Unfortunately, even the highly anticipated D23 did not bring any significant announcements about the Lucasfilm franchise.
If Star Wars fans weren’t already a bit restless about the upcoming Episode VII, Disney’s D23 Expo this weekend was definitely enough of a teaser. Not because any footage was revealed, in fact quite the opposite – at the beginning of the expo, company president Bob Iger stood before the crowd to make the disappointing announcement: "Now we’re just as excited as you are about Star Wars: Episode VII. In fact, we’re speechless. At least we’re going to be somewhat speechless at this Expo because we aren’t ready to share some of the details with you just yet."
Harrison Ford will return as Han Solo, but we won't get a glimpse of that for a while.
"But trust me, it’s going to be fantastic,” Iger continued, according to The Verge. “Come on, Star Wars and Disney together. How could it not be fantastic?"
Continue reading: Fans Disappointed As Disney Keeps Quiet About Episode VII At D23
LucasFilms are saying all the right things so far
From the jerky horrors that made Jason’s life a misery, the flesh eating shark that terrorized the small island of Amity to the world’s biggest cruise liner falling victim to an iceberg, special effects and CGI have been married to film for as long as it has existed. The very act of filming something was once considered a special effect, as the audience of L'arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat would almost certainly attest to.
Episodes IV, V and VI - great. I, II and III - not so good
Nowadays, films Pacific Rim and Avatar lead the way with blue screen CGI techniques, designed to make the unreal, real. The tiger, Richard Parker, in Ang Lee’s Life of Pi was so believable, it won the special effects team an Oscar.
Continue reading: Can We Look Forward To A Tangible Star Wars Episode VII?
Williams will be part of a returning force from the original movies that includes Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher.
Last Saturday (27 July), John Williams became the latest name to be tied down to the upcoming re-boot of the beloved Star Wars franchise. The composer, who has written the score for all six of the movies so far, was confirmed as a contributor by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy during a Star Wars fan convention in Essen, Germany, with an interview with Williams emerging online soon after on the oficial Star Wars YouTube page.
John Williams, here with Samanta Wimslow, will compose the next Star Wars film
The film's confirmed director Jj Abrams had already indicated earlier this year that he hoped to have Williams return for the latest reboot of the franchise, which is expected to arrive in cinemas by summer 2015, and now with the weekend's announcement it looks as though Abrams' first wish as director has become reality.
Continue reading: John Williams Confirms His Place On Upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII
George Lucas does not buy the Star Wars/Star Trek rivalry.
George Lucas has chucked a massive bucket of cold water on the entire Star Trek/Star Wars rivalry by suggesting Gene Roddenberry's sci-fi television show paved the way for his legendary space franchise. A new documentary titled Trek Nation sees Rod Roddenberry attempt to uncover the importance of his father's TV series, and rivalry producer Lucas is hugely complimentary of the show, reports Yahoo Movies.
"Star Trek softened up the entertainment arena," he explains in the documentary, "so that Star Wars could come along and stand on its shoulders." The filmmaker suggested that Star Trek crucially proved to studios that audiences were hungry for science fiction, "There was an effective group of people in the beginning who accepted it," he said, "That it wasn't that far out. For the studios it was way far out. [They said] 'What is this?' But there was a fan base out there - primarily the Star Trek fan base -who understood science-fiction, understood visual science-fiction, and was ready for something like [Star Wars] to be in the feature arena."
Lucas certainly has plenty to be thankful for, recently selling LucasFilm to Disney for a cool $4 billion, safe in the knowledge that his sci-fi franchise will continue with new movies and TV series. Set to hit theaters in 2015, Star Wars Episode 7 will be directed by Star Trek's Jj Abrams.
Continue reading: George Lucas Admits Star Trek Paved The Way For Star Wars: Agree?
George Lucas' new wife Mellody Hobson is successful in her own right, with an unbelievable set of achievements under her belt. With so many traits to consider, what was it in particular that made the Star Wars director fall in love?
Star Wars creator George Lucas and businesswoman Mellody Hobson tied the knot in a Californian ceremony last weekend that was described as "beautiful" by celeb guests including Samuel L. Jackson and Ron Howard. Hobson did look stunning in a Peter Soronen gown but if you haven't heard of her before, she's more successful businesswoman than arm-candy for 69 year-old Lucas.
The pair met at a business conference in 2006 and dated for seven years until their engagement in January 2013. However, it's a wonder Hobson, 44, managed to fit a wedding into her busy schedule: she's president of Ariel Investments - an investment management firm - whilst she also chairs the board at Dreamworks Animation SKG Inc., and a holds directing positions at Groupon, Inc., Starbucks Corporation and The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. She also has a heart of gold, becoming involved with community outreach projects such as Chicago's 'After School Matters' (a charity that provides constructive after school activities for teenagers) whilst also sitting on the board for The Chicago Public Education Fund.
Despite Hobson's busy schedule, Lucas will have plenty of free time after selling his production company LucasFilm to Disney in October 2012 for a reported $4.05 billion, donating most of this sum to educational philanthropy - a cause that is clearly important to Hobson, the youngest of six children.
