Carrie Fisher's daughter has landed a role in the new Star Wars movie, according to a U.K. report. Fisher found fame as Princess Leia in the original sci-fi trilogy and is reportedly resuming her role in the seventh installment, which is currently filming in Britain.
Her 21-year-old daughter, Billie Lourd, has now been hired to play a young Leia in flashback scenes due to her striking resemblance to her mother, according to Britain's The Sun newspaper.
Lucasfilm Ltd. via Everett Collection
A source tells the publication, "Billie flew into the U.K. to join her mother earlier this month... She will even have her hair tied up in Princess Leia-style buns. She's an aspiring actress and singer so she grabbed the opportunity with both hands... Carrie backed the move as she wanted somebody in her family to play her most famous role."
The filming of Star Wars: Episode VII was disrupted in June (14) after Harrison Ford broke his leg on set.
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
At the end of this week, Michael Bay will unleash Transformers: Age of Extinction — his fourth attempt to usurp the American lexicon with the sounds of metal crunching. While you can stumble into any crowd of mentally capacitated human beings and hear no shortage of reasons why, for the love of god, these movies need to stop, it is a particularly surprising source behind the charge to detain Bay's film this time around: Beijing Pangu Investment Co. Ltd, the company that owns the Pangu Plaza hotel (featured in Age of Extinction) is demanding that Paramount remove all traces of the establishment from the theatrical cut of the movie to run in China.
Although this isn't a particularly outlandish demand, there's an addendum that makes it a bit funnier: per Cinemablend, Pangu would have been totally cool with the inclusion of its hotel, which it advertises (generously) as "dragon-shaped," in the fourth Transformers film were the film to hold its premiere at said hotel. But this was not the case, making the whole legal ordeal come off as just a little catty. "What, you're too good to have your premiere at our hotel? Fine! Then you can forget about using it in your movie!"
Of course, when you phrase it like that, it completely undermines the legal decisions that probably have a great deal of founding in the marketing policies of a successful company. But a hotel that prides itself as being shaped like a dragon is suing a movie about dinosaurs fighting robot dinosaurs, so I think we're all fine with not taking the issue particularly seriously.
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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.
It has begun. After what felt like an eternity of rumors, casting calls, blind hearsay, and yet even more rumors, Star Wars: Episode VII is finally finally filming. In the wee hours of the morning, Director J.J. Abrams signaled the start of filming with a tweet from the Bad Robot twitter account showing a picture of a production clapper bearing title of the sequel, along with the caption "#dayone." Like the pop of a marathon gun, the race to shoot a great Star Wars sequel is on, but now comes the hard part. Shooting a blockbuster, and especially shooting a Star Wars blockbuster, is not a task for the faint of heart, and series creator George Lucas struggled mightily to complete his epic space opera. The production of the original film was plagued with setbacks, and it's frankly a miracle that we're even celebrating the creation of a seventh Star Wars film given the barriers Lucas had to overcome to get his originall film made. Take a look at all the stumbles, issues, and setbacks involved with creating the first Star Wars.
The film was rejected twice before finding a distributorBack when the billion dollar franchise was just a few scrawled notes and a big idea, George Lucas approached United Artist with a pitch for a space opera called The Star Wars. The studio passed on the idea, and Lucas went on to make American Graffiti before returning to his Star Wars project two years later. After tinkering with the story, Lucas wrote a 13-page treatment for the project and presented it this time to Universal, who similarly rejected it, deeming it too strange and complaining that science fiction wasn't popular enough at the time to merit such an expensive film. The film was eventualy picked up by 20th Century Fox, and the rest was history.
Filming in Tunisia was a painLucas originally envisioned Tatooine as a lush jungle planet, but the idea of shooting on location in a jungle seemed more problematic than it was worth, so Lucas decided to change the home of the Skywalkers into a desert planet instead, and began filming in Tunisia. Unfortunately for Lucas, the switch in shooting locations wasn't without its own issues. Shooting fell behind schedule when the set was hit with a rare Tunisian rainstorm. The set was also plagued with electronic breakdowns and prop malfunctions, one of which injured C-3P0 actor Anthony Daniels.
And no one seemed to care about the project except for LucasBefore Star Wars began making actual dividends, the film had it's fair share of doubters, as any film would, but even the cast and crew had a hard time taking Lucas and his epic space opera seriously. Much of the crew laughed off the project as a kid's film and rarely put in their all into filming. Kenny Baker, who played R2D2, thought the film would be a massive failure. Even Harrison Ford had his doubts, remarking how weird some elements of the film were, including Princess Leia's buns and Chewbacca, who he claimed looked like a "giant in a monkey suit."
Lucasfilm Ltd. via Everett Collection
Lucas' own frustrations hampered the filmFacing a film that was grossly overbudget and well behind schedule, the enormity of blockbuster filmmaking became almost too much for Lucas. The director frequently clashed with his crew over creative differences and was largely dissatisfied with the look of costumes and sets, most of which failed to live up to his vision. He became visibly depressed and passed on his frustrations to his actors while providing little in the way of direction. Things got so bad that during post-production, the filmmaker was diagnosed with hypertension and exhaustion, and was warned to slow down by doctors.
