Wired features the VFX work of The Force Awakens, with a focus on Lupita Nyong’o’s Maz Kanata and motion capture.
The movie’s aliens are also featured – along with several new stills – in USA Today.
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.
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.)
Today’s must read is Lawrence Kasdan at the Los Angeles Times. He talks about coming back to Star Wars, working with J.J. Abrams, canon (pure gold here), and the inate goofiness of the original trilogy. Just some great stuff.
Plus, on Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII: “He’s going to make some weird thing.”
(The LAT also headed to Abu Dhabi.)
→ J.J. Abrams’ assistant Morgan Dameron on having a character named after her.
→ J.J. Abrams and John Boyega are firmly on Team Han Shot First. Sorry, George.
Carrie Fisher is on the cover of Good Housekeeping, or at least the U.K. edition, for January. (That’s December in magazine world.) Most of the soundbites pulled out of the interview have been about being older in Hollywood and having to lose weight for The Force Awakens, but it does look like there may be more to the interview. Lifestyle magazines, go figure! Other new Star Wars covers include Lupita Nyong’o for Elle UK (you can find her on Essence in the U.S.) and Daisy Ridley for Glamour UK. Daisy’s December cover for Elle US is on shelves now. People also has a The Force Awakens ‘collector’s edition’ coming to newsstands December 9.
→ On Good Morning America, Harrison Ford revealed he’s seen The Force Awakens and declines to reveal Han Solo’s relationship status. Howard Stern had Adam Driver on, and I definitely recommend giving it a listen. (Driver revealed – accidentally? – he’s signed for 3.) And going back to yesterday’s J.J. Abrams interview on Sirius XM, he talks about that first cast photo.
→ If you feel like you’ve been seeing a lot of Star Wars commercials lately, that’s because Disney has claimed the top spot in movie ad spending for The Force Awakens.
→ Of course Abu Dhabi (aka Jakku) will be hosting the film’s Middle Eastern premiere. It’ll be December 16th at the Dubai International Film Festival. Meanwhile, the movie will open on January 9th in China.
It’s going to be a busy week for our DVRs. Good Morning America will have J.J. Abrams on Monday, Harrison Ford on Tuesday, and John Boyega and Daisy Ridley on Wednesday. Carrie Fisher will be on Live with Michael and Kelly on Thursday.
Abrams and Ford will also be on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Monday and Tuesday. Then, Lupita Nyong’o will be on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah on Wednesday, while Fallon will host Adam Driver. Daisy Ridley will be on Fallon Thursday night.