Variety reports that Disney began pitching the free TV rights – technically basic cable – on the Star Wars films last week, for all three trilogies. The asking price on is claimed to be “high” – even for the “vintage” titles. Movie rights are worth less and less to networks these days, but Star Wars seems to be an exception.
Spike TV held the Star Wars rights through 2014, paying $65-$70 million for six years and six films. The Indiana Jones films went for about $25M each in 2008.
Cable outlets who have met or are meeting with Disney include Turner, FX Networks, Viacom, NBCUniversal (which owns SyFy, which aired A New Hope when it first launched as the Sci-Fi Channel and USA Network, who had the rights to the original trilogy in the 90s,) A+E Networks and AMC Networks.
Variety cites speculation that the pitches to outside networks may be Disney’s way of seeing “what the market will bear” – aka covering their ass – before settling the rights on one of their own networks. (I’ve been expecting the films will indeed show up on Freeform.)
The Force Awakens will debut on Starz next year as the last film under the channel’s deal with Disney. TFA likely won’t show up on basic cable until 2018, while Episode VIII and IX will go to Netflix first under Disney’s current deal with the streaming service.
There are a few things floating around in regards to Episode VIII, gleaned from The Wrap‘s Jeff Sneider during a Meet the Movie Press chat. (Via Screenrant.)
Sneider said that principal photography in VIII has been pushed back a month in order to accommodate script changes. The new female roles have apparently been minimized to focus more on Rey and the other characters we met in The Force Awakens, and Gina Rodriguez is out. Bel Powely is still a question mark, but one of the roles has gone to an unknown Asian actress.
It’s rather telling that Sneider hasn’t this for The Wrap – almost nothing we’ve heard about VIII has been solid enough for the trades to touch formally, so feel free to be cynical on this. In any case, Episode VIII is still set for a May 26, 2017 release.
Variety claims that Lucasfilm has narrowed down the possible actors for the upcoming young Han Solo film to a dozen names.
Sources tell Variety that after seeing thousands of actors, execs have cut the list down to about a dozen actors with Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Dave Franco, Jack Reynor, Scott Eastwood, Logan Lerman, “Brooklyn” star Emory Cohen and “Everybody Wants Some” actor Blake Jenner among the names making the cut.
Variety’s sources also claim the rush could be to get the new Han into Rogue One for a cameo.
The solo Solo film, directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, is currently scheduled for a May 25, 2018 release.
There’s a new name in the mix for the unknown new female character in Episode VIII: Diary of a Teenage Girl’s Bel Powley. Previous names related to the role are Gugu Mbatha-Raw (who’s apparently out?) Gina Rodriguez and Olivia Cooke.
There was an earlier rumor that there were two new roles for the Rian Johnson directed film drawing from the same shortlist, but that’s yet to be collaborated beyond the initial report.
Powley is getting a lot of good buzz for Girl, and also appears as the young Princess Margaret in A Royal Night Out.
As always, remember these are only rumors, and they are anything but solid. Episode VIII is due to begin shooting this month, so hopefully we’ll hear something solid on any newcomers soon.
So if there’s one thing I’ve learned the past few months, it’s that it is really, really hard for me to get excited or inspired about Rogue One when there are actual Episodes in play. Well, to be specific, sequel Episodes, because the prequel apathy has always been strong with me. I may, however, be in the minority on this: The next Star Wars film – which is, technically, a prequel to A New Hope – is the most anticipated movie of 2016, according to Fandango.
On the other hand, The Hollywood Reporter’s Graeme McMillan wonders if the film is too early a detour, a sentiment I can’t help but agree with.
In any case, today’s big Rogue One rumor, per Star Wars Time, is that the trailer will be attached to May’s Captain America: Civil War. That seems less like a rumor and more like plain old common sense, as we’re certainly going to see it drop in the spring, if not before.
If you’re looking for some heavier rumors, Making Star Wars is back in the mix with some (possible) details on the characters played by Mads Mikkelsen and Felicity Jones, and a set description from Pinewood.
At the ‘Celebrity Nerd-Off’ with Stephen Colbert, J.J. Abrams revealed that he finished the final sound mix for The Force Awakens early Saturday morning, Yahoo Movies reports. There are “six very small, but important things that (still) need to be done,” per Variety.
→ Deadline claims that we’ve only seen about 5% of The Force Awakens ad campaign, and that it’s really going to ramp up over Thanksgiving. I have a feeling this means ad buys, but consider yourself warned. (And remember, if you’re reading fan sites you’re already paying a lot more attention than most people are.)
“I haven’t been offered anything,” Gugu Mbatha-Raw told E! of the rumor that she’ll be in Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII. Either it’s the plain truth, or she is way (way) better at this then Benicio del Toro.
There’s a rumor that Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) got one of those (rumored) Episode VIII roles, but it’s based on Rian Johnson and John Boyega following her on Twitter, which, okay. To be fair, plenty of us read a random Rian Johnson tweet as a hint towards Gugu Mbatha-Raw, so maybe there’s something to it after all. Verdict: Maybe!
There’s another rumor going around regarding Finn’s last name. I won’t even link anyone who’s running it because it’s based on an unofficial description from a third-party Amazon listing, and shockingly, that is nowhere near a sound source. Verdict: Ha ha, no.
Making Star Wars reports of rumblings that Lucasfilm is “retiring” the Slave Leia bikini. However, do note that piece’s only quoted source is J. Scott Campbell, an artist whose work mostly seems to consist of pinups – not exactly the most neutral of parties regarding this subject.
That said, I do feel it’s a very smart move for Lucasfilm to be more selective in how and when they use the bikini. It’s all-too-often used as the character’s default look – see Tsundo Sanda’s recent Newsweek cover, where any iconic Leia would do the trick just as well. The problem isn’t so much that slave Leia is a thing that exists in merchandising, it’s that the bikini dominates – and that’s not a fair representation of the character.
I do think a blanket ban on it is rather unlikely – I don’t have a huge problem with the Return of the Jedi poster that MSW uses an an example, for instance – but less of the bikini? Yes, please.