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Writer and director Jason Reitman recently did a live script read for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and he managed to bring together a hell of a cast. The actors involved with the project included Aaron Paul as Luke Skywalker, Ellen Page as Han Solo, Jessica Alba as Princess Leia, J.K. Simmons as Darth Vader, Stephen Merchant as C3P0, Dennis Haysbert as Lando Calrissian, Kevin Pollack as Yoda, and Mark Hamill came in to take the roles of the Emperor and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
We have about a minute of video from the event to show you that was posted by Allison Dorenbosch. The scene that the video showcases is the classic "I know" moment right before Han is frozen in carbonite.
"Han turns to Princess Leia, they look sorrowfully at one another, and Han moves towards her to give her a final passionate kiss."
No. Page and Alba do not kiss, »
- Joey Paur
“Welcome to the first live screening of ‘The Interview!’”
So teased Jason Reitman at the start of Thursday’s live reading of “The Empire Strikes Back” held in downtown Los Angeles. The event, part of Film Independent’s Live Read series, was moved from its previous home at Lacma to the larger Ace Hotel Theatre due to audience demand.
“We needed a few more seats for this one,” quipped Reitman, who directs the events.
Costumed characters dressed as Stormtroopers and X-Wing Pilots entertained fans outside the historic theater, while a fully-motorized R2-D2 posed for photos inside the lobby as John Williams’ classic theme music played in the background.
But it was the surprise appearance of beloved Star Wars icon Mark Hamill, reading the roles of Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Emperor, that brought the audience to its feet for a spontaneous standing ovation.
“I hope I pass the audition,” Hamill joked as the applause continued. »
- Matthew Chernov
Jason Reitman unveiled a surprise at his live reading of “The Empire Strikes Back” on Thursday night, and the crowd that packed the Ace Theater in downtown Los Angeles couldn’t have been more excited if he’d shown footage from the new “Star Wars” movie that’s due to open a year from now.
Reitman’s surprise, though, looked back rather than forward. After he’d introduced the cast that would be doing one of the celebrated live reads that Reitman regularly stages for Film Independent – a cast that included Aaron Paul as Luke Skywalker, J.K. Simmons as Darth Vader, »
- Steve Pond
A few nights ago I shared with you information regarding Jason Reitman’s upcoming live-read of Irvin Kershner’s The Empire Strikes Back script. If you’re not familiar, it’s basically when he gets some great talent to read an awesome script live on stage for one night only. The cast for Star Wars so far includes: Aaron Paul as Luke Skywalker, J.K. Simmons as Darth Vader, Stephen Merchant as C-3P0, Dennis Haysbert as Lando Calrissian, and Kevin Pollack as »
- Graham McMorrow
In exactly one year, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" will land in theaters, so what can you do to fill the 365-day gap until then? Well, you can watch the previous six 'Star Wars' films over and over, or dive into the franchise's books, video games, and spin-off shows. Or, if you live in Los Angeles, you can see "Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back" recreated in a way you've never seen before or likely will again. Jason Reitman is directing a one-night-only live read of 'Empire Strikes Back' tonight at The Theatre at Ace Hotel and today the final pieces of the cast have been revealed. And they are as follows: Luke Skywalker - Aaron Paul Han Solo - Ellen Page Princess Leia - Jessica Alba Darth Vader - Jk Simmons C-3P0 - Stephen Merchant Lando Calrissian - Dennis Haysbert Yoda - Kevin Pollak And yeah, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Being a part of a major franchise is not always a good thing, in fact it can almost become a career killer for some.
In a new feature piece for New York Magazine, actress Natalie Portman spoke about the late film director Mike Nichols whom she worked with on "Closer" and received rave reviews for her performance. However, she claims that at the time no-one wanted to hire her because of a certain franchise she was involved with:
"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."
After the prequel trilogy ended, Portman ended up »
- Garth Franklin
From Quentin Tarantino's all-star Hateful Eight table read to Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin emulating Michael Jordan in Space Jam, live script readings are now the Off-Broadway shows of Hollywood. On Thursday, December 18th, Juno director Jason Reitman will stage a reading of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back at Los Angeles' Ace Hotel with Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul taking on the role of Luke Skywalker.