Continue reading: George Lucas' New Wife Mellody Hobson Is A Success In Her Own Right
Mellody Hobson sits on the board on some of the world's biggest companies.
Mellody Hobson has married her long-time partner - Star Wars director George Lucas - at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County. The ceremony went ahead on Saturday afternoon (June 29, 2013), with former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley giving away the bride and George's son Jett serving as the best man. The director and producer's daughters Amanda and Katie served as bridesmaids, according to the movie mogul's spokesperson.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison played live at the reception, with the soulful Janelle Monae also playing a set. Steven Spielberg was also in attendance and director Francis Ford Coppola read a poem by Maya Angelou. That's some guest-list.
Lucas became engaged to DreamWorks Animation chair Hobson, 43, in January. She is also head of the Chicago-based investment management firm Ariel Investments and chairman of Ariel Mutual Funds. Oh, and she's a director at Estee Lauder, Groupon and Starbucks as well as a regular contributor at CBS - in other words, she's a big player. A huge player. It will be her first marriage, though the second for Lucas, 68.
Continue reading: Mellody Hobson Marries George Lucas, But Which Legend Played Live?
From Star Wars to starrey-eyed lovers: George Lucas has married long-term girlfriend Mellody Hobson in a "beautiful" Californian service.
George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones tied the knot with his girlfriend of seven years, Mellody Hobson. According to sources speaking with People magazine, the wedding took place on Saturday (22nd June) in California's Marin County at Lucas' 4,700 acre Skywalker Ranch. Amongst other guests, the wedding was attended by fellow director Ron Howard and actor Samuel L. Jackson, who plays Jedi Mace Windu in Lucas' Star Wars franchise.
Both guests publically displayed their excitement for Lucas' wedding, with Howard tweeting "George Lucas Melody Hobson wedding was joy to behold Bill Moyers service was beautiful, nothing short of profound. Congrats Mr&Mrs Lucas" and Jackson similarly enthusing: "Let's give a Galactic shout out to Master George Lucas & his Bride Melodie on This their WEDDING DAY!!"
Engaged since January 2013, Hobson, 44, met Lucas, 69, at a business conference in 2006 and have been dating ever since. She heads Ariel Investments - an investment management firm - whilst also chairing the board at Dreamworks Animation SKG Inc., and a director of Groupon, Inc., Starbucks Corporation and The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.
Continue reading: George Lucas Weds Long-Time Sweetheart
Bleeding Cool have got their hands on casting details for the new Star Wars film that is about to audition in the UK. What kind of actors could they be looking for though?
Comic book blogsite Bleeding Cool has uncovered the main character casting details for the new Star Wars 7 film, where desirable traits for each auditioning actor are outlined.
The list that sounds more like a lonely hearts column than desired characteristics for the new instalment to the action fantasy franchise, includes such terms as "good sense of humour", "witty and smart" and "thirtysomething male intellectual".
The call for two "late-teen" females will add more firepower to existing rumours that believe that the main protagonist will be female, but seeing as the list isn't in billing order this should still be taken with a pinch of salt.
Steven Spielberg tells USC students how he envisages the future of Film
Steven Spielberg talks about the difficulties of showing anything other than big budget, mainstream films in the cinema. He was addressing film students at the opening of the University of South California's School of Cinematic Arts building and warned that an 'implosion' within the film industry is due owing to difficulties with finance.
Spielberg warned USC students it is highly likely that a few big budget films would, within a short period, flop which would alter the industry forever. Spielberg's argument is that studios, fearful of loss, are only willing to make films which will ensure a large profit margin. He commented on how finance fixated the film industry has become claiming 'a studio would rather invest $250m in one film for a real shot at the brass ring than make a whole bunch of really interesting, deeply personal - and even maybe historical - projects'.
Spielberg also warns that the viewing public may have to foot the bill for big budget films. He uses Iron Man 3 and Lincoln as examples whereby cinema-goers would pay more than double ($25) than those seeing Lincoln ($7). This is in proportion with what they cost to make. Production costs for Lincoln were around $65 million whereas Iron Man's came in around $200 million.
Rumours abound that the new addition to the Star Wars franchise - episode 7 - will begin production in January 2014.
Director Jj Abrams has strongly hinted that production for Star Wars VII could begin in early 2014 by revealing that he will be moving his family to London at the end of this year, according to Digital Spy; reporting from the "Produced By" conference (a film production event held in Los Angeles).
Speaking at the conference this weekend, Abrams announced: "We are most likely, if all goes as planned, going to be moving to London at the end of the year for the Star Wars movie."
This comes quickly after May's confirmation that LucasFilm struck a deal with Chancellor George Osborne to shoot the highly anticipated sequel in the U.K, taking advantage of new tax reliefs.
Continue reading: Will Star Wars Episode 7 Start Filming Next January?
The 5 million + brick spectacle even has a little R2 and everything!
