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

by     Posted 5 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.

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

by     Posted 8 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.

Maisie Richardson-Sellers Rumored for STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Role

by     Posted 9 days ago

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We learned this week that much of the Star Wars: Episode VII cast is set.  However, we are not privy to that information, so we subsist on rumors.  There is now speculation that Maisie Richardson-Sellers is up for a key role as part of an extended casting search in London.  Star Wars: Episode VII would be the first feature credit for Richardson-Sellers, an Oxford-trained actress.  Heat Vision suggests the role of “a young black or mixed-race woman who may be a descendent of Jedi Knight Ben Kenobi” is a good fit.  But Disney declined to comment and sources say Richardson-Sellers has not yet been offered the role.

J.J. Abrams is gearing up for principal photography in May (preliminary filming is already underway), so all will be revealed soon enough.  Star Wars: Episode VII opens December 18, 2015.  More after the jump.

Peter Mayhew to Reprise His Role as Chewbacca in STAR WARS: EPISODE VII

by     Posted 11 days ago

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It was recently revealed that preliminary filming on Star Wars: Episode VII is already underway, with most of the cast already set.  Director J.J. Abrams is known for keeping an extremely tight lid on his projects, and indeed Disney has officially announced/confirmed nearly nothing about the project, even though principal photography is only weeks away.  The one confirmed cast member we do have is R2D2, and now it looks like another familiar face will officially be returning as well: Chewbacca.  Could that mean an official announcement of Chewie’s close pal Han Solo is not far behind?  Hit the jump for more.

Filming on STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Already Underway; Most of the Cast Is Set

by     Posted 12 days ago

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Although official production on Star Wars: Episode VII has yet to begin, the pre-production, non-glamorous filming is already underway.  Speaking at the Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television in Los Angeles, Disney chairman Alan Horn told the audience [via THR] that shooting had begun.  Since main filming would have probably leaked in some form, the current work is probably second-unit and plates.  I doubt any major lightsaber battles are going down at the moment.

As for the cast, “We have a lot of them [in place],” said Horn.  “We’re just not completely done yet.”  I imagine there will be a big press event where the main cast is announced, and then people will bicker and argue even though they know nothing about the plot or characters.  At most, Actor X will be announced for Han Solo’s son or something and some people will shout, “I don’t see it!  Worst casting ever!  Protect my childhood!”  Hit the jump for a brief recap on more of what we think we know so far.  Star Wars: Episode VII opens December 18, 2015.

Jesse Plemons and Juno Temple in Talks to Join BLACK MASS; Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney May Reteam for THE HEART

by     Posted 16 days ago

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We’ve got a couple of casting stories to attend to this afternoon.  First up, THR reports that Jesse Plemons (The Master) and Juno Temple (The Dark Knight Rises) are in talks to join Johnny Depp in the Whitey Bulger drama Black Mass.  This tidbit appears to confirm that, while he indeed met for the project, Plemons is likely out of contention for a role in Star Wars: Episode VII.  The J.J. Abrams-directed sequel will be filming at the same time as Black Mass and Plemons would be unable to do both movies, so the fact that he’s actively seeking other work in the near future signals that we probably won’t be seeing Landry in a galaxy far, far away.

Depp is set to play Bulger in Black Mass, with Joel Edgerton and Guy Pearce onboard to co-star and Dakota Johnson in talks for a role.  Though the project initially had Barry Levinson attached to direct, this retooled version has Out of the Furnace helmer Scott Cooper in the director’s chair.  A May start-date is being eyed.  Hit the jump for casting news regarding The Way, Way Back directors’ next project.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII May Begin Filming May 14th in Morocco

by     Posted 17 days ago

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With so little by way of big news re: Star Wars, fans are eager for every sliver of information that can be gleaned about the J.J. Abrams-directed sequel Episode VII.  Such a news nugget may have slipped out today, as a new report claims that filming on the follow-up will begin in earnest on May 14th in Morocco.  This isn’t too surprising, as Disney has already confirmed that production on Episode VII will get underway in May, but the location is quite curious since George Lucas used Morocco to shoot some Tatooine scenes for the original Star Wars films—and those sets still stand today.  Hit the jump for more.

