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.

John Boyega says Episode VIII will be darker; IX director Colin Trevorrow on collaborating, Lucas petition

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John Boyega talks to Vogue UK, and he tells them that the Episode VIII script is “great” but “much darker” than The Force Awakens, and that his part in the new film “will be much more physical.”


Meanwhile, Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow talked to Entertainment Tonight about “working closely” with VII director Rian Johnson, as well as the petition to have him replaced by George Lucas.

Rumor: Bel Powley now up for mystery Episode VIII role?

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There’s a new name in the mix for the unknown new female character in Episode VIII: Diary of a Teenage Girl’s Bel Powley. Previous names related to the role are Gugu Mbatha-Raw (who’s apparently out?) Gina Rodriguez and Olivia Cooke.

There was an earlier rumor that there were two new roles for the Rian Johnson directed film drawing from the same shortlist, but that’s yet to be collaborated beyond the initial report.

Powley is getting a lot of good buzz for Girl, and also appears as the young Princess Margaret in A Royal Night Out.

As always, remember these are only rumors, and they are anything but solid. Episode VIII is due to begin shooting this month, so hopefully we’ll hear something solid on any newcomers soon.

Tonight in The Force Awakens: Red carpet shenanigans

mark-redcarpetI was only able to see about half the world premiere red carpet livestream, but I did catch the most magical part: Carrie Fisher interviewing Oscar Isaac. Or attempting to interview. Whatever it was, it was wonderful, and you can watch it on Youtube.

I wasn’t able to collect tweets, but here are some from The Hollywood Reporter, Jedi News and @bahnree. There are also pictures at Variety and The Wrap. (The best. Or maybe…)

UPDATE: Kathleen Kennedy’s speech inside the theater and some of the first reactions.

→ Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams talked to /Film on how they collaborated with Episode VIII writer/director Rian Johnson, and how IX director Colin Trevorrow will likely work in.

Wired takes a look at Sphero, and how exactly BB-8 was a boon for them.

→ Some great The Force Awakens fashions by designer Catherine Elhoffer. You may have seen them on the red carpet tonight!

→ Andy Serkis ‘confirms’ evil Jar Jar on Conan.

→ Korean boy band EXO has an (authorized) song called ‘Lightsaber’. We truly live in an age of wonders.

Today in The Force Awakens: Lawrence Kasdan, Carrie Fisher, and so much more.

Abrams and KasdanToday’s must read is Lawrence Kasdan at the Los Angeles Times. He talks about coming back to Star Wars, working with J.J. Abrams, canon (pure gold here), and the inate goofiness of the original trilogy. Just some great stuff.

Plus, on Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII: “He’s going to make some weird thing.”

(The LAT also headed to Abu Dhabi.)

→ Carrie Fisher was on Live! with Kelly and Michael this morning, where she dubs her poster hairstyle “the baboon ass.” She’s in the Wall Street Journal as well.

→ The Fiat Chrysler Star Wars commercials are surprisingly clever (particularly given how weird their Hunger Games ones are) and one even has today’s MVP, Mark Hamill! (Okay, he’s just narrating.)

→ On the talk shows last night, we had Lupita Nyong’o and Adam Driver.

J.J. Abrams’ assistant Morgan Dameron on having a character named after her.

→ J.J. Abrams and John Boyega are firmly on Team Han Shot First. Sorry, George.

Chat alerts: There’s a cast Q&A tomorrow on Twitter, while John Boyega and Oscar Isaac will be answering questions via Complex Magazine on Tumblr.

Roundup: The broadsaber is venting, and other things we learned about The Force Awakens this week

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Between Wired’s J.J. Abrams interview, Entertainment Weekly and all those TV spots, we seem to have officially entered the “faster, more intense” phrase of The Force Awakens marketing. (No, you haven’t seen too much, calm down.) Here’s some stuff that got sidelined:

dland-broadsaber→ Settle your bets: The crossguard blades on Kylo Ren’s lightsaber “are raw power vented from the primary central blade,” per the description on display at Disneyland’s Star Wars Launch Bay. (IGN has a tour.) We already knew he built it himself, but the design is “ancient.” (via Reddit)

→ Speaking of Kylo, we haven’t seen much of Adam Driver lately, but he did tell Vulture that he found SDCC to be “intense” and “surprisingly moving.”

→ The Force Awakens is skipping some early award shows, says The Wrap, but the only one here you may have heard of is the Screen Actors Guild Awards. It will be out in time for consideration for the Academy Awards.

Variety says there was indeed new music from The Force Awakens in the Shondaland spot.

→ The cover for The Force Awakens novelization has been spotted on the Random House catalog (by Roqoo Depot first, I believe) and it’s… The poster. ‘Kay.

And in other movies…

→ Could Episode VIII return to Ireland? We know they’ve already shot on Skellig Michael, RTE thinks they’re looking at another location in County Kerry as well.

Jedi News claims to have the codename for Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s Han Solo spinoff.

Roundup: Did Gina Rodriguez get cast in Episode VIII? Does Finn have a last name after all?

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There’s a rumor that Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) got one of those (rumored) Episode VIII roles, but it’s based on Rian Johnson and John Boyega following her on Twitter, which, okay. To be fair, plenty of us read a random Rian Johnson tweet as a hint towards Gugu Mbatha-Raw, so maybe there’s something to it after all. Verdict: Maybe!

There’s another rumor going around regarding Finn’s last name. I won’t even link anyone who’s running it because it’s based on an unofficial description from a third-party Amazon listing, and shockingly, that is nowhere near a sound source. Verdict: Ha ha, no.

Daisy Ridley and John Boyega are adorable for ASOS; On Entertainment Tonight, Boyega geeks out of John Williams and getting to hear his own theme.

→ Also: An interview with Kathleen Kennedy, and a short Millennium Falcon-centric write-up of an article that appears in the members-only Disney 23 magazine. And hey, Domhnall Gleeson!