The first cut was a complete disasterAfter struggling to get his film finished on time, Lucas was disappointed to learn that the first cut of the film was, in his eyes, a "complete disaster." The first edit by film editor John Jumpson was so bad, it is said that 30 to 40 percent of the footage didn't make it to the final version of the film. Lucas ended up switching his editing team, employing his wife, Paul Hirsch, and Richard Chew to finish the job right.
The greatest directors of the time weren't crazy about itIn 1977, Lucas screened a rough cut of the film for some of his directing buddies, a list that now reads like a who's who of legendary directors, including Steven Spielberg, Brian De Pama, and John Milius. The cut was the very definition of rough. James Earl Jones signature baritone wasn't the voice behind Darth Vader, paper arrows stood in for blaster beams, and instead of a space battle between the Millennium Falcon and TIE fighters, footage of WWII dogfights was spliced in. Reaction to this early cut of the film was lukewarm at best, with Spielberg being the only one of the directors who clearly enjoyed the film. On the other hand, the studio execs greatly enjoyed the early cut of the film, with producer Gareth Wigan saying, "This is the greatest film I've ever seen."
Filmmaker Jon Spira is calling on sci-fi fans to help him track down the extras and bit-part players from the first Star Wars film in 1977 for a new documentary. The Anyone Can Play Guitar director has already teamed up with Derek Lyons, who portrayed a Medal Bearer and Massassi Guard in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, and other extras and now he wants fans of the franchise to help fund a new film about the making of the film.
He says, "In 1976, during the hottest summer on record, Star Wars was shot in suburban North London. Nobody involved had any idea how big the film would become, many couldn't even remember the title. "Yet, for the extras and actors in smaller roles, their faces hidden in masks and helmets, this seemingly insignificant job would go on to colour their lives even four decades later."
His film, Elstree 1976, centres around 10 of the unseen heroes of the first Star Wars film. In a new Kickstarter.com fundraising video, Spira is asking sci-fi fans to help him raise over $48,000 (GBP30,000) to help him complete the project.
Anyone who donates $1,200 (GBP750) will be given an automatic executive producer credit, while the first person to hand over $3,200 (GBP2,000) will land a replica Boba Fett helmet signed by actor Jeremy Bulloch, who played the bounty hunter in the first Star Wars trilogy.
News of the film comes just weeks after work on the latest Star Wars movie began in London.
Celtic punk rockers Dropkick Murphys are facing legal action from a fan who reportedly injured her foot after she was invited to join the band onstage in 2012. Courtney Wimer, 30, claims she was in the audience at the Rose Tattoo hitmakers' show at the Sokol Auditorium in Omaha, Nebraska on 1 November, 2012 when she was selected to take part in a traditional fan sing-a-long towards the end of the gig.
A security guard helped her down from the platform after the track, but her left foot got tangled in a stage barrier and allegedly resulted in her injuring her ankle.
She is now suing bassist/vocalist Ken Casey and his band for damages, citing negligence.
Bosses at security firm Barking Dog Ltd., concert promoters Mammoth Inc, and venue officials at Sokol Omaha have also been listed as defendants.
In her legal papers, filed in an Omaha court, her lawyer accuses the defendants of failing to make sure the premises were safe and warn of "hidden and hazardous conditions".
Lucasfilm Ltd. via Everett Collection
The announcement that Peter Mayhew, the actor behind everyone's favorite co-pilot Chewbacca, was set to reprise his role in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII (via The Hollywood Reporter) stirred up some outrage. Not from anti-Wookiee hate groups, but from die hard fans who feared that the upcoming movie would be contradicting the Expanded Universe. The Star Wars novel Vector Prime killed off Chewbacca during the Yuuzhan Vong War, 21 years after the events of Return of the Jedi and about a decade prior to those that we'll see in Episode VII. As such, the Expanded Universe canon is being abandoned (or, at least, treated as "optional") which has a lot of longtime devotees upset.
But, honestly, this is probably a good thing. After all, there are plenty of ridiculous conceits from the EU that would come off pretty terrible were they to take form in J.J. Abrams' upcoming feature film. Here are a few reasons we're kind of relieved that he's not paying the literature's canon much mind...
Darth Maul Gets Robot Legs Darth Maul, the scary tattooed-and-horned villain from Episode I who was killed by Obi-Wan at the end of the film, is not only still alive, but he now has robot legs that he uses to follow Obi-Wan around the galaxy in order to get his revenge... which, at one point, include his desire to kill baby Luke Skywalker. It's the first documented instance of robot legs making someone less cool.
