With all the movie and TV news coming out, it’s easy to get caught up in the future. Because the future, as a wise man once said, is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. But if you’ve got an even passing interest in the past, you should definitely check out Kitbashed.
Writer and designer Michael Heilemann has been on our radar for years, but with Kitbashed he’s delving deep into the origins of Star Wars – not the saga, not the franchise, but the movie. Heilemann connects Star Wars to everything from famous documentaries to Star Trek to a baffling magazine ad. He’s also especially good at analyzing George Lucas’ student films and early works.
Even when his observations are relatively familiar, Heilemann presents them in a novel way. For example, don’t miss his spellbinding video on the war movies which influenced the Death Star trench run. Citations are included for further reading, and the site itself is gloriously easy on the eyes, clean and straightforward and uncluttered. Kitbashed is an absolute joy.
And in the happy news department… George Lucas and fiance Mellody Hobson will tie the knot in June, The Hollywood Reporter says. They’ll marry in her hometown of Chicago, with former Senator Bill Bradley giving away the bride.
The couple’s engagement was announced in January. It will be the second marriage for Lucas and first for Hobson.
The events of the past month have made it clear that Star Wars is undergoing a major shift, and it’s made a lot of fans question the Disney sale. And those words – the “Disney sale” – are part of the problem. The sale is over and done with. What we’re going through now is more jarring, and a lot more ambitious. We’re going through a Star Wars reboot.
April Fools! Here’s one we missed: First Showing spotted what appears to be an Episode VIII script or treatment that appears very briefly in Peter Jackson’s latest Hobbit behind-the-scenes video, which was released on Monday. Of course, there are also appear to be scripts that say The Silmarillion, which I don’t believe anyone even has the film rights for, so take it as you will. I’m sure you can guess how I’m leaning. Well played, hobbitses.
Box office. The Motley Fool predicts that Episode VII will make a lot of money. Not just a a lot of money (because duh) but that it will go where only James Cameron has gone before: To make $2 billion worldwide. Well, if anyone can, it would be Star Wars… Right?
People. J.J. Abrams talks Star Wars and Star Trek with SFX, while Harrison Ford’s lips are sealed on Entertainment Tonight Oh the humanity. Or maybe he’s just tortured his publicist enough this week.
Back… To the future! Movies.com gathers some Lucas’ quotes on earlier plans for extending the saga.
In a great story on the Lucasfilm acqusition by Disney in Bloomberg Businessweek, George Lucas more or less admits that Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher are returning for the new movies:
Asked whether members of the original Star Wars cast will appear in Episode VII and if he called them before the deal closed to keep them informed, Lucas says, “We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison—or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation. So I called them to say, ‘Look, this is what’s going on.’ ” He pauses. “Maybe I’m not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them.” Then he adds: “I won’t say whether the negotiations were successful or not.”
That may be the big news out of this, but the article itself is a must-read on the process, with extensive input from Lucas and Bob Iger.
Although George Lucas registered for the ability to cash out his Disney stock last week, a Lucasfilm rep told The Bearded Trio he has no plans to do so:
“George Lucas currently has no plans to sell his Disney stock,” Lynne Hale, a spokeswoman for Lucasfilm, said in an e- mail. “This was a required filing in conjunction with the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney.”
Lucas plans to donate the proceeds of the sale to charity.
Actors. An Australian DJ (?!?) is claiming that John Noble will be playing the villain in Episode VII. You probably know Noble as Fringe’s Walter Bishop, or from Lord of the Rings, where he played Denethor, perhaps Middle-Earth’s least stable father figure. Like Walter Bishop, I have my skeptic face on.
Abrams alumni Keri Russell would be down for Star Wars, because once again, who’s going to say they don’t want to be in Star Wars?
And finally, Ewan McGregor doesn’t know anything about the new movies, but it seems like he’s still game. He’ll be talking about his new film, Jack and the Giant Slayer, on Ellen this Friday.
The once and future directors. HuffPo’s Mike Ryan has a great article exploring the Star Wars directors thus far. And at the Star Wars Blog, Bonnie Burton has the relevant quotes from her past interviews with J.J. Abrams.
Solo, solo. Hollywood.com’s Christian Blauvelt talks about casting (and writing) a younger Han Solo with Scoundrels author Timothy Zahn. Since the conversation naturally turns to casting Thrawn, Zahn spoke a bit more about casting his characters back on January’s book tour for Scoundrels.
Video. J.J. Abrams talks about Star Wars, Star Trek and the mystery box in a TED Talk from 2007. (via)
Money matters. George Lucas has filed to cash out his Disney stock – the 37,076,679 shares that were half the purchase price for Lucasfilm. (Note: The move doesn’t mean he has to or even will sell immediately, just that he can.) In any case, it was announced early on that Lucas would donate the company’s purchase price to fund “educational issues.”
Lists. Empire has nine characters who deserve a spin-off. They’re all dudes, naturally, but step over to Alyssa Rosenberg’s blog for five women who should be in Episode VII.
In the land of not-Star Wars, Lucasfilm picked up a couple awards last weekend:
Red Tails won the NAACP Image award for Outstanding Motion Picture, beating out others such as Flight and Django Unchained. In a video clip from the event, George Lucas shares why he produced the WWII action film about the Tuskegee Airmen.
While the Annie Awards were dominated by wins for Wreck-It Ralph and Dragons: Riders of Berk, a team from Industrial Light and Magic won for Outstanding Achievement, Animated Effects in a Live Action Production: Jerome Platteaux, John Sigurdson, Ryan Hopkins, Raul Essig, and Mark Chataway won for their work on The Avengers. Also in the running, we had The Clone Wars crew with four nominations and LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out with one nomination.
Director Bobby Razak, who’s well known in the world of action sports, is turning his focus to Amanda Lucas and her MAA career with an upcoming documentary Featuring interviews with both Amanda and her father, the doc will “cover several years of Amanda’s life with a major focus on her entry into the women’s MMA circuit.”