Gunn, who tweeted a praise-hands emoji. Wrote Zach Braff, "Hire this man, Gunn!", while many fans called for Julian to be cast as protagonist Miles Morales in a live-action version of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
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Disney has been in the news quite a bit as of late regarding their park closures and reopening dates, as well as the company's $2 million donation to NAACP and decision to re-theme its Splash Mountain attraction based on the 2009 Disney film The Princess and the Frog, which features the first Black Disney Princess, Tiana.
According to a press release shared with PEOPLE late last month, the upcoming rebranding is "a project Imagineers have been working on since last year," and will replace the current branding based on the controversial 1946 film Song of the South.
The ride's storyline will pick up "after the final kiss, and join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure – featuring some of the powerful music from the film – as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance."
"The retheming of Splash Mountain is of particular importance today," the release explained. "The new concept is inclusive — one that all of our guests can connect with and be inspired by, and it speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year."
Both U.S. Disney parks — Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and Disneyland in Anaheim, California — are currently still closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic, and have been since mid-March.
As of Friday morning, Walt Disney World still plans to reopen its parks beginning July 11, with Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom opening that day and Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios opening four days later.
While California Gov. Gavin Newsom's latest order prohibits the indoor operation of restaurants, movie theaters and family entertainment establishments in Orange County, Disneyland Resort's Downtown Disney will still reopen on July 9 as previously announced, with new plans to have only outdoor seating at its various eateries.
The reopening of the dining and shopping district will include both Disney-owned and operated businesses, as well as third-party businesses on site.
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