The big movie news this week was that Disney has signed Lawrence Kasdan to return to the franchise to write Star Wars Episode VIII. He cowrote both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi some 30 years ago. Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) is writing Episode VII, and Simon Kinberg (X-men: First Class) is working on Episode XIX.
While rumour has it that Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill will all be back for the new Star Wars movies, it's unlikely that Ewan McGregor will appear in them. But he was on hand this week for the London premiere of The Impossible, a true drama about the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami by Spanish filmmaker J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage). Bayona and McGregor were joined on the red carpet and a screening Q&A by costar Naomi Watts.
Two big British films open in the UK this weekend. The remake of the con-artist comedy Gambit sees Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz take on roles originally played by Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine in 1966. And David Tennant joins Marc Wootton for Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger, the sequel to 2009's hit comedy Nativity! Yes, it's just as stupid as the first film, but it's also a holiday guilty pleasure.
Just out in the US and coming soon to Britain, Hitchcock traces the battle between Alfred Hitchcock and the movie studio over the making of Psycho in 1959. Reviews have been strong for the comical film, which stars Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren and Scarlett Johansson. At a press interview in New York, director Sacha Gervasi shared stories about the lively on-set atmosphere.
A wild red-band trailer for Movie 43 promises one of most raucous movies of 2013 - a star-packed, deeply incorrect ensemble comedy made by 12 filmmakers. The cast includes Halle Berry, Kate Winslet, Hugh Jackman, Naomi Watts, Chloe Grace Moretz and, well, almost everyone you've ever heard of. It opens in January.
The new trailer for the slick thriller Now You See Me promises a witty, action-packed romp involving a group of magicians. From the director of The Transporter and the writers of Men in Black, the film looks like mindless good fun. And the impressive cast includes Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Woody Harrelson, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine. It opens next summer.
And finally we look at the French-Canadian drama Laurence Anyways, which won awards at Cannes, Toronto and other film festivals. Melvil Poupaud stars as a man who, over the course of the story, transitions from a man to a woman. It opens in the UK next week.
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