ATTACK THE BLOCK Star John Boyega Wanted for TERMINATOR: GENESIS

by     Posted 23 days ago

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The Star Wars casting game has been going on for a long, long time now, but the latest bit of casting rumors offered up an exciting possibility for one of the leads: John Boyega.  The young British actor had his breakthrough role in the excellent 2011 sci-fi film Attack the Block, and he seems like an inspired choice to lead this new Star Wars universe.

However, director J.J. Abrams remains undecided on the young leads in Episode VII, and now it appears that another major franchise property has Boyega in mind as well: the reboot Terminator: Genesis.  Moreover, the role that Boyega is being eyed for in Genesis is Terminator canon, as he would be playing the son of Skynet creator Miles Dyson.  Hit the jump for more.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Likely Shooting in Iceland; Is the Movie Going Back to Hoth?

by     Posted 24 days ago

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Iceland is a popular shooting location for major films.  It’s played host to Batman Begins, Prometheus, Thor: The Dark World, and many more.  Now it could be a location for Star Wars: Episode VII.  According Icelandic site visir.is [via Metro News], “the crew will be heading for the Scandinavian nation this spring ahead of the main production kicking off in May.”  The site also notes that this filming will mostly be landscape shots, and presumably they’ll be recreated on set with green screen and set design.

Given Iceland’s terrain, there’s some speculation that it could stand-in for the ice planet Hoth, but that’s firmly a rumor at this point.  Hit the jump for a brief recap of what we know about the movie thus far.  Star Wars: Episode VII opens in regular theaters and in IMAX on December 18, 2015.

Disney and IMAX Extend Partnership; STAR WARS: EPISODE VII to Be Released in IMAX

by     Posted 29 days ago

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Disney and IMAX have sent out a press release announcing that they have extended their partnership, and will continue to release the studio’s biggest films in the world’s biggest theatrical format.  The films mentioned in the press release are Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Maleficent, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tomorrowland, and Star Wars: Episode VII.  None of this is surprising.  Almost every major blockbuster gets an IMAX release these days, and I’m fine with that.  I like IMAX.  I don’t like 3D, and all of these movies will most likely be in 3D, but you can’t win them all.

Hit the jump for the press release.

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

by     Posted 31 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.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Casting News: Oscar-Winning Actress Lupita Nyong’o Meets with J.J. Abrams for Undisclosed Role

by     Posted 35 days ago

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Just a couple of days ago, we brought you this shortlist of actors vying for one of the coveted leads of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII.  A new report has recent Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o being added to the list of possible cast members, as she apparently met with Abrams to read for a part as recently as a couple of weeks ago.  Obviously the details on that particular role are being kept quiet, but one possibility is that of the reportedly non-Caucasian part of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s descendant.  That role is separate from the ongoing search for actors to fill the roles of male and female lead characters in their twenties.  Hit the jump for more.

Shortlist for STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Lead Includes John Boyega, Ed Speleers, and Jesse Plemons; Plus, Character Details Emerge

by     Posted 37 days ago

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With Adam Driver on board to play the villain in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII, it would be nice to know just who he’s going to go up against.  The shortlist of actors has apparently been narrowed down to rather eclectic mix of actors.  It includes John Boyega (Attack the Block), Ed Speleers (Eragon), Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad), and theater actors Matthew James Thomas and Ray Fisher.  While casting is by no means official and the audition process is ongoing, a new report has this quintet leading the pack.  Hit the jump for more, including newly emerged character details for the lead roles.

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 48 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.

STAR WARS EPISODE 7 News: Adam Driver Nearing Deal to Play the Villain

by     Posted 51 days ago

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Adam Driver has been in talks with some big studios for some major roles in recent months, but a new report has him nearing a deal to play the villain in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII.  The deal isn’t done just yet, and there are (obviously) no details to the role itself, but Driver is apparently close to signing on for a role that would rival the iconic Darth Vader.  Were this to become official, it would be the first casting news for the highly anticipated film, due out December 18, 2015.  Hit the jump for more.

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