Movie News

The Star Wars News Roundup - 1.24.14

Source: Scott Chitwood
January 24, 2014

The purpose of this roundup is to put the highlights of all things Star Wars from the last week in one location. If you read this each week, you should be able to converse fluently with any Star Wars fan on everything from the latest Star Wars: Episode VII developments to the latest toys. And maybe you'll even share with them something that they might have missed.

Let's get to it!




Episode VII and Spinoff News and Rumors

HitFix caught up with Jesse Plemons and asked him about the "Episode VII" rumors. As expected, he followed the LFL line - "Deny everything."

According to Jesse Plemons, Jesse Plemons won't be joining the "Star Wars" universe anytime soon.

"No," answered the "Breaking Bad" star when I asked if there was any truth to those recent reports that he's being eyed for a role in J.J. Abrams' "Episode VII." "Yeah, I think it's just one of those crazy rumors."


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However, someone forgot to give J.J. Abrams the memo. He confirmed that not only have they met with Plemons, but the script is now complete. TheWrap got the scoop:

"We're working really hard and we've got our script and we're in deep prep," Abrams told TheWrap. "Full steam ahead, y'know."

Abrams spoke Sunday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, where he's promoting his new NBC series, "Believe." He confirmed that Plemons is among the actors he's speaking with, and expressed surprise about the reports of his talks with the actor.

"He is one of the actors that we've talked to, yeah," Abrams said. "But, you know. It's not often that I read about actors that I'm going to be meeting … that I get to read articles about actors who are going to come in. And so I get to see someone and say, ‘Oh, I read that I'm going to see you.' … It's usually agents talking to people about what's happening. It's a lot of noise."


Abrams also stated that he's not filming in IMAX:

He was also asked about whether he'd like to shoot the new films in IMAX, and said he plans to shoot "Episode VII" on film.

"In the right situation I would," like to shoot in IMAX, he said. "The problem with IMAX is it's a very loud camera. It's a very unreliable camera. Only so much film can be in the camera. You can't really do intimate scenes with it. It's slow. They break down often. Having said that, they're working on digital versions of these and so there may be a version one day. But we're going to be shooting this next movie on film."


Visit the link for much more!

USA Today also spoke with Abrams, who confirmed a May filming date:

Director J.J. Abrams said Sunday that he has a completed script for the next film in the popular series and will begin shooting in May in England.

"That's the current plan," Abrams said while stopping by the Television Critics Association winter press tour to discuss Believe, a new NBC drama (March 10, 10 p.m. ET/PT) he is producing with Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron. "We have our script and we're full steam ahead. Have script, will travel."




TV Guide spoke with Carrie Fisher, who had another amusing opinion about how Leia should appear:

As for the next Star Wars film, Fisher says she, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill are expected to report to work in March or April. "I'd like to wear my old [cinnamon buns] hairstyle again — but with white hair," she says. "I think that would be funny."

Big Shiny Robot has a new casting rumor to add to the list:

Through the normal channels of rumor-mongers, Bobby Roberts brings forth a name that has been bandied about behind the scenes but hasn't hit the main stream yet and we're the first to break the name here as a possibility. This came out in the same batch of news that brought us names like Benedict Cumberbatch. And, to be honest, it's my view that just about everyone is being talked to for a role in this film.

But the name is:

Judi Dench.

Playing Mon Mothma.

I haven't been able to confirm this independently, and it's just a rumor at this point, but this is what Bobby is hearing.


What do you think?

The Straits Times - Kathleen Kennedy spoke a little bit about how the new spin off Star Wars films will fit in with existing movies while opening Lucasfilm's new facility in Singapore (via Toys Revil):

"George was so clear as to how that works. The canon that he created was the Star Wars saga. Right now, episode seven falls within that canon. The spin-off movies, or we may come up with some other way to call those films, they exist within that vast universe that he created," she says.

"There is no attempt being made to carry characters (from the standalone films) in and out of the saga episodes. Consequently, from the creative standpoint, it's a roadmap that George made pretty clear," she adds.


You can watch video of the opening below:


Latino Review also reports that Pixar may have been given the green light to do a Star Wars-based film:

It was only a matter of time before Disney's golden child animation acquisition was brought into the company franchise game. John Lasseter doubling his time at Disney Animation is a good cog in the machine, but there comes an opportunity to mix two potentially profitable brands together and see if the success can exponentially multiply. Or that must be the thinking at Disney, because we've heard that Pixar has been given their own Star Wars movie.

Once the canon-purge is over and Episode VII is in production, there will be a whole universe of Star Wars related content to play in. We've heard about TV shows,new comics tie-ins (Marvel, of course), spin-off movies for particular characters and now, a Pixar film.

At this point, no idea what the size or shape of this film will be and given the long-view storytelling production model that is part of the Pixar brand, this could be a long way off.


Check the link for more details.

Mark Hamill appeared on Reddit this week. While there he dodged most "Episode VII" questions but did make a few comments. Will Luke have a beard?

