May 20, 2013 9:58am EST
Fans who're still sad about the end of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, take heart! Lucasfilm announced this morning that the Lucasfilm Animation division, and former Clone Wars supervising director Dave Filoni, are hard at work on a new cartoon series, Star Wars Rebels, set to debut on Disney Channel in Fall 2014. The series will be set in the 19-year period between Episode III — Revenge of the Sith and the original Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope. Simon Kinberg, who's hard at work writing one of the mysterious Star Wars spin-off films, is writing the one-hour special telecast that will set up the series that will subsequently air on Disney XD.
Lucasfilm's official description of the series is this: "The action-filled series is set between the events of Episode III and IV – an era spanning almost two decades never-before explored on-screen. Star Wars Rebels takes place in a time where the Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy and hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights as a fledgling rebellion against the Empire is taking shape. Details about the show are a closely guarded secret at this point."
Most exciting for fans of The Clone Wars, however, is that Lucasfilm's release says Star Wars Rebels will feature "many of the key talents" that made the previous show. This means that, potentially, we could catch-up with Ashley Eckstein's Ahsoka after the Jedi-slaughtering events of Order 66 as she deals with the fact that her old master Anakin Skywalker is Darth Vader. It also means we could revisit Darth Maul and Cad Bane, whose ultimate fates were left dangling at the conclusion of The Clone Wars series. All of that has yet to be confirmed, but is what every Clone Wars fan will be hoping for.
Either way, that Galaxy Far, Far Away is about to get a whole lot bigger. Check out a video of Filoni talking about the new series with Lucasfilm's Pablo Hidalgo, below.
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt and follow Hollywood.com @Hollywood_com
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January 25, 2013 7:54pm EST
Rumors spread like Imperial probe droids across the tundras of Hoth on Thursday when news leaked that J.J. Abrams would take on the much-coveted job of directing Star Wars: Episode VII. Slated for an unspecified date in 2015, Abrams — who will soon release his sci-fi sequel Star Trek Into the Darkness — will helm the picture under Trek and LOST producer Bryan Burk and Spielberg-partner-in-crime Kathleen Kennedy.
This news follows months of speculation, with dozens of names reportedly up for the job (including Argo director Ben Affleck). According to an official press release, there wasn't much competition when Abrams became a contender. In response to the news, George Lucas says, "I’ve consistently been impressed with J.J. as a filmmaker and storyteller. He’s an ideal choice to direct the new Star Wars film and the legacy couldn’t be in better hands.”
Kennedy added to Lucas' praise. “It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie,” says the Jurassic Park and E.T. producer. “J.J. is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the Star Wars experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture.”
Also included in the press release is the announcement that Empire Strikes Back writer Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg, rumored to be working on their own Star Wars spin-off movies, will consult on the film. Hints of a connected universe a la Marvel?
For Abrams, the announcement is a dream come true. He caps off the official announcement with a heartwarming quip. “I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid."
Let's hope the next generation responds with as much love for Abrams as the director does for the original franchise mastermind when Episode 7 arrives in 2015.
[Photo Credit: WENN]
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
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November 28, 2012 7:53am EST
After Disney and Marvel's The Avengers crossed the billion dollar mark in worldwide grosses, thanks to years of multi-picture world building, everyone in Hollywood is scrambling to put together their own interwoven franchises. From Paramount's Tom Clancy adaptations to WB's Justice League, the name of the game is expanded mythology, and now it appears Disney wants its next gargantuan undertaking to follow the same path.
Insiders have revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that Disney has hired a team to write spin-off entries set in the Star Wars universe. Whereas Marvel shot solo films for their many heroes and collided them for the epic Avengers, the plan will be to take advantage of the sprawling universe far, far, away with new adventures not disconnected from the Skywalker saga of the previous trilogies.
Earlier this month, writers Lawrence Kasdan (Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark) and Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes, upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past) were hired to pen screenplays for two upcoming Star Wars films. Disney, who absorbed George Lucas' LucasFilm and the legendary sci-fi property in October, currently plan to continue the franchise with Episode VII, VIII, and IX beginning in 2015. The unnamed eighth entry is set to be written by Toy Story 3 screenwriter Michael Ardnt, and the logical conclusion upon the news was that Kasdan and Kinberg would script the later two entries. Not so, says the new report.
"Expanded Universe" is a familiar term for Star Wars enthusiasts, with many minor characters and corners of the ever-growing world explored in books, comics, video games, and even toys. But for the first time, the expansion will now occur on the big screen, all part of Disney's ambitious plan to release two or three Lucasfilm-produced movies a year (a roundabout way of saying "A whole lot of Star Wars!"). No details have been revealed on where Kasdan and Kinberg may take their scripts — we're still wondering who or what Episode VII is about — but with an endless ensemble to pick from, the sky is the limit.
Which character do you want to see get his or her own movie? Don't forget: Captain America director Joe Johnson really wants to make a Boba Fett movie. Now that dream is a real possibility.
