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‘Chronicle’ director Josh Trank takes on ‘Star Wars’ stand-alone movie

- June 4th, 2014

Chances are if you’ve directed a monster invasion movie, you’ve got a pretty good chance at getting your own Star Wars film.

Just weeks after Gozilla’s Gareth Edwards was chosen to take on the first stand-alone Star Wars film in the new Lucasfilm universe, the production company has announced Josh Trank will be behind the camera for the second movie.

Trank made waves in Hollywood after debuting his first feature Chronicle, and stole headlines once again after agreeing to sign on as director for the upcoming Fantastic Four.

Like Edwards, Trank doesn’t have a long IMDB credits list, but after critics lauded Chronicle, he became the go-to young director for science fiction and genre films.

According to Lucasfilm, the stand-alone films will be completely independent of the original, prequel, and sequel trilogies.

At this time, not much is known about the films other than each will focus on a primary character from the Star Wars universe that will change with each instalment.

While no announcement has been made as to when Trank’s instalment will hit theaters (Edwards’ is slotted for 2016), various sites have placed their bets on 2018.

New ‘Star Wars’ films will ignore Expanded Universe

- April 25th, 2014

Since Star Wars: Episode VII was announced, fans have wondered whether the J.J. Abrams-directed film will acknowledge the Expand Universe that preceded and followed Episode I: The Phantom Menace and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi in books, comics and video games.

With a lot of the Expanded Universe material taking place post-Return of the Jedi, much of the speculation centred around Episode VII-IX. You’ll also remember Abrams’ time-traveling storyline for his 2009 Star Trek reboot saw him blowing up Vulcan.

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The cover for Heir to the Empire, the first book in The Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn, which took place after the events in Return of the Jedi.

Speaking at WonderCon last weekend, original Episode VII scribe Simon Kinberg told IGN that “for the movies, the canon is the canon, and the canon is the six films that exist.” But he doesn’t say any more than that.

In attempts to clarify what fans can expect when the film hits theatres Dec. 18, 2015, Lucasfilm has released a statement on the official Star Wars website. And if you are a fan of the Expanded Universe stories, you’ll be disappointed to hear that the company is taking the Star Wars property in an entirely new direction.

“While Lucasfilm always strived to keep the stories created for the EU consistent with our film and television content as well as internally consistent, Lucas always made it clear that he was not beholden to the EU,” a statement read in part. “He set the films he created as the canon. This includes the six Star Wars episodes, and the many hours of content he developed and produced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. These stories are the immovable objects of Star Wars history, the characters and events to which all other tales must align.”

It continued: “In order to give maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience, Star Wars Episodes VII-IX will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe.”

Some of the past books from the Expanded Universe will be kept in print, but presented under the new Legends banner. Going forward, new novels and comics will be part of the Star Wars canon with all Star Wars creative development being overseen in-house.

Earlier this year, Lucasfilm inked a deal that will see Star Wars comics and graphic novels published under the Marvel umbrella starting in 2015 (right now, the Dark Horse has the rights to publish Star Wars in comic book form).

On the screen, the first new canon to appear will be Star Wars Rebels (airing this fall). In terms of the books, John Jackson Miller is writing a novel that precedes the events of Rebels and offers insight into a key character’s backstory.

Lucasfilm released a video to accompany the statement:

What do you think of this news? Are you happy that they are drawing up a storyline from scratch, or should filmmakers have used the EU as a blueprint? Sound off in the comments below.

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.

New ‘Star Wars’ to hold open auditions

- November 11th, 2013

So if you want to be in the new Star Wars, you’re never going to get a better chance than this.

Disney is holding an open call to cast two roles in the upcoming film – and you can submit your audition online. It is unknown whether the parts are lead or supporting roles.

Here are the official casting descriptions from the Cast It Talent website:

Seeking: Young woman to play 17-18 Years old. Must be beautiful, smart and athletic. Open to all ethnicities (including bi- and multi-racial).
RACHEL — Was quite young when she lost her parents. With no other family, she was forced to maker her way alone in a tough, dangerous town. Now 17 she has become street smart and strong. She is able to take care of herself using humor and guts to get by. Always a survivor, never a victim, she remains hopeful that she can move away from this harsh existence to a better life. She is always thinking of what she can do to move ahead.

Seeking: Young man to play 19-23 years old. Must be handsome, smart and athletic. Must be over 18.
THOMAS — Has grown up without a father’s influence. Without the model of being a man, he doesn’t have the strongest sense of himself. Despite this, he is smart, capable and shows courage when it is needed. He can appreciate the absurdities in life and understands you can’t take life too seriously.

The postings match an earlier call sheet that went out in Britain last week.

Filming on the new Star Wars, which is being rewritten by J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan, begins early next year for a scheduled Dec. 18, 2015, release.

LucasFilm denies J.J. Abrams quitting ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’

- July 23rd, 2013
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J.J. Abrams is seen at the premiere of Star Trek Into Darkness in this May 2012 file photo. Brian To/WENN.com

 

After rumours surfaced over the weekend that J.J. Abrams was exiting Star Wars: Episode VII, LucasFilm has issued a statement saying the director is still committed to the film.

“There is no truth to the rumour (that he has quit),” reports IGN. “J.J. is having a great time working on the script and is looking forward to going into production next year.”

If Star Wars isn’t your thing, and you’re more of a Trekkie, we’re getting word that Star Trek 3 will be written by Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz (Fringe, X-Men: First Class). Apparently, Paramount wants the third instalment ready for the 50th anniversary of Trek in 2016.

Abrams has previously said that he’s open to doing both Star Wars and Star Trek, but that timeline, and Star Wars’ 2015 release date, makes that proposition seem unlikely.

Last week, Abrams’ production company Bad Robot tweeted a photo of what many speculated was Michael Arndt’s screenplay for Episode VII.

During an interview with MTV at Comic-Con last weekend, Harrison Ford, who is expected to return as Han Solo, called Abrams a “great storyteller.”

“He’s developed an enormous filmmaking skill. I think it’s a daunting project, and he’s the kind of guy that can take on huge challenges and deliver.”