Today’s The Force Awakens controversy, or whatever you would like to call it: In a Strange Magic interview, George Lucas says that the version of the sequel trilogy that we’re getting are not the ones he wrote. Or, to be precise, per Cinema Blend:
The ones that I sold to Disney, they came up to the decision that they didn’t really want to do those. So they made up their own. So it’s not the ones that I originally wrote.
As with anything involving Star Wars and George Lucas, the reactions have been mixed. Bryan at Big Shiny Robot breaks out a Simon Kinberg quote where he maintains that George’s blueprint is still very much a part of the development, and points out that changes have been a part of all the Star Wars films.
Either way, I have a hard time getting upset. Even without Kinberg weighing in, it’s pretty clear that nothing in this franchise ever truly gets thrown out. To paraphrase Eleven-ThirtyEight, every bit of the buffalo gets used. And we’ve seen over the years that it’s just as possible to do a good Star Wars story without George Lucas as it is to do an unsatisfactory one with him. But the internet’s gotta internet, so I expect we’ll be hearing plenty from all sides of the issue before the week is out.
→ In other news, add a new name (and woman!) to the cast list: Leanne Best of Woman In Black 2: Angel Of Death.
→ Shocking no one, LEGO confirms they will be making sets for The Force Awakens. The surprise is that they’re actually showing them off at the UK Toy Fair – along with a non-disclose agreement. But we can see the nifty tote bag that Jedi News got.
→ /Film maintains that we won’t be seeing the classic heroes in the second trailer, despite the Latino Review report.
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.”
George Lucas: Museum could go to L.A. if Chicago falls through. He’s still set on Chicago, but there’s currently a lawsuit over the lakefront location. He also revealed that his plan was to film the sequel(s) at the Marin County studio project that was scuttled* in 2012.
USA Today’s Brian Truitt catches up with the elusive George Lucas, who talks about his youngest daughter Everest, Strange Magic and, of course, Star Wars.
There’s not too much about Star Wars, but we do learn one thing: He originally planed to see the first film of the new trilogy through before selling the company, but Disney’s interest happened at just the right moment.
“The only thing I really regret about Star Wars is the fact I never got to see it — I never got to be blown out of my seat when the ship came over the screen,” Lucas says. “The next one, I’ll be able to enjoy it like anybody else.”
Last night’s The Empire Strikes Back live-read had a few final casting surprises – but the big one is surely Mark Hamill as Obi-wan and the Emperor (and Boba Fett, apparently.) UPDATE: Buzzfeed has more pictures, and /Film has a lengthy recap.
Hamill wasn’t the only surprise last night – the final episode of The Colbert Report featured a lot of guest stars – including brief appearances by George Lucas and J.J. Abrams.
→ George Lucas hasn’t seen The Force Awakens trailer yet, Page Six reports this morning. “I don’t know anything about it. I haven’t seen it yet,” he said. “Because it’s not in the movie theater. I like going to the movies and watching the whole thing there.”
→ On the other hand… “I got really excited when I saw the trailer the other week,” Domhnall Gleeson said recently. “I am a fan. I saw the prequels before I saw the first ones. I am very excited about it.”
→ Did J.J. Abrams start a trend? The first picture from the new James Bond film sure looks familiar. (This is where some film geek comes in the comments and tells me every film that’s tweeted a clapper picture since 2008, right?)
→ And in rumors, Making Star Wars talks about a new kind of walker.
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.
The design for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art was unveiled today, and it certainly isn’t boring! The ‘floating’ disc on top will be an observation deck, while the interior will feature “three levels of exhibition space in infinite loops.”
The Lucas Museum website will have a live webcam to document the construction.
The iconic 1983 making of documentary is now up on the official Star Wars Youtube account… In nine parts. But the good news is: We got the last one yesterday, so I can finally post it.
George Lucas has chosen Chicago to house his art museum, the Chicago Tribune reports today. There’s only a vote from the board before it becomes 100% official – and they’ll also change the name from the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum to the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.
Lucas was originally aiming the museum for San Francisco, but turned to his part-time home of Chicago after the Presidio Trust rejected the original proposal. Chicago is the hometown of George’s wife Mellody Hobson, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel lobbied heavily. The new museum will be built on what’s now a parking lot between football stadium Soldier Field and convention center McCormick Place, and nearby many of the city’s other museums. It will likely open in 2018.