Vanity Fair isn’t the only magazine borrowing some Star Wars mojo this month. Wired today has ‘the definitive oral history of ILM,’ with George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg, Dennis Muren and more. (Including J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson.)
→ In an interview with Yahoo, Oscar Isaac talks about the security surrounding the production, and says that the fan theories “couldn’t be more far off-base.” Given that most of what we have is concept art and not necessarily indicative of the finished product? Yeah, probably.
→ Speaking of… Today Making Star Wars has TIE fighters and how the pilots board them.
→ The Telegraph looks into ILM in London.
→ Yesterday’s hot topic was that Warwick Davis saying he’s “excited by” the “chance to see members of the old cast in the poster,” which was (naturally) taken as a hint that we would see the alumni on the poster. Seeing as Davis himself clearly hasn’t seen it yet, that assumption seems a bit jumpy, but that’s the internet for you.
At the opening of Industrial Light & Magic’s new London studio, Kathleen Kennedy said that Lucasfilm is “within three weeks of finishing Episode VII.” I suspect she means the actual production period, but who knows. The London studio is working on Episode VII, The Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Ant-Man.
“We have 10 years of work ahead,” said Industrial Light & Magic president and general manager Lynwen Brennan as the company takes over a former Pixar facility in Vancouver. As much as one-third of the work on Episode VII will be done there. In addition to the various new Star Wars films, they’ll also be working on Warcraft and Jurassic World.
Through yonder Lando breaks. Ali Arikan say Billy Dee Williams is indeed on board for Episode VII. (Detailing on his last report.) Meanwhile, Fans Share (via) says Williams has been “insinuating” that he’s doing work on Rebels as well. Though a lot of that seems awfully familiar, so it may just be regurgitated rumor-mongering.
Business. The Hollywood Reporter has some details of what’s going on with ILM in London as the company beefs up in preparation for more Star Wars and Marvel (among others) work. They’re also expanding in Vancouver.
The circle is now complete! Mythbusters, the Discovery Channel show that attempts to confirm or bust urban legends and Hollywood magic by recreating the circumstances and using science to explain, is leading off their 2014 season with a special devoted to Star Wars.
The January 4 episode (Discovery at 8pm ET/PT) features hosts and former ILM special-effects experts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, along with team members Grant Imahara, Tory Belleci, and Kari Byron as they verify the plausibility of several epic Star Wars stunts. Joined by R2-D2, Chewbacca, members of the 501st Legion and actress Sophia Bush, the two build teams will take on some of the favorite scenes, hoping to find out answers to questions posed by Star Wars fans for years:
While we are eagerly awaiting news of how the bonus content for The Clone Wars will take shape, the show picked up nominations for the 41st Annie Awards, given out for the best in animation. Announced by ASIFA-Hollywood, nominations for The Clone Wars included two individual achievement categories: Keith Kellogg for Character Animation in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production and Jason W.A. Tucker for Editorial in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production. The nominations were released today, and the award winners will be announced in February.
Our frequent interviewee Michael Price, writer of the LEGO Star Wars specials earned a nomination for Writing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production for his work on The Simpsons. Juried awards have already been announced, including the Winsor McCay Awards to Steven Spielberg and Phil Tippett.
ILM also continued its streak of Annie award nominations, with four nominations, three of them in a single category of Animated Effects in a Live Action Production (two different teams for Star Trek Into Darkness and one for Pacific Rim). Another Pacific Rim ILM team got a nomination for Character Animation in a Live Action Production.
Welcome to the real Star Wars day, the anniversaries of the release dates of Star Wars and Return of the Jedi. Star Wars is 36 today; ROTJ is 30.
StarWars.com has a lengthy interview with Industrial Light & Magic effects guru Dennis Muren about ROTJ.
Hollywood.com shows us five new pics from Making of Return of the Jedi.
Wired has 30 things you didn’t know about Return of the Jedi – but knowing our audience, you probably already know most of them.
Businessweek reminds us that ROTJ made more money than ESB.
Noted parody hut The Onion has a commentary by ‘George Lucas:’ The Events Depicted In ‘Star Wars’ Actually Happened To Me.
And Babble’s Pilar Clark has a tour of Skywalker Ranch and Lucasfilm and the Letterman Digital Arts Center.
Finally, beneath the cut, the Revenge of the Jedi trailer. Because I can.
The Wrap reports that Industrial Light & Magic may open a facility in the United Kingdom to “take advantage of foreign tax subsidies.” They’ve been scouting in East London, their source reports.
Lucasfilm rep Miles Perkins told them ILM has no plans to leave the Bay Area, but going overseas offers certain advantages:
Perkins likened any expansion in London to ILM’s announcement in 2012 that it was establishing a hub in Vancouver to work on specific projects. Like the U.K., certain Canadian cities such Vancouver offer more generous post-production tax credits and subsidies than California.
We’ve already heard rumblings that Episode VII may return the franchise to filming in Britain.