The wait is over! Fans of the Star Wars saga are flooding movie theaters across the country today as The Last Jedi makes its nationwide debut. Following 2015’s The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi picks up roughly 30 years after the events of 1983’s Return of the Jedi, and finds a new band of heroes struggling to defeat the evil First Order. But unlike The Force Awakens, which was written and directed by JJ Abrams, The Last Jedi takes on a much darker tone, diving further into character backgrounds and bringing to light the tragic fate of Luke Skywalker and his failed Order of Jedi Knights. That means fans will get to see much more of Mark Hamill in the new film but, given the untimely death of Carrie Fisher, can also expect to see some beloved characters get killed off in the telling. Thus far most critics are hailing writer/director Rian Johnson‘s installment in the series, which is said to be entirely his own, despite what Abrams may have set up with in the previous film. Although The Last Jedi is expected to launch with a worldwide box office haul of roughly $425 million, it will likely not be enough to match the North American Box Office earnings record for 2016. Continue reading →
As you are no doubt aware, the next installment in the latest Star Wars trilogy, The Last Jedi (Episode VIII), is opening in theaters nationwide this Thursday, December 14th at midnight. Whether or not it will be a frame-by-frame remake of The Empire Strikes Back (1980), like The Force Awakens and A New Hope (1977), has yet to be seen, but fans will undoubtedly be packing theaters to capacity from Friday until well into the New Year. If you already have a ticket for opening weekend, then let us know what you think. If not, however, you can still get your Star Wars fix by taking a brief (and by brief, I mean roughly 12-14 hours) refresher course with watching the series in “Machete Order.” Let me explain.
The Machete Order was first suggested by a fan of the series named Rob Hilton in preparation for the release of 2015’s The Force Awakens. According to Hilton, the machete order is a more effective way of watching the previous films, particularly for young viewers who are not familiar with the series. Obviously, with seven feature-length films and an eighth coming out this week, knowing where to start to get the full experience can be an overwhelming ordeal. Should you begin with the original trilogy and work your way up, or should you start with 1999’s The Phantom Menace and proceed chronologically? Continue reading →
Last night during the Vikings-Bears Monday Night Football game, the latest trailer for the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi premiered during the halftime commercial run. The new film, which is written and directed by Rian Johnson (Looper, Breaking Bad), will follow the events of JJ Abrams’ Episode VII: The Force Awakens, and feature veterans Mark Hamill and (the late) Carrie Fisher as Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. Fisher had completed filming on the project prior to her untimely death last December, but her role was expected to be expanded upon even further for Episode IX, which JJ Abrams has agreed to return for after Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed, Jurassic World) fell away from the film earlier this year. The Last Jedi will focus Rey’s Jedi training with Luke Skywalker, as well as on other Force Awakens characters like Finn and Poe as they continue their campaign against the evil First Order. Actors Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, and Oscar Isaac are all reprising their roles for the new installment. You can see The Last Jedi on big screens near you this December 18th. Enjoy the trailer!
In light of the untimely death of Carrie Fisher, movie-makers at Disney and Lucasfilm are beginning to look to Princess Leia’s future. Although Fisher has reportedly finished filming all of her scenes for the upcoming Episode VIII release this December, Leia was expected to play a much more significant part in Episode IX, which is slated for a December 2019 release. The over-arching storyline for the upcoming films included a reunion between Leia and Luke Skywalker, as well as a confrontation between Leia and Kylo Ren, who killed his father, Harrison Ford‘s Han Solo, in Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Now with Fisher gone, the fate of the character has yet to be fully realized. Continue reading →
This year, writer, director, and producer Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Hannibal) will see two of his most famous films back on big screens nationwide in the form of the new sequels Alien: Covenant and Blade Runner 2049. The original films Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982) are two of Scott’s most renowned films, and this year, movie-goers will get the chance to see modernized takes on both films, which have developed huge followings over the years.
Scott personally got back behind the camera to direct Alien: Covenant. Serving as both a sequel to Prometheus (2012) and a prequel to the original Alien, Alien: Covenant follows the crew of the colony ship Covenant as they discover a seemingly unknown paradise in deep space. As they begin to explore, however, they quickly uncover a dark and dangerous world, inhabited only by David, the synthetic survivor from the Prometheus expedition, who forces the crew to attempt a fast, and daring escape. Continue reading →
Like last Christmas, and likely the next four, five, six, or even seven still to come, Star Wars fandom is again dominating the box office. The first Star Wars prequel, Rogue One, opened in theaters worldwide this weekend, earning an impressive $290.5 million in box office ticket sales. Disney, who now owns the Star Wars franchise, initially predicted a $120-150 million take for the North American market, which ended up at $155 million. The worldwide box office haul does exclude China, which won’t see Rogue One in theaters until after the New Year. China, incidentally, is the second-largest market in movie ticket sales, so the grand total will likely reach into the $300 million range with ease. As impressive as the opening weekend was, Rogue One failed to break the box-office record set by last year’s Star Wars Episode 7 – The Force Awakens, which took home $248 million in its opening weekend. Still, the success of Rogue One demonstrates the potential for future Star Wars spinoffs Disney has, and will likely soon have in the making. Fans are already looking forward to next year’s Star Wars Episode 8, and a Han Solo origins story is still in the works for 2018. Needless to say, Star Wars fans will be getting their fix for years to come if Disney keeps up at this rate. And with $290 million world box office hauls, why wouldn’t they make more? The trailer for Rogue One is available here on MADE. If you get a chance, be sure to see it on the big screen this holiday season. Enjoy!
