The film may wrap on the 22, but is Mark Hamill already done? Here’s hiding his face in a recent photo, but if you look closely the beard appears to be gone. In any case: Beardwatch.
→ Director Rian Johnson’s Instagram remains vague to the point where he’s even posting actual garbage. (And more lights.) That set pic Daisy Ridley posted the other day is – as implied – one of his as well.
→ Rumor corner: What Making Star Wars is reporting regarding one of those location shoots, and how it relates to some concept art.
→ In less revealing sequel-related news, J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy are playable characters in Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, while Oscar Isaac and John Boyega are among the record number of new people invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this year.
Steven Weintraub of Collider claims to have spoken to people who’ve seen footage of Episode VIII and Rogue One at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas.
Weintraub isn’t sharing any details – all those who actually saw the footage must be under NDA or it would be all over the internet by now. But if this is true, it seems likely it’ll be unveiled publicly at next month’s Celebration Europe. We already know that Rogue One will be featured heavily, but we’re still not quite sure how much to expect from VIII. But note that they’ve already shown more of it than we saw of Rogue One at Celebration Anaheim!
UPDATE: Making Star Wars says the VIII footage is the Skellig Michael stuff linked above, while the Rogue One stuff was photos of the sidekick droid. Apparently Alan Horn did joke that the VIII title is imminent, but given that they’re almost done with filming that seems fairly obvious.
Also out of the Expo came the news that Star Wars and The Force Awakens helped to lift licensed merchandise sales 4.2%.
I was never particularly enthralled with anything we heard about the old live-action series that Lucasfilm was working on back after Revenge of the Sith, but the new details that came to light last week make me even more glad it was shelved before Lucasfilm’s sale to Disney.
Cory Barlog, a God of War creative director who worked at LucasArts for a time in 2009 and got to read the scripts, told VentureBeat (via) about one plot point of the show:
“It was the most mind-blowing thing I’d ever experienced. I cared about the Emperor. They made the Emperor a sympathetic figure who was wronged by this fucking heartless woman. She’s this hardcore gangster, and she just totally destroyed him as a person. I almost cried while reading this. This is the Emperor, the lightning out of the fingers Emperor. That’s something magical. The writers who worked on that, guys from The Shield and 24, these were excellent writers.”
The Emperor turning because of a woman? It’s like an MRA wet dream. If they wanted to make me grateful for the (boring, harmless and no longer canon) Darth Plagueis novel, well, success!
Although we certainly know at this point that anything with George Lucas’ involvement was not going to be seamless with the Expanded Universe, I do have to wonder if those scripts are why James Luceno’s first iteration of the Plagueis novel was canceled in 2007. The book eventually did come to fruition for a 2012 release, several years after we learned the project was “on hold.”
Bobby Roberts returns to Full of Sith for a new Rumor Control on the recent Rogue One rumormongering. It is, ironically, spoiler-free and full of good sense.
→ Speaking of rumors, The Hollywood Reporter says stunt coordinator Simon Crane is on board for the reshoots.
→ Meanwhile, Making Star Wars has some (likely) code names, and that kyber crystals (which have been popping up in all sorts of things lately) may be involved.
→ For the spoiler-free: A Rogue One cake has been spotted!
Making Star Wars’ Jason Ward dug into his sources regarding the Rogue One reshoots, and he got a fairly detailed (though not spoilery) breakdown of just how much there is to be done, why they need so much time, and what the mood of the crew is.
UPDATE: Writer/director Christopher McQuarrie, who worked on the script, says he is not supervising the reshoots. (MSW says he’s “helping out.”) “For any outlet to say so is not only wrong, it’s irresponsible,” he tells Slashfilm. “Gareth Edwards is a talented filmmaker who deserves the benefit of the doubt.”
MSW also found out that Scott Z. Burns did an earlier pass at the script.
A report emerged yesterday from Page Six claiming that Disney executives are worried about Rogue One, that that the movie is “in crisis,” and that they are thus having do – gasp! – reshoots.
Now, here’s a ‘scoop’ for you: Reshoots happen on all big effects movies these days, to the point where they are planned in advance. They are standard. It’s not an unusual move. Rogue One may indeed have some issues, but there’s plenty of time yet to refine it. So reshoots alone are not a reason to panic… And a report from Page Six alone is not going to make me worry.
In other news, the Queen is on the cover of June’s issue of Vanity Fair, meaning we’re not getting a Rogue One spread just yet. I’m beginning to suspect we won’t see it until the publicity machine really kicks in – probably the fall. And no, that’s not a reason to panic, either.
UPDATE: The Hollywood Reporter has weighed in – a source a bit more hefty than Page Six. Their source says director Gareth Edwards’ first cut was “a solid showing,” but “anything less than extraordinary won’t do.”
And here’s what they have to say about the aim of the reshoots:
The goal of the reshoots will be to lighten the mood, bring some levity into the story and restore a sense of fun to the adventure.
As we recently learned from Oscar Isaac, a similar thing happened with The Force Awakens, a similar thing happened with The Force Awakens reshoots, which brought in the film’s first bit of lightheartedness – the “who talks first” line.
Looks like some enterprising fans have managed to sneak into the sprawling Episode VIII set at Pinewood, and got up close and personal with some of the structures there. (via) A second set of photos has also surfaced, these taken in daylight. (Although they also say it’s a different film studio!)
→ Making Star Wars has a follow-up report to Wednesday’s spoilerific Knights of Ren piece, about another sequence that seems to feature the group. Again, these could very well be big spoilers, so click forewarned.
→ And finally, local sources have reported that the third actor who’s been spotted at the Ireland shoots has rejoined Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley. Recent reports of Carrie Fisher being present are likely false, as the date overlaps with her very public appearance in Cannes.
We’ve been here before. I recognize that tree.
This is not a movie.
At some point during the production of a Star Wars
film, the rumor mill starts churning about possible titles. With The Force Awakens
, the big one was ‘A New Dawn,’
which later ended up being a book title. Pablo Hidalgo later revealed that ‘Shadow of the Empire’
was a working title, but it certainly never leaked as such. And while a fan did guess The Force Awakens on a message board in 2012
, that title never gained much steam elsewhere.
Star Wars title rumors are almost always guesses – and the only one the internet ever got right was the most predictable one: “Revenge of the Sith is the only Internet-era title that got out before its announce,” Hidalgo tweeted this week. “It’s the only one with a final title during production.” Which means even Lucasfilm likely doesn’t have a final title in place for VIII yet. It remains Space Bear.
But if you’re still curious, io9 has a great takedown of this new title rumor, and how clumsy the ‘leak’ really is. (They clearly put some effort in, but it’s extremely clumsy.)
Will we get a title at Celebration Europe? Well, maybe. But we only got The Force Awakens when principal photography wrapped on VII, so if anyone wants to guesstimate that, be my guest.
So don’t be surprised when latest terribly undynamic title can officially take a minor place in fandom history alongside fake titles like Rise of the Empire, The Creeping Fear and Balance of the Force.
And here we have what may be our first serious* Episode VIII spoiler rumor: Making Star Wars on how the Knights of Ren come into the action. Again, these are likely serious spoilers, so if you’re not so inclined, don’t click.
* Reddit never counts.
Report: Rogue One prequel comic canceled? Pre-orders have been canceled by retailers; no creative team was ever announced.