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!
Director Paul Greengrass (left) collaborating with Matt Damon (right).
Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting, The Departed) stole the screen as Jason Bourne in the fast-paced spy series from author Robert Ludlum that began with The Bourne Identity in 2002 and ended (for Damon) with The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007. After that Jeremy Renner (The Avengers, American Hustle) stepped in to portray a new character in the Bourne-universe for director Tony Gilroy in The Bourne Legacy, which received mixed reviews from both critics and fans. But now Damon and Bourne Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass (United 93, Captain Phillips) are both returning to the series for a fifth installment, thus far only known as Bourne 5. Julia Stiles (The Omen, Silver Linings Playbook) will also be returning for the new movie, joining new-comers Alicia Vikander (The Fifth Estate, Ex Machina) and Viggo Mortensen (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, A History of Violence) as the new villain. Details for the new story are not yet available, and further casting news is likely still forthcoming, so we’ll keep you posted with further updates.
Twentieth Century Fox recently moved their upcoming sequel to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes from July 2016 to the next July in 2017. With this move, the vacated release-spot has been filled by Universal Pictures, moving their upcoming Jason Bourne sequel that will reunite Matt Damon (The Departed, Interstellar) with director Paul Greengrass (Green Zone, Captain Phillips) into this date instead. This will push the Bourne release back by a couple of weeks, but also provide virtually no competition for that opening weekend, so it could turn out to be a really profitable switch. Damon and Greengrass are currently writing the screenplay for the film with producer Christopher Rouse, but there is no word yet as to whether or not the movie will follow the previous installment, The Bourne Legacy, with series newcomer Jeremy Renner (The Avengers, American Hustle). The Bourne Legacy was directed by series screenwriter Tony Gilroy, taking over for Greengrass who directed Damon in both the preceding movies The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), but now Greengrass is back on board to direct and Gilroy has, as of now, fallen away from the series. Stay tuned for more news.