Bendorian, the Jedi Hutt Looking at Jabba the Hutt, it's hard to believe that Hutts would have the freedom of movement necessary to become a Jedi, but one of them did indeed manage. Bendorian wasn't a Jedi for long. He quickly went over to the Dark Side and was then promptly killed by Leia (that's two for her, is she some kind of anti-Huttite?). But the fact that he even managed to wield a lightsaber in the first place is completely baffling.
Luke Gets Brainwashed (Constantly)In the films, Luke is a smart, capable Jedi (who, yes, whines a little too much about power converters, but he's okay). In the books, he's pretty incompetent, constantly getting captured, brainwashed, and converted to the Dark Side by whatever random cult or clone Emperor he happens to stumble across. And each and every time, he simply brushes off whatever lesson he was supposed to learn and forgets all about it until the next time he accidentally falls to the Dark Side. This guy is the original hero of the Star Wars films!
"Creatively" Named ClonesThe Thrawn Trilogy is regarded as being the best books in the Expanded Universe, but that didn't stop them from featuring an evil clone of Luke Skywalker, creatively named Luuke. If that weren't bad enough, the character is just an elaborate puppet for another evil clone, which takes what could have been a pretty cool plot and renders it stupid and pointless. Everyone knows the first rule of clones is that if you can't bother to make them interesting, you give them a cool name.
Everything About The Third Law It seems like it might be impossible to make a Star Wars adventure boring, and yet, somehow, The Third Law did just that by setting all of the action on a planet whose main purpose was banking. The plot includes something about Darth Vader attempting to prevent Leia from getting a loan, after which she tricks him into accidentally killing one of the locals, but it doesn't matter because you probably checked out the second you read the words "banking planet." There's a reason it never popped up in the movies.
Darth Vader Has a Magic GloveApparently, Darth Vader's glove was magical and indestructible, and the person who owned it became the new Emperor of the galaxy. This was the plot for an entire book. We really wish we were making this one up.
Four Words: Star Wars Holiday Special The television event so universally reviled that George Lucas refuses to let it see the light of day, the Star Wars Holiday Special featured Chewbacca's extended family, Princess Leia singing the Star Wars theme, and (for some strange reason) Bea Arthur. Are you sure you still want to keep the Expanded Universe as part of the Star Wars canon?
Ronnie Wood's ex-wife Jo has accused the rocker's legal team of forcing her to close down her skincare business. The former model, who divorced the Rolling Stones guitarist in 2009 following his affair with a young waitress, claims lawyers acting for Wood pushed him into demanding she dissolve Organic Beauty Products Ltd, a company she set up in 2003 while the couple was still married.
Wood insists she now has to sell her skincare range to pals or give products away for free as she is no longer allowed to sell them online through her own website.
She tells Britain's Mail on Sunday, "All of my products are just sitting around in a warehouse. I'm not allowed to sell anything under that name, so I sell all my stock privately or to friends for cash or I give things away in goody bags at parties.
"He's a weak man, Ronnie - he listened to his lawyers. Ronnie's lawyers forced me to shut it down because I originally set it up when I was still with him."
Sir Paul McCartney's lawyers have succeeded in a bid to ban the sale of mementos by the family of his former nanny. The late Rose Martin, who looked after the star's children, was reportedly gifted a number of collectable items by the Beatles star's late wife Linda, including a suit, a cape and handwritten lyrics.
Martin's family decided to put the collection up for auction following her death last year (13), but they have now been withdrawn from sale following a complaint from McCartney's attorneys.
Omega Auctions representative Paul Fairweather tells Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, "Unfortunately, the lawyers have claimed that Paul would never have given any clothing away.
"Rose always told the family that it was Linda that had given them to her but as both have unfortunately passed away, neither story can be corroborated... At the end of the day we've got to make sure that according to the law we give them back to their rightful owner, be that Rose's family or Sir Paul McCartney and MPL Communications (McCartney Productions Ltd). We can only apologise to any buyers who were hoping to bid on these items."
The collection was expected to fetch as much as $48,000 (£30,000) at auction and the family had hoped to distribute the cash to Martin's grandchildren.
McCartney previously paid tribute to Martin following her death, calling her a "dear friend" and "fiercely loyal".
The nightclub owned by British rapper Professor Green has closed its doors just five months after opening in London's Leicester Square. The rapper, real name Stephen Manderson, opened nightclub Ink with 'mixologist' Gerry Calabrese in September (13), but he is now searching for a new home for his club after the owners of the property went into liquidation.
The club's owners announced the move to an as-yet-unknown location on the venue's official Twitter.com account, writing, "We are temporarily closed as we have left Leicester Square. We're moving to an exciting new venue."
A spokesperson for the rapper tells Britain's The Sun newspaper, "The nightclub brand Ink, owned by Gerry Calabrese and Stephen Manderson, has terminated its licence. The licence was given to the leaseholder and operator of the venue, Rise London Ltd. The company has recently notified them that it is going into liquidation.... Ink has met all its obligations under the licence agreement."