Rian Johnson Talks STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII; Praises the Use of Practical Effects on EPISODE VII

by     Posted 14 days ago

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Have you had enough of all the Star Wars: Episode VII news today?  Well, you’re in luck because now we’re going to focus on Star Wars: Episode VIII!  There’s been talk of a Star Wars trilogy film hitting theaters every other year with a Star Wars spinoff movie in between, so if that really does pan out, Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII could be heading towards a 2017 release.  Three years may seem like a lot, but when you’ve got to write, direct and then take a film of this magnitude through post-production, the time is going to fly by fast.

Johnson has talked about taking the gig a little bit since being hired back in June, but not to the extent he just did in a new podcast.  Hit the jump to find out what Johnson had to say about jumping into the Star Wars universe, his thoughts on practical versus digital effects and more.

Rumor: Han Solo’s STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Costumes Revealed; More Details on His New Ship

by     Posted 14 days ago

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I guess every day is Star Wars day now.  Or at least until all these new films come out.  There are quite a few Star Wars: Episode VII rumors floating around out there right now including the whole villains thing, the Stormtrooper look and more, but this piece is Han Solo-specific because not only did we just get a look at what he’ll be wearing in the new film, but we’ve also got more details on what he’ll be flying, too.

Hit the jump to check out concept art for two of Harrison Ford’s costumes for Episode VII as well as details on the ship he’ll be flying instead of the Millennium Falcon.  J.J. AbramsStar Wars: Episode VII opens on December 18, 2015.

Rumor: STAR WARS EPISODE 7 Villains Revealed, Will Some Old Faces Pop Up?

by     Posted 14 days ago

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It is not a good day for the Mystery Box.  On the heels of this morning’s potential reveal of the new Stormtrooper helmets a bit (bordering on a lot) more information about Star Wars: Episode VII has come tumbling out of the gates.  And I fear for J.J. Abrams’ sanity moving forward with the production (and my own moving forward with the day), because it feels like there is at least one more Star Wars story hitting after this one.

I’m warning you though, the stuff you’re about to read about the film’s villains potentially qualifies as a huge spoiler.  If you don’t want to know what the central conflict of the film is, it’s best to stop reading now.  If you want to go ahead, hit the jump for spoilers on the Star Wars Episode 7 villains.  The film hits theaters on December 18, 2015.

Rumor: Are These the New STAR WARS EPISODE VII Stormtrooper Helmets?

by     Posted 14 days ago

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Ah man.  I don’t share J.J. Abrams’ extreme distaste for spoilers, but it’s hard not to sympathize with him as he tries to make Star Wars: Episode VII in the hyper-spoiler digital age.  Granted, the leaks so far haven’t been as bad as they could have been, but the mystery box has at least a few scratches on it.

As his Star Wars film gears up to resume shooting again (after a two week hiatus to accommodate Harrison Ford his broken leg) more details and leaks like the following are bound to come out.  This morning we have a look at what could very possibly be a redesigned Stormtrooper helmet from the film.  I tend to believe there’s a chance of this being real for several reasons.  For one, Abrams is going to want to slightly rejigger the look of at least a few  things to make the world his own.  Also, this film takes place 30 years after Return of the Jedi and it makes sense that the Empire would refurbish their equipment somewhat.  Hit the jump for the potential Star Wars Episode 7 stormtrooper helmets and, if you consider a design leak a spoiler, spoilers ahead!

Simon Pegg Touts STAR TREK 3 Director Roberto Orci; Reiterates Excitement for J.J. Abrams’ STAR WARS: EPISODE VII

by     Posted 18 days ago

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While Simon Pegg is currently gearing up to start filming Mission: Impossible 5 (and touting the release of his drama Hector and the Search for Happiness), he recently took some time to talk about two other major franchises that he’s somewhat involved in.  Firstly, Pegg discussed the prospective hiring of Roberto Orci as the new director of Star Trek 3, saying he’s “really happy” that Orci has been chosen to take over the franchise from J.J. Abrams and adding that the Trek series is in good hands.  Additionally, Pegg reiterated his enthusiasm for Star Wars: Episode VII, with which he has no involvement beyond being very good friends with Abrams.  Pegg noted that Episode VII is destined to “feel more like Star Wars than anything we’ve seen in the last 30 years.”  Hit the jump for Pegg’s full comments on Star Trek and Wars.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Gives a (Droid) Hand to Everyone Who Contributed to “Force for Change”; Reveals Winner of Grand Prize

