STAR WARS NEWS
Just last week, we highlighted a new edit of Close Encounters of the Third Kind that Topher Grace screened for a small audience, including Peter Sciretta at SlashFilm. However, the first time Grace chose to re-edit a well-known piece of sci-fi pop culture, our own Alex Billington was in attendance. That event had Grace showing off an edit of the Star Wars prequels that he touted as Star Wars: The Editor Strikes Back. After the response to his Close Encounters remix last week, the actor has released the trailer he sent as an invite to his Star Wars screening. It's a very cool tease for the much shorter Darth Vader origin story.
It seems fortuitous that right now on the HBO series "Girls," the character played by Adam Driver just booked a big Broadway role that could change his life. Now Variety reports the real life actor has a role that will really launch his career. Driver is currently near closing a deal to play the villain in Star Wars: Episode VII, the follow-up to the classic original trilogy that concluded with Return of the Jedi. Though no details on the character are known, sources say the villain is in the same vein as the iconic Darth Vader. Driver has never had a role like this before, but he has a mysterious presence about him that's just perfect.
While we can pretty much assume that everyone under the sun has had a meeting or audition for Star Wars: Episode VII, production on the film is supposed to begin in May, so there have to be some key decisions regarding cast that just haven't been revealed. If a new rumor from AICN is to be believed, we might have a young actor who already has a role, and it could be a lead. Supposedly two different sources say that Jack Reynor, who will next be seen as one of the leads in Transformers: Age of Extinction (watch the Super Bowl tease here), has already landed a role in the film. However, they don't know what role yet.
Last week we got a handful of new casting rumors for Star Wars: Episode VII with Michael Fassbender, Hugo Weaving, Adam Driver and Jesse Plemons being linked to meetings or discussions for a potential role in the sci-fi saga sequel. Well, in a recent appearance at the Television Critics Association press tour, The Wrap reports director J.J. Abrams confirmed that he has met with Plemons for a role, but on other rumors, he says, "It’s usually agents talking to people about what’s happening. It’s a lot of noise.” So nothing big there, but after recent reports pegged an overhaul of the script, Abrams has confirmed it's at least finished.
It's been awhile since some juicy rumors for Star Wars: Episode VII popped up, and there's a few good ones circulating this weekend, mostly on the casting front. THR has heard that X-Men: First Class and 12 Years a Slave star Michael Fassbender, "Girls" star Adam Driver and The Matrix villain Hugo Weaving are potentially in the mix for roles. They join previously rumored talents like Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiorfor and countless others with weak links to the anticipated sci-fi sequel from director J.J. Abrams. In addition, a lesser known name but familiar face is supposed to take a meeting too.
Back in February of 2012, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace returned to theaters converted to 3D, and Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith were supposed to arrive in a hurry this past September and October. However, following Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm last fall, they decided to postpone the release of the films in 3D saying the studio wanted to "focus only on rebooting the franchise with three new Star Wars films." We weren't sure when the prequels or even the original trilogy would come back to theaters in 3D, but now it sounds like there might be a plan to release them yet again. But when?
While everybody and their mother has been auditioning for Star Wars: Episode VII, most of the names that have popped up in discussion have been pretty discreet about trying out for the film until after the fact. Saorise Ronan has indicated she didn't get the role, but her audition involved using lightsabers and doing dialogue. Otherwise, we haven't heard much about the auditions. But now X-Men: First Class star Jason Flemyng (he played Azazel) has been pretty bold and posted a page from the Star Wars script. How do we know? Well, along with the picture from Instagram, he wrote, "Pint of Stella and Star Wars script!" Look!
For anyone who ever thought that die-hard fans were crazy for recreating costumes, props, etc., here's a story to shut them up. Just recently, we featured the first behind the scenes photo from Star Wars: Episode VII featuring J.J. Abrams at the production workshop with Kathleen Kennedy, two other dudes, and everyone's favorite astromech droid, R2-D2. Many outlets took this as confirmation that the droid would return for the sequel, which wasn't a surprise, and now that fact has been confirmed along with some cool news about the team who will be working on the practical droid creation for the production now.
Look, we wish that we had some real behind the scenes photos from Star Wars: Episode VII like the set of the Millennium Falcon, or a new planet, even some lightsabers or weapons, basically anything from the forthcoming sequel which was recently dated for December 18th, 2015. But unfortunately, it's still early days, and the crew at Disney, Lucasfilm and Bad Robot are still busy getting the script and other details together before production begins next spring. However, we have a photo of Abrams with an iconic Star Wars character as the Bad Robot Twitter feed has just posted a picture of the director with R2-D2. Look!
Over the past few weeks, Star Wars fans have been treated to little snippets of rarely seen footage from Return of the Jedi. A laserdisc release of the film featured 30 minutes of raw footage which included outtakes, different angles, and even some unseen, unused dialogue. Now Charlie Owen (via The Playlist) has finally posted the entire piece of footage that is uncut, with off-camera audio and multiple angles of Scene 50 between Luke Skywalker and Yoda on Dagobah. The quality isn't that great, but you still get the idea of what's going on here. And there's an intriguing bit of dialogue that could have changed the film entirely.
There may not be an official title, and fans might be worried as hell about the recent game of musical chairs played by (former) writer Michael Arndt, director J.J. Abrams and original saga writer Lawrence Kasdan, but Disney has finally given us an official release date for Star Wars: Episode VII. The continuation of the iconic sci-fi saga created by George Lucas will hit theaters everywhere on December 18th 2015. It's not mentioned whether the film will be released in 3D or IMAX formats, but that seems like a no-brainer that we'll hear about sometime down the road. Now if we could just lock down a cast and some story details.
There were big waves of worry when Lucasfilm announced that director J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan had taken over writing duties on Star Wars: Episode VII. And those worries were even bolstered by rumors that Michael Arndt's script had been thrown out and Abrams and Kasdan were doing a complete overhaul on the story. It's hard to know at this point, but this is the ugly side of filmmaking that gets blown out of proportion. Recent articles have pointed out the script debacles when The Empire Strikes Back was in production, and that turned out to (arguably) be the best Star Wars film in the saga. Now Abrams has given a short statement about the changing of the guard, and it's not really revelatory. Read on!
News that Chiwetel Ejiofor, currently enjoying praise across the board for his lead performance in 12 Years a Slave, was spotted at Bad Robot turned into speculation that the actor might be meeting for a role in Star Wars: Episode VII. After all, it's the only film they're concentrating on right now, and Michael B. Jordan has auditioned for a role, so Ejiofor could easily be meeting about the same one. Of course, this just seemed like a report just trying to land a scoop, but whilst attending a premiere event for 12 Years a Slave last night, the actor was asked about the possibility of being asked to join the sci-fi franchise. What'd he say?
It sounds like the troubled that director J.J. Abrams is having locking down a script for Star Wars: Episode VII might be a little more serious than we thought. We just learned from Lucasfilm that Michael Arndt is no longer writing the anticipated sci-fi saga sequel, and Abrams and The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi writer Lawrence Kasdan were resuming scripting duties. But now a report from THR says that producer and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy, along with most of the film's creative team, want to push the film to 2016, but Disney CEO Robert Iger is dead set on releasing Episode VII in 2015.