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‘Godzilla’ filmmaker to direct ‘Star Wars’ spinoff

- May 23rd, 2014

Turns out directing a fire-breathing monster was good practice for what’s coming next for Gareth Edwards. The man who injected new life into the moribund monster franchise currently stomping out the competition at the box office (at least until X-Men opens this weekend) has been tapped to direct the first stand-alone Star Wars spinoff.

The news, which was announced on StarWars.com Thursday, did not specify the subject matter of the new film but it has been speculated that new spinoffs would focus on the bounty hunter Boba Fett, Yoda or a young Han Solo.

The film will be written by Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli, After Earth).

“Ever since I saw Star Wars I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life — join the Rebel Alliance! I could not be more excited and honored to go on this mission with Lucasfilm,” Edwards said in a statement.

Whitta, who has also written a video game adaptation of The Walking Dead, added: “From the moment I first saw the original movie as a wide-eyed kid, Star Wars has been the single most profound inspiration to my imagination and to my career as a writer. It is deeply special to me,so to be given the opportunity to contribute to its ongoing legacy, especially in collaboration with a film-maker as talented as Gareth, is literally a dream come true. I’m still pinching myself.”

Prior to directing Godzilla, Edwards’ only directing credit was the indie sci-fi horror Monsters. In a 2010 interview with my colleague Jim Slotek to promote that film Edwards said: “If you’d have asked me when I was 12, I’d have thought I’d have made a film by 22, straight out of university. But that was really naive.”

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Godzilla director Gareth Edwards is seen in Toronto, May 15, 2014. (Dave Thomas, QMI Agency)

Last week, when he was in Toronto to promote Godzilla, another colleague Bruce Kirkland asked Edwards about delaying the big reveal. “I’d be more nervous about throwing it in early,” the British filmmaker said. “Because then you’ve spent one of your best cards in your hand. You’re trying to win the game and you’ve got to play it at just the right time.”

Sounds like the Force is strong with this one.

Edwards’ stand-alone Star Wars film will hit theatres Dec. 16, 2016.

‘At least three’ Star Wars spinoff movies on the way

- May 7th, 2014

When Disney acquired Lucasfilm and announced plans for Star Wars: Episodes VII, VIII, and IX, the company also said it was also plotting additional spinoffs, TV shows and books and comics. And we now have some clarity on the number of spinoffs in the works.

While speaking during a shareholders’ call Tuesday, CEO Bob Iger revealed that there will be “at least three” Star Wars spinoffs. The news was first reported by Variety’s Marc Graser [via Collider]

We’ve known for some time that Disney was eyeing a young Han Solo film (set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope) and a possible Boba Fett film. In January 2013, Vulture reported that Zack Snyder was planning to helm a non-trilogy Star Wars film based on Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (he quashed the rumour). A standalone Yoda film has also been talked about.

In a recent AMC Movie Talk, director Jon Schnepp (Metalocalypse) confirmed that Empire Strikes Back scribe Lawrence Kasdan is writing the solo Fett movie. “One of them is Boba Fett,” Schnepp said discussing the Star Wars spinoff movies. “It is. I know. I know for a fact. I will never reveal my source, but it is the one written by Lawrence Kasdan.”

Last year, EW speculated that a solo Fett film would take place either between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, or between Empire and Return of the Jedi.

So what do you think? If there are three spinoffs, which characters do you want to see in them?

Boba Fett spinoff on the way?

- January 8th, 2014

When Disney announced it was purchasing LucasFilm and was planning a new Star Wars trilogy, they also surprised everyone with news that they intended to make various spinoff films.

While no specific characters were confirmed, the popular assumption pointed to stories involving the bounty hunter Boba Fett, a young Han Solo or Jedi Master Yoda.

As you’ll remember, The Attack of the Clones prequel showed Fett as a young boy, who watched his father Jango Fett get decapitated by Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson). But the famous bounty hunter Boba Fett didn’t appear again until The Empire Strikes Back (the character showed up in The Clone Wars series and was digitally added to a revised version of A New Hope). His origins – at least in the official film canon – were never dealt with.

That now appears to be over with a solo Boba Fett film reportedly in the works.

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In a recent AMC Movie Talk, director Jon Schnepp (Metalocalypse) confirmed that Empire Strikes Back scribe Lawrence Kasdan is writing the solo Fett movie. “One of them is Boba Fett,” Schnepp said discussing the Star Wars spinoff movies. “It is. I know. I know for a fact. I will never reveal my source, but it is the one written by Lawrence Kasdan.”

Last year, EW speculated that a solo Fett film would take place either between A New Hope and Empire, or between Empire and Jedi.

Of course, nothing is official until Disney confirms it. But I for one am intrigued with the idea of a stand-alone Fett adventure.

Star Wars: Episode VII will begin filming this spring for release Dec. 18, 2015. Are you happy with the idea of a Fett spinoff? Sound off in the comments.

New video surfaces showing all-white Boba Fett

- July 2nd, 2013

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I’m a sucker for those all-white Miami Heat uniforms. So when I spotted this clip showing an early screen test for Boba Fett sporting some pearly armor, I was sold on the costume alone.

Turns out Joe Johnston’s original concept art included designs for an all-white version of the bounty hunter that tracks Han Solo down in The Empire Strikes Back. Ben Burtt, sound designer on Episode V, introduced the new character in the 1978 clip.

One interesting distinction, that wasn’t included in his final incarnation, was Johnston’s desire to have Fett wear the scalps of all his victims. “It would hang like a pigtail might,” Burtt says. “But these will be locks of hair of various enemies [Fett] has slain in the course of his mercenary duties.”

Burtt highlights various weapons, grappling hooks, projectiles and other characteristics of the prototype costume – all of which are kinda neat. Less cool, is the fact that Fett is using a Star Wars blanket as his cape in the scene. That comes near the end, though.

Take a look and let us know what you think in the comments below.

New ‘Star Wars’ movies every year starting in 2015

- April 17th, 2013

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So, good news if you’re a Star Wars fan. Disney has revealed it has big plans in store for the franchise.

Starting with 2015′s Episode VII, the company is planning a new film every year for at least five years.

Disney made the announcement at CinemaCon earlier today. The plan will see the company alternate between a new trilogy of films being kickstarted by J.J. Abrams and various spinoff pictures.

In February, Disney announced plans for standalone films focusing on a young Han Solo and Boba Fett.

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In addition to the Solo and Fett films, Ain’t it Cool reported that a standalone Yoda film is also in the works.

Episode VII will hit theatres in the summer of 2015 along with Avengers 2. So it will definitely be a busy summer for Disney, which owns both properties.

Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3) is writing the screenplay for Episode VII, with Empire Strikes Back scribe, Lawrence Kasdan, and Simon Kinsberg (Sherlock Holmes, X-Men: Days of Future Past) writing the other two instalments.

Is this Star Wars overload or movie-going heaven? Let us know what you think in the comments.