Movie News: Goblet of Fire, Serenity, and more

Actress Julie Walters confirms that there will be no Mrs. Weasley in the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire adaptation.

A second test screening of Joss Whedon’s Serenity took place last week. Unlike the first screening, the audience consisted of many who weren’t Firefly fans, and AICN has a few of their comments. The film is currently set to open in September.

Producer Robert Tapert addresses fan concerns over the Evil Dead remake.

Stellan Skarsg

Celebs at Celebration

Nick Gillard, Lucasfilm’s swordmaster and stunt coordinator for the prequels, will be at CIII. No events have been announced yet, but hopefully it’s not inconceivable that a demonstration will be involved.

We don’t have actual names, but C2 Ventures, who are responsible for bring autographing Star Wars celebrities to Celebration II and GenCon, will be back for Celebration III next April. They’ll be providing early hours for Fan Club members.

Wantons, clear your shelves…

April brings a lot of Star War novels – now you can update your list with one more. The Desperate Mission, first book of The Last of the Jedi series by Jude Watson, will be released April 2nd:

Obi-Wan Kenobi is in hiding, mourning the loss of his fellow Jedi, and devastated by the betrayal of his former Padawan. He has been tasked to watch over and protect a young child who may hold the key to the galaxy’s salvation.

But when Obi-Wan finds out that a former Jedi apprentice has survived, he must make a painful decision: whether to stay on Tatooine to preserve the future of the Jedi, or voyage into the heart of the Empire on one last desperate mission.

Also on the official site: An interview with James Luceno on Labyrinth of Evil.

Natalie Portman Scores Oscar Nom

Sorry. I’ve always had this secret wish to write a Variety-type headline.

At any rate, Natalie Portman has been nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category for her work in the film Closer.

Big congratulations to her! We wish her all the best and hope she goes for her usual sophisticated fashion style, rather than the dress for which she was panned at the Golden Globes. (Let’s be honest about this, shall we?)

Naturally, John Williams is back for his work in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. (Would it really be the Oscars without him?) And I suspect ILM and/or Skywalker Sound are somewhere in the mix on the technical awards.

And our condolences to Liam Neeson for his snub. He’ll always be Qui-Gon Jinn to us!

In related news that will make many members of Club Jade happy, Johnny Depp has been nominated (again) in the Best Actor category. And Finding Neverland is up for 7 awards, total.

Warm up those wallets…

Have you been saving your Republic credits? Because Lucasfilms’ licensees have a lot in store for you, this year:

The Celebration 3 Exclusive Figure

The Official Pix license awarded to C2 Ventures

The new line of stickers from Mello Smello (alas, not scratch’n’sniff)

The Hallmark Ornaments for 2005

The ROTS Topps Cards (Spoilers abound!)

This just adds to the list that includes the previously announced books, action figures and the rather nifty, yet oh-so-pricey, window blinds.

Must start playing the lottery, again.

A Half-Blood Princess…

A hearty congratulations to JK Rowling and her husband on the arrival of her new baby girl on Sunday.

We are greatly pleased that the little tyke timed it so that her mother could finish the next installment of Harry Potter, first. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will be clocking in at 672 pages, with a special edition containing 32 pages of artwork. (Big thanks to The Leaky Cauldron for feeding us our Harry Potter tidbits.)