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It was revealed not too long that writer Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli) had left Gareth Edwards’ untitled Star Wars spinoff upon completion of the movie’s first draft. Various sites reported at the time that Simon Kinberg might be brought in as a replacement, but it is in fact Chris Weitz who has landed the job!
Even if the name isn’t familiar, his work should be.
The Academy Award nominated screenwriter’s writing credits include About A Boy and The Twilight Saga: New Moon. He also penned Kenneth Branagh’s (Thor) upcoming live-action remake of classic Disney fairytale Cinderella.
Weitz is also an author (he’s currently working on a new series of Ya novels) and director, and helmed the Oscar nominated A Better Life and The Golden Compass. That’s a varied and impressive CV to say the least!
It’s still not clear what this movie will focus on, »
- Josh Wilding
Joe Swanberg continues his march toward the mainstream even as he deepens his signature brand of hangout film in “Digging for Fire,” a lovely slice of everything and nothing centered on a housesitting couple who discover possible evidence of a murder. There are feints toward a bona fide mystery plot, but that genre element is just a pretext for a stealth marital drama. The film is held together through strong improv, tight editing (by Swanberg himself), moody cinematography and a synth score (from Dan Romer) that parties like it’s 1991. This is Swanberg’s starriest picture to date — even if some appearances, like Jenny Slate’s, amount to glorified walk-ons — making breakout success eminently possible.
Concerning the adventures of married parents Tim (co-screenwriter Jake Johnson) and Lee (Rosemarie DeWitt), “Digging for Fire” opens with the two of them and their son, Jude (played by Swanberg’s toddler, Jude, the finest »
- Ben Kenigsberg
After completing a first draft of the script, Gary Whitta left Gareth Edwards' Star Wars project to work on Matthew Vaughn's adaptation of Mark Millar's Starlight; but it seems a more than suitable replacement has been found. Simon Kinberg had been rumored but according to The Hollywood Reporter, Chris Weitz (who received an Oscar nomination for his adapted screenplay for About A Boy) will take over writing duties on the film, the plot of which still remains a mystery. The most recent rumors however, point to both fan-favorite bounty hunter Boba Fett and Han Solo being the focus. Can we expect this to be a trend with this new batch of Star Wars films? After working on a treatment for The Force Awakens, Michael Arndt handed over the pen to J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan. Weitz also wrote the script for Disney's upcoming live-action take on Cinderella, »
Yesterday we learned that Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Felicity Jones (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), and Rooney Mara (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) are up for the female lead in the standalone Star Wars spinoff film being directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla). Looks like there's going to be a little sibling rivalry, because according to Justin Kroll of Variety, Rooney's sister Kate Mara (House of Cards, Fantastic Four) is also testing for the role.
— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) January 21, 2015
Unfortunately, we have absolutely no idea who she will be playing. We can't even really speculate because we don't even know what the story for the film will even be about. All we know for sure is that it will take place in the Star Wars universe.
- Joey Paur
Just last week, writer Gary Whitta completed his draft of Godzilla director Gareth Edwards' upcoming Star Wars spin-off film and left the project to pursue other work. Now casting for the film is revving up, and THR reports that Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany and Girl With The Dragon Tattoo remake headliner Rooney Mara are auditioning for the female lead. Felicity Jones (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Theory of Everything) is also supposedly on the studio's "want list," but there could be a scheduling conflict with Ron Howard's Da Vinci Code sequel, Inferno, which is shooting this spring and summer. The untitled Star Wars project would presumably need to get rolling about that same time, considering it already has a release date of December 16th, 2016.
The report says that Maslany is currently testing for the role, while Mara and "a handful of others" will audition this week. Both »
- Ben Pearson
As anticipation continues to grow for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, original Star Wars creator George Lucas revealed earlier this month that he had started to develop a new trilogy just before selling LucasFilm to Disney. It was believed that Disney may have used some of George's ideas while developing Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but, in a new interview with CinemaBlend, the filmmaker claims that isn't true, and that Disney got rid of all his ideas.
"The ones that I sold to Disney, they came up to the decision that they didn't really want to do those. So they made up their own. So it's not the ones that I originally wrote [on screen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens]"
Last week, George Lucas revealed that he had finally seen the teaser trailer, and that he was impressed with the first footage. He also claimed that he "has no idea what they're doing" with the movie. »
Having retired from the Star Wars franchise, George Lucas has previously stated that he was yet to watch the first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. However, he has now revealed that he caught the trailer while attending the cinema, telling Page Six: “I saw the trailer. I saw it in a theater because I don’t watch movies online.” When asked if he liked it, he smiled. “Yeah, it was intriguing.”
