Today in Rogue One: Michael Giacchino on his last-minute call to compose

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Entertainment Weekly’s Anthony Breznican has the most extensive interview yet with composer Michael Giacchino on Rogue One. Giacchino says the film is “in many ways a really great World War II movie” with “this huge, huge heart.” He reveals that he does use “little moments” of the classic John Williams, but ” the score is 95 percent original.” Read

→ While EW gives us extended chunks of coverage, Empire magazine dribbles out a new photo and a few quotes regarding Gareth Edwards’ being hands-on with filming. But hey, they do have a bunch of character covers.

Rogue One is tracking for a big debut – in the range of $120M-150M. If this bears out, it could be the second-biggest December opening – after The Force Awakens.

Riz Ahmed profiled by the Wall Street Journal.

Spoiler corner: The first twenty minutes of the film was shown on the promotional tour in Mexico, and Making Star Wars has a few (though not extensive) details about the film’s title card.

Roundup: The Force Awakens’ box office will pass $900M domestic any minute now

Kylo Ren on JakkuThe Force Awakens will cross $900M domestic at the box office today, and $2B worldwide tomorrow, Disney announced.

In related news, Lionsgate said today that Star Wars is partially at fault for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2‘s less-than-predicted performance, lessening the November movie’s numbers by “somewhere between $50M and $100M.” Don’t blame the players, blame the game? And maybe even the ever-more-eye-rolling trend of splitting adaptions into two parts… I saw both Mockingjays in the theater, but I gotta tell you, by the second movie I was pretty much already over it.

→ The sound we hear in The Force Awakens when Kylo Ren uses the Force has an unexpected source: A purring cat, Dave Acord tells Nerdist. Matthew Wood also talks about recording Ren’s mask dialogue with Adam Driver. (Acord also reveals there’s a sound from Raiders of the Lost Ark in the mix.) At The Daily Dot, Wood gets into even more detail about the archival sounds used in the new film, as well as the ADR process and other details.

→ I’ve never been particularly fond of the autograph racket that goes on in this fandom, but I gotta say, the latest controversy – involving Daisy Ridley – really takes the cake.

The Force Awakens roundup: VES awards, how BB-8 got his voice

tfa-maz-cropThe Force Awakens won four categories at the Visual Effects Society Awards, including outstanding VFX in a photoreal feature. On that note, there’s a new Roger Guyett interview over at Deadline.

→ Bryan Young talked to Matthew Wood and David Acord about how BB-8 got his voice for How Stuff Works.

The Force Awakens is likely to pass $900M domestically and $2B globally this coming weekend, Scott Mendelson reports.

→ Your moment of extremely relevant zen: An adorable puppy finds a home.

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.