Lego news is usually cool news, and the 23-Ton, 5.3-Million-Brick X-Wing being revealed today (May 24) in Times Square just goes to prove it. Just the number 5 million should give you a clue about the thing’s size, but just so you can conceptualize that better – the star fighter has a wingspan of 44 feet! The model comes complete with an R2 D2, of course, as well as a full range of authentic sounds. A Star Wars nerd’s dream personified. And Star Wars fans definitely deserve something like this, after the release of the cringe-worthy Kinect game, featuring a dancing Han Solo.
The model is a king-size version of Star Wars Lego starfighter set #9493 – 42 times bigger, to be precise. It’s even slightly bigger than the real X-Wing (ok, real might not be the right word, but you get the idea). This monstrosity was built at the Lego Model Shop in Khladno, Czech Republic. It took 32 master builders to finish. As a side-note, 'Lego master builder' is possibly the coolest job title anyone could come up with – on par with 'intergalactic robot emperor'. But we digress. Master builder Erik Varszegi spoke to Wired about the model.
“This has been a wild and exciting project for us, and it’s taken an international team of designers, engineers, structural consultants, model builders, and logistics personal over a year to bring this model from a conception to reality,” Varszegi said in an email. “In one respect, designing it was the ‘easy’ part, as we were creating a scaled version of an actual toy construction set.”
Continue reading: It's Here! Lego's Giant X-Wing Model Is Now A Thing That Exists
Executive producer has explained more in a video you can watch below
The re-Disney-fication of Star Wars continues, with the corporation now planning on bringing an animated series to their flagship television channel. The show, set to be titled Star Wars Rebels, already has a one-hour animated pilot lined up, which expects to see the light of day on the Disney Channel in fall 2014.
The reason behind the long wait is that Disney are also lining up a full series to begin airing on Disney XD straight after, with the subsequent season following on from the pilot. According to Entertainment Weekly, Lucasfilm have begun production on a series that will fall between Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope, following both of the Skywalker twins in relatively equal measure.
Don't let 'em down Filoni!
A new animated Star Wars?
With all this talk about Star Wars Episode VII, people have sort of forgotten about The Clone Wars. And that’s just as well, considering Lucasfilm are planning to "wind down" the production of the animated spin-off, with a view to something different.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars had five seasons, and while it was popular with a younger audience, die-hard Star Wars fans never took to it, but some of the Clone Wars cast might be returning for their new project. "We are exploring a whole newStar Wars series set in a time period previously untouched in Star Wars films or television programming," reads an announcement on StarWars.com. "We're continuing production on new Clone Wars story arcs that promise to be some of the most thrilling adventures ever seen." Star Wars Detours - a comedy series Lucas and Seth Green – is one of the projects that has been delayed due to Disney’s procurement of Lucasfilm. That one, though, is probably for the best. Star Wars hype has reached fever pitch recently, with Mark Hammil, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher all being (semi) confirmed to make a return as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Lea in the new film, which is set for a 2015 release.
Star Wars mania
Star Wars Episode VII to hand roles to the stars that made it famous
Die-hard Star Wars fans will either me delighted or dismayed with the news that Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are set to reprise the roles that made them famous in the 70’s.
That’s right: Luke Skywalker, Princess Lea and the maverick Han Solo are to be realised again by the folks who first filled their boots. Star Wars creator, George Lucas let the wookie out of the bag intitally, then backtracked, but now it seems nailed on. He said: "We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison, or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation - maybe I'm not supposed to say that. I think they [Disney] want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them." Fisher did in fact confirm herself for the role. When she was asked what her character will be like, she said: "Elderly. She's in an intergalactic old folks' home. I just think she would be just like she was before, only slower and less inclined to be up for the big battle." Hamill too, said he had discussed the return to lightsabredom with Lucas. He added: "I'm assuming, because I haven't talked to the writers, that these movies would be about our offspring."
Continue reading: Stars Wars Episode VII Cast – You Might Just Recognise Them
Mark Hamill has confirmed he is in talks to star in J.J. Abrams forthcoming Star Wars movie, Episode 7.
Mark Hamill returning to the Star Wars franchise for J.J Abrams hugely anticipated Episode 7? Could it be? Looks like sci-fi fans are getting a very early Christmas present this year, with news that Hamill - who played Luke Skywalker in the original movies - is in discussions to return for Disney's new film. "It's all very, very exciting and so unexpected," the actor told Entertainment Tonight, "I think that's the quality I like about it most - it's like getting a pair of pants out of the closet you haven't worn in three years and finding a $20 bill in the pocket. It's just so unexpected."
Hamill confirmed "they're talking to us," when asked directly about his involvement in the new film, though interestingly revealed that George Lucas is at the forefront of the casting process. "George [Lucas] wanted to know whether we'd be interested. He did say that if we didn't want to do it, they wouldn't cast another actor in our parts - they would write us out. . I can tell you right away that we haven't signed any contracts." It was thought Lucas would be taking a backseat role in the development of the new movies, though Hamill confirmed the legendary director and producer wants him to meet with writer Michael Arndt and LucasFilm executive Kathleen Kennedy. "Both have had meetings set that were postponed - on their end, not mine. They're more busy than I am," he added.
