A flame-haired Irish wrestler has hinted he'll be the man behind Darth Vader's mask in the new Star Wars films. WWE champion Sheamus has been linked to the role British actor Dave Prowse played in the first three Star Wars movies, and he has fuelled the speculation on Twitter.com.
The fighter, real name Stephen Farrelly, has been spotted close to where filming is taking place on Skellig Michael Island in Ireland, and he recently posted a photo of himself wielding a toy lightsaber on Twitter.com.
The new J.J. Abrams-directed Star Wars sequel will feature returning stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, once he recovers from a leg injury, and Oscar Isaacs, Adam Driver and Andy Serkis, among others.
Since putting down his wand and hanging up his glasses three years ago, Daniel Radcliffe has done his best to leave Harry Potter behind him by taking a wide variety of roles in both film and theater. Of course, like Harrison Ford and Elijah Wood before him, he might always be best known for his most famous franchise role, but just because Harry is the most famous, that doesn't mean it will be the only career-defining performance that Radcliffe gives. In fact, two of his upcoming films — What If and Horns — might just be two of the most important projects that Radcliffe releases. They could be the same kind of career-shaping roles as Harry himself, for on specific reason: they're the complete opposite of the Boy Who Lived.
With What If arriving in theaters this August and Horns followng shortly behind for Halloween, we could be on the precipice of a new age of Radcliffe's career; we could be seeing a brand new side of him by Christmas. But which film will have the bigger impact on Radcliffe's future filmography? Which one promises to bring a new role as life-changing as Harry Potter? We've broken them both down in order to find out:
What If The Role: Wallace, a normal guy who becomes infatuated with Chantry (Zoe Kazan), only to find out that she’s already in a relationship. The two decide to ignore their attraction to each other and pursue a friendship instead. What’s Risky: Firstly, it’s the first normal, modern person that Radcliffe has played onscreen. The awkward, sarcastic Wallace is about as far from the Wizarding World as one could possibly get. More importantly, though, it’s Radcliffe’s first romantic comedy – his first comedy at all, really – and the success of the film hinges on two things: his ability to be charming and lovable and his ability to be funny. He has showcased his comedic chops during his SNL hosting gig, but he still has yet to prove that he can carry a comedy on his own. What If relies on him winning over both Kazan and the audience. What’s Not: From what we’ve seen in the trailer, Wallace isn’t actually all that different from Radcliffe himself. They’re both quick-talking, witty guys who can poke fun at themselves and look ridiculous standing next to Adam Driver. It probably won’t be too hard for an audience to accept Radcliffe as a goofy, charming leading man, since that’s exactly who they’re used to seeing pop up in interviews and on talk shows.
Horns The Role: Ig Perrish, who is accused of raping and killing his girlfriend, Merrin (Juno Temple), and wakes up one morning with demon-like horns growing out of his head. Since the horns give him powers of persuasion and cause people to confess their darkest secrets, he decides to use them to find the real killer. What’s Risky: Harry Potter, J. Pierpont Finch, even Wallace – Radcliffe always plays the hero. We’re comfortable with this, we like him as the reliable good guy who’s going to come out on top; but Ig Perrish is very much an anti-hero. In fact, he might actually be the villain of the film, and it’s a much darker, more complex role than anything Radcliffe has attempted on screen before. There’s a good chance that audiences won’t accept him as such a twisted, unlikable character, even if Ig does turn out to be the good guy at the end. What’s Not: The character might be completely different, but the fantasy setting and supernatural elements are familiar to Harry Potter fans who are used to seeing him battle all kinds of mythical forces. Horns might be a lot darker than that franchise, but the magic should be enough to entice moviegoers who still haven’t gotten enough of the Boy Who Lived. Plus, his first post-Potter film, The Woman in Black, was also a horror film, so audiences are already familiar with Radcliffe as a horror star.
