Actor Mark Ruffalo emailed Star Wars director Rian Johnson asking for a part in the 2017 installment of the blockbuster franchise. The Avengers star had already collaborated with filmmaker Johnson on his 2008 film The Brothers Bloom, so Ruffalo felt a little more at ease when hinting he was eager for a part in Star Wars: Episode VIII.
He tells movie website Collider, "I just reached out to Rian recently, by the way. My email to Rian after all these years was, 'Rian, congratulations on everything you've been doing. And by the way, if there's a part in Star Wars, please, anything, please consider considering me to join you.'
"I love hanging out with Rian so (it) is interesting to me, but I would like a role."
While Johnson still has time to hire Ruffalo for Episode VIII, Star Wars: Episode VII director, J.J. Abrams, has already gathered his cast and production on the highly-secretive film began earlier this year (14).
Actor Miltos Yerolemou is set to reunite with his Game Of Thrones co-star Gwendoline Christie on the set of the new Star Wars film. The Greek actor, who played swordsman Syrio Forel in the fantasy TV series, has become a late addition to the cast of director J.J. Abrams' sci-fi sequel after landing a small role in Star Wars: Episode VII.
Christie's casting was announced earlier this summer (14), when producers also revealed Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o would be appearing onscreen alongside the likes of Andy Serkis, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac and original franchise stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill.
Shooting on the highly-anticipated Star Wars project recently resumed in the U.K. following a brief hiatus to allow veteran actor Ford to fully recover from a broken leg injury sustained on the set in June (14).
Star Wars: Episode VII is due for release in December, 2015.
20th Century Fox Film
Filming on the new Star Wars sequel has resumed in the U.K. after director J.J. Abrams stalled the project to allow Harrison Ford to fully recover from a broken leg injury sustained on the set in June (14).
Abrams and his cast and crew regrouped at Pinewood Studios earlier this week (beg25Aug14), according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Ford broke his leg when the Millennium Falcon spacecraft his character Han Solo pilots rolled onto him. The actor underwent surgery and production stalled earlier this month (Aug14) as cast and crew waited for Ford's return.
Executives at Disney and Lucasfilm insist Ford's injury and the shooting hiatus will not delay the film's release. It is scheduled to hit cinemas all over the world in December, 2015.
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.
Can the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII possibly live up to expectations? It already has for director Kevin Smith. Last week, the filmmaker took to Instagram, posting a teary-eyed selfie after visiting the set for J.J. Abrams' upcoming sequel. Unfortunately, Smith was unable to say much else about his visit, thanks to a hefty non-disclosure agreement signed before seeing the set, but the visit was clearly a transformative one.
Now, thanks to Slashfilm, a video of Smith's Q&A at the Neuchatel International Film Festival in Switzerland has surfaced, in which the filmmaker talks at length about his recent visit to the London-based set. With the signed NDA still looming over his head, Smith couldn't get into specifics about what he saw, but he does talk about his time aboard the new Millennium Falcon and how witnessing the nostalgic sights and sounds of the new production made even the admittedly jaded filmmaker cry geeky tears of joy. Here are the snippets of Smith's interview that have us the most excited.
Here, Smith talks about the lack of green screen in the production and the reliance on live sets and practical effects:
"What I saw, I absolutely loved. It was tactile. it was real. It wasn’t a series of f**king green screens and blue screens in which later on digital characters would be added. It was there, it was happening."
"As I walked up that ramp [of the Millennium Falcon set] I realized that the something that was missing from [the prequels] and its now in these movies. And its not the obvious like hey the Millennium Falcon or hey the characters that we know are returning. Its something else entirely — he’s building a tactile world, a world you can touch. And hes replicating with all the love of someone who has the world’s greatest collection of Star Wars figures."
Smith talks about how the new film has many returning elements from the original trilogy:
"I saw old friends who I haven’t seen since my childhood... I saw uniforms, I saw artillery I haven’t seen since I was a kid. I saw them shooting an actual sequence in a set that was real. I walked across the set, there were explosions. And it looked like a shot right out of a f**king Star Wars movie."
"If he captures just 10 percent of what I felt, they're going to make a gazillion dollars. It's going to be the top grossing film of all time. Because it's old home; it's seeing everybody you want to see again in a brand new adventure moving forward. I can't wait."
Finally, Smith details how seeing scenes and sequences from the film turned Smith into a teary-eyed believer:
"[Abrams] showed me cut scenes, he showed me sequences, images, pictures. I cried. I cried and I hugged that guy. And I’m sure as I was crying and hugging on him that he was thinking 'time is money' because they're making a movie. But he got it. He was very flattered. And I was like 'Honestly dude, you’re doing it. You’re making my childhood again. You’re doing our Star Wars.' What I saw, blew me away."
The full video is below. Smith's comments about his Episode VII set visit start around the 35 minute mark.
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.