Hamill, now 61, says he's intrigued about where the new trilogy could go - as are most Star Wars fans - though concedes he knows little about Episode 7. "I probably learn more from Entertainment Tonight than I do directly from Lucasfilm - like for instance, when George told us he wanted to do the next trilogy, he didn't tell us it was going to be done for Disney. He saved that little nugget, and I read it online like anybody else." News of Hamill's potential involvement comes just days after the Latino Review reported exclusively that Harrison Ford would be joining the movie, reprising his role as Han Solo. "I hope we don't overstay our welcome," joked Hamill.
Continue reading: Mark Hamill Returning? Star Wars Actor Confirms Talks For Episode 7
Okay, so here’s the thing: Ford is 70-years-old. Think you know where we’re going with this? 70 years is too old, surely. We’d love to say he can still do it; still mix it up in the blockbusters, but our Jedi senses tell us otherwise. Does Chewbacca age? Will the cuddly alien have to dye its coat? There are just so many questions. Latino Review’s journalist said, "Back in November, Harrison Ford said he was open to returning as Han Solo. But it's official, Harrison Ford will reprise his role in the new Star Wars movie. He's officially coming back as Han Solo. His deal is done, it's just the formalities. I just know the deal's pretty big and significant."
We must admit, we find this news to be pretty surprising, especially considering Ford’s famous interview in which he stated that Han Solo wasn't a character he particularly liked. He even suggest Solo should have been killed off. “I thought he should have died in the last one to give it some bottom…George [Lucas] didn't think there was any future in dead Han toys,” explained Ford in the 2010 interview.
Harrison Ford has reportedly agreed to return as Han Solo in J.J. Abrams forthcoming movie Star Wars Episode VII, for Disney. Latino Review broke the news when the site's El Mayimbe appeared on Fox News Latino to discuss how the website goes about landing its exclusives. He claimed to have taken an informal Twitter poll on which subjects the website's fans most wanted top secret information on. When Star Wars won out, El Mayimbe went on the hunt for casting news.
Announcing his findings, the journalist said "Back in November, Harrison Ford said he was open to returning as Han Solo. But it's official, Harrison Ford will reprise his role in the new Star Wars movie. He's officially coming back as Han Solo. His deal is done, it's just the formalities. I just know the deal's pretty big and significant." When pressed on reports that Harrison Ford wanted his character killed off in George Lucas' previous movies, Mayimbe said, "I suspect that he may get his wish finally in one of these Star Wars movies, maybe not." Back in November, Ford had indicated that he'd be up for reprising the role, with J.J. Abrams reportedly keen on bringing back the original characters, including Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia.
In many ways, the casting really doesn't make sense, though perhaps Disney are planning to reintroduce the old character with Harrison Ford in Star Wars Episode 7 before having a younger actor playing him in a movie spin-off focusing on his origins?
Continue reading: Harrison Ford To Return As Han Solo In Star Wars Episode VII - Report
If you listen carefully, you might hear the sighs of thousands of annoyed Star Wars fans, carried by the wind, as Disney has announced this week that they are starting work on two spin-offs of the franchise.
The two films will reportedly focus on Han Solo and Boba Fett, respectively, MTV News reports. Fortunately, the fanboys and fangirls will have a choice of whether to count the new mythology that the films will undoubtedly introduce, as they will not be a part of the franchise, as Disney CEO Bob Iger explained in his announcement on Tuesday: "We are in development of a few standalone films that are not part of the 'Star Wars' saga," he said. "There are now creative entities working on developing scripts for what would be those standalone films." However, the two separate stories will only be released after the upcoming Episode VII, which the studio is gearing for a 2015 release. After the surprise announcement of Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, many have been holding their breath to see where the studio takes the beloved franchise.
According to CNN, the new films will be penned by Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg. While Kasdan is a well known player in the franchise, having worked on The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Kinberg’s credentials are a bit more iffy. Mr & Mrs Smith, Sherlock Holmes – those were pretty great to look at, but in terms of script, they weren't really all that memorable. So it’s all up in the air for Star Wars at this point. The Galaxy hangs in the balance and maybe Disney will manage to introduce the beloved series to a whole new generation of fans.
Yesterday (Jan 25) it was announced that Jj Abrams would be the man to take over from George Lucas and step behind the camera for the upcoming reboot of the Star Wars franchise, and Lucas believes that Abrams is the man for the job.
"[Star Wars] couldn't be in better hands," Lucas said in an official statement yesterday, adding that Abrams is the "ideal choice" to shoulder the responsibility. Let's hope so!
Abrams had initially ruled himself out of the running, as had a number of other potential directors, including Guillermo del Toro, but is said to have finally caved into the idea after Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy, the new movie's producer, won him over with her pitch, The Hollywood Reporter claims. She said in her official statement, "It’s very exciting to have JJ aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie. JJ is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise."
Continue reading: JJ Abrams The Man To Take On The Star Wars Challenge
With the speculation over who will direct Star Wars Episode VII laid to rest, we thought it would be fun to reflect on the quotes leading up to it, which, if believed, make it very difficult to believe J. J Abrams is directing a new Star Wars film.
