STAR WARS: EPISODE VII: New Set Photo Released; Gareth Edwards’ STAR WARS Spin-Off to Shoot in the United Kingdom

by     Posted 80 days ago

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Presumably, Star Wars: Episode VII set photos will be few and far between.  They’ll either be leaked, or J.J. Abrams will leave a note akin to something you would leave if someone was stealing your lunch from the refrigerator every day.  However, when you’re the United Kingdom’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, you have a bit more leeway to take a photo from the set and tweet it out to your followers.  Forget any other governmental powers he may have (and I truly don’t know because I can live my life in total ignorance of British government).  Being able to get an authorized photo off the set of Star Wars: Episode VII is true power.  Kudos, United Kingdom’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne for snapping a photo with producer Kathleen Kennedy, Abrams, and R2-D2.

Hit the jump to check out the Star Wars: Episode VII image and to learn more about the production of Gareth Edward‘s Star Wars spin-off, and if you missed our earlier rumor roundup, click here.  Star Wars: Episode VII opens December 18, 2015.

CHRONICLE Director Josh Trank to Helm STAR WARS Spinoff Film

by     Posted 87 days ago

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While filmmaker J.J. Abrams is busy directing Star Wars: Episode VII, Lucasfilm and Disney continue to build up their slate of future Star Wars films.  Godzilla director Gareth Edwards has already been tapped to direct a Star Wars spinoff film set for release on December 16, 2016, and now Lucasfilm and Disney have announced that Chronicle director Josh Trank will helm a separate Star Wars spinoff film for an unspecified release date.  Much more after the jump.

J.J. Abrams Cheekily Responds to STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Set Photo Leaks

by     Posted 87 days ago

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Over the past couple of days, set photos have been leaking out from Star Wars: Episode VII.  These leaks are part of the inevitable cycle we’ve fallen into when it comes to gigantic blockbusters: we say we don’t want to know anything, we hunt for every scrap we can find that will show us something, and the marketing almost always ends up spoiling everything anyway.  It’s frustrating (personally, I’d be fine never posting any leaked set photo), but it’s what the people want.  Director J.J. Abrams isn’t ignorant of this fact, but he’d like to keep things a little under wraps, and has left a polite note asking for people to stop stealing away unofficial images from the upcoming Star Wars movie.

The note is also somewhat cheeky as it denies the presence of the Millennium Falcon by doing a close-up on a piece of the ship that die-hard fans will recognize.  Hit the jump for more.  Star Wars: Episode VII opens December 18, 2015.

J.J. Abrams Offers Fans a Chance to Cameo in STAR WARS: EPISODE VII and Be a “Force for Change”

by     Posted 101 days ago

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So this is pretty cool.  Star Wars: Episode VII is currently filming in Abu Dhabi, and director J.J. Abrams took some time to make a video offering fans a chance to fly to London (where they’re shooting most of the movie) to visit the set, meet the cast, and get a cameo in the movie.  Best of all, this contest is part of a charity effort called “Force for Change”.  Your donation for a chance to be in the movie will fund UNICEF’s Innovation Labs, which helps children all around the world.  Additionally, even if you don’t win the cameo, your donation can still get you cool rewards like t-shirts, posters, and more.  The higher the donation level, the more entries you get.

Click here to donate, and hit the jump to check out Abrams talking about contest, which also includes a cameo from a new, camel-like alien.  Star Wars: Episode VII opens December 18, 2015.

See J.J. Abrams’ Note to the STAR WARS Cast and Crew

by     Posted 103 days ago

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As evidenced by last week’s debut set photo, principal photography is now underway on a brand new Star Wars film.  That’s an exciting prospect in and of itself, and while we really don’t know much about Star Wars: Episode VII other than the fact that the original trilogy cast is returning and it’s a sequel to Return of the Jedi (obviously), it’s neat to think that right now, at this very moment, a new Star Wars movie is being made.  To mark the beginning of production, director J.J. Abrams shared an encouraging note with his cast and crew, and the note has now made its way online.  If you’re looking for story clues or Easter Eggs, you’ll be sorely disappointed, but it’s nice to see how much Abrams cares about the many, many folks that are working hard to bring this film to fruition.

Hit the jump to check out the note and to read Abrams’ words of encouragement yourself.  The film stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny BakerStar Wars: Episode VII arrives in theaters on December 18, 2015.

