J.J. Abrams discusses The Force Awakens with The Hollywood Reporter, including the criticisms that the film is too similar to A New Hope, and why it was important “to go backwards to go forwards.”
→ At Studio Daily, ILM VFX Supervisor Roger Guyett talks about the film’s visual effects, including the Falcon on Jakku.
→ The Force Awakens has opened strong in China with a record $33M Saturday opening. Meanwhile, here in the U.S., there’s some real box office competition this weekend thanks to The Revenant. Who wins? Either way, Domhnall Gleeson.
→ Business Insider profiles Joonas Suotamo, who doubled for Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca.
→ Award watch: John Boyega is a nominee for the BAFTA’s Rising Star award. TFA itself is up for BAFTAs in production design, sound, music and visual effects. The film is also up for a Costume Designers Guild Award.