The Wrap is reporting that Benicio del Toro “has the offer” to play the villain in Episode VIII. You may recognize del Toro as The Collector from Guardians of the Galaxy, and (more interestingly, perhaps) he was at one point in talks to play J.J. Abrams’ Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness.
Variety is doubling down with their own sources. They say Lucasfilm really wants an A-list talent in the part – and that they also met with Joaquin Phoenix. (And The Hollywood Reporter makes three.)
del Toro would be a nice get for Star Wars, so it’ll be interesting to see if this goes through. Episode VIII, which is being directed by Rian Johnson, is currently set for a May 26, 2017 release.
Yesterday we had a big chunk of news that pretty much blew everything else away, and with SDCC officially beginning tonight we’ll likely get even more, so let’s clear the boards with a few things that have been floating around regarding Episode VII, Rogue One and (maybe) even Episode VIII.
Journey to The Force Awakens: Revealed at BookCon this weekend, thanks to via The Wookiee Gunner: Shattered Empire will be bi-weekly – two comics in September, two in November.
The first issue will be out September 2, and the trade paperback collection on November 17 – at least at the moment. (I doubt they’ll deviate much, but they are comics and September is a long way off.)
→ Making Star Wars has a small grab-bag of rumors from the licensees, though the two main ones actually seem a little more relevant to Episode VIII than The Force Awakens. (Also, one of them made me SUPER EXCITED. But, uh, possible spoilers!)
So how does BB-8 work? One site has a guess – though warning, it slowed down every computer I looked at it on.
→ Making Star Wars has heard that John Williams will begin recording The Force Awakens score next month.
→ Our first glimpse of what is assumed to be Kylo Ren’s personal ship – or at the very least, a ship we may see briefly in the second trailer – comes from LEGO. Because of course it does.
→ Miltos Yerolemou talked a little bit about filming TFA with Asian Correspondent. “It’s not really a job where you ask any questions,” he said. (Also, I believe this may be as close as we get to an actual confirmation?)
→ There was some scuttlebutt about how Oscar Isaac said he would be excited to work with Episode VIII director Rian Johnson, and (of course) the internet jumped on that as proof his character survives Episode VII. Now, I’d be very surprised if Poe Dameron kicks it that early, seeing as we suspect – with very heavy assistance from the trailer – that he’s one of the new Big 3. But for what it’s worth, /Film sought a clarification from him, and there’s your lesson in making hay out of Star Wars news for the week.
StarWars.com confirms that the first standlone film will be called Rogue One.
Starring Felicity Jones, directed by Gareth Edwards and written by Chris Weitz, the story is based on an idea from John Knoll, who’s one of the executive producers. The film will shoot in London this summer and is due out December 16, 2016.
They’ve also (finally!) confirmed that Rian Johnson is writing and directing Episode VIII, which is set for May 26, 2017. A RETURN TO MAY!
Much of the personnel here we’ve already heard about, but the title Rogue One is our first detail that really points to what kind of film this will be. A female X-wing pilot? Bring it on.
When I heard that J.J. Abrams was at the VES awards last night, I wasn’t expecting much more than the standard boilerplate quotes. But he spoke to Collider on the red carpet, discussing the broadsaber (and the “many contradictory emails” he’s received about it,) IMAX, CGI, and more. Watch the video, or head over to Collider for the most pertinent quotes.
The basics, though: They’re still putting together the first cut of the film, he’ll be executive producing VIII and IX, there will still be “an enormous amount of CG effects,” (duh) and the broadsaber “was not done without a lot of conversation and it’s fun to see people have the conversation that we had, but in reverse.” None of these are huge revelations (we’ve known that only one scene is in IMAX for months,) but considering how little we’ve had out of Abrams overall, this is a bonanza.
It’s certainly not a surprise, but Pinewood CEO Ivan Dunleavy (via Variety) confirms that another Star Wars film will shoot at Pinewood. The Hollywood Reporter says this will be the mysterious spin-off from Gareth Edwards, which already has a December 2016 release date.
All-but-confirmed Episode VIII writer/director Rian Johnson chatting with fellow filmmaker Terry Gilliam on a podcast recently. Here’s the most interesting bit that’s made it out:
Kathleen and her whole creative team have been so insistent on all the filmmakers they’ve been hiring for these new movies: ‘We want you to take it and turn it into something that you really care about.’ And we’ll see how the process plays out, but so far, that’s a big part of the reason I’m in it. Because that just seems like their attitude towards it. It’s really exciting actually.