David Oyelowo, The LEGO Movie big snubs of Oscars

SelmaOscar nominations came out this morning (with a little help from J.J. Abrams as a presenter) and the main story seem to be how very, very male and white they are. The most noteworthy snub? Civil rights drama Selma, which earned a Best Picture and Best Song nomination, despite nothing for director Ava DuVernay or the cast, led by Rebels’ David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr. The saddest thing, maybe? Shutting out one movie is all it took to whitewash the acting nominations.

The other big snub? The LEGO Movie, which is up for Best Song (‘Everything is Awesome’) but totally shut out of Best Animated Feature. At least one of the directors has a good attitude about it.

But as usual, the only field that’s heavy in genre is Visual Effects, which sees nods for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Guardians of the Galaxy, Interstellar, X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Review roundup: Star Wars #1 does pretty well for itself

marvel-sw1Now that the million or so copies of Marvel’s Star Wars #1 have hit the comic books shops, let’s see what people are saying:

  • IGN: “There’s an emphatic “Give the people what they want!” feel to this issue, and the creative team certainly delivers.”
  • iDigitalTimes: “…the best character work is Princess Leia…” (spoilers)
  • /film:”Not only does Vader make a great dramatic entrance but theres a very cool tense sequence that feels ripped out of Homeland (this is a strong compliment) and Vader’s response is nothing short of bad ass.”
  • Nerdist: “Writer Jason Aaron perfectly captures the pacing, action, and humor of the original Star Wars in a way that a lot of the comics haven’t for a long time it seems.”
  • Jedi News: “The true test of any comic script is does it leave you longing for more, and I can’t imagine anyone reading this issue and not being absolutely compelled to pick up issue #2.”
  • Tosche Station: 4/5 – “At times, it was difficult to NOT hear the actors’ voices inside my head reading the lines.”
  • Big Shiny Robot (a double review from Bryan and myself): “It brings us to familiar territory while still feeling fresh.”
  • Coffee with Kenobi: “Reading “Star Wars” No. 1 is like watching a movie.”
  • EUCantina.net: “Marvel knew they had to make a big impression with their first Star Wars issue, and they have succeeded.”

Talking with the creators:

Report: Why Whitta left the first Star Wars spinoff

rumors-swirl-sw-yavinCinelinx says they know why screenwriter Gary Whitta is off Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars film: Because, as many of us guessed, that’s exactly what he was hired to do. They also maintain that Simon Kinberg is coming on.

And, for the record, none of this is particularly unusual:

This isn’t a new thing, by any stretch of the imagination, as studios have long used this model to develop their films, bringing in writers to finish a script from the basic draft, and we hear about it all the time. The reason this seems like such a big deal is that it’s freaking STAR WARS, and people seemed to want to sensationalize the news.

Their source has also heard that Whitta’s script was too expensive for the film’s budget. (Budget? Star Wars? Well, yeah: It’s still a business, and if anyone is getting a blank check here it’s certainly not a standalone.) That’s likely to be one of the things that Kinberg deals with.

Did the first poster for The Force Awakens emerge in Japan? Not really.

the-force-awakensThis Japanese Star Wars poster has been floating around social media for a bit now, but it hit the fansites yesterday… Except TheForce.Net’s Eric Geller contacted Lucasfilm, who told him it’s not a poster for TFA, just “use of existing text style for local promotion.”

Honestly, I haven’t thought the poster was that big a deal – even if it was our ‘first poster,’ the only thing it’s showing is the Japanese version of the logo. A curiosity? Sure. But not exactly groundbreaking.

George Lucas’ original plan was to see first sequel film through before selling Lucasfilm

lucas-strange-magicUSA Today’s Brian Truitt catches up with the elusive George Lucas, who talks about his youngest daughter Everest, Strange Magic and, of course, Star Wars.

There’s not too much about Star Wars, but we do learn one thing: He originally planed to see the first film of the new trilogy through before selling the company, but Disney’s interest happened at just the right moment.

“The only thing I really regret about Star Wars is the fact I never got to see it — I never got to be blown out of my seat when the ship came over the screen,” Lucas says. “The next one, I’ll be able to enjoy it like anybody else.”

Billy Dee Williams brings Lando to Rebels

rebels-lando-ewLando Calrissian is probably Rebel’s worst-kept secret – particularly since the episode in question, ‘Idiot’s Array’ went up on the Disney XD site/app this morning. But, if you were waiting for official word, here it is via Entertainment Weekly: Billy Dee Williams is the latest to reprise his film character for the cartoon.

‘Idiot’s Array’ will air on Disney XD proper next Monday.

Rumor: Kinberg taking over for Whitta on Spinoff #1?

kinbergWe know that Gary Whitta is done with his part on Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars spinoff, but could Simon Kinberg be stepping in? That’s what /Film has heard. Kinberg is already firmly entrenched in the franchise, and was even originally announced as the writer of an eventual standalone, though he hasn’t been officially attached to any of the films as of yet.

In other words, he’s the perfect person to tweak and polish Whitta’s script – perhaps that was the plan all along?