The one-night-only event is the latest in a series of Reitman's monthly live script readings. "The first thing I »
In case you weren't aware, director Jason Reitman (Juno, Young Adult, Up In The Air) stages monthly live performances of movie scripts at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He has previously put on readings of the likes of The Princess Bride, American Beauty, and The Apartment, but his latest is a bit of a departure: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Reitman has revealed several of his cast members to EW, and they include Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul as Luke Skywalker and the great J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man, Whiplash) as his dear old daddy, Darth Vader. There's also Stephen Merchant as C-3P0, Kevin Pollack as Yoda, and Dennis Haysbert as Lando Calrissian. Apparently we'll find out who'll play Princess Leia, Han Solo and the rest later today. You can hear from Reitman on why he chose that particular cast at the link below, and you can purchase »
Aaron Paul is taking on the role of Luke Skywalker in a one-night-only live-read of "The Empire Strikes Back." The three-time Emmy winner from "Breaking Bad" will perform the role for director Jason Reitman this Thursday at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It is part of a very popular ongoing series of live shows produced by Reitman, including previous ones for "The Princess Bride," "Ghostbusters," "American Beauty," and "The Apartment." All casting decisions have not yet been unveiled, but here are the ones now known: Oscar contender J.K. Simmons (Darth Vader), Stephen Merchant (C-3Po), Dennis Haysbert (Lando Calrissian), and Kevin Pollak (Yoda). Entertainment Weekly -Break- The 2015 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will be Green Day, Ringo Starr, Lou Reed, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, "5" Royales, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, and Bill Withers. El »
Announcements for the lineup for the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, taking place between January 22nd and February 1st, are starting to roll out. Watch this page for updates as more films and sections are revealed.
Brooklyn (John Crowley, UK)
Digging for Fire (Joe Swanberg, USA)
End of the Tour (James Ponsoldt, USA)
I Am Michael (Justin Kelly, USA)
Last Days in the Desert (Rodrigo Garcia, USA)
Lila & Eve (Charles Stone III, USA)
Sleeping with Other People (Leslye Headland, USA)
A Walk in the Woods (Ken Kwapis, USA)
Showtime's House of Lies is adding a funny pair to its ranks. The Neighbors alum Simon Templeman and Mom's Kevin Pollak have booked guest roles on the Don Cheadle comedy, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Templeman will play Teddy, the smart and offbeat CEO of a pharmaceutical company, while Pollak is set as Joe Gideon, a private detective with a CIA background whom Marty (Cheadle) hires. The duo will appear in episode 411, the penultimate one in the show's upcoming fourth season. Templeman and Pollak join a rapidly growing roster of guest stars this season, including Fred Melamed as Clyde's
- Lesley Goldberg
The 2015 Sundance Film Festival has been slowly unveiling the films that will screen in Park City, Ut from January 22-February 1. We’ve already listed the midnight line up as well as the list of films in competition. Now, the Premieres have been revealed and the event is looking more and more promising. The entire slate include films directed by Noah Baumbach, James Ponsoldt, Paul Weitz, Jared Hess, Joe Swanberg, Charles Stone III and others. Here is the full list.
A showcase of world premieres of some of the most highly anticipated narrative films of the coming year.
Brooklyn / United Kingdom (Director: John Crowley, Screenwriter: Nick Hornby, based on the book by Colm Tóibín) — 1950s Ireland: Eilis must confront a terrible dilemma — a heartbreaking choice between two men and two countries, between duty and true love. Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Emory Cohen, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent.