This holiday season will see another Star Wars film dominating the release schedule. Unlike last year’s Star Wars: Episode 7 – The Force Awakens, whose fan anticipation was the highest since Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace in 1999, Rogue One has already been plagued by script rewrites and unscheduled reshoots. This was in part owing to the lack of direct relevance to any of the original series characters, but also to fan polls that suggested disappointment with earlier plot lines. Nevertheless, production has pushed on and the second trailer for the new film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was just released this week. Rogue One is based on a story by John Knoll (Star Wars: Episode 6 – Return of the Jedi, Avatar) and Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli, After Earth), which was adapted to a script by Chris Weitz (About a Boy, The Golden Compass) and Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Ultimatum, House of Cards) about the Rebel Alliance’s plan to steal the plans to the Death Star, laying the grounds for the epic trilogy that follows with Star Wars: Episode 4 – A New Hope (1977). Director Gareth Edwards (In the Shadow of the Moon, Godzilla) helmed the project with actors Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything, The Amazing Spider-Man), Mads Mikkelsen (The Hunt, Casino Royale), Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler, Jason Bourne), Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises, The Place Beyond the Pines), Alan Tudyk (I Robot, Dodgeball), and Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, Lee Daniel’s The Butler). Oscar nominee James Earl Jones (Field of Dreams, The Lion King) is also returning to provide the voice of Darth Vader, whose presence in the film will likely hold the biggest intrigue for fans of the series. Check out the new trailer right here on MADE, and enjoy the weekend!
Producer Harvey Weinstein of the Weinstein Company has pushed back national release of his long anticipated drama Tulip Fever, based on the popular novel by Deborah Moggach, to a February 2017 release. The film has already seen several release delays; it was filmed back in 2014 and has since made no debuts at any of the film festival circuits or limited releases here in the States or elsewhere. Now, however, Weinstein seems to have settled on a post-Valentine’s Day release, going up against God Particle from producer J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Sleepless with Jaimie Fox (Ray, Collateral) and Michelle Monaghan (Gone Baby Gone, True Detective). Starring Oscar winners Alicia Vikander (El Machina, The Danish Girl) and Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds, Django Unchained), the film follows an artist who falls for a married woman he is hired to paint in portrait in the midst of the tulip frenzy of 17th century Amsterdam. Continue reading →
In the wake of one of the most highly anticipated sequels ever made (Star Wars: The Force Awakens…duh!) comes a new documentary from writer/video documentarian Jon Spira (Suityman, Anyone Can Play Guitar) called Elstree 1976. The film is an assemblage of archive footage and interviews with extras who were present on the set of the original Star Wars film, Episode IV: A New Hope (although, at the time, it was simply titled Star Wars) in 1976. The film features the actors reminiscing about their personal memories against the backdrop of archival footage, and about how being in the film forever affected their lives and careers. Actors including David Prowse (A Clockwork Orange, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi), who starred as Darth Vader in the original film trilogy (although Vader was voiced by James Earl Jones (Field of Dreams, The Lion King)), Garrick Hagon (Mission Impossible, Spy Game), who starred as Biggs in the originals, and Angus MacInnes (Witness, Captain Phillips), who starred as the Gold group squadron leader, all make appearances in the film. If this one is in a theater near you, I would definitely consider checking it out this weekend. Watch the trailer here on MADE.
Although starring in one of the most successful film franchises of all time hasn’t always been great for acting careers (with the exception of Harrison Ford), that doesn’t seem to be the case with The Force Awakens star Daisy Ridley. The young actress has just signed on to star in a new drama called The Lost Wife, a remake of the Israeli film Kolma. The Force Awakens and Star Trek director J.J. Abrams will be producing the project for Marielle Heller (A Walk Among the Tombstones, The Diary of a Teenage Girl), who will direct the film. Unlike many of her co-stars, who signed on for follow-up projects once it was announced they would be appearing in Star Wars, Ridley held off on contractual obligations until after the first film was already released in theaters. She is currently filming the second installment in the new Star Wars trilogy, which is being headed by director Rian Johnson (The Brothers Bloom, Looper). The Lost Wife is based on the book by Alyson Richman about a young couple in pre-World War II Prague who fall in love and are remorsefully separated when the Nazi’s invade the country in 1939. The script was adapted by Marc Klein (Serendipity, A Good Year), and the producers are aiming to show the film at Cannes before it opens to worldwide audiences. We’ll keep you posted for further updates.