Well based on what has gone before, I have a feeling it's beard, but I have no confirmation of that. My wife said if you grow a beard, you'll cover up your cleft chin. That's not something that occurred to me. But I can only guess. I've never read any of the novelizations or anything but someone said to me, 'you're married, you have children.' Based on Obi-Wan I would have guessed I'd be living in an igloo or something. He was more spiritual, he didn't have a wife or children. And when you find out one of the only eligible women in the galaxy is your sister, it really cuts down on your odds of hooking up with anyone. But that's not what these movies are about. The charm of the trilogy is it appeals to the child in all of us. It goes back to playing in your backyard. It's very primal, it's good versus evil, a high sense of adventure.

Who will return for "Episode VII"?:

The only character I know for sure is returning is my friend R2-D2. He hasn't stopped beeping about it.

On keeping secrets:

Irvin Kirshner brought me aside, and said "I know this, George knows this, and you'll be the third person who knows. If it goes out we'll know you leaked it." So i was terrified of being the one to ruin it. I remember when they screened it, Harrison turned around and said "I didn't know that! Why the f*&^ didn't you tell me?!"

Im good at keeping secrets. Especially when the goal it to maximize the enjoyment of the audience. That's why I'm worried about episode 7, they're going after casting sheets! I'm someone who doesn't want to know what I'm getting for my birthday. My sisters would go through the closets at xmas, and i hated that.

Im trying to keep the surprises for the movies, not for the internet. I hate spoilers, I like being surprised. There's a natural curiosity, and a competition to see who can reveal the most. I beg people, please lets keep it a surprise! Don't you want to be surprised? I know I do.


Visit the link for more including what Blue Milk tastes like, his thoughts on the Holiday Special, and whether he ever got to go to Tosche Station to pick up those power converters.



Mashable reported that a fake Mark Hamill also joined the fun and wreaked a little "Episode VII" havoc. Check it out at the link.

Finally, a rumor about the jettisoned Arndt script:





Television

"Star Wars Rebels" seems to be progressing!



Entertainment Weekly posted an extensive interview with Simon Kinberg about "Star Wars Rebels."

You've created a new villain, the Inquisitor, what makes him special?

That was probably the most daunting part of this process. George obviously created the best villain of our time. So we spent a lot of time brainstorming and working with the artists to come up with the Inquisitor. You've seen that image of him. We wanted somebody terrifying, a nightmare character for a kid but not somebody too foreign, too creature-ly. We didn't want him to have a helmet for obvious reasons — the comparison [to Darth Vader]. We talked about a character who was cold and calculating and could tap into people's emotional weaknesses as much as their physical weaknesses, and had a specific relationship to Jedi and the ways of the force. He would be somebody that the remaining Jedi would be especially scared of.

Will you include characters from the expanded universes, like Admiral Thrawn, or just the films and your own creations?

We have characters from all the different parts of the universe. One of the awesome resources is Pablo Hidalgo he's the resident Star Wars genius and he knows everything of every possible word or image that was created for Star Wars. So we utilize him a lot and he's very integrated into the process. He will say there's a cool cantina in this comic book from 1994, or a cool creature that not all of us know. He will bring that stuff to us. Or we'll task him we're trying to create a muscle for this villain with a cool backstory. Sometimes it will be a character or a planet we don't know about. Instead of being just an Easter egg, sometimes it will turn into an a whole episode.

Is Darth Vader and the Emperor in the show? And if so is any possibility of the original voice talent being used?

I don't think I'm allowed to answer that. I can say that wherever possible we would want to use the original talent.


Check out the link for more.



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NY Times - James Earl Jones on Darth Vader, Mufasa and, natch, Totes McGotes.

You're never tempted to pick up the phone and pretend to be Darth Vader?

I did that once when I was traveling cross-country. I used Darth as my handle on the CB radio. The truck drivers would really freak out — for them, it was Darth Vader. I had to stop doing that.


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Books & Comics

This Blog is Full of Words interviewed Joe Schreiber, author of "Darth Maul: Lockdown":

There are a lot of visceral, gory fight scenes in the book. What is your modus operandi for writing fights?

Keep it fresh and keep it moving. I read somewhere that when George Lucas was directing Star Wars, his most common direction to the actors was, "Faster and more intense," which isn't a bad advice when you're writing a fight scene. I try to avoid repeating myself. Reading about one guy punching another guy in the face get boring fast -- and it really helps that in this story, I had access to just about any creature and species out there. In Cog Hive Seven, I wanted to change up the different opponents and fight environments so we could see Maul going head-to-head with some of the most well-known and deadliest inhabitants of the Star Wars sandbox, and follow it through to see how he'd survive. I actually tried to shy away from the gore, but I'm not sure how successful I was at that part of it!


Visit the link for more.

Christine Golden gives an update on her book:





Attractions



Star Tours simulation demo & technology at Otronicon 2014 at the Orlando Science Center - Visit Inside the Magic for more.





Games

Venturebeat - Star Wars: Attack Squadrons enters closed testing phase

Disney is currently sending out invites for a closed "beta" test of its Star Wars: Attack Squadrons. The online dogfighting game has players facing off against one another in one of the familiar starfighters from the Star Wars film series, which The Walt Disney Company now owns.

The test is running now through Jan. 28, and some gamers are reporting that they are receiving their invites right now.




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