Airing February 21 on ABC, the The Wonderful World of Disney special will celebrate Disneyland’s 60-year legacy.
J.J. Abrams discusses The Force Awakens with The Hollywood Reporter, including the criticisms that the film is too similar to A New Hope, and why it was important “to go backwards to go forwards.”
→ At Studio Daily, ILM VFX Supervisor Roger Guyett talks about the film’s visual effects, including the Falcon on Jakku.
→ The Force Awakens has opened strong in China with a record $33M Saturday opening. Meanwhile, here in the U.S., there’s some real box office competition this weekend thanks to The Revenant. Who wins? Either way, Domhnall Gleeson.
→ Business Insider profiles Joonas Suotamo, who doubled for Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca.
→ Award watch: John Boyega is a nominee for the BAFTA’s Rising Star award. TFA itself is up for BAFTAs in production design, sound, music and visual effects. The film is also up for a Costume Designers Guild Award.
The numbers are in, and The Force Awakens made an astounding $529 million worldwide this weekend, $248 million of it domestically. That takes it past both Jurassic World’s key opening weekend records.
Jurassic World producer Frank Marshall (and husband of Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy) tweeted the traditional congratulation ad, seen at right. Meanwhile the film also continued to rule on social media.
→ Want the nitty-gritty of what the actors made in The Force Awakens? Variety has a report, but beware of spoilers.
→ Video: Phil Tippett and his team on recreating the Millennium Falcon’s Dejarik holochess game.
→ The Force Awakens is among the ten films making the shortlist for the visual effects Oscar. Five will make the cut. Also on the shortlist are Mad Max: Fury Road, Jurassic World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Ex Machina, The Martian, The Revenant, Tomorrowland and The Walk.
→ Matt Patches did it. He stayed spoiler-free for The Force Awakens for three whole years. I think he’s nuts, but respect.
In an email to employees, Disney’s Bob Iger called The Force Awakens “one of the proudest and most exciting moments” in Disney history.
→ The Military Times profiles Adam Driver.
→ You won’t need to be a Star Wars expert to enjoy The Force Awakens, Bobby Roberts points out in The Portland Mercury.
→ Buzzfeed takes a look at J.J. Abrams’ previous movies, leading into some interesting casting bits on The Force Awakens
→ J.J. Abrams and Harrison Ford were on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert the other day, where we get ‘exclusive video’ of J.J. Abrams convincing Harrison Ford to return as Han Solo. Colbert is also pushing the hashtag #SpoilerSpoilers. (My favorite.)
The Force Awakens is one of the American Film Institute’s Movies of the Year. Inside Out, Mad Max: Fury Road and The Martian were also honored.
→ Alyssa Rosenberg at The Washington Post looks at how The Force Awakens plays into the ‘great cultural debates’ of our time.
→ Gizmodo takes a look at Star Wars merchandising in Hungary, which gets pretty damn weird. (Creamed corn? Chicken nuggets? Foie Gras?)
→ Quentin Tarantino has accused Disney of trying to strong-arm his latest movie, The Hateful Eight, out of ArcLight theaters with The Force Awakens.
→ J.J. Abrams talks to io9 about the script process (including Michael Arndt’s exit,) starting fresh with Lawrence Kasdan and even the Expanded Universe. (On that note, The Hollywood Reporter on the pre-Abrams story meetings.) At Nerdist, he says he wants to see Selma’s Ava DuVernay do a Star Wars film. She seems game! And Pablo Hidalgo’s fame continues to spread, as he’s the subject of the first question from the Associated Press.
→ Daisy Ridley and John Boyega are in the New York Times! With the AP, John shares the story of how (and why) he got Robert Downey Jr. as his mentor in fame. But he couldn’t resist getting a little saucy about Star Trek with Yahoo. (Well, about William Shatner, technically. Which is, I believe, legal under the Carrie Directive)
→ It was Oscar Isaac’s turn on Good Morning America today, where he talked about flying an X-wing.
→ A film still of Billie Lourd in the movie has been floating around for a while now (plus she was in one of the first TV spots) but People has an official character portrait, in which we can see she wears her hair in a toned-down version of Leia’s iconic buns. Still no character name, though.
→ J.J. Abrams, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Adam Driver were in Seoul today goofing around, while Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o and Kathleen Kennedy were in Mexico City. I can’t find any reports in English, but damn they looked cool.
→ Also: The Force Awakens was the #1 movie on Facebook for 2015; Yesterday’s spoilerific Rey action figure got DMCA’d; NASA scientist would pick Threepio over BB-8 or Artoo to take to space. I am outraged! I have to go lay down now.
A new behind the scenes video from The Force Awakens debuted at Comic-Con Brazil. See John Boyega in awe as he sees the Falcon! See Harrison Ford sign a giant action figure! See Oscar Isaac boggle!
Speaking of Oscar Isaac, Poe Dameron finally got a character poster today.
J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, and several of The Force Awakens’ stars were on hand today for #TwitterAwakens, a live Q&A via the @starwars Twitter. It was a crazy whirlwind, and yes, Harrison Ford dropped what may be a major spoiler – if you haven’t been paying attention. (It’s the spoiler – it’s not about Luke or anyone’s parentage, though he did spell Kylo as ‘Kilo,’ which is hilarious.)
Also, Mark Hamill trolled, and Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac sang a (brief) duet.
I’ve collected most of the tweets, but to see the actual questions you have to read it on Twitter. If you want to avoid Harrison’s spoiler, skim over everything from the Lupita picture (or Carrie’s “Good, I was jealous.”) until you see Harrison’s own mug (above center.)
Rolling Stone has a great article going behind-the-scenes on The Force Awakens with J.J. Abrams. They talk to several cast members, and reveal three great new stills as well.
Harrison Ford’s appearance on The Tonight Show last night was joyfully bizarre. There were Academy Award jokes:
And it all ends with a doll mutilation: