The recent recap of last year’s biggest events reminded me of something that has been largely overlooked: George Lucas is retiring. Granted, he’s tried to retire before – a couple of times, if memory serves – with limited success. And the news was understandably overshadowed by the double-whammy of the Sequel Trilogy and the sale to Disney. But still. The Flannelled One is stepping down, off to work on experimental films or build a working X-wing or become a lumberjack or whatever retired billionaires do. Yes, there were the starwars.com videos, where he talked a bit about his future plans, but in general, this story has been ignored. Heck, I saw more chatter about Rick McCallum’s retirement. Rick McCallum is a wonderful guy, but there’s only one George Lucas. He deserves a little more attention.
The original director of Brave, Brenda Chapman has left Pixar for Lucasfilm. She’ll be consulting in the animation department on “something new.” Is it something as obvious as the Seth Green comedy project, or something else we haven’t heard about yet? After all, LucasFilm Animation “is also focusing efforts on feature film animation and other new intellectual properties.”
Chapman has an impressive resume. She has writing credits not only on Brave, but Disney’s The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, as well as directing The Prince of Egypt for Dreamworks – the first American woman to direct an animated feature film from a major studio, according to IMDB. Learn more about her career and Brave in an interview she did with Pixar Portal last year.
Whatever Lucasfilm has brewing, Chapman certainly has the chops!
Reddish arena, giant snarling alien monsters, forced combat… There’s a very Geonosis vibe to the new John Carter
of Mars trailer, selling the Avataresque motion-capture and narrative. It’s deeply action-packed, but I don’t find it nearly as intriguing as the first trailer. (Kashmir? Really?) Still, I suppose it’ll work to sell the movie to the masses. Or not.
While I start to consider the act of posting news again (ugh,) have this teaser. I believe this is Pixar’s first film to feature a solo female protagonist.
The Hurt Locker beat out Avatar for Best Picture (and director – Kathryn Bigelow is the first woman to win) but the sci-fi extravaganza did take statues for visual effects, cinematography, and art direction. I don’t find this particularly heartbreaking: Avatar might have been a fun movie to watch, but Best Picture? Ehh.
Best Picture was really the only uncertain prize going in, so there weren’t many surprises for the genre winners: Pixar’s Up took Animated feature and Music, while Star Trek got Makeup. (District 9 will always have this, I suppose.)
Tolkien lawsuit settled. The trustees of J.R.R. Tolkien’s estate have settled their lawsuit with New Line over the profits from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings adaptations. Terms were not disclosed, but that’s certainly one less roadblock to The Hobbit adaption.
- Industry. Warner Bros. is reorganizing DC Comics, relaunching it as DC Entertainment. Diane Nelson, who has overseen the Harry Potter movies, will run it.
- Disney. There’s a new full-length trailer for The Princess and the Frog, awakening more than a bit of controversy. Meanwhile, the documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty, about Disney’s last return to traditional animation, sounds very interesting.
- More, uh, Disney. Pixar folks deny that the Marvel project they’re “excited about” is not, as Entertainment Weekly reported, Ant-Man. I say Pixar is the only studio who could make me consider seeing an Ant-Man movie, and that barely.
- He-Man. At least one property of my childhood is safe (for now:) Warner Brothers is dropping their option on Masters of the Universe. My embarrassment squick thanks them.
- The Road. This years’ Viggo Mortensen genre fix has been pushed back to Thanksgiving.
We’re poised to enter blockbuster season Friday with the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine on Friday, but which big summer movies are you most looking forward to? Vote on the sidebar or under the cut. Continue reading
Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II won Annie Awards for Best Animated Television Production, Writing, and Voice Acting for Ahmed Best’s Jar-Jar. But perhaps the biggest shock was the total shut-out of WALL-E – it was beat in nearly every category it was nominated for by Kung Fu Panda. Seriously. Kung Fu Panda. The hell?
Other winners include Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs and Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Kevin Kiner was up for Music in an Animated Television Production for the ‘Rising Malevolence’ episode of The Clone Wars, but lost out to Henry Jackman, Hans Zimmer & John Powell for Secrets of the Furious Five, a Kung Fu Panda spinoff.