STAR WARS NEWS
We already know Star Wars Celebration next month is going to have a huge kick off with J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy on hand, likely showing off the new trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens before it arrives around the release of The Avengers: Age of Ultron. And now it sounds like there might be some news on the developing standalone films, because StarWars.com has announced that Gareth Edwards, the director of Star Wars: Rogue One and Josh Trank, the director of the next untitled spin-off, will be coming to the event to "share their experiences as the newest members of the Lucasfilm creative family."
Now that the first standalone spin-off to follow Star Wars: The Force Awakens has the official title of Star Wars: Rogue One and a confirmed leading lady in Oscar nominee Felicity Jones, it's time for the rest of the film's cast to get rounded up before production begins later this year. Deadline has word that Ben Mendelsohn, a spectacular Aussie character actor you should recognize from The Dark Knight Rises and Killing Them Softly, is circling another lead role alongside Jones. Of course, as has become customary with all Star Wars casting news, there's absolutely no hint of what kind of character he will be playing at all.
There's a lot of Star Wars fan films out there, so it takes some pretty impressive work in order for people to turn their heads and actually check one out every now and then. Well, it looks like animator Paul Johnson's anime short TIE Fighter is one of those films. Johnson has spent the last four years making this short film that takes a look at a space battle from the point-of-view of the Galactic Empire, making some of the pilots in the iconic ships actual characters as opposed to just faceless soldiers. As someone who's not really a fan of anime (I don't dislike it, just not my thing), this is still an impressive piece of work.
Even though Star Wars: The Force Awakens isn't slated to arrive for nine months, and we only just confirmed Looper director Rian Johnson would be at the helm of Star Wars: Episode VIII, coming in May of 2017, that's not stopping the rumors from starting on who will be at the helm of Star Wars: Episode IX. After all, Disney wants a new film from the galaxy far, far away arriving every year (like Star Wars: Rogue One in 2016) for the foreseeable future, so why wouldn't they be planning ahead? And Latino Review has the first rumor of a frontrunner director for Episode IX as The Force Awakens helmer J.J. Abrams.
Even though John Williams has been responsible for all of the scores for each film in the Star Wars saga (except for Star Wars: The Clone Wars), he'll be sitting out for the Star Wars spin-offs it seems. Williams has already been confirmed to provide the score for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and presumably Episode VIII and Episode IX (though he's getting up there in years, so time is of the essence). But when it comes to Star Wars: Rogue One, the first standalone adventure outside of the new trilogy, French radio program Radio Classique’s Culture Club (via Film Music Reporter) learned someone else will step up.
Right along with the news of Star Wars: Episode VIII getting a summer release in May of 2017, the shareholders meeting led by Disney CEO Bob Iger has also revealed that the title of the first spin-off film will be Star Wars: Rogue One. The news was confirmed in a press release on StarWars.com where it was also confirmed that The Theory of Everything star Felicity Jones will have a starring role in the film, though rumors of the story following the heist to get the plans to the first Death Star have not been confirmed. Disney only said it would be the first in a unique series of big-screen adventures that explores the characters and events beyond the core Star Wars saga. But some of the producers have been revealed.
With Star Wars: The Force Awakens hitting in December this year, and the first official Star Wars spin-off coming a year later in December of 2016, we've assumed that the winter month would always be the timeframe for new films in the galaxy far, far away to get released. However, StarWars.com has confirmed information from a call between Disney CEO Bob Iger and Disney shareholders where it was revealed that Star Wars: Episode VIII, which has been confirmed to be directed by Looper director Rian Johnson, will arrive on May 26th, 2017. May was previously the month of Star Wars, so the change isn't surprising.
"There has been an awakening. Have you felt it?" It's a big year for Star Wars fans. Not only is Star Wars: The Force Awakens coming out this year, but there's also another Star Wars Celebration happening in Anaheim, California. These conventions for fans only happen every three years in the United States, but it will have been four years since the last one happened, and it couldn't be a better year. Fans have been wondering what will be happening at the big event with Episode VII on the way, and now director J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm president and producer Kathleen Kennedy have been announced to appear.
"He was entirely alien, and hopefully people aren't aware of how he's being operated." This is an exciting year for Star Wars, with a brand new trilogy and the characters we all grew up with. One of everyone's favorite characters is Jabba the Hutt, and we all know he was an impressive puppet creation designed by Phil Tippett, but how exactly did he work? Well, Jabba required three puppeteers inside and three others operating various parts, from the smoke to his breathing. The man behind some fantastic "filmumentaries", Jamie Benning, has put together a new video called Slimy Piece of Worm-Ridden Filth - Life Inside Jabba the Hutt (love this title) and it's an excellent 20-min short doc on the operation of Jabba. Dive in.
When it comes to talking about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, director J.J. Abrams has done a pretty good job when it comes to avoiding major press events where he's asked a whole bunch of questions that he can't answer. However, Collider recently got a chance to catch up with Abrams as he attended the Visual Effects Society Awards to accept their Visionary Award, and the director was forthcoming about some things, though they're not particularly revelatory. Abrams confirmed there's only one sequence shot in IMAX, and he will executive produce Episode VIII and Episode IX. But what about that new lightsaber?
A couple weeks ago, a small collection of actresses were reported to be testing for a led role in the developing standalone Star Wars spin-off that's already slated for release on December 16th, 2016, one year after Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrives. Now THR reports that Oscar nominee Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything, The Amazing Spider-Man 2) is officially in talks for the role, though obviously specifics on her character are kept under tight wraps. All we know is she beat out Tatiana Maslany, Rooney Mara and Kate Mara for the role after they were all reading and testing for the role in LA.
Almost a couple years ago, back in the spring of 2013, before Star Wars: The Force Awakens even had a title and the film was still slated rumored for a summer release in 2015, Disney revealed at CinemaCon that they were planning on releasing a new Star Wars film each year, alternating between episodes in the new trilogy and standalone films in between them. Now here we are in 2015, and Star Wars: Episode VII isn't arriving until December 18th this year, followed next year by the first standalone film (which is starting to find a cast already) from director Gareth Edwards. Now we have further confirmation for future plans.
After rumors swirled that Simon Kinberg was going to step up for the next round of writing for the first standalone Star Wars spin-off that will be directed by Godzilla helmer Gareth Edwards, another writer has the job instead. Gary Whitta finished his job on the first draft of the script for the film rumored to be about the heist to obtain the plans to the first Death Star, and now THR reports About a Boy and Disney's new Cinderella screenwriter Chris Weitz will next step up to take a crack at the script. That seems like an odd hire for Star Wars, but Weitz did get an Oscar nomination for About a Boy, so it's not exactly bad news.
We've still got 11 months until Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18th, but with the first Star Wars spin-off film slated to arrive one year after that, it's almost time for production to get into gear, and that means casting is getting underway as writer Gary Whitta departed the project after turning in a first draft. THR has word that Disney is in the process of testing females leads for the first standalone film set in the Star Wars universe that will be directed by Godzilla helmer Gareth Edwards. As of now, the names that have surfaced include Girl with the Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara, recent Oscar nominee Felicity Jones from The Theory of Everything and "Oprhan Black" star Tatiana Maslany.