by     Posted 18 days ago

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Several months ago, director J.J. Abrams revealed “Force for Change”, which gave fans a chance to win a visit to the set of Star Wars: Episode VII and cameo in the film in exchange for making a donation to UNICEF.  The campaign has now wrapped, and it raised $4.26 million for UNICEF Innovation Labs, which will support the equivalent of seven to eight new innovation labs to aid children and families.  While I know few movies are as popular as Star Wars, I would love to see other studios and productions follow Disney’s lead on this one when it comes to marrying a charitable cause with fan enthusiasm.

Hit the jump to check out an image of a “Thank You” note from Abrams being held by a droid hand.  We’ve also included video of Denver, Colorado resident D.C. Barns learning that he’s won the grand prize.  Star Wars: Episode VII opens December 18, 2015.

Daisy Ridley’s STAR WARS Role May Span All Three Films

by     Posted 21 days ago

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You know what happens when you get cast in a hot property like Star Wars?  Everyone wants to rep you.  Even though there’s a good chance you have yet to see Daisy Ridley in a single thing, she’s one of the most sought-after rising stars in Hollywood right now, probably in large part due to her Star Wars: Episode VII gig.

So far we know don’t know much about her role, but we will come to know her character very well over the years because it’s being reported that her character isn’t just Episode VII-specific.  The plan is to have her cross over into the second and third films as well.  Hit the jump for more.

Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, J.J. Abrams, and More Band Together to Keep Kodak Film Alive; Deal Being Struck with Studios

by     Posted 30 days ago

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Though the rise of digital photography only began a little over a decade ago, the switch to digital has been on an exponential rise in the past few years, which has seen traditional film violently sidelined.  One might think it’d be beneficial to all to have a choice between shooting on digital or on film, and it is, but the final say really comes down to a business decision on the studio’s part.  Shooting digitally is now far cheaper than shooting on film, not only because you’re not paying for film prints, but because shooting digitally actually makes the production move at a faster pace.  However, there are a few highly regarded filmmakers who have been lobbying hard to keep film alive, and it appears that their activism has led to a serious deal between studios and Kodak that will keep the film company (the last of its kind) from going out of business.

Hit the jump for more on this deal, which was championed by the likes of Christopher Nolan and J.J. Abrams.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Reveals Full-Scale X-Wing in Video for “Force for Change” [Updated with 2nd Image]

by     Posted 39 days ago

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A couple months ago, director J.J. Abrams revealed “Force for Change”, which gave fans a chance to win a visit to the set of Star Wars: Episode VII and cameo in the film in exchange for making a donation to UNICEF.  Even if you didn’t win the top prize of the visit and the cameo, there were still prize levels based on the amount of your donation, and most importantly, you were contributing to a good cause.  With only four days left in the “Force for Change” campaign, Abrams has released a new video, which shows a full-scale X-Wing fighter jet.  The movie isn’t kidding around when it comes to practical effects, and it’s a very cool and fun reveal that helps bring attention to “Force for Change”.  Additionally, the campaign has sweetened the deal by giving the winner not only a visit to the set and a cameo, but they’ll win a private, advanced hometown screening.

Hit the jump to check out the Star Wars: Episode VII X-Wing in the video message from Abrams.  The film stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Lupita Nyong’o, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, and Max von SydowStar Wars: Episode VII opens December 18, 2015.

Has the STAR WARS EPISODE VII Story Been Revealed?

by     Posted 40 days ago

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J.J. Abrams isn’t going to like this, as it appears that his mystery box has sprung a bit of a leak.  You may not like it either if you want to remain unspoiled on Star Wars: Episode VII news in general, because details regarding the film’s general plot have hit the net.  If these are true, it actually seems kind of a cool story to me.  But there are those that don’t want to know anything and I totally get it.

All I’ll say above the jump is that I hope Disney and Lucasfilm really make the best of the two week hiatus coming up in August to rework the film’s shooting schedule.  Because they’re going to need Harrison Ford.  And his leg.  Hit the jump for Star Wars Episode 7 story details.  And, in case you didn’t get the message in the first paragraph, spoilers below.