Coming in at third is George Lucas talking to Vanity Fair in 1999. The creator of the now infamous sci fi franchise all but ends speculation of more than 6 films here. "When you see it in six parts, you'll understand," he said. "It really ends at part six." He added, "I never had a story for the sequels, for the later ones."
Second is the current director of Star Wars, J.J Abrams, reaffirming his loyalty to the Star TREK brand, and seemingly turning down the job with Lucasfilm. "There were the very early conversations and I quickly said that because of my loyalty to Star Trek, and also just being a fan, I wouldn't even want to be involved in the next version of those things. I declined any involvement very early on. I'd rather be in the audience not knowing what was coming, rather than being involved in the minutiae of making them." Guess the force was just too strong, eh J.J?
Continue reading: Our Top Three Star Wars Contradictions Now That J.J Abrams Is On Board
Wrong Direction: It's been a rough week for Harry Styles and Taylor Swift, the pair going their separate ways after a brief relationship. Of course, it's great news for ambitious fans of both stars who reckon they're in with a chance!
Star-Studded Wedding: It's congratulations to Star Wars creator George Lucas and his long-time girlfriend Mellody Hobson, who have announced they are to marry. No date or location has been set, though it could be a pretty big few years for the veteran filmmaker, what with the revival of a certain movie franchise.
According to Reuters, no date or location has been set for the nuptials, though it will be the legendary producer and director's second marriage, after he tied the knot to film editor Marcia Lucas in 1969.
Hobson, 43, holds a pretty high profile job in the film industry too. She serves on the board of directors for Hollywood studio Dreamworks Animation, as well as for cosmetics company Estee Lauder, coffee-house chain Starbucks Corp and internet company Groupon. Basically she's in charge of everything.
Continue reading: Star Wars Creator George Lucas Engaged To Mellody Hobson: Who Is She?
The University of Chicago has a mystery on its hands, a mystery involving INDIANA JONES of all people, after a surprise package was delivered to the University addressed to the fictional archeologist/adventurer.
According to the university’s admissions department Tumblr page, a package arrived at the university this Wednesday (Dec 12) addressed to one Henry Walton Jones Jr - the 'real' name of the character portrayed by Harrison Ford in the hugely successful film franchise. Unsure of what to do with the mystery package, the student office worker, whose job it was to deal with the it, set it aside until today when someone realized it wasn’t intended for any actual student or faculty member, but a fictional character who once enrolled at the University of Chicago: Indiana Jones.
When the seal was finally cracked and the contents were laid bare, the mystery refused to go away still. The Tumblr page goes on to describe the contents, with pictures, and states that inside was an apparently handmade re-creation of Abner Ravenwood’s diary, Abner Ravenwood being Jones' professor at the university in the 1920's, for those unfamiliar with the Indiana Jones films. It was while working with Ravenwood that Indi first gained knowledge of the Ark of the Covenant, which in turn set in motion the story of Raiders of the Lost Ark, George Lucas/Steven Spielberg’s landmark 1981 film and first in the series.
Continue reading: Indiana Jones Mystery Package Sent To University Of Chicago
George Lucas says his involvement in Star Wars: Episode VII will be limited and that he intends to leave it up to Disney's chosen director and producers to carry on his iconic sci-fi story. Speaking at the Governor's Awards on Saturday evening (December 1, 2012), Lucas explained what his duties as a "consultant" on the seventh movie will entail, reports Access Hollywood.
"[If the filmmakers ask],'Who's this guy?' I can tell them. I mean, they have a hundred encyclopedias and things, but I actually know a lot. I can say, 'This is this and this is that" So, basically he'll be sitting with his feet up then? He added, "Basically I'm not [involved] - I don't really have much to do." Disney are still on the hunt for a director to helm the first movie, though Lucas' good friend Steven Spielberg has gone on the record as saying it's not his "genre." George laughed off the idea on Saturday, calling Spielberg "probably the most brilliant director working in the business today," though adding, "I'm pretty sure he'd never want to do that! I don't think he'd want to."
Star Wars: Episode VII is set to hit theaters in 2015, with Matthew Vaughn looking the likely director. Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels star Jason Flemyng appeared to let the cat out of the bag at the premiere of Seven Psychopaths this weekend, saying, "Me and Matt have done nine films together, so I'm sure I'll get the call for Star Wars." When one journalist asked "Would he [Matthew] be interested?" Flemyng looked surprised, "What? Star Wars? I think that's.." before looking a little sheepish.
Continue reading: George Lucas On Star Wars: Episode VII: "I Don't Really Have Much To Do"
As the maniacal excitement dies down after the initial news that the Star Wars franchise had been bought by Disney for an enormous sum of over four billion dollars, and the revelation that there would be at least two more movies in the pipeline, it is now time for a few details to begin getting settled.
A couple of weeks ago we reported that Michael Arndt had been picked to pen the first of the two movies on the way. Now, the Hollywood Reporter has been told that Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg have signed contracts to write episodes 8 and/or 9. Lawrence Kasdan is something of a Star Wars legend, as he wrote the scripts for The Empire Strikes Back (largely lauded as the best Star Wars movie to date), as well as Return of the Jedi.
