Rumor: Chewitel Ejiofor Might Be in STAR WARS: EPISODE VII; J.J. Abrams Wants to Take Franchise Back to Grittier Roots

by     Posted 165 days ago

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The desperation for Star Wars: Episode VII casting news continues even though it’s kind of pointless.  I tell you Actor X is in the movie, and what does that really mean?  When that news finally comes, I seriously doubt it will come with any character details or even a name.  At most, this speculation adds up to wanting talented actors whose name might be a draw but not too expensive such as Benedict Cumberbatch or Saoirse Ronan or the latest actor to possibly be connected to the project, Chiwetel Ejiofor.  The 12 Years a Slave star is the current favorite to win the Oscar for Best Actor, and he was recently spotted in Bad Robot’s lobby.  Yes, casting news based on physical proximity.

Hit the jump for more including how J.J. Abrams agrees with the “Four Rules” about Star Wars.

ATTACK THE BLOCK Director Joe Cornish Eyed to Helm STAR TREK 3; Summer 2014 Shoot Planned

by     Posted 167 days ago

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While we certainly haven’t been short on news regarding the very busy schedule J.J. Abrams has in front of him with regards to Star Wars: Episode VII, the filmmaker has also been juggling producing duties on the next installment of Star Trek at the same time.  Abrams’ Episode VII schedule prevents him from directing Star Trek 3, but he’s staying involved with the franchise as the producer of the Into Darkness follow-up, and now it appears that Abrams and his team are zeroing in on who will take over as the director of the Trek franchise.  The exciting contender for the job is Attack the Block helmer Joe Cornish.  Hit the jump for more.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Team Sought Delay to 2016; Disney Adamant about 2015 Release

by     Posted 169 days ago

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Making a movie is not an easy undertaking.  There’s extended development of the script, assembling the creative team, casting, the actual shooting of the film, editing, prolonged post-production work, and everything in between.  In most cases, this all adds up to about two years total on any given film.  In the case of something like Star Wars, bringing such a massive property to life is even more intense.  One year ago, Disney announced that it had purchased Lucasfilm and was planning a new trilogy of Star Wars films, with Episode VII due for release in 2015.  This January, J.J. Abrams was hired to direct the pic under the stewardship of producer Kathleen Kennedy.

Official news on the Episode VII front has been scant in the ensuing months, and last week we learned that Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan were taking over scripting duties from Michael Arndt, thus hinting at a script that is very much still in flux.  How can Episode VII still possibly be barreling towards a 2015 release date, then?  It turns out the Star Wars team actually requested a delay to 2016, but was denied.  Much more after the jump.

STAR WARS EPISODE 7 to be Penned by J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan

by     Posted 176 days ago

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Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) has had about a year to work on screenwriting duties for Star Wars: Episode VII, but now director-producer J.J. Abrams will take over, along with longtime writer and current consultant, Lawrence Kasdan.  As the duo refines the script in advance of the film’s planned start date of spring 2014, work continues in the location scouting, production design, casting, and costume design departments.

Hit the jump for more details in the press release.

George Lucas Was Working on STAR WARS Sequel Trilogy Before Disney Acquisition; “Constantly Talking” to J.J. Abrams about Episode VII

by     Posted 192 days ago

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Almost one year ago, Disney bought Lucasfilm and announced the Star Wars sequel trilogy was underway.  There was the assumption that Disney’s purchase had been the catalyst for the new trilogy, but a recent interview with George Lucas’ son, Jett, reveals his father had already started work on new episodes.  “We knew probably a year prior (to the purchase) he had started writing and researching, starting his whole little process,” Jett Lucas told Flicks and the City.  “About a year later was when the idea of selling to Disney came up…It’s nice because he’s happiest when he’s writing and doing something with his time.”

Hit the jump for more about George Lucas trying to let the franchise go, and the current status of his involvement.

J.J. Abrams May Shoot Some of STAR WARS: EPISODE VII with IMAX Cameras

by     Posted 204 days ago

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It’s fitting that quite possibly the biggest film of this decade may be partially filmed using the largest cameras available.  Director J.J. Abrams is currently knee-deep in prep for Star Wars: Episode VII, and having now assembled his cinematographer, costume designer, and composer, he is moving on to the particulars of the shoot.  We know that Episode VII will be largely shot on soundstages in London, and we previously learned that Abrams plans on using 35mm film instead of digital to capture the images.  Now it appears that Abrams might be mixing things up in the camera department by filming certain scenes with IMAX cameras.  Hit the jump for more.