STAR WARS: EPISODE 7 Has Started Filming!

by     Posted 107 days ago

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Filming has begun on Star Wars: Episode 7!  As a lifelong Star Wars fan, I cannot believe it’s actually happening.  Sure the prequels were a huge let down.  But that doesn’t matter; right now, somewhere near London, J.J. Abrams is sitting behind a monitor with cinematographer Daniel Mindel directing Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow!  And next year, on December 18, we’re going to get the first of many new Star Wars movies now that the franchise is under the control of Disney and Kathleen Kennedy at LucasFilm.  While some of you might be nervous, I’m extremely optimistic.  I really believe we’re at the beginning of a road that will inspire a new generation, and remind older fans why they fell in love with Star Wars in the first place.  This is the best I’ve felt about the franchise since 1998.

With production beginning on the biggest film of 2015, Bad Robot has tweeted an image of the film slate from the first day of filming.  Check it out after the jump and let me know if you’re as excited as me in the comments.

J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan Deliver a STAR WARS Day Message; Say They’re Still Working on the Script and Casting

by     Posted 118 days ago

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I hope you had a happy Star Wars Day.  This multi-billion dollar franchise that has defined generations never really gets the attention it deserves, but thankfully, “May the 4th” sounds like “May the Force”, and the rest is history.  Before 2012, this “holiday” could only look back at the main films, but now it can look forward as the Star Wars sequels are underway.  Although the main cast was announced last Friday, Star Wars: Episode VII director J.J Abrams and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan did have a brief message for the fans.  Kasdan mentions that they’re still working on the script (don’t freak out; these are probably the kind of tweaks that happen for most major productions), and Abrams adds, “as casting announcements continue…” so it looks like we weren’t done with the casting news on this movie after all.  Excuse me while I cut off my head with a lightsaber.

Hit the jump to check out the video.  Star Wars: Episode VII opens December 18, 2015.

TOP 5: STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Cast Announced, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, GODZILLA Trailer, Zack Snyder to Direct JUSTICE LEAGUE, THE INTERNET’S OWN BOY

by     Posted 119 days ago

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I’ll say this much for The Amazing Spider-Man 2: it’s unique. I can’t recall a film off the top of my head that delivers one cringeworthy moment after another, eye roll upon eye roll, only to stick the landing and actually make me semi-look forward to the next installment. As many have stated already, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are actually quite good in the film as its emotional anchors. As much as I enjoy Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man (and love his Spider-Man 2), I’ll take Garfield over Tobey Maguire as my wall-crawler of choice any day of the week. Still yet, that doesn’t change the fact that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a tonal mess for about 90% of its runtime. To make matters worse, Jamie Foxx‘s Electro is so poorly written, and so ridiculously portrayed, that he’d be right at home in a Joel Schumacher Batman movie. And yet, that ending still resonates with me and I’m kind of interested to see what’s next. Like I said, it’s unique.

We’ll talk more about The Amazing Spider-Man 2 after the jump with Matt’s review and Steve’s video interviews. In addition, this week’s Top 5 also highlights the Star Wars: Episode VII cast announcement, the new international Godzilla trailer, Zack Snyder officially landing the Justice League directorial gig, and the first trailer for the excellent looking doc The Internet’s Own Boy. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

TOP 5: WonderCon Coverage, BOYHOOD Trailer, Orci Lobbying to Direct STAR TREK 3, Ray Fisher to Play Cyborg in BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN, STAR WARS News

by     Posted 126 days ago

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I’d like to apologize in advance for today’s opening paragraph lacking the fascinating insight and ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 gushing that you’ve come to expect. I’m writing from the press lounge of the 5th Annual Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (also known as C2E2) where a majority of my time will be spent on the convention floor taking Cosplay pictures and searching for heavily discounted hardback comics. It’s not a complete loss, though, as I should be posting an image recap from the convention in the coming days much like I’ve done the last two years.

All dreams of hardback treasure hunting aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights our extensive WonderCon Anaheim coverage, the first trailer for Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood, word that Roberto Orci is looking to direct Star Trek 3, Ray Fisher landing the role of Cyborg in Batman vs. Superman, and several new pieces of Star Wars info. Resting on the other side of the jump is a brief recap and link to each of the above.

Disney Chairman Alan Horn Says the STAR WARS Films Will Have Budgets in the $175 Million to $200 Million Range

by     Posted 130 days ago

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Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn spoke a bit this morning about the highly anticipated sequel Star Wars: Episode VII, but his comments were essentially confirming things we already know: the cast isn’t 100% set yet, principal photography hasn’t begun, George Lucas is consulting, and future Star Wars films could return to the May release date strategy.  However, he also revealed a fascinating nugget with regards to the budgets of the new Star Wars movies.  One might think that a movie as big as Episode VII would have a budget of epic proportions, but the number that Horn quoted is actually pretty in line with other recent tentpole films.  More after the jump.

Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn Talks STAR WARS: EPISODE VII; Says Casting Is Almost Done

by     Posted 130 days ago

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We’re trying to get every morsel of Star Wars: Episode VII news we can, and there’s no better source than Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan HornA few weeks ago, he told an audience at Loyola that second unit filming was underway and that when it came to casting, “We’re just not completely done yet.”  Principal photography is currently set to begin in May, and so Horn has provided a few more details.  According to Variety, Horn is going to London this week to go over the script with director/co-writer J.J. Abrams.  That’s no reason to freak out.  There’s no major rewrite on the way.  This is probably just a check to make sure both the studio and the production are on the same page before cameras start rolling.  Communication is somewhat important when billions of dollars are on the line.

Hit the jump for more Star Wars: Episode VII news from Horn, and to see what he had to say about the budgets of the Star Wars movies, click here.  The film opens on December 18, 2015.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII to Shoot in Abu Dhabi as Stand-In for Tatooine

by     Posted 142 days ago

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Your (almost) daily dose of Star Wars semi-news is ready.  A few weeks ago, a report surfaced that director J.J. Abrams was looking to kick off filming on Star Wars: Episode VII in Morocco and Tunisia, which served as the stand-ins for Tatooine in George Lucas’ previous Star Wars films.  However, it appears that a new city will actually serve as the stand-in for Tatooine this time around, as a four-week shoot is being planned in Abu Dhabi.  Hit the jump for more on the latest development regarding Star Wars: Episode VII.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Takes Place 30 Years After RETURN OF THE JEDI; Starts Filming in May

by     Posted 165 days ago

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Disney CEO Bob Iger decided to drop some big news during this morning’s earnings call.  In addition to revealing that sequels to Pixar’s The Incredibles and Cars are in the works, he provided a brief update on Star Wars: Episode VII, revealing that the sequel will take place 30 years after the events of Episode V: Return of the Jedi.  Moreover, and possibly even more surprising, Iger confirmed that filming on Episode VII begins in May despite the fact that not a single castmember beyond R2D2 has been officially announced.  Hit the jump for more, including the official press release.

Watch the 2-Minute Opening Shot from Alfonso Cuarón’s NBC Series BELIEVE

by     Posted 176 days ago

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Filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón just won the Oscar for Best Director, but you don’t have to wait long to see the talented director’s next project.  In the midst of the very lengthy post-production process on Gravity, Cuarón made his first foray into television by writing and directing the pilot for NBC’s new drama series Believe.  The network has now released the first two minutes of the show online ahead of its Monday premiere, and it’s fittingly one of the director’s signature long, unbroken shots.  The story centers on a wrongfully-imprisoned death row inmate who is broken out of jail in order to protect a young girl with powerful abilities.  Cuarón also serves as an executive producer on the show alongside J.J. Abrams, and this is definitely a promising opening for the show.

Hit the jump to watch the first two minutes of the series.  The show stars Johnny SequoyahDelroy Lindo, and Kyle MacLachlanBelieve premieres on NBC Monday, March 10th at 10pm ET.

TOP 5: Adam Driver Nears Deal to Play Villain in STAR WARS EPISODE 7, GODZILLA Trailer, NON-STOP, Cinemath Meets Oscar Beat, VERONICA MARS Set Visit

by     Posted 182 days ago

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Lying somewhat quietly between two of David Fincher‘s most beloved works is The Game (1997) starring Michael Douglas. Although it failed to reach the level of critical and box office success enjoyed by Seven (1995) or the cult classic status of Fight Club (1999), after watching its Criterion Collection DVD release this past week I came away thinking that it may actually be one of Fincher’s best directorial efforts. Working from a script by John Brancato and Michael Ferris (2/3 of the writing trio that helped bring you the 2004 Catwoman screenplay that you enjoyed so much), Fincher’s cold/muted color palette, striking visual style, and fantastic pacing help elevate the interesting, albeit occasionally absurd, screenplay to another level. The result is a haunting work that expertly sets up and tears down the callous, calculated world of corporate wealth by forcing Douglas’ Ebenezer Scrooge archetype to see the shell of a life he has outside of his work and possessions. The Game may go off the rails at times, but with Fincher’s steady hand guiding the story it does so in all the extremely dark, right ways.

My Fincher recommendation aside, I should mention that the Top 5 will take a quick week hiatus to allow me to travel next weekend. In the meantime, this week’s installment highlights the Star Wars: Episode VII casting news involving Adam Driver, the new trailer for director Gareth EdwardsGodzilla, a review and interviews for Non-Stop, worlds colliding as Brendan’s Cinemath meets Adam’s Oscar Beat, and our Veronica Mars set visit coverage. As you’ve come to expect, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.

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