Since 1983, when The Return of the Jedi was released, Kasdan has also written The Bodyguard, which Whitney Houston starred in, as well as the award winning The Accidental Tourist, which was a very different kind of writing and film making than either Star Wars or The Bodyguard, and showed his great range and depth. Simon Kinberg has an equally impressive career history. He's written two X-Men movies, the Brad Pitt and Anjelina Joli movie Mr and Mrs Smith, plus the Robert Downey Junior version of Sherlock Holmes.
Continue reading: Iconic Star Wars Writer To Return For New Films
The next stage in the rolling saga of the new Star Wars movies reveals that Michael Arndt will write the script for Star Wars VII. Deadline.com broke the news last week (November 8, 2012) and it now looks as though Disney have been quick to snap up the credible skills of Oscar-winning Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Hunger Games: Catching Fire) to write the screenplay for the new Star Wars movies.
It was recently revealed that Disney have purchased Lucasfilm, the company previously owned by the original Star Wars visionary George Lucas. This sparked a frenzy of interest amongst Star Wars enthusiasts, excited at the prospect of new movies for the franchise. Lucasfilm had already drafted the skills of Arndt before the $4 billion sale took place, to move the franchise forward. He reportedly produced not one, but three treatments. When Disney acquired Lucasfilm, the treatments were bundled into the deal. Disney’s CEO Bob Iger revealed “We’ve got a lengthy treatment that comes with this that we feel really good about and the film is in what I’ll call early-stage development right now.”
It was previously thought that Arndt would be one of a team working on the script for Star Wars VII but according to a brief post on www.starwars.com, Arndt is the only name now associated with the script-writing duties.
It appears that the force is strong between Star Wars' new owners Disney and Michael Arndt, the Oscar-winning screenwriter behind the films Little Miss Sunshine and Disney/Pixar's Toy Story 3 after it has emerged that he is in strong contention to pen the upcoming sequel to the beloved sci-fi series.
Hollywood gossip site Deadline broke the news, with many other sites jumping on board after, that Arndt, who is currently working on bringing the next The Hunger Games film (Catching Fire) to the screen, will be helping to bring Star Wars back to cinemas too. Apparently, the writer was already on board with Lucasfilm to move the franchise forward before George Lucas sold his company's rights to Disney for $4.05 billion last month. With Disney already raring to bring another Star Wars movie to the screen, it seems that they think that Arndt is still the man for the job and he will be sticking with team when it moves into production.
Disney CEO Bob Iger recently gave the word that the franchise would be extending past six episodes as soon as possible, telling the press recently, "We've got a lengthy treatment that comes with this that we feel really good about and the film is in what I'll call early-stage development right now."
Continue reading: Oscar Winning Screewriter Michael Arndt Set To Pen Next Star Wars Movie
We've been covering Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm, and their decision to put Episode 7 and two subsequent films into production, even though George Lucas had them in mind. Now it's time to see what the folks of Hollywood think.
Perhaps a good start would be Ewan McGregor; the Scottish hunk did a pretty good job of playing Obi Wan Kenobi, and might be in line for a return come 2015 (the purported date for Episode 7). "Disney have bought Lucasfilm and are planning on releasing Star Wars ep 7 in 2015!! Congrats George and best of luck with whatever is next," he posted on his twitter page, before posting "Wonder if they will need any Obi-Wan Hologram action??! #ep7 #donthecloakagain #thesearenotthedroidsyourlookingfor #movealongmovalong". Jj Abrams - big in the sci-fi game after directing the excellent Star Trek movie, as well as producing Lost - told Entertainment weekly "Part of me? Thrilled. Part of me? Terrified. Most of me? Thrillified." We're still wondering which part is bigger, but we'd plump for the latter. Bob Orci, who worked with Abrams on Star Trek, cheekily tweeted "Great Here comes another Trek ripoff ;)" Oooh.
Will Wheaton aka Wesley Crusher, or himself in some episodes of The Big bang Theory, added to the Star Wars twitter exploding by posting ,"OMG you know what the Disney purchase of Star Wars means? DANCING JAR JAR IN DISNEYLAND PARADES. We have to go back in time to fix this." Why so cynical Wheaton? Oh, actually we think we've got it.
Continue reading: Disney And Star Wars Episode 7: Some Choice Hollywood Tweets
If you haven't heard about Disney buying Lucasfilm for $4.05b, announcing Episode 7 and confirming plans to make another three Star Wars Films, go away; you have a lot of reading to do.
Done? Well the first rumour of many surrounding the re-vamped sci-fi franchise is that Matthew Vaughn, the director of Kick-Ass, Stardust, Layer Cake, and X-Men: First Class, is in talks to direct the much talked about Episode 7. Sources close to Collider.com, who make a large fuss about the fact that this is just a rumour out of respect for the franchise (and good on them), have explained that Vaughn leaving his X-Men duties behind just five days before Disney announced the acquisition of Lucasfilm, is because he will be directing the next film. Now, again, here at Contact Music, we know this is just a rumour, but we can't help but being a little bit excited. X-Men: First Class was a solid superhero flick, and Kick Ass was a delightful mix of adult humour and juvenile pranks, expertly alchemised.
