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 →
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!
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.
Last week Disney/Lucasfilm announced that the release of Star Wars Episode 8 would be pushed back from May to December 2017, owing to delayed production and script re-writes by director Rian Johnson (The Brothers Bloom, Looper). Filming on the new movie is expected to begin soon, but in the meantime, some rival production companies have had to rearrange their plans for some of their upcoming big releases. Director James Cameron (Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Titanic) is still currently set to begin filming all three of his upcoming Avatar sequels simultaneously at the end of this year, but Avatar 2, having already been moved back from release in December 2016 to December 2017, is now being pushed back again, with no release yet in sight. Continue reading →
Rumors are flying around Hollywood about directing brothers Anthony and Joe Russo stepping in to lead the upcoming two-part installment in The Avengers series, Infinity War, which will be released in 2018 and 2019, respectively, following this year’s upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron. Production on the project is already expected to begin next year and carry over with filming into 2017, but there are no screenwriters officially committed to writing the film (although Captain America writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely are rumored to be in talks to pen the script) and the cast will likely not be completely revealed until we see Age of Ultron hit theaters this May. There are also big rumors surrounding Disney‘s upcoming Star Wars installments with the goal being to release a new movie every consecutive year from now until 2020. J.J. Abrams is currently trying to finish production on the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Disney already has Rian Johnson (Looper, Breaking Bad) directing Episode VIII for 2017, but the new rumor is that Abrams may return to direct the final installment in the three-part series, even though he is not involved with the production on Episode VIII. Whatever the case, this is still all speculation, so we’ll have to continue to wait for more official news. Stay tuned.
With production underway on Star Wars: Episode VII (which is still scheduled for release in December 2015 despite Harrison Ford’s leg injury on the set) Disney is moving forward with their plans for future projects in the Star Wars series. Recent news has director Rian Johnson now set to direct Star Wars: Episode VIII, which will also receive some input from Johnson for the script and keep him on to write Episdoe IX, but Disney’s not stopping there. Godzilla director Gareth Edwards has also been hired to direct a spin-off that will be released in 2016 and could follow any number of characters that have appeared in the Star Wars universe, with a second spin-off from director Josh Trank coming out sometime after that, and maybe even before Episode VIII hits theaters. This means that J.J. Abrams will not be returning for the additional installments, which sucks for him because Star Trek 3 has already found a replacement director in Robert Orci. Oh well, it’s all part of the game I suppose. Stay tuned.