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Harrison Ford being courted for ‘Blade Runner’ sequel

- May 15th, 2014

It looks like Harrison Ford might not only be reprising his iconic role as Han Solo. He could be back for another go around as Rick Deckard in a planned Blade Runner sequel.

Word was out Thursday that the producers at Alcon and director Ridley Scott are hoping to lure the 71-year-old back for a follow-up to his signature role as a Replicant-hunter in the 1982 sci-fi classic.

In a joint statement posted by The Hollywood Reporter, Alcon co-founders Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove said: “We believe that (screenwriters) Hampton Fancher and Michael Green have crafted with Ridley Scott an extraordinary sequel to one of the greatest films of all time. We would be honoured, and we are hopeful, that Harrison will be part of our project.”

Last year, while doing promo for Ender’s Game, IGN asked Ford whether he’d return for Blade Runner 2 if asked.

“Yeah, we’ve been chatting about it,” the actor replied. He continued adding: “I truly admire Ridley (Scott) as a man and as a director, and I would be very happy to engage again with him in the further telling of this story.”

Details on Blade Runner 2 have been scarce, but in May 2012, it was revealed that Fancher’s story would take place several years after the end of the first film.

In the original film, Deckard, a “blade runner” played by Ford, is a police officer who hunts a gang of “replicants” (led by Rutger Hauer) who have escaped from an off-world colony and ended up in Los Angeles circa 2019.

There were suggestions Deckard himself might have been a replicant, which Scott confirmed in the Director’s Cut. So if it’s true that there are plans to bring Ford back, it’ll be interesting to see how they’ll account for his age (the replicants in Blade Runner didn’t age and had built-in termination dates).

It’s unclear when filming on Blade Runner 2 will get underway. Ford is just days away from starting work on Star Wars: Episode VII, while Scott is rumoured to be circling The Martian with Matt Damon and, eventually, Prometheus 2, which Michael Fassbender confirmed during press duties for X-Men: Days of Future Past earlier this month.

Could Bradley Cooper be the new Indiana Jones?

- March 26th, 2014

Not sure how Indiana Jones fans will take this latest rumour. According to Latino Review, Disney could be contemplating rebooting their swashbuckling archaeologist with none other than Bradley Cooper for the titular role.

It’s worked a number of times for James Bond, so the thinking could be straight reboot, not a sequel.
In an interview last fall, Harrison Ford said he’d be up for playing Indy a fifth time, “In a New York minute.”

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“I don’t think there is any barrier to Indiana Jones being an old fart,” Ford said while promoting Ender’s Game in an interview with The Graham Norton Show [via Digital Spy]. “I’m old enough that we don’t need [Sean] Connery any more – I’m old enough to play my own father!”

Last summer, Ford told The Telegraph, “We’ve seen the character develop and grow over a period of time and it’s perfectly appropriate and okay for him to come back again with a great movie around him where he doesn’t necessarily have to kick as much ass.”

As recently as 2011, writer George Lucas was saying he was still trying to figure out a suitable story for Indiana Jones 5. “I really haven’t found the MacGuffin (that’s the plot device for you non-Hitchcock fans) yet,” Lucas told Vulture. “I mean, I know what it’s about, but I just have to find a MacGuffin that fits into the arena we’re working in.”

But after Disney acquired the Indiana Jones property late last year, Alan Horn, chairman of the Walt Disney Studios, said that a new Indy film was at least two or three years away. “We don’t have a story. We need a story,” he told Variety.

By then, Ford will be almost 75.

So what do you think about Indy being recast, and if someone new plays the character, is Cooper the right choice? Sound off in the comments below.

‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ starts shooting this May

- February 11th, 2014

So it’s not nothing, but it’s still not much. Sources have told HitFix that director J.J. Abrams will begin filming Star Wars: Episode VII in May. Shooting will continue until September with the finished product hitting screens Dec. 18, 2015.

According to the report, most principal casting on the film is complete, so I suppose we can count on hearing about Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford’s reprisal of their iconic characters any day now.

Earlier this week, Gary Oldman revealed that he is one of the actors who has had discussions about the new film. “They’ve called,” Oldman told Sky Movies. “I’ll believe it when I’m on the plane home. The deal isn’t done, but yeah, they’ve inquired. I mean Planet of the Apes, Harry Potter, Batman and Star Wars… bloody hell!”

