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‘Star Wars’ live-action series headed to TV?

- January 10th, 2013

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We know that ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ will be heading to a theatre near you come 2015, but speculation is mounting that a long-in-the-works television series could be on its way to the small screen.

When Disney purchased Lucasfilm last October, they got extensive treatments for future films and were optimistic the franchise could be extended on television. “We really like Star Wars potential on TV,” Disney CEO Robert Iger said at the time in a statement.

Well, with the deal to acquire Lucasfilm finalized last month, ABC (which is owned by Disney) is considering bringing a Star Wars live-action TV series to the small screen.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, ABC entertainment president Paul Lee says a series based in the Star Wars universe is something “we’re going to look at.”

The EW story reveals that 50 scripts are already in the can, with such writers as Battlestar Galactica’s Ron Moore contributing. Set on Coruscant between the events of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope, producer Rick McCallum called the show “Empire on steroids” during an interview last year.

Despite the sci-fi genre being more popular than ever, high-production costs (rumoured to be as high as $5-million an episode) and Lucasfilm wanting to retain ownership scuttled any live-action plans.

Now that Lucasfilm and ABC are under the Disney umbrella, Lee says a weekly show is a possibility.

“We’d love to do something with Lucasfilm, we’re not sure what yet,” Lee tells EW. “We haven’t even sat down with them. We’re going to look at [the live-action series], we’re going to look at all of them, and see what’s right. We weren’t able to discuss this with them until [the acquisition] closed and it just closed. It’s definitely going to be part of the conversation.”

But with a new film written by Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) hitting theatres in 2015, Lee says a television show is not a done deal. “It’s going to be very much up to the Lucasfilm brands how they want to play it.”

Would a Star Wars television show hold your interest, or are you strictly about the movies? Let us know what you think of a live-action series in the comments.

Oscar 2013: Watch the trailers

- January 10th, 2013

In news that will come as a surprise to no one, U.S. presidential drama Lincoln scored 12 Oscar nominations on Thursday including nods for best picture, director, actor and supporting actor and actress.

Ang Lee’s adaptation of Yann Martel’s Life of Pi ran a close second with 11 noms.

Joining those two films in the best picture race are: Les Miserables, Argo, Amour, Zero Dark Thirty, Silver Linings Playbook, Django Unchained, and Beasts of the Southern Wild.

If you haven’t seen them all yet, check out the trailers below and let us know who you think was snubbed and who you think will win.

The Oscars air February 24.

Amour

The French-language film won the Palm d’Or at Cannes last year. Haven’t seen this one yet. It’s on my list.

Argo

Ben Affleck’s Iran hostage drama, in which Canada co-starred, was considered a lock for best picture nod. But the fact that Affleck was snubbed for director came as a bit of a surprise. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favour. The performances are top notch and the story shines a light on Canadian heroes you may not have heard of.

Beasts of the Southern Wild

The is the little indie film that could. Coming out in a summer that was dominated by The Avengers, a lot of eyes will be on Quvenzhane Wallis, 9, who becomes the youngest ever best actress Oscar nominee.

Django Unchained

QT’s slavery revenge film is hard to watch. There are scenes that will revolt you. But if you stick it out, you’ll be treated to a master class in acting. Christoph Waltz is masterful, but Sam Jackson and Leo DiCaprio turned in seductively evil performances that rank alongside Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs. Shame about Tarantino not getting a nod for best director.

Les Misérables

We all knew that Hugh Jackman could sing his way through Jean Valjean, but what about Russel Crowe as Javert and Anne Hathaway as Fantine? Oscar certainly likes the adaptation of the long-running stage play. In addition to a best picture nod, Jackman and Hathaway were nominated in the acting category.

Life of Pi

Many thought a big screen adaptation of Yann Martel’s prize-winning novel about a boy adrift on the Pacific with a Bengal tiger was impossible to film. Director Ang Lee proved everyone wrong.

Lincoln

Daniel Day-Lewis is considered a shoe-in for best actor and the film is considered a front-runner for best picture. Spielberg has already won twice, so I wouldn’t bet the house that he’ll win for director. Between us, I’m more excited for Robopocalypse.

Silver Linings Playbook

David O. Russell’s direction makes this film a visual treat. There’s no CGI trickery, but I loved how the camera played a supporting role in a movie that is chock full of excellent performances. De Niro makes us forget about the Fockers, and Chris Tucker reveals there is life after Rush Hour. The best surprise, though, is Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, who both prove they aren’t just a one-trick pony.

Zero Dark Thirty

It hasn’t come out in Canada yet, but Kathryn Bigelow’s film based on the 10-year manhunt for Osama bin Laden is shrouded in controversy. It comes just months after the unsanctioned book, No Easy Day, and Peter Bergen’s fascinating Manhunt.