We’ll dedicate more time to this topic after the jump, but in just a few sentences I want to share a quick thought I had while watching Netflix’s House of Cards last weekend. It’s not just that I think the show is great. When you involve talents like Kevin Spacey and David Fincher, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where quality work is in short supply. It’s that this level of material was birthed by and is only consumed via the Internet. I’ve been in debates where the question was whether or not the web would foster an age of amateurs. A future in which the training and dedication required to further perfect one’s craft would fall by the wayside leaving audiences with less than stellar work produced by those made lazy by the eased production and distribution technologies afforded by the Internet. While the fact that I’m writing to a considerable audience today via this site is evidence to that very argument, the overall quality of HOC is a strong rebuttal against those concerned about the quality of entertainment work in a digital age.
All thinking out loud aside, this week’s Top 5 features an editorial response to Disney’s announcement that Star Wars spinoff films are in the works, Side Effects interviews with Steven Soderbergh and more, a word about Hulk’s movie future, Matt’s editorial on Netflix and the affect time shifting has on viewing habits, and the latest news out of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 camp. As you’re probably expecting, a brief recap and link to each waits after the jump.
While everyone’s got a case of the Space Crazies thanks to the latest Star Wars spin-off news, we figured we might as well pass along the latest casting rumor for Star Wars Episode VII. Word has it that John Noble (Fringe) is circling a role as a villain in the J.J. Abrams-directed picture that will kick-start a new trilogy. This rumor was started by an Australian morning radio DJ in Melbourne with “a reliable source.” Good enough for me! Noble has the skills (and the jowls) to pull off a convincing hooded Sith lord or scheming member of the Senate and has an Abrams connection through Fringe, but I think we’ll wait to hear from a more reliable source.
In other news, hit the jump to see some scrapped concept art for a young Han Solo who was intended to appear in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.
We knew that Disney was developing Star Wars movies outside of the sequel trilogy, and a couple days ago, it was rumored that one of those spinoffs would focus on Yoda. Today, we’ve received the news that we’ll be getting a spinoff focusing on a young Han Solo, and a new adventure featuring Boba Fett. Even though George Lucas has removed himself from the new movies, it seems like Disney and LucasFilm are continuing one of the key mistakes of the prequel trilogy. They’re taking the gigantic, rich world of Star Wars and making it smaller by clinging on to old characters as if audiences would stay away unless there were familiar faces. Holding on to Yoda, Han Solo, and Boba Fett could weaken the Star Wars legacy as the mystery and allure of the characters is washed away.
Well that was fast. Just yesterday Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that the studio is developing standalone Star Wars films that will exist outside of the new trilogy, with a rumor surfacing that one such film could focus on Yoda. Though Star Wars: Episode VII will be the first new movie out of the gate, with J.J. Abrams at the helm, fans have now started to speculate on the nature of these new standalone Star Wars films. We know that screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan (Empire Strikes Back) and Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes) are working on the spinoff movies, and the larger question has been whether they would focus on new characters in other parts of the Star Wars universe or whether Disney and Lucasfilm would instead focus on existing favorites.
It appears that the answer is the latter, as word now comes that two of the standalone Star Wars films in development center on the separate adventures of Boba Fett and a young Han Solo. Hit the jump for much more.