LucasFilm via Everett Collection
It might seem like Disney is taking some big risks with its most precious property, the Star Wars universe. Gareth Edwards — slated to direct a yet unspecified standalone character feature for the franchise — turned in an exceptional Godzilla movie, but still only has one additional directing credit to his name. Chronicle's Josh Trank, recently saddled with a similar gig, was an even more surprising choice for the studio. And now, the coup de gracie: Rian Johnson, one of the most interesting filmmakers playing the genre game these days, will take on writing and directing duties for Star Wars: Episode VIII and Star Wars: Episode IX (per Deadline). It's the biggest task that Disney has yet to bestow upon any of its Star Wars folk, with sci-fi frontman J.J. Abrams only earning the one film, but perhaps the lowest risk of the bunch. If you take a look at Johnson's complete filmography, you'll see what we mean.
Johnson's debut feature — a pitch black neo-noir mystery that follows a pre-resurgence Joseph Gordon-Levitt around the underbelly of his high school community looking for the answers to a spiraling mystery. The biggest strength of Brick, beyond some dynamite performances all around (Gordon-Levitt most of all) is a script that reads practically like music. Compare Harrison Ford bemoaning George Lucas' 1977 Star Wars dialogue ("George, you can type this s**t, but you sure as hell can't say it!") with JGL singing the praises of Johnson's poetry ("Brick was a good script just to read. It was like, 'Oh my God, these words feel so good in my mouth.' A lot of movies try to set up a world with cool sets, costumes, camera work. In Brick, the world is born from the words.") and you'll see that maybe a talented wordsmith is exactly what the franchise needs.
TriStar Pictures via Everett Collection
Johnson reteamed with Gordon-Levitt in 2012 for his first science fiction feature, and perhaps the first of his movies to earn something close to widespread recognition. Admittedly, Looper got its share of flack for "time travel problems," as any movie that plays fast and loose with the rules of such a delicate sci-fi staple is bound to. But Looper isn't a bastardization of the tradition, it's a celebration of it: of what makes it fun, interesting, a valuable storytelling device, and worth watching a movie about. Instead of being didactic to the impossible logic of timeline continuity, Johnson was devoted chiefly to the spirit of time travel. This is what we want in a Star Wars director — someone who loves that galaxy far, far away but won't let it arrest his imagination.
Johnson directed three episodes of Breaking Bad, each a memorable entry in the series' five season run. The first was "Fly" (represented above, as even those unfamiliar might have guessed), Breaking Bad's take on the small screen tradition of the bottle episode, trapping Walter White literally inside of his laboratory and figuratively inside of his decaying mind. Two years later, Johnson helmed "Fifty-One," famous primarily for the climactic scene in which Skyler attempts suicide by jumping into the family's swimming pool. And finally, "Ozymandias," the third-to-last episode of the series and top contender for most celebrated Breaking Bad episode of all.
The director exemplifies such completely different strengths in "Fly" and "Ozymandias" that you'd have to be startled upon learning they were brought to screen by the same artist. In the former, Walt's turmoil reaches out from in, poisoning him (and Jesse) slowly and steadily over the course of the 45-minute ep. "Ozymandias," on the other hand, is a deep dish of adrenaline. From minute one, things are edge-of-your-seat tense, incurring shoot-outs, killings, high speed chases, kidnappings, domestic chaos, the works.
Both sorts of dramatic expertise are needed for any good adventure piece. Johnson can handle subdued tension, internalized drama, and psychological horror. But he also knows what he's doing when it comes to action, adrenaline, and guttural excitement. If nothing else has convinced you that he's a shoe-in for a good Star Wars picture, Breaking Bad has got to do the trick.
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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.
Dreamworks via Everett Collection
Director Cameron Crowe is reportedly developing his first TV series centring around a fictional U.S. rock band's tour.
The Almost Famous filmmaker is preparing for his first foray into the small screen with an ensemble comedy titled Roadies, according to NikkiFinke.com. Crowe, who created the series and is producing the programme with J.J. Abrams' production company Bad Robot, is also slated to direct the pilot.
The Oscar winner is currently wrapping up an as-yet-untitled romantic comedy starring Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone, which is set to hit cinemas by the end of the year (14).
Actress Calista Flockhart has jetted to England to be by her husband Harrison Ford's side as he recovers from an ankle injury. The 71-year-old movie star was airlifted to John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford earlier this week (ends13Jun14) after breaking his ankle while filming on the set of the new Star Wars sequel at Pinewood Studios.
Reports suggest Ford was crushed by the door of the Millennium Falcon, the spacecraft which his character Hans Solo pilots.
A spokesman for Ally McBeal star Flockhart has confirmed the actress is en route to the U.K., but insists she was already planning to travel there to visit her husband.
Star Wars bosses insist filming on Episode VII will not be affected by Ford's injury.
The actor is among a group of stars from the original Star Wars trilogy appearing in director J.J. Abrams' new film - Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Peter Mayhew are also filming scenes in the U.K.