Which One Would Have a Bigger Impact? It’s a tight race, since both films have something risky and something safe about them, but ultimately, we think What If has the bigger power to shape Radcliffe’s career. If the film does well, it opens him up to more comedic opportunities, and proves that he can carry a film even when he’s not hunting Horcuxes or battling evil. It also would establish Radcliffe as a romantic lead, and though his legions of loyal fans might disagree, it would be the first time that most audiences would see him in a more swoon-worthy light. Horns might let him play the bad guy, but in the end, it’s not as much of a change of pace for Radcliffe as What If would be.
Lucasfilm via Everett Collection
Production on J.J. Abrams' highly-anticipated Star Wars: Episode Vii film will be suspended for two weeks in August (14) as a result of Harrison Ford's onset injury.
The veteran actor, 71, sustained a broken leg in early June (14) when the door of the Millennium Falcon spacecraft fell on top of him while shooting at the U.K.'s Pinewood Studios.
He underwent surgery and was recently photographed back on his feet with the help of a special supportive crutch, less than three weeks after the accident. Filming continued in Ford's absence, but now Disney studio executives have decided to halt production for a fortnight next month (Aug14) to allow Abrams to rework the shooting schedule.
However, Disney bosses insist Star Wars: Episode VII is still "on track" to wrap this autumn (14) and will be in movie theatres for its planned December, 2015 release date.
Meanwhile, Abrams has added two new castmembers to the film - acting newcomers Crystal Clarke and Pip Anderson - although details about their roles are being kept under wraps.
They join the likes of Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Andy Serkis and original franchise stars Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill in Episode VII.
20th Century Fox Film
These days, it seems like every day brings with it a new influx of rumors about Star Wars: Episode VII. From the initial casting reports to the latest cameo rumors to the never-ending, constantly conflicting plot "leaks," every time you turn around there's something else to cover. Even Marvel and DC are struggling to keep up with the barrage of press releases and insider information. With so much to cover, it can be hard to keep track of what seems real (the villains are probably Jedi Hunters, they might resurrect the Sith), what's completely insane (Harrison Ford will be replaced ) and what's already been debunked (most of it). In fact, there might only be one way to keep everything organized and comprehensible: give all of the rumors awards. And that's exactly what we did.
Least Creative: Production Delays on Production Delays on Production Delays At the rate that we’re seeing rumors about production delays, everything on set must shut down whenever someone sneezes. The most recent are centered on Harrison Ford’s broken leg, with multiple outlets claiming that the whole film has been shut down until he returns to set, which either overestimates how much screen time Ford will have or underestimates the importance of sticking to the December 2015 release date.
The Harrison Ford Heritage Award for Replacing Harrison Ford: Robert Pattinson It all started when the Internet had a breakdown over the possibility of Pattinson playing Indiana Jones in a reboot of the franchise. Then, when Ford got injured, it was rumored that Pattinson would take over the role of Han Solo so that production wouldn’t have to be – you guessed it – delayed. This one was quickly debunked though, as nobody with eyes would every believe Pattinson and Ford to be the exact same person.
Most Disappointing Debunking: Oscar Isaac’s Role Will Be Expanded Pattinson wasn’t the only person to get swept up in the frenzy surrounding Ford’s injury; Isaac’s character was rumored to have been expanded in order to fill story time to avoid – all together now! – more production delays. Unfortunately, Disney quickly refuted this one, showing us great possibilities before cruelly yanking them away.
Most Morally Ambiguous: Adam Driver: Hero or Villain? Because so many details are still under wraps, we don’t know anything about the characters that the new cast will be playing, which makes it easy for conflicting reports to cast the same person in different roles. When Driver first came on board, it was to play a villainous role, but by the time the rest of the cast was added, he was rumored to be playing the son of Han and Leia. Now, he’s back on the dark side, playing one of the Jedi Hunters terrorizing the heroes. At this point, it’s probably best to just imagine him as a double agent.
Biggest Potential Style Inspiration: Lupita Nyong’o, Villainess Perhaps no actress in recent memory has become a style and beauty icon as quickly as Nyong’o. She can pull anything off, and does so in a way that almost convinces you that you can wear the same thing. So when reports surfaced that she was playing a villain with yellow eyes, the world’s immediate reaction was basically “Hey, do you think I’d look good with yellow eyes?” You probably won’t. She definitely will.