Meanwhile, Lucas also spoke to Cinema Blend about his initial vision for the Sequel Trilogy (you may recall that Michael Arndt had written treatments for the three films when Lucas was still in charge of the Saga, with J.J. Abrams subsequently rewriting Episode VII’s script with Lawrence Kasdan, and reportedly shifting the focus from new characters to the old guard):
“The ones that I sold to Disney, they came up to the decision that »
- Thomas Roach
Here’s a difficult revelation for those of us who grew up trusting in George Lucas, regardless of what we think of the Star Wars prequels: the franchise’s creator had ideas plotted out for Episode VII and beyond, but Disney scrapped them all for their upcoming trilogy. In an interview with Cinema Blend to promote Strange Magic, Lucas states that he sold the sequel outlines along with Lucasfilm and the rights to all things Star Wars, and “[Disney] came up to the decision that they didn’t really want to do those. So they made up their own.” On the one hand, maybe they were bad, as in focused on trade agreements or something similarly convoluted. But on the other hand, Lucas devised the Star Wars universe to such an amazing degree back in the beginning that there’s never been anything comparable in terms of movie world-building. Disney already scrapped the expanded universe, and »
- Christopher Campbell
“What we’re buying, along with the overall company, is a pretty extensive and detailed treatment for what would be the next three movies. The trilogy,” Disney CFO Jay Rasulo announced in the fall of 2012 when the mouse house purchased Lucasfilm for $4 billion and some change. And for a while, the notion was that George Lucas' vision for the next three chapters of the universe he birthed would form the foundation that the team assembled for the movies would work from. But as time has passed, there has been less and less mention of those treatments, and indeed some rumors of fallout over the direction of the new trilogy. Slashfilm notes chatter that original 'The Force Awakens' scribe Michael Arndt was more in line with Lucas, who wanted the new movie to focus on the younger, new characters, while Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams were eager to put Luke, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Art by darthtemoc
We know that George Lucas was developing a new trilogy of Star Wars films before he sold Lucasfilm to Disney. I've been curious to know how much of the story he was developing made it into J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens - and now we know.
Early on in the development process, Lucas gave his story notes and outlines to screenwriter Michael Arndt, who was the first screenwriter to work on the project. When Abrams came on board as director, Abrams wasn't on board with Arndt's vision, so he took over the writing duties with Lawrence Kasdan.
In an interview with CimemaBlend, Lucas was asked about his original idea for Episode VII, and this was his response:
"The ones that I sold to Disney, they came up to the decision that they didn't really want to do those. So they made up their own. »
- Joey Paur
In addition to von Sydow, the film also stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Domhall Gleeson, Andy Serkis, Adam Driver, Gwendoline Christie, John Boyega, Anthony Daniels and Daisy Ridley.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theatres December 18, 2015.
Source: Star Wars Latino »
- Philip Sticco
George Lucas decided not to direct Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens and let Disney do their thing with his outline for a third trilogy in the saga of the Skywalker clan. When Disney purchased Lucasfilm a couple of years ago, that included the script treatment for three films that Lucas had prepared for them. Now, it turns out that treatment is not being used at all for the J.J. Abrams/Lawrence Kasdan scripted sequel. Doing press for the upcoming Strange Magic, Lucas told Cinema »
- Alex Maidy
Earlier this week, George Lucas revealed that he originally intended to make Star Wars Episode VII before selling LucasFilm to Disney for $4 billion back in 2012. While it was always assumed that he had plans for the next three chapters in the Skywalker family story, it has become quite clear that he hasn't had much input on the new sequels. Out promoting his latest project Strange Magic, an animated fantasy adventure he created, he reveals that he knows nothing at all about the story of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Asked back in early December if he'd seen the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer yet, he revealed he hadn't. And he seemed rather aloof about the whole thing. Asked if he had any interested at all in the new trilogy, he stated, 'Not really.' Now, in an interview with Screen Rant, he says he has seen the trailer, »
Harold Ramis, the man behind "Ghostbusters" and "Groundhog Day," passed away last February at the age of 69. Like many, the Writers Guild of America hasn't forgotten the impact he made over a 38-year career. The organization announced Tuesday that they will honor the writer/director/actor with the WGA's 2015 Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement at the Writers Guild Awards ceremony next month. Ramis' wife, Erica Mann Ramis, and family will accept the award on his behalf. In a release, WGAw Vice President Howard A. Rodman noted, "Harold Ramis changed the face of comedy. His death last year deprived us of his unique way of seeing the world, at once hilarious and wise. From his early work with 'National Lampoon' and 'Sctv' through 'Animal House,' 'Meatballs,' 'Caddyshack' and 'Ghostbusters,' Ramis' voice was strong, clear, outrageous in all the best ways. His unrealized projects »
- Gregory Ellwood
The Writers Guild of America West has selected the late Harold Ramis as the recipient of its Laurel Award for screenwriting achievement.
