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The roughly 30-year gap between Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens was reset by Disney and Lucasfilm shortly after the Mouse House bought George Lucas' empire and everything Star Wars related with it. Gone were the tales of Grand Admiral Thrawn and Mara Jade, replaced by new characters and events that have yet to be published.
The bridge between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens will be partially built through a series of new books and comics that will start hitting stores on September 4. One of those series is "Shattered Empire," and as the name implies, the destruction of the second Death Star and death of the Emperor was a huge defeat for the Rebellion, but it did not wipe the Empire off the face of the galaxy.
Here's the official synopsis from Previews World »
With Star Wars Celebration happening all weekend long, we thought it would be a good time to revisit a hidden gem in the franchise's canon, the 1983 TV documentary From Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga. The entire 65-minute film was split up into nine segments on the official Star Wars YouTube page last May, but in case you missed it last year, you can watch it all right here. The documentary, which aired on PBS in December 1983, was written by Richard Schickel, who previously wrote the TV documentaries The Making of Star Wars (1977) and Sp FX: The Empire Strikes Back.
Ever wonder how they ever made Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi? Well this documentary explains it all as we're taken on a behind-the-scenes tour of »
Robert Evans: The Kid Is Alright
I interviewed legendary Hollywood producer Robert Evans in 2002 for Venice Magazine, in conjunction with the release of the documentary "The Kid Stays in the Picture," adapted from his iconic autobiography and audiobook. Our chat took place at Woodland, Evans' storied estate in Beverly Hills, in his equally famous screening room, which mysteriously burned down a couple years later. Evans was still physically frail, having recently survived a series of strokes, but his mind, his wit and his charm were sharp as ever, with near total recall for people, places and stories. Many, many stories. Here are a few of them.
It’s a widely-held belief that the years 1967-76 represent the “golden age” of American cinema. Just look at a few of these titles: Rosemary’s Baby, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
In the heart of Paris, a repurposed monastery known as the Musee des Arts et Metiers serves as a technological shrine to human innovation, where school kids marvel at all manner of inventions, from Foucault’s pendulum to the first robots and computers. Now think how different that museum’s treasures might be had all the world’s best scientists disappeared from the face of the earth at the turn of the previous century, leaving Paris mired in the Age of Steam. That’s the alternate reality that graphic novelist Jacques Tardi imagined in “April and the Extraordinary World,” which has now inspired a dynamic animated sci-fi adventure that delivers on the lofty, retro-styled promise of “Tomorrowland” — or more aptly, “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” — in a way that stimulates the intellect of all who watch. The visually striking, hand-drawn toon should fare great in France, where it opens Oct. »
- Peter Debruge
Next year will be the return of the Harry Potter universe in a big way: as if the kickoff of the new trilogy, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (written by author J.K. Rowling herself, and directed by 4-time Potter vet David Yates), weren't enough, this week saw the announcement of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a stage play which explores and expands upon the existing Potter storyline. These examples, along with her frequent digressions into Pottermore to drop some backstory for miscellaneous characters, demonstrate that Rowling is not immune to the tendencies that seem to plague the creators of rich fantasy worlds: the inability to leave them once they're done. George Lucas, J.R.R. Tolkien (and Peter Jackson), and George Miller kept going...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
When director James Cameron was concocting 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, he knew that he needed its villain to evolve beyond Terminator’s formidable T-800, played — in both the original and the sequel — by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Enter the crew at George Lucas’s visual-effects studio Industrial Light & Magic (Ilm), who were ready to deploy sophisticated computer-generated imagery and create the “liquid-metal” assassin T-1000. Nearly a quarter-century later, in Terminator Genisys, which hits theaters July 1, the T-1000, played in T2 by Robert Patrick and now by Byung-hun Lee, will make its triumphant morphing return, but there’s nothing quite like the first time. Here, some of T2’s key visual-effects gurus, producers, and actors tell us how the most indelible aspect of this most memorable killer robot came to life.For 1989’s The Abyss, Cameron and Ilm made their initial breakthrough with a malleable CGI character that could take on human »
- Kenny Herzog
My first horror movie? Disney's "Return to Oz." I was in elementary school when I first watched Walter Murch's dark, visionary 1985 film, which was marketed to children despite being one of the most legitimately terrifying "family movies" of all time. It rattled me, deeply. I couldn't stop watching it. Released on June 21, 1985 to mixed reviews and poor box office, "Return to Oz" was the first and last directorial effort from esteemed Oscar-winning sound and film editor Walter Murch, who cut such acclaimed movies as "Julia," "Apocalypse Now," "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" and "The Talented Mr. Ripley." It was not, as they say, your grandmother's "Oz" movie. The Wicked Witch of the West may have been frightening for very young kids, but she was nothing compared to the devilish, head-swapping Princess Mombi, the sadistic, baritone-voiced Nome King, and, god help us, the cackling Wheelers, a group of fluorescent roller-derby »
- Chris Eggertsen
“The Kingdom of Morocco is among my most favorite places on earth, and thus the Marrakech International Film Festival is a joy to attend,” said Coppola. Added the helmer, “My Paternal Grandmother was born in North Africa (Tunisia) and I remember well the stories she told. All that personal history plus the fact that Morocco was the first country to recognize the American Colonies as an independent nation makes me feel most welcome.”