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
[Photo Credit: Lucasfilm]
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July 21, 2012 7:20am EST
Now that Comic-Con is behind us, what do comic book junkies have to look forward to? Well, according to Collider, the answer is the X-Men: First Class sequel — which will include the back story of Michael Fassbender's character, Magneto.
In an interview with the film's writer/producer Simon Kinberg, new details emerged about the comic book flick he calls "the most guarded state secret I've ever been around."
The plan for the sequel — which he says "is unlike the other X-Men movies" — is to do some unexpected things with Xavier and Magneto. In February he told MTV, "Magneto becomes the villain ultimately of the franchise but he's a much more complicated character as a young man. He's someone you sympathize with, you care about, you root for even though you might not necessarily agree with his methods, you understand his philosophy."
In the new movie, Magneto will have "a villainous side and he'll have a sympathetic human side. You'll be able to relate, but you'll also be afraid of him."
Kinberg has been working closely with director Matthew Vaughn and producer Jane Goldman on the script and they "hope to begin shooting in spring of next year to come out in July of 2014."
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January 30, 2012 9:04am EST
Fox is busy working on some big film followups to 2011 hits: specifically, X-Men: First Class and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
The X-Men film to follow First Class is being assigned several behind the scenes players. Director Matthew Vaughn (First Class) is reported to be returning for this new series installment, as is producer Bryan Singer. The script responsibilities to screenwriter Simon Kinberg, who wrote X-Men: The Last Stand. The First Class cast, which included James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, is also expected to return for the next feature.
The ending of Rise of the Planet of the Apes always suggested a sequel, but some rumors suggested that one might not occur, or that director Rupert Wyatt might not return for a second Apes film. But Fox reports that Wyatt is indeed directing a followup to his Caesarian hit.
All good news on the Fox frontier. Mutant people. Mutant apes. Rises and falls. Firsts and lasts. A whole lot of big screen excitement.
September 22, 2009 4:48am EST
Three months ahead of the release of Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes, Warner Bros. is developing a new installment.
The Risky Business blog reported yesterday that the studio is poised to bring on Kieran and Michele Mulroney to write a new draft while Brad Pitt has had discussions with producers to star as Holmes' nemesis Moriarty.
The Pitt talk was rumored over the summer in a story that appeared to originate in The London Mirror (the link to the story has since ceased working), but the info was quickly denied by Warners. At the time, the studio said: "The report in today's London Mirror is completely inaccurate. Brad Pitt is not joining the cast of Sherlock Holmes."
There have also been rumors that he appears in several shots of Holmes as Moriarty, but those familiar with the script say the character is in shadow and cannot be recognized.
In the first Holmes, set for release during the holidays, Robert Downey Jr. plays the title character with Jude Law as his Watson. Rachel McAdams also stars. Susan Downey, Dan Lin, Joel Silver and Lionel Wigram produced.
Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham, Wigram and Simon Kinberg all worked on the screenplay for the first film. The Mulroneys wrote Warners’ Justice League: Mortal and also wrote and directed the indie dramedy Paper Man, which starred Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Daniels.
Full story: http://www.hollywoodwiretap.com/?module=news&action=story&id=40564
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September 17, 2008 5:26am EST
Nicole Kidman is attached to star in The Eighth Wonder, an action-adventure film from Simon Kinberg that 20th Century Fox has picked up. Kidman will also produce the film whose plot details are being kept under wraps, says The Hollywood Reporter.
However, it is known that the story centers on an archeological discovery that sets off a globe-spanning race.
The goal, says The Reporter, is to create a movie that will be to Raiders of the Lost Ark what the Bourne movies are to James Bond movies: a character-driven, treasure-hunting thriller.
Kinberg will write the script in the fall. He recently handled rewrite duties on Night at the Museum 2 and Sherlock Holmes.
Kidman will next be seen in Baz Luhrmann epic, Australia, which opens Nov. 26.