The award will be presented at the WGA Awards ceremony on Feb. 14, with Erica Mann Ramis and family accepting.
“Harold Ramis changed the face of comedy,” said WGA West VP Howard A. Rodman. “His death last year deprived us of his unique way of seeing the world, at once hilarious and wise. From his early work with National Lampoon and Sctv through ‘Animal House,’ ‘Meatballs,’ ‘Caddyshack’ and ‘Ghostbusters,’ Ramis’ voice was strong, clear, outrageous in all the best ways.”
“His unrealized projects – an adaptation of ‘Confederacy of Dunces,’ a biopic about Emma Goldman – leave us aching with an anticipation that will never be fulfilled,” Rodman added. “And then there’s ‘Groundhog Day,’ one of modern cinema’s few true masterworks, a film that is impeccably crafted, morally astute, »
- Dave McNary
The Writers Guild of America, West has chosen late screenwriter-director-actor-producer Harold Ramis to receive its Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement, awarded to a Writers Guild member who has advanced the literature of motion pictures and made outstanding contributions to the profession of the screenwriter. Erica Mann Ramis and family will accept the award on Ramis’ behalf at the Writers Guild Awards ceremony on Saturday, February 14. Harold Ramis passed away on February 24, 2014 at the age of 69. From today’s announcement:
“Harold Ramis changed the face of comedy. His death last year deprived us of his unique way of seeing the world, at once hilarious and wise. From his early work with National Lampoon and Sctv through Animal House, Meatballs, Caddyshack, and Ghostbusters, Ramis’ voice was strong, clear, outrageous in all the best ways. His unrealized projects – an adaptation of Confederacy of Dunces, a biopic about Emma Goldman – leave us aching with »
- Denise Petski
Whitta penned the first drafts of the screenplay, and now a new writer is expected to come in and work with Edwards to re-write and polish it - much like the way Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams took over from Michael Arndt on the script for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens".
So who's replacing him? It is not yet confirmed but today came a report on Slashfilm which suggests that Simon Kinberg ("X-Men: Days of Future Past," "Sherlock Holmes," "Mr. and Mrs. Smith") will take over.
Kinberg would be an understandable choice, he's already heavily involved in the "Star Wars" universe as he created and serves as executive producer on Disney's "Star Wars: Rebels" cartoon. He also served as a consultant on "Star Wars: The Force Awakens, »
- Garth Franklin
Much like their episodic next of kin, Disney has ensured that the Star Wars spinoff movies have remained cloaked in secrecy since their announcement. From what we understand, the studio intends to release a series of origin movies intermittently between the new-fangled trilogy, with rumors indicating that these standalone flicks will focus on the likes of Han Solo, Boba Fett and Yoda.
And though it remains unconfirmed, the latter character will purportedly act as the crux of Gareth Edwards’ spinoff film, which has The Book of Eli scribe Gary Whitta on board to write the script; until yesterday, that is, after The Hollywood Reporter learned that the screenwriter has left the as-yet-untitled Star Wars film to pursue a new project.
- Michael Briers
A few weeks after an infamous e-mail was leaked from the Sony Hacking scandal, where the Columbia President of Production said "except Whitta whom I think blows," it looks like the writer and LucasFilm are parting ways. Whitta apparently turned in a first draft of the standalone Star Wars spinoff he wrote for Gareth Edwards (Godzilla), and that was the end of that.
The break-up appears to be amicable, with both sides expressing gratitude for the opportunity, but it stands to reason that if LucasFilm loved what they saw that Whitta wouldn't be going anywhere. They likely responded with a bunch of notes and critiques, or told him they'd be bringing in other writers to rewrite his work, and that was enough for him to walk off.
The After Earth writer may now be »
- Mario-Francisco Robles
Screenwriter Gary Whitta is parting ways with the Untitled Gareth Edwards Directed Star Wars Spin-Off, after recently completing his first draft of the screenplay. The writer had been working with director Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) on the project, but now he is moving on, as the spinoff goes in search of a new writer. Here's what Gareth Edwards had to say in a statement about Gary Whitta's contributions to the project.
"Gary has been a wonderful, inspired contributor and I enjoyed working with him tremendously. I'm so grateful for all of his contributions."
Gary Whitta also offered his own statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
"The year I spent working with Lucasfilm on this Star Wars film has been by far the most rewarding period of my entire career. As a lifelong Star Wars fan I'm deeply grateful to have had the rare opportunity to contribute to a new chapter in its ongoing cinematic legacy. »
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