It’s been two weeks, and now Lupita Nyong’o tells Ellen DeGeneres that she has filmed for Episode VIII. Could this development also have something to do with Carrie Fisher having to pull out of some days at New York Comic Con?
In an interview with Collider, Lupita Nyong’o said that she hadn’t yet shot for Episode VIII, which wrapped primary photography in the summer. “That’s in my future,” she said of working with VIII director Rian Johnson.
Nyong’o was announced as part of the VIII cast when production began, and Johnson did share a picture of what appeared to be motion capture of her character, Maz Kanata – a test, perhaps? (Part of me wonders now if they swapped in Maz for another digital character who has yet to be revealed or finalized. Or maybe she’s just part of the standard demo?)
The most logical answer for when Nyong’o films for VIII would be the ubiquitous reshoots, which probably won’t happen until next year. In the meantime she has Queen of Katwe opening at the end of the month and Marvel’s Black Panther coming up for 2018.
Lupita Nyong’o shared a new behind-the-scenes clip from the Blu-Ray for #MazMonday – there’s also now a Maz Kanata emoji in the Star Wars app
→ The cover to Marvel’s The Force Awakens #1 is… Certainly a comic book cover.
StarWars.com has the official announcement that Episode VIII has begun production at Pinewood this morning. It adds officially adds three new actors: Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, and newcomer Kelly Marie Tran. (Entertainment Weekly takes a look at Tran’s previous work.)
Returning from The Force Awakens are Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, and Andy Serkis.
Video footage shows director Rian Johnson, Hamill and Ridley filming on Skellig Micheal in September, and a hint as to where VIII picks up…
…Or is it? Note that only one shot – Ridley holding out the saber – is actually a close duplicate to what we saw in The Force Awakens. While they may be keeping things less restrictive this time, let’s not put too much faith in what they’re willing to show us.
Meanwhile, as the day winds down…
The Force Awakens’ advance ticket sales have passed the $100 million mark in North America, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That’s at least four times as much as the previous record holder, The Dark Knight Rises.
Don’t forget that the reviews – including mine – will come off embargo tonight at 12:01 a.m. PST (3:01 a.m. EST.) Don’t worry too much, we’ve been asked not to reveal spoilers. (There’s always the Force Block browser extension if you’re paranoid.)
→ Lupita Nyong’o tells Ellen DeGeneres how she didn’t know that she was auditioning for Star Wars.
→ In /Film’s full J.J. Abrams interview, the director talks about developing the film
→ What does comedian Bill Hader have to do with BB-8?
→ You’ll never guess what some of the internet’s most disgruntled Expanded Universe fans are threatening to do now! Oh wait, you totally will, because it’s utterly pointless and deranged. That Force Block thing is looking pretty good about now, yeah?
60 Minutes posted extra footage after tonight’s feature on The Force Awakens, including John Williams conducting some of the first music in the film, but we also get a glimpse of the scene with Rey, BB-8, Teedo and the luggabeast.
→ Lupita Nyong’o tells Buzzfeed why she chose to play a CGI character.
→ Rolling Stone shares a few things they learned about The Force Awakens that didn’t make the main article.
→ Spot the new stuff in today’s commercial.
→ Dan Mindel on the The Force Awakens cinematography, and how the film being pushed back turned out to be a positive.
We’ll be seeing the first The Force Awakens reviews on Wednesday, December 16th at 12:01am PST. Plan accordingly. In Hollywood, things are shaping up for the Monday premiere, which will have “Academy Award levels” of security and crowd control.
→ The Force Awakens will be featured on CBS’ 60 Minutes on Sunday, and in the preview video we get to hear some of John Williams’ new score.
→ Today’s best bet: Samuel L. Jackson and Gwendoline Christie chat for Interview magazine.
→ Costume designer Michael Kaplan on Kylo Ren’s helmet for Time.
→ 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.