Zac Efron also confirmed he’s had talks telling MTV last week, “Yeah, I just went and met with them (Disney executives). So I don’t know. It would be cool. I love the Star Wars movies I love them, but who knows?”

In addition to Oldman and Efron, Saoirse Ronan (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Kick Ass’ Chloë Moretz and Fruitvale Station’s Michael B. Jordan have been linked to the new film. As well, Abrams has confirmed talks with Breaking Bad’s Jesse Plemons. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Fassbender, Girls star Adam Driver and Hugo Weaving are also rumoured to be involved.

According to a report on THR last month, Abrams’ upcoming sequel has been reworked to focus on the trilogy’s original stars – Luke Skywalker (Hamill), Han Solo (Ford) and Princess Leia (Fisher), with newer characters taking a back seat until Episode VIII and IX.

I’m still not sure how I feel about that, but if there’s one person I trust to reset this franchise and make it palpable again, it’s J.J. Abrams.

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J.J. Abrams blacks out windows to keep ‘Star Wars’ secrets

- January 28th, 2014

It seems director J.J. Abrams will go to great lengths to keep the script for his upcoming Star Wars sequel a secret. And that includes blackening out the windows at his production office while he is deep into pre-production on the film.

A phone interview with the Daily Telegraph was interrupted when Abrams revealed the tidbit. “Are you kidding me? My god. My office… I’m working on the Star Wars script today and the people in my office have covered up all my windows with black paper. I guess they wanted to make sure no one could see what I was doing… It seems rather extreme.”

Abrams is no stranger to secrets, having kept the villain in last summer’s Star Trek Into Darkness (mostly) under wraps until the film’s opening. But the thirst for information surrounding the new Star Wars has led to tremendous amounts of speculation on the Internet. The latest scuttlebutt has it that the original trilogy stars – Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford – will be central characters in the Episode VII, with newer characters being given smaller parts that will be expanded in VIII and IX.

The director did admit “there’ll be some sort of compromise” between his desire to keep things a secret and the Star Wars community’s desire to know what’s going on.

Still, he added, “there’s a purity in not knowing every little thing” about the new film. “We’re living in a moment of instant information and a sense of entitlement to that information,” he said. “I think it’s nice to remember that there’s nothing wrong with a sense of anticipation.”

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J.J. Abrams. Reuters File.

During a Reddit Ask Me Anything last week, Hamill said he too wants the new film to be a surprise. “I’m good at keeping secrets. Especially when the goal it to maximize the enjoyment of the audience. That’s why I’m worried about episode 7, they’re going after casting sheets!” he wrote. “Im [sic] trying to keep the surprises for the movie, not for the internet. I hate spoilers.”

When Hamill was directly asked about his involvement, he replied: “The only character I know for sure is returning is my friend R2-D2. He hasn’t stopped beeping about it.”

So what do you think? Do you want to know everything about the new Star Wars film before it hits theatres next year? Or would you prefer to go in not knowing a thing? Sound off in the comments.

‘Star Wars’ lead roles casting and plot rumours: Episode VII to focus on Luke, Leia and Han

- January 13th, 2014

If you’re a hardcore Star Wars fan, this tidbit might have you flying out of your chair. According to The Hollywood Reporter, J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars film has been reworked to focus on the trilogy’s original stars – Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher).

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THR reports that original scribe Michael Arndt departed the film over creative differences with the director. Arndt wanted the new film to focus more on the offspring of the trio, while Abrams wanted to give audiences another chance to experience the classic characters before a “fitting send-off.”

According to the trade, Abrams and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan have reworked the new characters into supporting roles that will emerge as the focal points in Episode VIII and IX. New characters have been added to the new script, while others have been dropped entirely.

THR also reports that Michael Fassbender, Girls star Adam Driver and Hugo Weaving are in contention for roles in Episode VII. Breaking Bad’s Jesse Plemons has also reportedly met with the director. Weaving, according to multiple sources, has had early talks for a part to play an Imperial commander.

This is in addition to Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael B. Jordan, Jack O’Connell, Alex Pettyfer, Saoirse Ronan and Sullivan Stapleton – all of whom have been linked at one point or another to the new film.

If the Weaving rumour is true it suggests that Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine were not fully vanquished at the end of Return of the Jedi. (Readers of the books can weigh in on the comments and let me know how the storyline was expanded after Episode VI).

Of course, nothing is confirmed until we hear it from Disney. But this is a fun way for Star Wars fans to start their week.

Star Wars: Episode VII opens Dec. 18, 2015.