An American film icon, Coppola has won five Academy Awards and is best known for directing “The Godfather” trilogy and “Apocalypse Now.” Coppola also launched his own production vehicle, American Zoetrope, and produced movies directed by George Lucas, Carroll Ballard, John Milius as well as his daughter Sofia Coppola.
Marrakech film fest »
- Elsa Keslassy
Early on in Minions, three of the jabbering yellow blobs realise that to continue their quest to find a master they need to head to Orlando. “Orlando” they scream as they write “Orlando” on a sign so they can hitchhike to Orlando. Orlando, Orlando, Orlando. They are going to Orlando and you bloody well know it.
The gang want to visit Villain-Con (this is the sixties, so Orlando is still a cesspit, apparently), but the Florida city’s name is clearly being dropped to plant the home of Universal Studios in innocent children’s heads. This is the key to the problem at the heart of Minions. It’s not been made because someone thought there was a story to tell about the hench-things from Despicable Me. And nobody’s stepped in to lend such a cynical concept worth. Instead, right from the jabbering cover of the Universal Pictures opening logo, »
- Alex Leadbeater
A rich science-fiction world, full of weird and colourful characters who still ring true despite having massive animal ears or wings, with well-defined politics, an ancient conflict and a lead couple who you can’t help but root for with all your heart.
Unfortunately I’m not talking about Jupiter Ascending but the comic Saga... Sadly for the Wachowskis, who clearly put a lot of care and affection into their latest ambitious failure, Jupiter Ascending fails miserably in all the ways Saga succeeds.
But perhaps that’s an unfair comparison; I should judge Jupiter Ascending on its own terms. Inferior similarities to the beloved (and, to be fair, firmly established) comic aside, the film still starts out with a literal boatload of movie cliches: Jupiter (Mila Kunis) is the »
- Mark Allen
The universe of Star Wars is as vast and varied as any galactic civilization would be. But for every idea that made it to the big screen, there were dozens of concepts left behind. Including these two. #1: Yuzzums (Gesundheit!). Image Credit: Lucasfilm These little creatures that blend the adorable fluffiness of a childhood toy with the nightmarish beak and talons of a bird of prey would look right at home in any of the darker Jim Henson movies. Instead, they were originally meant to be second race on Endor for “The Return of the Jedi.” When the Wookiees were cut, Lucasfilm wanted some kind of tall alien creature to replace them. This is what they came up with. Allegedly the Yuzzums proved too costly to develop and were scrapped. However, the prototype Yuzzum ended up as a background character in Jabba’s palace and later got an “upgrade” to »
- Donna Dickens
"Cooley High" ought to be remembered as a cinema milestone, and its writer and director remembered as pioneers.
Released 40 years ago this week (on June 25, 1975), it ought to be celebrated for its vast influence on movies, TV, and music. As a young-men-coming-of-age movie, it deserves to be mentioned alongside Fellini's "I Vitelloni," George Lucas's "American Graffiti," Barry Levinson's "Diner," and John Singleton's "Boyz N the Hood." And yet, the film and its creators have been largely forgotten, lost to history.
The story behind "Cooley High" is even more dramatic than the comedy-drama that unspooled on the screen. It's the story of Kenneth Williams, who, like protagonist Preach, left Chicago's Cabrini-Green projects with dreams of becoming a Hollywood screenwriter. Having dropped out of high school, he hitchhiked from the Windy City to Hollywood with $5 in his pocket and no connections, and for a while he supported himself selling drugs. »
- Gary Susman
Anghus Houvouras with five film franchises on the fence…
In part one, we examined the worst film franchises passing through Hollywood like kidney stones wrapped in barbed wire. As we continue to look at examine the current state of film franchises that Hollywood has to offer, it felt like there were some that were neither movie masterpieces or unmitigated cinematic disasters. Some franchises are straddling the fence between ‘awesome’ and ‘awful’. Let’s take a look at the five movie franchises that delivered some highs and lows… whose ultimate film fate has yet to be determined.
