George Lucas has seen The Force Awakens trailer. “It was intriguing,” he told Page Six at a New York screening of Strange Magic. He had more to say on the animated film, of course: “I have been working on this film for 15 years. I was thinking about Star Wars being designed for 12-year- old boys, and I thought maybe I’ll make a film for 12-year-old girls, because I have a lot of daughters. And girls go to the movies. I worked on it on the side for those years, and we finally got it done.”
Oscar nominations came out this morning (with a little help from J.J. Abrams as a presenter) and the main story seem to be how very, very male and white they are. The most noteworthy snub? Civil rights drama Selma, which earned a Best Picture and Best Song nomination, despite nothing for director Ava DuVernay or the cast, led by Rebels’ David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr. The saddest thing, maybe? Shutting out one movie is all it took to whitewash the acting nominations.
The other big snub? The LEGO Movie, which is up for Best Song (‘Everything is Awesome’) but totally shut out of Best Animated Feature. At least one of the directors has a good attitude about it.
But as usual, the only field that’s heavy in genre is Visual Effects, which sees nods for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Guardians of the Galaxy, Interstellar, X-Men: Days of Future Past.
The Force Awakens is the most anticipated movie of 2015, per Fandango. No one is surprised. The Avengers: Age of Ultron and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 round out the top 3.
…Unless you’re a huge dinosaur fan, I guess. Still, it prompted this very interesting tweet from Gary Whitta:
I wonder if the Jurassic World trailer got moved up to get out of something else’s way…
— Gary Whitta (@garywhitta) November 25, 2014
Man, do I hope that’s the case. The Jurassic World trailer was supposed to premiere during a football game on Thanksgiving day.
Remember the fairy musical that we heard Lucasfilm was working on way back before the Disney sale? It’s called ‘Strange Magic’ and it’ll finally see the light of day on January 23, 2015. Lucasfilm calls it “a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and it’ll feature popular songs “from the past six decades.”
The film’s story is by George Lucas, and it’s directed by Gary Rydstrom. Voices include Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Kristin Chenoweth and Maya Rudolph. No sign of Brenda Chapman, though…
The film is being released by Touchstone, a division of Disney.
And that’s not all. Marvel has revealed their (nearly complete?) slate for Phase 3, which also includes Doctor Strange, a Guardians of the Galaxy sequel, Thor: Ragnarok, the much-rumored Inhumans and a two-part Avengers: Infinity War.
The Wrap reported yesterday that Benedict Cumberbatch (of course) is in negotiations for Strange, but Marvel did not announce any new cast aside from Boseman. Civil War and RDJ’s involvement were also rumored a few weeks back. The Civil War comic series was fairly controversial (I saw a few fans describe it as Marvel’s New Jedi Order) but the movie version will take a slightly different angle.
Still no standalone Black Widow (or Hulk) films, but Captain Marvel and Black Panther are a big step forward… Hopefully not the last.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer was supposed to come out next week… Or so we heard yesterday. It leaked this afternoon, so Marvel made a Hydra joke and released it for real. Well played.
(Now, hopefully this lesson means they don’t announce the Episode VII trailer drop date, when the time comes…)
Warner Brothers dumped the next several years of DC Comic films on the internet today – but the highlight, at least for our purposes, is the news that Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman will get headline her own film in 2017.
Gadot will debut as Wonder Woman in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, alongside Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill. (Who will be getting their own solo films, too.)
Three other new hero-centric films – and leads – have been added: 2018 will see the long-rumored Jason Momoa in Aquaman as well as The Flash starring Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower.) 2019 will bring Cyborg, starring Ray Fisher. (Who we heard was in the running for Episode VII at one point.) Momoa and Fisher reportedly also show up in Batman v Superman. (Momoa was definitely in Detroit, where BvS has been filming.)
There’s also Suicide Squad (2016,) Shazam (2019) and a new Green Lantern (2020.)
There have been female-led superhero films in the past – 1984’s Supergirl, 2005’s Elektra, and (arguably, depending on your feelings about antiheroes) the infamous 2004 Catwoman. None of these films did very well, but none of them are regarded as very good films, period. Supergirl is getting a TV show, but this cast list seems to make it very clear that Warner Bros. isn’t including DC’s TV shows in the same universe, as they just debuted a Flash TV show starring Grant Gustin as Barry Allen. However, there have been multiples Flashes in the comics…
Whatever the case, and as weird as this huge infodump of movies and actors is, it’ll be interesting to see how BvS incorporates the proto-Justice League – and if it’ll be enough to launch this ambitious slate successfully.
Is Marvel ‘looking at’ Ewan McGregor for Doctor Strange? Well, that came out of nowhere.
→ Making Star Wars is on a real roll today with several rumors that could be extremely spoilery. First, this morning, there was Daisy Ridley’s house. Jason then followed up this afternoon with some details about Max von Sydow’s character, a couple of planets/locations, a beast and lastly, a new droid, alien and discovery.
First of all, I have few doubts that Jason has seen this stuff. And doubling down is Devin at Badass Digest, who talks about much of the same stuff, including further von Sydow details and something about Chewbacca. But as a skeptical skeptic who skeptics, I have to wonder if some of this is a deliberate red herring. Head to the comments for my personal conspiracy theory.
In less spoilery things…
→ Carrie Fisher gets an award. Mark Hamill is there. Their #beardwatch and #blondewatch games are still strong, but they are both in Los Angeles, so perhaps they’ve wrapped up as well? In any case, enjoy the sibling cuteness and hope we’ll get to hear Carrie’s inevitable jokes sooner rather than later.
→ Ben Affleck explains the genesis of the Batman v Superman/Episode VII ‘feud.’ (Warning: Autoplay video.)