With The Force Awakens on the horizon, a few studios are busy slipping out teasers for their next franchise sci-fi flicks. On Sunday, Twentieth Century Fox released the trailer for Independence Day: Resurgence, with Jeff Goldblum, Liam Hemsworth, and Bill Pullman picking up twenty years after the initial alien attack that was defeated by uploading a Mac virus. They also set up a site to track the history from 1996 to the present, including an explanation of where Will Smith’s character went.
And this morning, Paramount dropped the teaser for Star Trek Beyond, with a heavy dose of action, explosions, and the Beastie Boys. How many Trek films in a row will the Enterprise be destroyed? Idris Elba joins Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto in this film directed by Justin Lin of Fast & Furious fame.
Ready for the big premiere tonight? I’m talking of course of the newest space story to hit the screen, based on an earlier property: The Expanse. Airing in two parts, starting tonight on Syfy, the miniseries is based on the Expanse series of novels by James S.A. Corey, a pseudonym used by Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham, who also penned Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves, one of the last Legends novels. Andrew Liptak describes The Expanse as the new Battlestar Galactica. Check it out tonight and Tuesday night at 10 pm on Syfy. You can also watch part one online. Also on Syfy, starting tonight, is a three-part adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End.
The first trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse will debut on The Force Awakens, co-writer/producer Simon Kinberg told Collider. ” It’s our first thing out there so it is somewhat of a teaser but it’s certainly longer than a minute and it has a ton of cool stuff in it,” he told them.
In addition to Kinberg and his Star Wars connections, Apocalypse also stars TFA’s Oscar Isaac in the title role.
Rumor – and basic common sense – has it that Captain America: Civil War will also debut on Star Wars, but that has yet to be confirmed. Although the X-Men movies are based on Marvel comics, the films are produced by 20th Century Fox, in a deal that long predates both Marvel Studios and Disney’s 2009 acquisition of the company.
X-Men: Apocalypse takes place 10 years after the timeline-resetting X-Men: Days of Future Past, in the prime X-Men era of the ’80s. It’s again directed by Bryan Singer and also stars Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender and Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner.
While promoting his new film Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks, director Steven Spielberg mentioned his hope to work with Harrison Ford on a fifth Indiana Jones film. In a chat with Yahoo Movies, Spielberg mentions his collaborations with Harrison Ford and Tom Hanks:
“We’ve gotta figure this out because now, Tom is tied with Harrison Ford: Harrison and I did four movies, Tom and I have done four movies… Now I’ll probably do an Indy 5 with Harrison, [so] it’ll be five for Harrison, four for Tom. … I’ve got to make another one with Tom, that’ll be five for Tom, five for Harrison. And I think I’m going to leapfrog that way for the rest of my career. With Daniel Day-Lewis in everything else!”
At this point, however, there’s not a lot of progress yet on Indiana Jones 5. According to Cinema Blend, there’s still not past the scripting stage.
George Lucas is among those who will receive Kennedy Center Honors this year, it was announced today. Other honorees include Cicely Tyson, Rita Moreno, Carole King and the Eagles. They’ll be celebrated at the Center’s annual gala on December 6 in a ceremony that will air on CBS December 29th.
Before that, however, Disney will name Lucas a Disney Legend at D23 in August.
Not Obi-Wan, really: Ewan McGregor as Jesus in Last Days in the Desert.
“I’m excited about it as much as anyone else. I saw the trailer and it looks like he absolutely nailed it and it feels right,” Ewan McGregor said on The Force Awakens at the 69th Edinburgh International Film Festival this weekend.
He’s not sure about Kylo Ren’s lightsaber crossguard, though: “If you fight with a lightsaber properly you don’t need one.”
As for Obi-Wan Kenobi:
Would McGregor return to the role, if asked? “I’ll say it publicly, here, now. I’d be happy to do the story between Episode 3, that I finished in, and Episode 4 that Alec Guinness started in. I think that would be good. Disney should definitely do that.” McGregor’s tone suggested he was half-quipping.
McGregor was at the festival for the U.K. premiere of Last Days in the Desert, where he plays a duel role as Jesus and Satan. At least one upcoming role keeps him in the Disney family – he’s playing Lumiere in the live-action Beauty and the Beast that’s slated for 2017.
In the ’50s and ’60s, he was best known for his work in the Hammer Horror films, where he famously played Count Dracula, often alongside another actor who eventually showed up in Star Wars, Peter Cushing. In the ’70s, he upped his profile with pivotal roles in The Wicker Man and The Man with the Golden Gun.
(My personal introduction to Lee was 1982’s The Last Unicorn, where he voiced the villain, King Haggard.)
In the early 2000s, he gained a whole new audience in two of the decades biggest franchises, playing Dooku in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, and the wizard Saruman in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings adaptions. He also appeared in several Tim Burton films.
Films aside, Lee led a intriguing life: He served as an intelligence officer during and just after World War II, where his duties involved hunting down Nazi war criminals. (In an infamous bit from the Lord of the Rings extras, he tells Peter Jackson how it sounds when a man is stabbed in the back.)
In the L.A. Times, director Josh Trank addresses why he dropped out of the second Star Wars Anthology film.
“I want to do something original after [Fantastic Four] because I’ve been living under public scrutiny, as you’ve seen, for the last four years of my life,” he said. “And it’s not healthy for me right now in my life. I want to do something that’s below the radar.”
“I have a great relationship with everyone at Lucasfilm and with Kari Hart,” he continued. “And they all understood it because this whole experience for me has been very psychologically hard.”
Simon Kinberg, also present at the interview, called the rumors that followed Trank’s departure “particularly cruel.”