Do I even need to waste word count on the greatness of the original? A masterpiece. Steven Spielberg’s best big budget movie and still the gold standard for special effects, which seems odd given that it’s 20+ years old. The Lost World: Jurassic Park is the definition of an uninspired, cliché ridden copy/paste sequel. »
- Anghus Houvouras
She may have had an acting career that spans almost 60 years, but Dame Judi Dench has confessed she has watched barely any of the dozens of films she has made over her lifetime.
Dench was speaking to Prince Edward in St James’s Palace on 23 June at an event celebrating the organisation Films Without Borders, a charity that teaches young people around the world the skills to make and produce films, and offers international internships on major film sets. George Lucas, Sam Mendes and Whoopi Goldberg spoke to the prince at a similar event in Windsor Castle last year.
Continue reading »
- Hannah Ellis-Petersen
With Jurassic World now officially the fastest movie to reach the $1 billion mark (in just thirteen days!), it seems as though the world has gone back to 1993 and dino-mania is running wild once again.
To celebrate the success of the movie, we’ve looked back through the history books to bring you five things you may not know about the Jurassic Park franchise.
Harrison Ford has always had a great working relationship with Steven Spielberg and his partner in crime George Lucas. Not only was he the star of Spielberg’s ode to adventure serials of the 1930s and 40s, Raiders of the Lost Ark and its subsequent Indiana Jones sequels, but he was also featured in American Graffiti and the Star Wars trilogy, the products of George Lucas. »
- Luke Owen
Sandy Cohen, AP Entertainment Writer
Los Angeles (AP) - James Horner, who composed music for dozens of films and won two Oscars for his work on "Titanic," died when his plane crashed in Southern California, his agents confirmed Tuesday. He was 61.
Agents Michael Gorfaine and Sam Schwartz issued a statement saying Horner had died, although official confirmation could take several days while the Ventura County coroner works to identify the remains of the pilot, who was the only person on board.
People who fueled the plane at an airport in Camarillo confirmed that he took off in the aircraft Monday morning, said Horner's attorney, Jay Cooper.
The S-312 Tucano MK1 turboprop crashed and burned in a remote area of the Los Padres National Forest, about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
Horner's credits ran the gamut From big-budget blockbusters to foreign-language indies. He even composed the theme song for the "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. »
- The Associated Press
The Lucasfilm president has joined the board of councilors of the USC School Of Cinematic Arts.
The board plays a key role in the School’s planning and development and supports its fundraising efforts.
Prior to joining Lucasfilm, Kennedy headed The Kennedy/Marshall Company, which she founded in 1992 with director/producer Frank Marshall. She co-founded Amblin Entertainment with Marshall and Steven Spielberg in 1982.
In other news, computational scientist Dr Bryan Smith has joined New Zealand marketing data and analytics specialist Movio as chief data scientist. »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
As if she didn't have enough to do, super-achiever president of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy, with a raft of "Star Wars" sequels in the works, is joining the USC School of Cinematic Arts (Sca) Board of Councilors, announced Dean Elizabeth M. Daley. Typically, Kennedy joins a board comprised entirely of film and TV industry alpha males, except for alpha female Shonda Rhimes: 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 M. Mechanic, Barry Meyer, Les Moonves, Sidney Poitier, John Riccitiello, Barney Rosenzweig, Scott Sassa, Steven Spielberg, Kevin Tsuijihara, John Wells, Jim Wiatt, Paul Junger Witt and Robert Zemeckis. Prior to joining Lucasfilm in 2012 to take over the reins from George Lucas, Kennedy headed The Kennedy/Marshall Company, which she »
- Anne Thompson
Horner's assistant Sylvia Wells confirmed his death on Facebook, writing, "A great tragedy has struck my family today, and I will not be around for a while. I would like some privacy and time to heal. We have lost an amazing person with a huge heart, and unbelievable talent. He died doing what he loved." Celine Dion tweeted about his death, writing, "Rene and I are deeply saddened by the tragic death of James Horner. »
- TMZ Staff
Few comics sit at the intersection of “fan beloved,” “industry defining,” and “absolutely impossible to acquire” the way the EC Comics library does. For a while they almost felt like Comics’ very own Holy Grail. On one hand, you’ve got the Tales From The Crypt brand itself, which has left an indelible mark on pop culture with films, cable TV series, Saturday morning cartoons, and a line of revival graphic novels from Papercutz — a proud legacy, to be sure. But on the other hand, you enter into the more nebulous region of pop cultural osmosis, and it’s there that the legend of Bill Gaines’ little comic line that could grows to gargantuan levels. The baby boomers that ate his ghoulish “mags” up in the early ‘50s eventually grew into the genre fiction movers and shakers of the ‘70s and ‘80s — from cult directors like George Romero and Joe Dante, »
- Luke Dorian Blackwood
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