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

by     Posted 72 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 74 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.

Rumored Working Title for STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Revealed; May Refer to One of the Characters

by     Posted 87 days ago

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Now that most of the Star Wars: Episode VII cast has been announced, we can turn our attention to other speculative pursuits like trying to guess the film’s title.  The title doesn’t really matter in the sense of whether or not it will steer people to see the movie.  You could call the film Star Wars: Episode VII – Dead Puppies, and people would still flock to see it.  I doubt that will be the title (probably wouldn’t test well), but for right now all we can really hope for is a working title, and keep our eye on the horizon for the real one.

Hit the jump for what the Star Wars: Episode VII working title might be and how it could relate to the story.  The film opens December 18, 2015, and stars 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.

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

by     Posted 89 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.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Needs You to Be an Extra! Casting Call Looking for Eye-Catching Looks and Salty Sea Dogs; Principal Photography Starts May 14

by     Posted 89 days ago

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Star Wars: Episode VII needs you!  While the principal cast for the J.J. Abrams film was recently announced by Disney, the production still has a host of background characters and extras to hire in order to populate their fantastical worlds.  The people they’re looking for range from the rather generic “interesting looks” to the more specific (and possibly plot-related) “Sailors/Fisherman/Navy types … Salty Sea Dogs wanted.”

Could the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII be headed to a port city, or perhaps the sea itself?  Or maybe they just need some ruffians to populate a bar scene similar to the iconic Cantina sequence?  Whatever it is, we’ll find out more on May 14th, which is when production is unofficially reported to kick off.  Hit the jump for more from this Star Wars: Episode VII casting call and to see how you can get your chance to join the production.

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 90 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.

THE COLLISION: Episode 86 – STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Casting

by     Posted 93 days ago

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Yesterday, Disney announced the cast for Star Wars: Episode VII, so we decided to have a special edition of The Collision where we gave our thoughts on this major news.  During our conversation, we give our thoughts on the casting process, what we think we know about the story, how the story has developed and how that has ties in with the casting, our opinions about the cast, and more.  As always, we finish up with our recommendations.

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“Summer Indie Movies”), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg and @AdamChitwood.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Cast Announced; Includes John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Adam Driver, and More; First Photo Released

by     Posted 94 days ago

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So it look like we won’t have to wait until Star Wars Day (May 4th) to get the Star Wars: Episode VII cast.  After months and months of speculation, the cast has officially been announced to coincide with the table read (when the word would have leaked anyway).  Some of the names we knew, some are a complete surprise, and others are a welcome return (we knew R2-D2 would be back, but so is the original man in the can, Kenny Baker!)

Hit the jump for to see the Star Wars: Episode VII cast.  The film opens December 18, 2015.

Harrison Ford Reportedly Has “Gigantic Role” in STAR WARS: EPISODE VII; Oscar Isaac Rumored for Role

by     Posted 95 days ago

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We know Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford will return for Star Wars: Episode VII.  Perhaps you, like me, assumed the original trio would make extended cameos that launched the new cast on a fresh trilogy’s worth of adventures.  But director J.J. Abrams is as big a fan of the original Star Wars trilogy as the rest of you.  Deadline hears he and Disney planned a “gigantic role” for Ford in the first film of the trilogy.  We know nothing about the Episode VII story other than all the expanded universe tales it won’t tap.  So I’ll leave the speculation about how Ford will feature heavily—I just ask that you make Ford a crochety mentor type.

Hit the jump for more casting rumors surrounding Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, and John Boyega.

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 97 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.

Lucasfilm Confirms New STAR WARS Films Have Nothing to Do with Expanded Universe

by     Posted 98 days ago

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When Lucasfilm first announced that it was moving forward with a new trilogy of Star Wars films after George Lucas sold the company to Disney, some fans wondered whether these new stories would draw inspiration from the Expanded Universe.  While Lucas has always maintained that Star Wars Episodes I-VI were the official canon, he had no problem with others adding their own creative spin on the Star Wars universe in other forms of media.  As such, a sort of “parallel timeline” occurred in which the stories of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Co. continued in offshoot novels, comics, and videogames.

As J.J. Abrams began work on Star Wars: Episode VII—a film that will feature the offspring of the original trilogy characters—some maintained that the story could follow similar events from the Expanded Universe.  Producer Simon Kinberg revealed just a few days ago that Episode VII will not be using the EU, and now Lucasfilm has officially put a nail in the coffin once and for all, confirming that the stories for the new Star Wars films will not be drawing from the EU.  More after the jump, including an official video from Lucasfilm.

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

by     Posted 101 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 101 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 Screenwriter Simon Kinberg Says Future Movies Won’t Draw from Expanded Universe

by     Posted 102 days ago

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The Star Wars saga doesn’t stop at the six movies.  It’s been able to feed fans for decades with novels, comic books, video games, and TV shows.  However, none of this material will be used when it comes to the upcoming films.  Screenwriter Simon Kinberg, who is working on one of the Star Wars spin-offs as well as the upcoming animated series Star Wars Rebels, tells IGN, ” You know, it’s not off-limits, and it’s certainly inspiring — I’m working on an animated show for [Lucasfilm] as well, Star Wars: Rebels, that will take inspiration from everywhere, but — I know for the movies, the canon is the canon, and the canon is the six films that exist.”

Hit the jump for Kinberg talking about the Star Wars expanded universe.  Star Wars: Episode VII opens December 18, 2015.

Benedict Cumberbatch Rules Himself out of STAR WARS: EPISODE VII and DOCTOR WHO

by     Posted 110 days ago

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According to Benedict Cumberbatch Star Wars and Doctor Who are two franchises he won’t be a part of in the near future.  For Star Wars: Episode VII, fronted by his Star Trek Into Darkness director J.J. Abrams, it wasn’t for lack of trying on Cumberbatch’s part.  It appears as though he would have liked a part in in the highly anticipated film, but, alas, he will not appear on the casting sheet.  Cumberbatch was rumored to have a role in the film quite a few months ago, but we’ve yet to hear any official word (ie, from the studio itself) one way or the other.  As for Doctor Who, it certainly sounds as if Cumberbatch has a zero level of interest in ever joining the franchise.  Honest truths or studio spin?  You make the call after the jump.

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