Most Highbrow: David Cronenberg Approached to Direct Spinoff The Star Wars rumor mill doesn’t just affect Episode VII, but has come to encapsulate the spinoffs as well. Though the first two have been handed off to their respective directors, Cronenberg was reportedly approached to put his own spin on the Star Wars universe, an offer he almost immediately declined. Maybe all those Pattinson rumors inspired Disney to reach out to him?
Most Absurd: Tom Cruise Will Be Making a Cameo If you’re Tom Cruise and you meet up with Mission Impossible III director/producer JJ Abrams, the only logical reason is to plan a cameo in Episode VII. Your meeting couldn’t possibly be about the Mission Impossible franchise, or the numerous films you have lined up, or even just a chance to catch up on each other’s lives. Nope, you’re definitely going to be in Star Wars.
Most Surprisingly Awesome: Tom Cruise Will Be Making a Cameo Did you see Edge of Tomorrow? Slightly dickish, alien-fighting Tom Cruise is the best Tom Cruise of all.
Obi-Wan’s ‘These Are Not the Droids You’re Looking For’ Award For Deception: The Millennium Falcon Of all the rumors on this list, none was stuck down faster than that of the reappearance of the Millennium Falcon, which was spotted in leaked photos from the set. In response, Abrams leaked a photo of his own, denying that the Millennium Falcon had ever graced the set... from what appeared to be the inside of the Millennium Falcon itself. Still, once they saw it, the press simply nodded and allowed him to go about his business.
Least Likely To Have Been Double-Checked On IMDB: David Oyelowo Will Play a Villain Buried in the reports that Nyong’o and Driver are going to play villains was a brief mention about the third Jedi Hunter, supposedly played by David Oyelowo. There’s only one problem: Oyelowo was never cast in Episode VII, nor was he ever rumored to be part of the cast. Clearly someone needed to do a quick Internet search before writing up the latest rumor/report/hearsay from the Episode VII set.
Most Likely To Be Used As Punishment: Jar Jar Binks Is Back Every so often, when Star Wars fans start complaining too much or the press gets a little too invasive, one name appears, like an omen of despair: Jar Jar Binks. Do we actually think that he’ll pop up in the film? Probably not, but we do enjoy watching fans react to his name in much the same way the wizarding world did whenever Harry Potter said “Voldemort.”
Rumor Mill MVP: Boba Fett Try and find a single plot, casting, set design, or spinoff rumor that doesn't mention Boba Fett in any way. You probably can't do it. He's practically become the new main character of the Star Wars franchise. When the inevitable remakes come along, you better believe they're going to be all about Boba Fett.
LucasFilm via Everett Collection
J.J. Abrams has the shutters on Star Wars: Episode VII closed tight, but rumors continue to seep through the cracks. This time, a new rumor from the mega-fans at Making Star Wars (via Cinemablend) claims that the main villains of Abrams' sequel will be a group of "Jedi Hunters," fearsome warriors clad in black and wielding, you guessed it, lightsabers as their weapon of choice. Furthermore, the site reports that this group has been hunting down Luke Skywalker and his comrades for the past couple decades, and the seasoned Jedi has become tired and weary of fighting back his pursuers (we're hoping for at least one "I'm gettin' too old for this Bantha s**t"), and needs some help. It's an intriguing premise with a lot of possibilities going forward. But as exciting a prospect as this rumor may be, it leaves us with more questions than answers. Foremost: Who are the Jedi Hunters?
The idea of the Jedi being hunted down and killed isn't an idea new to Star Wars. Emperor Palpatine's infamous Order 66 was responsible for the deaths of a large portion of the Jedi order in Revenge of the Sith. It was this same order that sent Yoda into hiding in the swamps of Dagobah and Obi-Wan to the desolate sands of Tatooine. Additionally, the Expanded Universe has toyed around with he idea of "Jedi Hunters" frequently throughout its history (there's even a whole Wookieepedia page dedicated to the concept). But we're still left guessing as to the nature of these new villains. One inescapable theory: they're members of the Sith.