As the Episode 7 rumours roll on, we'll be right with you either wishing they were true or praying for the invalidity, although we expect it'll be a long while before anything is confirmed from either Disney, Lucasfilms or George Lucas, who has been kept on as creative consultant for the upcoming projects.
Continue reading: And So The Star Wars Episode 7 Rumours Begin: Matthew Vaughn To Direct?
George Lucas' donation of over half the $4 billion from the Disney deal will see him considered amongst the most generous philanthropists of all time. After announcing that he had sold LucasFilm to Disney, a spokesperson told the Hollywood Reporter that Lucas has expressed his intention to donate the majority of the proceeds to his philanthropic endeavours.
Though it's not clear how much Lucas will take from the deal personally, it's likely to be billions. He signed on to Bill Gates and Warren Buffett's Giving Pledge back in 2010 and promised to give away at least half of his wealth by the time of his death. In his pledge letter, the legendary director and producer wrote, "I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education. It is the key to the survival of the human race. We have to plan for our collective future - and the first step begins with the social, emotional, and intellectual tools we provide to our children." Though his couple of billion won't see Lucas reach the heady philanthropic heights of Gates and Buffett (who have both donated more than $45 billion combined), the filmmaker is certainly now amongst the top tier of givers. Elsewhere, George Soros has given over $8 billion, while Intel founder Gordon Moore has handed over $6 billion to worthy causes. The wealthiest man in the world, Carlos Slim Helu, has given $4 billion, according to Forbes.
Lucas founded the George Lucas Educational Foundation and the website Edutopia to reform and improve K-12 education.
Disney's latest investment, a $4.05 billion deal for Lucasarts, brings with it a wealth of opportunity; the continuation of the Star Wars film saga, for one, has been confirmed. But there's so much more to come, reports The Orlando Sentinal.
Video games, merchandise and TV shows are all viable options, and surely ones they'll take up, but the latest project sees Disney's theme parks set for Jedi revamp. "We have ample opportunity to expand the presence of this franchise in our parks. ... There's room to grow what we've already got, so we feel particularly good about that," Disney Co. Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger said. John Gerner, managing director of Leisure Business Advisors, and a man well placed to comment on such matters, believes the Star Wars franchise will not only stretch to a few extra rides of stalls, but to an entire theme park itself. "With now six movies, it has a great deal of breadth to it," Gerner said. "Just like Harry Potter, there is that possibility of really taking it to a new level." Given the movies, upon their completion, could potentially span five decades, the sheer amount of fans is unthinkable. From sci-fi aficionados, who can boast a ticket stub from A New Hope, to the young fans who get taken by parents to see Episode 7, a Star Wars theme park has longevity, that's for sure.
We'll leave you wistfully dreaming of virtual reality lightsaber battles and underwater trips to Naboo. Enjoy!
Continue reading: Disney Theme Parks To Feature Star Wars Heavily
Mark Hamill has weighed in on the future of Star Wars, in wake of the news that the sci-fi franchise creator, George Lucas, has sold the rights to his cash monster to Disney. Admitting that it was a shock to find out that the sale had been made, Hamill admitted that he already knew of Lucas' plans to make Episodes VII, VIII and IX, after he'd met with him in the summer of this year.
"When he said, 'We decided we're going to do Episodes VII, VIII, and IX,' I was just gobsmacked" recalled the original Luke Skywalker to Entertainment Weekly. "What? Are you nuts?!" he remembered saying. However, Hamill did concede that he could understand the decision to continue making movies for the franchise. On one hand he pointed out "there was a beginning, a middle, and an end and we all lived happily ever after and that's the way it should be - and it's great that people have fond memories, if they do have fond memories."
However, he also commented "on the other hand, there's this ravenous desire on the part of the true believers to have more and more and more material. It's one of those things: people either just don't care for it or are passionate about it. I guess that defines what cult movies are all about.
Director, George Lucas, at the New York premiere of 'The Adventures of Tintin'
With Disney’s acquisition of LucasFilms this week, first on the agenda is a seventh Star Wars film – something that has split opinion and caused its fair share of outrage.
Continue reading: Star Wars Episode 7: Where Will The Saga Take Us Next?
With news that Disney has acquired LucasFilms, speculation is growing as to the nature of the studio's planned Star Wars Episode 7. Though he'll work as an advisor, George Lucas will not produce or direct the film, essentially leaving his best-loved franchise open for Disney to tweak how they see fit.
According to E! Online, the next movie is likely to be based on the Heir to the Empire trilogy - a series of best-selling novels by Timothy Zahn set in the Expanded Universe of the Star Wars galaxy. The books take place approximately five years after the events depicted in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Die hard Star Wars fans know the trilogy well, and Eric Geller of fan site TheForce.net said, "Of all the speculation out there about the content of this new trilogy, that's the single most concrete idea.It's almost inevitable that the story will take place in the same time frame as those books." So what happens in the books exactly? Well, Luke Skywalker meets a would-be assassin named Mara Jade, who was trained to avenge the Emperor by killing Luke, the last remaining Jedi. Princess Leia and Han Solo also feature prominently in the books, having twins together. A source close to the LucasFilm deal suggests the new film will be based on an original story, so, who knows!