STAR WARS EPISODE 7 Confirmed Shooting in IMAX, J.J. Abrams Tweets Pic From Set

by     Posted 52 days ago

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J.J. Abrams likes his mystery box so much that even when he makes an announcement, he still doesn’t make an announcement.  But it does appear that Star Wars: Episode VII is shooting partially in the IMAX format.  I say “partially” because Abrams has already confirmed that the film will be shot in 35MM (which we can now take to read as “some of the film will be shot in 35MM”), leaving ostensibly the rest to be photographed in the 70MM IMAX format.

Today he tweeted a picture from set (from what appears to be the Abu Dhabi location for Tatooine a few months back; it certainly isn’t Pinewood) with a clear shot of an IMAX camera in play containing the hashtag #bestformatever.  Hit the jump for more on the Star Wars Episode 7 IMAX front.

New STAR WARS Episode 7 Casting; Plus Kevin Smith Breaks Silence on His Set Visit and Watch Some “Leaked” Footage

by     Posted 54 days ago

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A bit of Star Wars 7 casting and hiatus news was announced today, so I figured I’d combine that with a few other SW7 tidbits on a slow Sunday. First, the official news that Crystal Clarke and Pip Anderson (both pictured above) have joined the cast of the J.J. Abrams directed Star Wars: Episode VII.  Also, according to the official announcement, there will be a two week hiatus from shooting in August to allow the schedule to work around Harrison Ford‘s leg injury.

Meanwhile, Kevin Smith has found a way to keep talking about the film (without saying all that much) despite the fact that he signed a fat NDA that initially only allowed him to post an instagram video of himself crying. Hit the jump for that and for some “leaked” Star Wars Episode 7 footage.

Rumor: J.J. Abrams Wants to Push STAR WARS 7 to May 2016, But Disney Holding Strong with 2015 Date

by     Posted 63 days ago

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We almost made it an entire week with only two Star Wars rumor stories, but alas, we’ve got one more to close out the week.  To be fair, this latest rumor does have some weight to it, if only to clear up confusion regarding the possibility of a release date delay.  As you well know, Harrison Ford recently injured his leg pretty badly on the set of Star Wars: Episode VII.  The actor will be out of commission for two months, which is a significant blow to the production as Han Solo is said to play a major role in director J.J. Abrams’ sequel.  On Monday, a rumor surfaced that filming could maybe be postponed due to the injury, but now word comes that Disney is adamant that Episode VII will be released on December 18, 2015—despite the fact that Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy have apparently been lobbying for a delay to May.  Hit the jump to read on.

Rumor: STAR WARS: EPISODE 7 Release Date Could Be Delayed Due to Harrison Ford’s Injury

by     Posted 67 days ago

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A new “anklegate” rumor has surfaced from the set of Star Wars: Episode VII.  Just over a week ago, Harrison Ford suffered an injury during the production of director J.J. Abrams’ sequel.  The severity of the accident was unknown at the time, but it was reported that Ford had possibly broken his ankle.  Last week, we not only learned that it was actually Ford’s leg that was broken in the incident, but also that the injury will keep Ford off the set for eight weeks of filming.  That’s a substantial amount of time for any production, but with Star Wars—a film in which Ford is said to have a significant leading role—that’s quite a hindrance.

Disney’s initial statement read that shooting would continue as Ford recovers, but a new report has surfaced that claims that production may now be facing a significant delay, putting the December 18, 2015 release date of Episode VII in question.  More after the jump.

Cameron Crowe to Create Showtime Series ROADIES

by     Posted 77 days ago

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It appears that filmmaker Cameron Crowe is ready to take the plunge into television.  The Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous director is apparently developing an ensemble comedy series for Showtime called Roadies, which will be set during a U.S. rock tour.  J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot is poised to produce the potential series.  Further details are unknown at this time, but Crowe intends to direct the pilot sometime this year, marking his first foray into the TV world.  The logline sounds a bit like “Almost Famous: The Series”, which is kind of great.  Before moving into the film world, Crowe worked as a music journalist for Rolling Stone throughout the 1970s.  That served as his inspiration for Almost Famous, and one imagines he still has plenty of personal stories to mine for a cable TV show.

Hit the jump for more, including who will act as showrunner on Roadies.

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