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Portman first worked with Nichols in an all-star production of Chekhov's The Seagull in 2001, while she was in between Star Wars movies.
"Star Wars had come out around the time of Seagull, and everyone thought I was a horrible actress," she told NY Magazine.
"I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me.
Portman also credited Nichols »
Following her superb debut in Luc Besson's Leon, back when she was just 13 years old, Natalie Portman attracted the attention of the Star Wars casting team. Thus, she was cast as Padme Amidala in George Lucas' Star Wars prequel trilogy, kicking off with The Phantom Menace, and ending with 2005's Revenge Of The Sith.
However, whilst the movies made an awful lot of money, there was a consequence for Portman, who was stuck in what ultimately seemed quite an unforgiving role. Talking to New Yorker magazine, she revealed that once Star Wars had come out, "everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me".
The man who came to her rescue was the late, great Mike Nichols, »
Strange Magic, a new animated film from Lucasfilm Ltd., is a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion.
Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Industrial Light & Magic bring to life the fanciful forest turned upside down with world-class animation and visual effects. music producer Marius de Vries (Moulin Rouge) serves as both the musical director and composer.
- Michelle McCue
Following the initial announcement and the first trailer released last month, Walt Disney Pictures has debuted the first official poster for Strange Magic. This animated adventure comes from the mind of Star Wars creator George Lucas, who conceived the initial story and serves as an executive producer. This new one-sheet showcases just a few of the magical creatures that fans will get to see when Strange Magic hits theaters next month.
Strange Magic, a new animated film from Lucasfilm Ltd., is a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion. Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Industrial Light & Magic bring to life the fanciful forest turned upside down with world-class animation and visual effects.
The voice cast of Strange Magic, »
The president and CEO of CBS Corporation has joined the USC School Of Cinematic Arts board of councillors, Dean Elizabeth M Daley announced.
“Les is an innovator whose insights and creative energy are legendary,” said Daley. “His experience spans the entire media landscape so in addition to contributing to the overall vision and goals of the school, Les has the kind of practical knowledge that will benefit all our divisions.”
Board councillors include chair Frank Price, Frank Biondi, Jr, Barry Diller, Lee Gabler, David Geffen, Jim Gianopulos, Brian Grazer, Brad Grey, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Alan Levine, George Lucas, Michael Lynton, Don Mattrick, Bill Mechanic, Barry Meyer, Sidney Poitier, John Riccitiello, Barney Rosenzweig, Scott Sassa, Steven Spielberg, John Wells, Jim Wiatt, Paul Junger Witt and Robert Zemeckis.
“The board of councillors is dedicated to making sure students at the School Of Cinematic Arts have the resources they need to prepare for careers in the industry,” said Price. “Les »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Warner Bros. Pictures
After three years, eight hours of (48 fps) film and so much CGI George Lucas is blushing, Peter Jackson’s unexpected second journey into Middle-Earth is at an end. And that naturally means now The Hobbit Trilogy can be properly evaluated, which is still the cause of much debate.
The ultimate outcome is one of division. Some fans are delighted to get to spend some more time in Middle-Earth, while others watched the movies head-in-hands, viewing this trilogy on a level below the Star Wars prequels. No matter which camp you fall into, however, there’s no denying that Peter Jackson sure knows his Tolkien and has stuffed the films full of enjoyable easter eggs and references for fans to pick up.
With The Battle Of The Five Armies cleaning up at the box office, come along and take a look at ten things in the final part »
- Alex Leadbeater
With rumours arriving that The Walking Dead spin-off may be a prequel, hot on the heels of the news that Syfy is pursuing a series about Superman's grandfather, titled Krypton, there are officially no more jokes. Anything you might say about making a comic book series set some ridiculous amount of time before the real story starts happening, can and will be seriously considered as a pitch by some network, somewhere.
