John Williams willing to return for Episode IX (and who’s going to tell him no?)

In an interview regarding his Oscar chances this year, composer John Williams says that he’s already told J.J. Abrams that he’ll return for Episode IX. “I would very much like to complete that,” he told Variety.

Williams is eligible for both The Last Jedi and The Post this year. He’s received 50 nominations over his career and won 5, including one for the original Star Wars.

Before IX, Williams will be contributing a theme for Solo.

No Oscars for Rogue One

Rogue One didn’t take home either of the two Oscars it was nominated for last night. Hacksaw Ridge took sound mixing, while The Jungle Book won VFX. (Having Felicity Jones and Riz Ahmed present it was a bit weird when a win wasn’t really expected, but hey, that’s Hollywood.) Alas. Unlike last year’s Ex Machina upset, this was far from a surprise – and the ceremony had even bigger shocks later on with a Best Picture mixup.

Kenny Baker and Carrie Fisher were both part of the In Memoriam segment. Mom Debbie Reynolds and Carrie closed it out, with the “May the Force be with you” clip from The Force Awakens.

Alum Natalie Portman – who didn’t attend due to her pregnancy – lost out Best Actress to La La Land’s Emma Stone.

Better luck next year, Star WarsJ.J. Abrams is already campaigning for Mark Hamill in The Last Jedi. Is his guilt is getting to him?

Today in Rogue One: Oscar nods, Death Star knowledge drop

Rogue One nabbed two Oscar nominations today, for Visual Effects and Sound Mixing. Big Shiny Robot has a couple of statements from John Knoll and sound designer Chris Scarbosio. As for Star Wars alumni, Natalie Portman has received her third nomination, this time for lead in Jackie. She won the category for Black Swan in 2011.

Rogue One effects guy Todd Vaziri sheds some light on the Death Star’s trench run. Yes, this is mostly about A New Hope, but there are explanations (both practical and in-universe) for the equator dish schematic.

→ It’s Pablo Hidalgo on the movie’s Visual Guide! And again, this time on aliens!

→ And check out some high-res shots of Rogue One’s old-school user interfaces.

Today in VIII: Daisy Ridley on where the film starts

mtv-daisyOn the Oscars red carpet last night, Daisy Ridley told MTV News that Episode VIII does indeed pick up where The Force Awakens left off, and about working with Mark Hamill.

(This may not be exactly VIII related, but since we’re here: Fashion bloggers Tom & Lorenzo and the Fug Girls on Ridley’s dress.)

→ A curious dome-shaped building has been spotted at Pinewood. It’s similar to those found at the monastery at Skellig Michael.

→ The Dubrovnik street set now lights up, and not for nothing – it looks like they’ll be doing some night filming.

→ It seems the film may also be scouting for caves in Mexico.

The Force Awakens strikes out at the Oscars

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There were no wins for Star Wars at the Academy Awards tonight, but at least The Force Awakens lost (mostly) to fellow genre films. Mad Max: Fury Road pretty much swept the technical categories at the Academy Awards, shutting out The Force Awakens in Editing, Sound Mixing and Sound Editing. Star Wars’ best chance was considered to be Visual Effects, which was instead won by Ex Machina in a surprising upset. John Williams lost out to The Hateful Eight’s Ennio Morricone, who paid tribute to 5-time winner Williams in his speech.

But hey, we did get an appearance by Threepio, Artoo and BB-8. Later, Daisy Ridley was joined by Dev Patel to present Best Documentary, and J.J. Abrams presented Best Director to The Revenant’s Alejandro G. Iñárritu.

5 Oscar nods for The Force Awakens include music, VFX

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The Force Awakens received five Oscar nominations this morning, all in technical categories. John Williams got his 50th nomination for the score. ILM’s Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould are up for the film’s Visual Effects. Matthew Wood and David Acord are nominated for sound editing, with Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson for sound mixing. The biggest surprise is Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey for editing.

the 88th Academy Awards will be given out Sunday, February 28.

Felicity Jones, Lupita N’yongo on Star Wars (barely) at the Oscars


So it’s pretty much a sure thing that Felicity Jones is going to be one of the stars of the upcoming spin-off at this point, and we can agree if this counts as a ‘confirmation – but she told MTV’s Josh Horowitz that she “can’t talk about it.” (Lupita N’yongo says she’s sure it will “change her life even more.”)

Naturally that’s about all we’re going to get for anything upcoming, but Star Wars had a couple moments in the opening act. Bib Iger’s wife even wore one of the Rodarte Star Wars dresses on the red carpet.

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.

Oscars nominations boring as ever for genre fans

Not a whole lot of love for genre pictures at the Oscars this year.  The Avengers got just one nomination, for Visual Effects, where it was joined by online punching-bag Prometheus.  Both of them will probably lose to Life of Pi.

May the odds be ever in her favorThe good news is that some fan-favorite actors scored big.  Jennifer Lawrence was nominated for Best Actress — not for The Hunger Games, but rather for her work in Silver Linings Playbook.  She plays a woman suffering from a variety of mental illnesses so who knows, maybe she’ll even win.  And though The Dark Knight Rises was shut out, Anne Hathaway got a Supporting Actress nod for playing Fantine in Les Misérables, and she’s pretty much a lock.  Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman, was also nominated for Les Misérables, but let’s face it, he has no chance.

The Hobbit got three nominations, for Visual Effects, Makeup, and Production Design.  Not bad until you remember that the last Middle-earth epic nabbed eleven nominations, and won all of ’em.

Plus we have to mention: John Williams picked up his 48th nomination for Lincoln.  Pretty sure that’s a record.  And weirdly enough, the Simpsons are now Oscar nominees.  Something called Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare” is up for Best Animated Short.

At least we can always look forward to making fun of the fashions.  This year the Academy Awards air on February 24th.

Edit: Thanks to Pablo for pointing out that new Lucasfilm head honcho Kathleen Kennedy (along with Steven Spielberg) was nominated for producing Lincoln!  It’s the front-runner for Best Picture, too.