J.J. Abrams Talks STAR WARS: EPISODE VII; Says He Wants to Make It Feel Real

by     Posted 210 days ago

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Director J.J. Abrams is staying predictably tight-lipped about Star Wars: Episode VII, and at this point, I don’t really mind.  We’re still at an relatively early stage, so this isn’t the “mystery box”.  This is “the-movie-is-about-two-years-away”.  EW, knowing that he wouldn’t go into any details, pitched him some more open-ended, non-specific questions about his general feelings regarding Star Wars and the upcoming sequel.  As far as the previous six movies, he couldn’t really compare any of them to what he’s doing with Episode VII:

“Impossible for me to say because it’s going to be an evolving thing. I would say we are working really hard to make a movie that feels as emotional and authentic and exciting as possible. Whatever your favorite Star Wars movie is and how to compare it is really sort of subjective.”

Hit he jump for more.  Star Wars: Episode VII opens in 2015.

J.J. Abrams Says the STAR TREK Video Game “Arguably Hurt” STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

by     Posted 217 days ago

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Despite raking in a worldwide gross of $465 million and nabbing an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes, Star Trek Into Darkness has been facing some considerably loud negativity over the past few months.  Of course it doesn’t help when one of the writer/producers lambasts fans with a “fuck you” or when Paramount botches the Blu-ray release by spreading the special features out over various separate “exclusive” retail versions, but now director J.J. Abrams has spoken up about a different aspect of the film’s release that he felt personally affronted by: the loosely-related video game Star Trek.  Hit the jump for his surprising comments on why the game “hurt” Into Darkness.

J.J. Abrams and Simon Pegg Talk STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS on Blu-ray and Behind-the-Scenes Footage, Plus STAR TREK 3 and Its New Director

by     Posted 219 days ago

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Only at a party to celebrate the release of the Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray/DVD could you find yourself standing at the California Science Center beneath the wings of the awe-inspiring Space Shuttle Endeavour, as an obvious reminder of the human race’s enduring fascination with space and its exploration.  Along with being invited to attend the glamorous shindig, Collider was also given a spot on the white carpet to do interviews and get updates on where things stand with the Star Trek franchise.

Before heading into the party, J.J. Abrams (who will still be a producer on the third film, even though he’ll be too busy to direct with his attention focused on Star Wars: Episode VII) talked about why he enjoys including extensive behind-the-scenes footage on home entertainment releases, the daunting task of putting your own stamp on a much-loved franchise, how important it is for him to stay involved creatively (he’s already giving input as screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci break the story), and how the next director needs to be someone who’s going to bring their own sensibility and not just do what they think he would want.  Actor Simon Pegg (“Scotty”) talked about how strange it will be not to have J.J. Abrams directing the next film, that he thinks a new director can only be good for the story, as long as it’s the right person, and how he’d love to see Scotty more involved in the action.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

J.J. Abrams Reveals New Project in Collaboration with Author Doug Dorst on the Novel S.

by     Posted 221 days ago

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A few weeks ago, we posted this mysterious trailer for a new project from the mind of J.J. Abrams.  Now, the second half of that teaser has been released along with some details on what exactly that project is.  It seems that Abrams mystery box not only encompasses the world of television and movies, but now books as well.  This new project, titled simply S., has been revealed as a collaboration with author Doug Dorst (Alive in Necropolis) and appears to be every bit as much a mystery as Abrams’ previous works.  Blending the use of crossed paths of multiple characters in David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas with the unconventional presentation of Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves, S. tells the story of the final novel of an enigmatic author and two readers who find each other through the margins of the book.

Hit the jump for both trailers and the book’s synopsis.