They certainly fit the description. The Sith are also warriors garbed in black who battle Jedi with lightsabers. It wouldn't be a leap to predict that a third-act twist in the film might be that these Jedi Hunters are really Sith warriors in disguise. The Sith, in some form or another, have been a mainstay in the Star Wars universe. They are the yang to the Jedi's yin. The dark counterbalance that levels out the force. It's hard to imagine a canonical Star Wars film that doesn't feature the Sith rearing its ugly head in some form or fashion, but that may be the franchise's biggest problem.
The Sith have been a part of every live-action Star Wars film to date. Even if they weren't known by name until 1999's The Phantom Menace, the dark order has been pulling the strings of the universe ever since the series' first opening crawl. Maybe it's time for the franchise to start a change of pace. Star Wars is a universe so steeped in customs, rules, codes, and prophecies, that going against established ideas may feel sacrilegious, but change can be a good thing. Having a Star Wars film without the Sith would be a bold move for the franchise that might pump some much needed novelty into its veins. George Lucas' previous films have hinted at a rich and diverse universe at the periphery of the main narrative, but have almost stubbornly stuck to telling the same old story of Sith vs. Jedi. Having a new group rise up to fight the Jedi, perhaps with completely different set of reasons for fighting, divorced from the same old prophecies, would be a good move for the Jedi. It may be time to leave the dark side of the force alone for a while.
"I was cast two weeks ago. I'm glad it's out." Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o is relieved she no longer has to keep her role in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode Vii a secret following producers' casting announcement on Monday (02Jun14). She joins Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac and Andy Serkis and original franchise stars Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford in the new sequel, which began shooting in the U.K. on 16 May (14).
Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o has been added to the cast of the new Star Wars movie. The 12 Years A Slave star joins Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, John Boyega and original franchise stars Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker in Episode VII, which began shooting at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, England on 16 May (14).
Game of Thrones' Gwendoline Christie will also join the cast for the much-anticipated film, which is set to hit theatres in December, 2015.
Announcing the new casting news on Monday (02Jun14), producer Kathleen Kennedy says, "I could not be more excited about Lupita and Gwendoline joining the cast of Episode VII. It's thrilling to see this extraordinarily talented ensemble taking shape."
Director J.J. Abrams gave the cast of the new Star Wars film a boost on the first day of shooting the new sequel by penning handwritten notes of encouragement to each actor.
Cameras began rolling on Star Wars: Episode VII at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, England on Friday (16May14), with actors Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Andy Serkis and John Boyega among the stars, and now a photo of a message Abrams sent to each castmember has emerged online.
The letter, written by hand on Abrams' own red personalised stationery, reads: "Dearest cast and crew. What an honour it is to work beside all of you, on Star Wars Ep VII. "I can't thank you enough, for all work past and future. Let's take good care of not just ourselves, but of each other." He concluded the note by stating, "Amazing, but true: the world awaits this film. Let's give 'em something GREAT. xo JJ".
Original Star Wars icons Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill will also be returning to the franchise's latest film, which is due for release in December, 2015.
"UK table read - I was knocked out by the diverse & extraordinarily talented new cast members. WOW they're good! The saga is in superb hands." Mark Hammill is impressed by the plot and cast of Star Wars: Episode Vii. The original Luke Skywalker will reprise his freedom fighter character in the film, alongside Star Wars originals Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. The trio will be joined by Adam Driver, John Boyega, newcomer Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis and Domhnall Gleeson, among others.
The official cast of Star Wars: Episode Vii has been revealed. Original Star Wars icons Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill will return to the franchise, as expected, while Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and Kenny Baker (R2-D2) will reprise their beloved characters too.
Also announced are Attack The Block star John Boyega, actress Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson and Max von Sydow.
The casting news was posted on the Star Wars Facebook page on Tuesday morning (29Apr14), just days after speculation about Ford, Fisher and Hamill's involvement in Episode VII reached fever pitch after it became clear that all three were in London, where filming on the blockbuster is about to begin. Over the weekend, they were spotted at a cast dinner with Driver and Serkis.
A statement from director J.J. Abrams reads: "We are so excited to finally share the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again. We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud."
The film is due to hit theatres in December, 2015.