No plans for live-action Star Wars on ABC

endor-shield-generatorThere are no plans “at the moment” for a live-action Star Wars TV show, ABC president Paul Lee told TVLine.

Note that has no bearing on the the Netflix rumors that pop up regularly. That still seems like the most likely option to me – though I do hope they don’t go with the old ‘Underworld’ concept.

n any case, I remain wary of more Star Wars on TV. Even a light half-hour show like Rebels feels like unnecessary burden at times, and a longer, more adult-oriented one on top of that seems like it would be a bit too much Star Wars. (At least when we’re getting yearly movies.) But then again, that could just be my natural, over-extended grump.

Rebels Leia figure coming from Hasbro; New report claims lack of Rey merch guided by Lucasfilm

rebels-leia-hasbroHere’s some good news for fans hungry for more ladies in the toy aisle – There’ll be a Princess Leia figure based on her Rebels appearance from Hasbro. The 3¾ figure will be in stores this fall.

In less happy toy news, there’s a new report that lays the cause of the lack of Rey toys at the feet of Lucasfilm themselves. A purported insider described a January 2015 vendor meeting with the company to the blog Sweatpants and Coffee:

The insider, who was at those meetings, described how initial versions of many of the products presented to Lucasfilm featured Rey prominently. At first, discussions were positive, but as the meetings wore on, one or more individuals raised concerns about the presence of female characters in the Star Wars products. Eventually, the product vendors were specifically directed to exclude the Rey character from all Star Wars-related merchandise, said the insider.

“We know what sells,” the industry insider was told. “No boy wants to be given a product with a female character on it.”

Hasbro is releasing more toys with Rey and other female characters, like Leia, aren’t being left out entirely. (And note that while there are certainly far less Rey items, she wasn’t totally excluded from the first wave of products.) But the report does show there’s a lot of work to be done at every level.

Episode VIII pushed back to December 15, 2017

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Episode VIII has a new release date – December 15, 2017. I am not at all charmed by this news, but I suppose it was inevitable once The Force Awakens started breaking almost every box office record there is. VIII was originally announced as the franchise’s return to May.

The film is being written and directed by Rian Johnson, with most of The Force Awakens cast expected to return. The release from StarWars.com also notes that principal photography will begin in London next month – half a confirmation of a report from earlier this week. The part about script tweaks will no doubt remain unconfirmed.

I expect that we won’t see another Star Wars film release in May until/unless the franchise starts to falter. The next Star Wars movie, the standalone Rogue One, is set for the coming December. The untitled Han Solo standalone was announced for May 25, 2018, but that was also before The Force Awakens and I expect we’ll see that pushed back as well.

Rumor: Episode VIII filming pushed back to February?

rumors-swirl-sw-probeThere 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.

Today in The Force Awakens: A familiar inspiration for Snoke

tfa-snoke-crop-vert2Supreme Leader Snoke’s appearance in The Force Awakens was inspired by the Lincoln Memorial and he is indeed a hologram, Roger Guyett and Pat Tubach confirm to Cinemablend. (Wait, people actually thought he… Wasn’t a hologram? Oh, internet.) And here are a few more new interviews with Guyett, Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould. The two half-hour interviews are a must-listen.

→ Industrial Light & Magic received the Genius Award at last night’s Critics Choice Awards, and BB-8 made an appearance during John Knoll’s acceptance speech.

The Force Awakens has passed $1B internationally, even as it fell to #3 domestically for the weekend.

→ The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at the Altus Sports Institute, which Bad Robot turned to to help get – and keep – the cast of into shape.