Tag Archives: kathleen kennedy

Is Celebration’s opening panel going to be broadcast worldwide?

abrams-kennedyAccording to the official French Star Wars website (via Dork Side of the Force,) the opening panel with J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy at Celebration Anaheim is called Rise of the Force, and it’ll be simulcast worldwide at 35 theaters in 23 countries. The likewise official @StarWarsUK account posted about a showing at London’s Leicester Square, but as of yet there’s nothing on StarWars.com or from @StarWars.

A worldwide broadcast – even if only at 35 locations – does hint we’re going to get something big. Naturally, everyone is expecting a new trailer – and the rumors about it being attached to The Avengers: Age of Ultron were making the rounds again today, something backed up by a now-deleted tweet from the habitual butterfingers at @RegalMovies.

Directors Gareth Edwards, Josh Trank to talk standalones at Celebration Anaheim

Gareth Edwards and Josh Trank

Rogue One director Gareth Edwards and Spin-off #2 director Josh Trank will talk Star Wars with Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy, Kiri Hart and Pablo Hidalgo on Sunday morning at Celebration. Dare we hope to actually learn something about their films?

Abrams and Kennedy will have ‘special guests’ at their Celebration panel

abrams-kennedy‘Special guests’ will be at J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy’s Thursday panel. I suspect they will be The Force Awakens folk of the younger generation. (Or, pretty much anyone who’s not Harrison Ford.)

Also added to the Celebration guest list today are Billy Dee Williams, Ashley Eckstein and more. The exhibitor list is live as well.

J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy to kick off Celebration Anaheim

abrams-kennedyIt sounds like they won’t be beating around the bush at Celebration Anaheim – the first event sounds like it’ll be J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy themselves, and for some reason I doubt they’ll show up empty-handed. There’s very little doubt that we’re going to get a new The Force Awakens trailer at the con, so just as well get it out of the way ASAP. And having this on Thursday instead of Saturday means it might be a tad easier to get wristbands, right? (Ha.)

Also, if you head to the Art Show page on the Celebration site and click on the artists, you can get a first look at the art that will be on sale, including a Thrawn trilogy-themed piece from Grant Gould!

The Force Awakens: Disney attractions to be based on new films

tfa-promo1-falcon-imax800Variety hosted a Bob Iger Q&A today, where the Disney chief revealed that theme park plans for the franchise will be based mainly on things from the upcoming films. “I didn’t want someone to say, ‘I just saw the movie and there’s nothing in that movie in this (attraction),” he said. “We waited to see what this film would have in it.”

He also revealed that they debated whether to release an early trailer at all, and that J.J. Abrams’ use of physical sets and props have given the film a “wow factor.”

Andy Serkis says that his trailer speech “emotionally rooted” his character – go ahead and add that one to your speculation file.

→ In light of yesterday’s revelation that George Lucas hasn’t seen The Force Awakens trailer and all the hay that was made of it yesterday, Eleven Thirty-Eight has a nice reminder today that George’s perspective is not our perspective.

→ Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy is #13 on The Hollywood Reporter’s Power 100 list of women in entertainment.

Cracked’s four stupidest reactions to The Force Awakens trailer. Yeah, pretty much.

→ Rumor corner: Making Star Wars details a chase scene, and some new ships.

Kathleen Kennedy: Lucasfilm “within three weeks” of finishing Episode VII

At the opening of Industrial Light & Magic’s new London studio, Kathleen Kennedy said that Lucasfilm is “within three weeks of finishing Episode VII.” I suspect she means the actual production period, but who knows. The London studio is working on Episode VII, The Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Ant-Man.

Rumor: Struggle over Episode VII release date continues behind the scenes

STAR WARS RUMORS: Take seriously at your own riskToday, Latino Review’s Da7e Gonzales claims that there’s indeed a struggle behind the scenes to push Episode VII back to May 2016, with JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy on one side and Disney’s Bob Iger on the other. (As we’ve heard before – but from LR, so.) Their bargaining tool? Harrison Ford’s leg, which I think has more press than rest of the cast combined at this point.

Of course we know Lucasfilm is still sticking to December 18, 2015 – but then, they would be. That is the release date – at the moment, anyway.

There are a thousand other considerations when a huge corporation like Disney is involved, but from the fan end, would any of us really object to May, if it comes to pass? I’d certainly prefer it, but the movie’s release date was never going to be my hill to die on.

In any case, this paragraph in particular makes the upmost sense to me:

The franchise and it’s spinoff films will likely be big no matter what, but the value of owning Star Wars is owning the bottomless well of potential money and that means plugging into nostalgia. Star Wars as a franchise can’t pull a Rise/Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and drastically change tones, Star Wars can’t reboot. Star Wars is continuous. Kathleen Kennedy cannot have an Episode VII that botches the handoff between Star Was and Star Is.

Star Wars may not really need to be ‘fixed’ after the prequels – I’m not even a big prequel fan and I think it’s silly to say the franchise was ‘broken’ by them – but there is a perception issue in the mainstream. The mainstream thought the prequels were bad. We can argue about whether that’s been softening until the cows come home, but the fact remains that the perception is there and it’s still plenty powerful. It still, to this day, colors how many people see Star Wars.

Kennedy needs to usher Star Wars into something that can last for Disney. She knows they can’t afford to stick the landing by releasing a rushed, subpar Episode VII with the future of the franchise hanging in the balance.

Episode VII will make Disney millions, maybe billons, not matter when it’s released or how good (or bad) it is. No matter what movie it opens against. But if Star Wars is going to last beyond a third trilogy, it’s going to need some careful cultivation. There are a whole lot of people to convince, and most of them aren’t those of us who follow every drip and drabble of news, or who know that just using the terms ‘bad’ and ‘prequels’ in the same sentence will lead to a tedious debate in certain company. Lucasfilm and Disney both need the mainstream, and they need to convince them that Star Wars is, and can be, ‘good’ again.

Of course, this story of an internal struggle and using an old man’s innocent leg as a bargaining chip is only a rumor, and none of this may pan out in any way; You know the drill. And even if it is true, plenty of great films have come from crazier turmoil than this. We simply won’t know until the movie actually comes out – whenever that ends up being.

Episode VII cast confirmed: Hamill, Ford, Fisher joined by Boyega, Driver, Isaac, Serkis and more


StarWars.com has announced the official cast for Episode VII. Star Wars alumni Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker will be joined by John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow.

That is… A lot of guys. Sigh. The Wrap has a bit more on our new lady, Daisy Ridley, while The Hollywood Reporter has a breakdown of all the new-to-us folks.

And that second new female role? They may still be looking, says The Hollywood Reporter.