A Newsroom-style series about The Daily Planet before Clark Kent started working there? A psychological procedural featuring Dr. Harleen Quinzel but no Joker? A jungle-set adventure series about Gorilla Grodd's granddad? We could keep going until the phone rings and someone makes us an offer for a pilot, but that would be an unnecessary amount of pre-amble before getting to the point, »
Vulture has an article featuring Robert Redford, Julia Roberts, Eric Idle and Natalie Portman remembering the late Mike Nichols and the effect he had on their lives and careers and an interesting passage comes via Portman who remembers how Nichols helped her find work after starring in George Lucas' Star Wars prequels. Star Wars had come out around the time of 'Seagull', and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me. Mike wrote a letter to Anthony Minghella and said, "Put her in Cold Mountain, I vouch for her." And then Anthony passed me on to Tom Tykwer, who passed me on to the Wachowskis. Portman, of course, would later star in Closer for Nichols, for which she won a Golden Globe and would be nominated for an Oscar, but to the point »
- Brad Brevet
In 1997, Natalie Portman landed the coveted role of Padme Amidala in George Lucas’ Star Wars prequels. The films cleaned up at the box office, however, they left her acting career in the toilet as many people in Hollywood weren't impressed with her performances. Luckily, the late, great director Mike Nichols ("The Birdcage") went to bat for her. "Star Wars had come out … and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me. Mike wrote a letter to Anthony Minghella and said, ‘Put her in Cold Mountain, I vouch for her.’ And then Anthony passed me on to Tom Tykwer, who passed me on to the Wachowskis." I always thought Portman appeared to be worse than she was because of the wooden dialogue, lazy direction and having zero chemistry with Hayden Christensen ("Shattered Glass"). Guess it »
Currently, everyone.s collectively excited for John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac. They are the newcomers to the Star Wars universe, and most assume that landing high-profile gigs in The Force Awakens can only boost their individual careers. Well, Natalie Portman would like to remind them that Star Wars isn.t always the benefit fans might assume it to be. Natalie Portman, of course, held down the pivotal role of Padme Amidala in George Lucas. prequel trilogy, starting with Star Wars: Episode I . The Phantom Menace. But the way Portman remembers it, the films did more harm than good. While speaking with New York Magazine about the ways that the late film director Mike Nichols influenced her career, Portman recalls: Star Wars had come out . and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted »
Making a beloved Christmas special can be a daunting task. But the basics for a decent holiday special are simple: a happy moral lesson, some winter cheer, and absolutely no death, kidnapping, or insanity.
Really, during the holidays, all people want to do is relax, sit down with their families, and watch wholesome entertainment that won't leave anyone psychologically scarred or emotionally confused for years to come. That is why it is absolutely inexplicable that these totally bonkers holiday specials ever made it onto TV.
1. Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (1977)
This depressing Christmas special takes place during the days of the Roman Empire, and tells the story of a donkey with freakishly long ears that is disliked and made fun of by all the other animals in the stable.
News: All of Santa's Reindeer, Ranked From Best to Worst
Essentially, the story is just a weird version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, only with a »
Harrison Ford hasn.t mentioned anything about Star Wars: The Force Awakens publically. Even Carrie Fisher has been mum since that amazing first trailer dropped. But their colleague Mark Hamill has been his usual chatty, open self, talking about the young talent involved in the new cast, and how he never dreamed he.d Ever get an opportunity to hold Luke Skywalker.s lightsaber again. "The fact that [Star Wars] is so special to so many people . it.s hard to believe you could take something for granted like that," Mark Hamill tells EW in an interview. Especially when you consider the fact that George Lucas had basically led Hamill to believe that he.d never be Skywalker again. The way the actor tells it, he says: We had a beginning, middle, and an end. And I certainly, in a million years, never expected to return. I thought, even if »
Iconic. Rousing. Pure fucking geek magic. Such are some of the choice adjectives we’d use to describe John Williams' immortal “Star Wars” theme, a piece of music that sends fanboys into a collective spasm of joyous exuberance upon its very first notes. With the internet positively abuzz from that scintillating first teaser for J.J. Abrams' upcoming 'The Force Awakens'—which George Lucas still claims not to have seen—many have chosen to look back at the original “Star Wars” films and their enduring influence on today’s pop culture (indeed, something like “Guardians of the Galaxy” would be impossible to imagine without the original trilogy). Love them or hate them—and unlike the newer, decidedly digital episodes that Lucas directed from the late '90’s to the early 2000’s, which were more or less unanimously derided, there is a bit of a divide here—the “Star Wars »
- Nicholas Laskin
The Southbank venue played host to showings of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi with special guests Paul Blake (Greedo), Garrick Hagon (Rebel pilot Biggs Darklighter), Anthony Forrest (Mos Eisley roadblock stormtrooper), Anne Skinner (script supervisor) and Harley Cokeliss (2nd Unit Director) on hand to discuss the sci-fi movies.