Disney has acquired LucasFilms in a deal worth around $4 billion, with around half of the money to be coughed up in cash. Crikey.
Continue reading: Star Wars Episode 7 To Be Based On Heir To The Empire?
Disney is to purchase Lucasfilm, founded by George Lucas, for a whopping $4.05 billion in a deal that will pave the way for several new Star Wars films. In a move that has left sci-fi fans drooling into their cereal, Disney said it plans to release a new Star Wars movie every two-to-three years after bringing out Star Wars Episode 7 in 2015.
Lucas, who founded the company in 1971, will remain as a creative consultant on the new Star Wars films. "For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next," he said in a statement, adding, "It's now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I've always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime." Disney's chief executive Robert Iger was understandably delighted with the deal, saying, "This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney's unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value." Disney will pay around half the purchase price in cash and issue around $40 million shares. It comes after the company completed the acquisitions of Pixar and Marvel, meaning Disney now pretty much owns every family film you've ever seen.
The new Star Wars movies are likely to be in good hands with the creative minds at Disney. The 2005 prequel Revenge of the Sith was given a mixed reception by critics, with many questioning Lucas' suitability in taking the suitability forward.
Continue reading: Bambi In Space? Disney Buys Lucasfilm To Reignite Star Wars Franchise
The news that Disney had bought Lucasfilms, and with it, the right to make as many Star Wars films as they want, will have undoubtedly been met with sighs and looks of haughty derision from sci-fi fans. And rightly so.
The man in the crosshair of every nerd's 'to scale' model blaster rifle is Disney chief exec Robert Iger, who said of his new impulse buy: "We love the fact that this will take its place in our live-action strategy as a known and loved brand. We really like Star Wars potential on TV, and Disney XD would be a great home for that," in a statement quoted by E!
If only there were a supergeek out there with $4.05 billion to spare, who really knew what Star Wars fans wanted; maybe they'd try and rectify Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace by eradicating all evidence of Jar Jar Binks on the planet. Perhaps they'd halt The Clone Wars animated franchise in its tracks, and save every genuine fan's sighs every time they walk into a comic book store.
Continue reading: Star Wars 7... 8 AND 9? Disney - What Have You Done!?
Disney have purchased Lucasfilm for $4.05b and have confirmed a new Star Wars film, which, if all goes to plan, will be hitting cinemas in 2015, Sky News reports.
It's possibly the day every sci-fi fan was dreading; Disney buys Lucasfilm will read more like 'Disney ruins Star Wars' to most aficionados of the franchise. Every film, apart from the latter half of the trilogy, which confusingly (for non-geeks) was made before the latter three, has been unsuccessful in recreating the success of the 70's and 80's. "Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas," said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. "This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney's unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value."
George Lucas launched Lucasfilm in 1971 and the first Star Wars film was released in 1977. "For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next," Lucas said. "I've always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime." Lucas will stay on as creative consultant for the new set of Star Wars films, which, starting in 2015 will be released every few years.
A cinematic collection of slightly exaggerated memories from Lucas' senior year in high school (1962), Graffiti was well-timed; it caught a wave of fifties nostalgia that would crest with Happy Days, Grease, etc. While the iconoclasm of the sixties and seventies would continue to take youth culture in a very different direction, Graffiti helped spark a cultural backlash (or at least a flashback) after the free-love/acid-rock/anti-war era.
Continue reading: American Graffiti Review
This documentary is precisely what it's title purports to be, an in-depth and instructive look at movie editing that literally spans 100 years of film history, from The Great Train Robbery to Cold Mountain. Through interviews with a copious number of directors and editors, The Cutting Edge covers everything from basic editing techniques like the matching of cuts to modern editing theory as inspired by MTV and The Matrix. The film goes into extreme detail in parts, like when we get to see James Cameron's trick of removing one frame per second out of Terminator 2 to give it more momentum and realism. It's all a little bit insidery and self-congratulatory, but the movie works far more often than not. Any film buff will find it hard not to like.
Continue reading: The Cutting Edge: The Magic Of Movie Editing Review
When he attended a special première for the final 'Star Wars' film, 'Revenge of the Sith', director Steven Spielberg is said to have broken down in tears.
Movies can affect different people in different ways. Sometimes, even established and respected filmmakers have to appreciate the marvel of particular films. Two-time Academy Award-wining director wept at a premiere of his collaborator George Lucas' sixth and final 'Star Wars' movie 'Revenge Of The Sith'; the third part of the prequel trilogy which began in 1999 with 'The Phantom Menace'.
Steven Spielberg cried at the end of 'Revenge of the Sith'
The film stars Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee, and long-time 'Star Wars' actor Anthony Daniels as C-3PO. The 'Jurassic Park', 'Jaws' and 'Schindler's List' film-maker, Spielberg was so moved by the eagerly-awaited conclusion of the sci-fi saga, he burst into tears at its screening in April 2005.
Continue reading: Steven Spielberg Wept At 'Revenge Of The Sith' Ending
Date of birth
14th May, 1944
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