HBO Orders WESTWORLD Remake Pilot from J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan

by     Posted 231 days ago

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HBO has given a pilot order for a remake of the 1973 cult classic sci-fi thriller Westworld, and it comes with some pretty impressive behind-the-scenes talent.  J.J. Abrams will executive produce the pilot alongside his Bad Robot partner Bryan Burk, and The Dark Knight scribe Jonathan Nolan will co-write and direct the pilot.  The original film was written and directed by author Michael Crichton and starred Yul Brynner as an android in a futuristic Western-themed amusement park.  Per Variety, the HBO iteration of the story is described as “a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin.”

Nolan, who currently acts as showrunner on the CBS series Person of Interest, will mark his second time directing with Westworld, as he previously helmed an episode of the CBS series.  He was previously rumored to be in contention to direct Warner Bros.’ Man of Steel, produced by his brother Christopher Nolan, but that job eventually went to Zack Snyder.  Hit the jump for more on the potential Westworld series.

TOP 5: Ben Affleck Is Batman, The Best Weekend This Summer, Iconic Directors Talk the Future of Movies in 1990, THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS, STAR WARS

by     Posted 237 days ago

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It should come as a surprise to no one that this week’s Top 5 is headlined by the news that Ben Affleck will inherit the cowl as the next Batman in Summer 2015′s Man of Steel sequel. And with good reason. Unless something goes drastically wrong, the movie is going to be an international blockbuster that millions will line up to see/pay for (yours truly included). That said, and like I mentioned last week, this weekend is one that I’ve been looking forward to for some time and one that I hope movie lovers will embrace; which is why Matt’s editorial on this being the best weekend of the summer earns the second spot in this week’s installment. If you need a break from the common blockbuster, sequel, reboot, remake, etc., this weekend is for you. If you believe original movies have a place at your local cineplex, here’s your chance to dig into your wallet and prove it. You might be paying to see your favorite movie of the summer or you might end up seeing something that doesn’t suit your tastes at all. Either way, you’ll come out of it a better movie fan than you went in.

All begging and pleading aside, on tap this week is the aforementioned Ben Affleck/Batman news, Matt’s editorial on this being the best weekend of the summer (which will start the begging and pleading all over again), a neat flashback video of George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Martin Scorsese discussing the future of movies in 1990 with Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel, interviews for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and a couple of noteworthy Star Wars: Episode VII tidbits. As is customary, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Will Be Shot on 35mm Film; J.J. Abrams to Reunite with STAR TREK Cinematographer Dan Mindel

by     Posted 239 days ago

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As we move closer (slowly but surely) towards an eventual production start-date for Star Wars: Episode VII, director J.J. Abrams is working to build up his crew for the highly anticipated sequel.  We already know that Abrams’ Star Trek costume designer Michael Kaplan is crafting the film’s costumes, and John Williams is onboard to provide the score.  Now Star Trek cinematographer Dan Mindel has apparently revealed that he will be shooting Episode VII—on 35mm film, no less.  Hit the jump for more.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII May Get December 2015 Release Date

by     Posted 242 days ago

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When Disney first announced that it had purchased Lucasfilm and was planning a new trilogy of Star Wars movies, the release date for the first film was penciled in for 2015.  While an official release date has yet to be announced, Disney President Alan Horn confirmed that Episode VII will hit theaters in 2015 when speaking at the studio’s recent D23 convention.  Many have assumed that a May 2015 release date is the most likely, since all six previous Star Wars films were released in May, but now a new report has surfaced claiming that Disney is actually eyeing a different release date for Episode VII; one that would break the mold: December 2015.  Hit the jump for more.

J.J. Abrams Unveils Mysterious Teaser Trailer for Bad Robot Project

by     Posted 242 days ago

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J.J. Abrams has quite the reputation for being secretive when it comes to his projects, and it appears that he’s taking the “mystery box” to another level with an upcoming Bad Robot production.  The filmmaker has unveiled a minute-long teaser trailer for an unnamed project from Bad Robot, his production company.  It’s pretty safe to assume that this isn’t Star Wars: Episode VII, but beyond that this teaser left me clueless.  We see some shots of mysterious man accompanied by a tantalizing yet enigmatic voiceover and some Michael Giacchino-esque music, and the official title of the video is “Stranger.”

So is this an upcoming Abrams-produced film?  A TV show?  A web series?  Watch the video for yourself after the jump and let us know what you think.

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