Lando Calrissian star Billy Dee Williams also took part in an exclusive filmed interview before Empire Strikes Back and Jabba the Hutt puppeteer Toby Philpott joined in for a post-Return of the Jedi Q&A.
The BFI's Benugo bar offered fans Mos Eisley Cantina-themed drinks, while Lego tables decked out the foyer for those wanting to build Star Wars models.
The day also saw prizes being dished out for the best »
When Disney purchased Lucasfilm a couple of years ago, two legendary properties went into the Mouse House's possession. These projects were George Lucas' two biggest money printers of all time - Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Were Disney to ever use both of these valuable money makers to their full potential, they would become even more powerful than they already are, what with their Marvel Studios acquisition still paying off like gangbusters. While Star Wars found its way into the light easily, it looks like Indiana Jones might not be terribly far off itself. Marc Graser, senior editor at Variety tweeted some inside knowledge that he'd scooped about reviving the in limbo franchise that brought us such high points as Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade and such low points as Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. The tweet quoted Bob Iger, Disney's CEO, and it »
There have been far better years for family entertainment, and for animated films, than 2014. Whilst there have been highlights - Paddington, The Wind Rises, How To Train Your Dragon 2, The Boxtrolls - the mix of material on offer hasn't particularly sparkled.
A quick glance at the 2015 release schedule suggests, to a degree, the same, with some notably absentees from the year's releases. And yet as we dug deeper for our traditional look ahead at the year's animated films, there might just be some real treats here. Starting with this one...
Rydstrom, a hugely acclaimed sound designer, »
The launch of the first teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens focused on the newer members of the ensemble for J.J. Abrams’ film - John Boyega, Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac. Noticeably absent were any of the original starring trio including Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. But as Hamill explains, that was by design.“This is about the new generation of characters; I think that’s the most important thing,” he tells Yahoo Movies. “It’s the opening act of a whole new approach to the storytelling. So I never thought that the stories would be – first of all, I never thought I’d be involved in it again, period. And then when George Lucas said that they wanted to do more, I rightly assumed that it wouldn’t be our story, because we had a beginning, a middle, and an end. This must be our offspring and the current generation, »
2014 has been yet another fantastic year for television, one that continued the nichification of the medium, with highly specific and underrepresented voices breaking through in every genre. There was a comedy explosion, particularly on cable, with dozens of new series presenting confident first seasons and several returning shows reaching new heights. The dramas didn’t disappoint either, with visionary creators bringing new life to familiar settings and taking greater risks with their returning series, deepening their worlds. Throughout the year, directors and cinematographers brought lush visuals, composers pushed the auditory envelope, and an astonishing number of actors gave fantastic, memorable performances. More than a few shows delivered spectacle on a weekly basis, while others went small, deriving incredible power out of stillness and self-reflection. Some series swept the audience up, week in and week out, and others built subtly, only showing their hand in their season’s final episodes. There »
“That is what I call my contractually obligated beard,” Hamill told Yahoo Movies. “I never got used to it. But face foliage is almost a part of the costume. And it does bring a gravitas, perhaps unearned, but nevertheless, it makes a statement that they wanted to make, and I’m more than happy to oblige them.”
The first teaser trailer for “The Force Awakens” sparked plenty of conversation (and imitation) after rolling out online and in select theaters over Thanksgiving weekend. “Star Wars” creator George Lucas recently admitted that he hadn’t seen the trailer.
Hamill, on the other hand, said he watched the new footage online, and the genre icon seemed enthusiastic about the response: “The great thrill for me »
- Marianne Zumberge
You’ll recall that when Disney bought LucasFilm they not only acquired the rights to the “Star Wars” series, but also to George Lucas’ “Indiana Jones” franchise. The presumed idea was more “Indiana Jones” movies, and probably at least one more with Harrison Ford in the lead. The last rumors booted around the possibility of a reboot with a younger actor like Bradley Cooper in the lead, which was quickly denied by 'Indy' writer Frank Darabont (“This is an internet rumor with not a shred of truth in it,” he said.) Ok, fine, fair enough. So what’s the status now? Disney honcho Bob Iger spoke to Variety today and told a group of trade reporters, “We'd love to make another Indiana Jones movie but we're pacing ourselves right now.” The idea is that “Star Wars” is first (naturally) and that ‘Indy’ will come in good time. Ok, but Harrison Ford »
- Edward Davis
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