February 14, 2008 12:25pm EST
David Rice (Hayden Christensen) was once just like every other angst-ridden parent-hating teenager--that is until he discovered his gift the greatest imaginable pastime/escape ever: teleporting. Since then David has been on the er run and living the ultimate dream. On any given day for instance David could have coffee in Paris and attend the NBA Finals in New Orleans all before lunchtime--which is precisely what tickles his whimsy in the beginning of Jumper. But teleporting like every other superhuman feat is not without its consequences. First he has to keep his special power a secret from his girlfriend Millie (Rachel Bilson); second he has competition from other Jumpers around the globe namely the cynical Griffin (Jamie Bell); and third there is a group called the Paladins currently led by Agent Roland (Samuel L. Jackson) that has been at war with the Jumpers for thousands of years and sworn to kill ‘em all. Suddenly what David thought was complete freedom puts his and Millie’s life at risk. Amongst other areas like writing and direction (see below) Jumper is a victim of its own miscasting. Star Wars veterans Christensen and Jackson lead the way in that department. Christensen has yet to prove that he can do much beyond his tense dramatic turn in Shattered Glass but unfortunately keeps trying. As Jumper’s heroic protagonist the only quality he can pull off is looking younger during flashbacks; otherwise he is stiff too intense and simply no fun in a role that calls for it. Jackson meanwhile stars in so many movies that he’s bound to misfire here and there (OK maybe more frequently than that). If you’re able to get past his ridiculous white hair enough to digest the acting you’ll see that his badass persona doesn’t jibe with a character who’s something of a villainous ghost buster. Resurging actor Bell (Billy Elliot) out-energizes everyone in his supporting role and seems to understand better than Christensen what was wanted from his character while former O.C.-er Bilson is hardly even noticeable. Michael Rooker (Cliffhanger) and Diane Lane are barely around as David’s parents with the latter ostensibly cast in the tragic event a sequel should arise. Uh no. For director Doug Liman sci-fi is really the only genre he is yet to conquer or try to conquer and was thus a logical next step in a successful career. He’s done dramedy (Swingers) action (The Bourne Identity) and crime-comedy (Mr. and Mrs. Smith) all with nice results. Well apparently he’s found his kryptonite: sci-fi (if this movie can truly be classified as such). Jumper based on Steven Gould’s novel of the same name is all about the snappiness that has become Liman’s signature but it’s actually far too quick and light on details in an age where Lost and Heroes fanboys and girls demand much more than special effects. The movie is itself something of a Jumper quick to use its premise as an escape route when things could potentially get intriguing. Surprisingly the empty story can be attributed partly to two contemporary masters of genre screenwriting David S. Goyer (Batman Begins The Dark Knight) and Simon Kinberg (Mr. and Mrs. Smith X-Men: The Last Stand) as well as Jim Uhls (Fight Club). But ultimately the hollow look and feel of Jumper--including its second-rate special effects--falls on Liman who completely blows an opportunity to adapt a concept loaded with big-screen potential.
January 05, 2007 6:52am EST
Brad Pitt and girlfriend Angelina Jolie had such a good time filming Mr. and Mrs. Smith they are considering reprising their roles in a sequel.
The celebrity couple struck up a real-life romance after filming the hit movie in 2005 and they now have three young children together.
According to MTV News, the sequel is one movie project the pair are considering doing together.
Just after the film's release, Pitt pitched an idea to studio executives that would feature their spy characters suddenly becoming parents.
Earlier this week, ABC announced that Mr. and Mrs. Smith will be turned into a new TV show which will reunite director Doug Liman and writer Simon Kinberg.
The TV series will not feature Pitt and Jolie and will pick up six months after the film ended.
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June 05, 2006 1:42pm EST
Everything appears to be status quo between humans and mutants. There’s a president who is sympathetic towards mutants Prof. Charles Xavier’s (Patrick Stewart) school is thriving and Magneto (Ian McKellen) is quiet--for the moment. But when a “cure” for mutancy is discovered which would give those with the mutant gene the choice to give up their powers and become human Magneto sees red. Cure mutants? Dem’s fightin’ words. With a few more allies on his side--including the resurrected Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) who now calls herself the Phoenix and has unlimited powers--Magneto prepares to trigger the war to end all wars while the X-Men--lead by the stalwart Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and milquetoasty Storm (Halle Berry)--try to stop him. I seriously doubt this is really their Last Stand. All the usual suspects are back. Stewart is once again sufficiently wise as Xavier while McKellen’s Magneto continues to be one of the cooler comic-book villains. It’s amusing to watch him calmly mangle cars or dislodge the Golden Gate bridge with a gleam in his eye. Janssen also seems to relish playing dual roles--the tormented Grey and her evil alter ego Phoenix who is one scary broad. Unfortunately Jackman doesn’t have as much to chew on in Last Stand as he did in X2 and Berry is once again only good for drumming up fog. But the new mutants are kind of fun: Ellen Page (so deadly in Hard Candy) plays sweet this time as Kitty Pryde who can “phase” through solid material; Vinnie Jones (Snatch) is boisterous as the aptly named Juggernaut; Kelsey Grammer is diplomatic as the highly intelligent--and very blue--Dr. Hank McCoy aka Beast; and Dania Ramirez (Fat Albert) as the blink-of-an-eye quick Callisto gets to kick Storm’s ass. Cool cat fight. How dare director Bryan Singer leave his X-Men to go direct another superhero movie even if it is Superman Returns. If Wolverine had anything to say about he might have ripped Singer a new one. You really do feel Singer’s absence in The Last Stand. All of the director’s tormented pathos towards his mutant comrades and their struggles to live in the human world are not as prevalent in this third installment. Instead we’ve got happy-go-lucky director Brett Ratner of Rush Hour fame who turns The Last Stand into one giant id--big explosive and campy. Of course to his credit Ratner is pretty good at delivering a rousing albeit superficial action movie. It’s just not as gripping as X2. But listen the spirit of the comic is already built in from the previous installments so in essence we already know these characters pretty well. Do we really need more angst?