Digging for Fire / U. »
With a line-up that already packs a punch, Sundance will also include a new section simply called “Special Events” which is described as “one-of-a-kind moments highlighting new independent works that add to the unique Festival experience. An evolving section, this year includes episodic work, short films and live performance.” In what promises to be a I can’t believe I’m watching what I’m watching type event, the one item that has caught our attention is Andrew Jarecki delving back into a subject heading he is familiar with in All Good Things moving forward into the HBO series, The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (six-part documentary). Here is the press release:
Animals./ U.S.A. (Directors and screenwriters: Phil Matarese, Mike Luciano) — Animals. is an independently produced animated series that focuses on the downtrodden creatures native to Earth’s least habitable environment: New York City. Whether it’s lovelorn rats, »
- Eric Lavallee
Last week, we saw the lineups for the Competitions and the Next section, followed by those for the Spotlight, Park City at Midnight and New Frontier programs. Today, the Sundance Film Festival, whose 2015 edition runs from January 22 through February 1, rolls out its Premieres and Documentary Premieres: new films by Joe Swanberg, Jared Hess, James Ponsoldt, Michael Almereyda, Paul Weitz, Noah Baumbach, Alex Gibney, Kirby Dick, Amy Berg, Liz Garbus, Andrew Jarecki, Kevin Pollak and many more. » - David Hudson »
Viola Davis, Jennifer Lopez, James Franco, Ewan McGregor, Greta Gerwig, Jesse Eisenberg, Saoirse Ronan, Ryan Reynolds, Peter Sarsgaard and Lily Tomlin — as well as directors Noah Baumbach, Michael Almereyda, Rodrigo Garcia, James Ponsoldt, Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman — are among the big names in the Premieres lineup at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, unveiled today along with Documentary Premieres and a new Special Events section.
Festival director John Cooper noted that while this year’s 16 Premieres selections will be among the buzziest, most commercial titles in Park City, “they’re not without an independent feel to them, and that’s what I’m always looking for. There is a very independent spirit behind these films.”
By way of example, Cooper cited “Last Days in the Desert,” a description-resistant foray into father-son territory from Garcia, a director known for his stories about women (“Nine Lives,” “Mother and Child”); John Crowley’s “Brooklyn, »
- Justin Chang
Festival top brass have revealed a high-profile roster of out-of-competition Premieres and Documentary Premieres entries featuring many returning heroes, as well as a new Special Events section and panel participants including George Lucas.
Justin Kelly’s I Am Michael is likely to become a major talking point and stars James Franco and Zachary Quinto in the true tale of activist and Young Gay America co-founder Michael Glatze, who renounced his homosexuality and became a Christian pastor. The Exchange handles international rights.
James Ponsoldt’s David Foster Wallace film End Of The Tour (pictured, photo by Jakob Ihre) starring Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel makes the cut — Fortitude International is the international sales agent — as does the latest from the newly prolific Noah Baumbach, whose Mistress America stars his Frances Ha and Greenberg muse Greta Gerwig and arrives three months after the Toronto premiere of While We’re Young.
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Kurt Cobain, Nina Simone and Tig Notaro are among the big names getting documentary treatment at this January's Sundance Film Festival. On Monday (December 8), Sundance announced 13 documentaries that will be premiering out of competition at the Festival, which runs from January 22 to February 1 in Park City. It's a group of films from some of documentary cinema's biggest names and, unsurprisingly, from some of Sundance's most frequent attendees. Sundance regular Liz Garbus ("The Farm: Angola, USA") is taking the previously vacant Us documentary Day One Film slot with "What Happened, Miss Simone?" The documentary looks singer and activist Nina Simone was recently acquired by Netflix, which had "Mitt" in an out-of-competition slot at last year's Festival. Also coming from a Sundance favorite and also with TV distribution already in place is HBO's "Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck," an authorized biopic of the Nirvana frontman that features Frances Bean Cobain as an »
- Daniel Fienberg
Festival top brass have revealed a high-profile roster of out-of-competition Premieres and Documentary Premieres entries featuring many returning heroes, as well as a new Special Events section and participants on two panels including George Lucas.
James Ponsoldt’s David Foster Wallace film End Of The Tour starring Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel makes the cut, as does the latest from the newly prolific Noah Baumbach, whose Mistress America stars his Frances Ha and Greenberg muse Greta Gerwig and arrives three months after the Toronto premiere of While We’re Young.
Sundance regulars Ryan Fleck and Anna Bowden return with Mississippi Grind starring Ryan Reynolds, Ben Mendelsohn and Sienna Miller, while Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman introduce the New York Tompkins Square Park Riot drama Ten Thousand Saints starring the in-demand Ethan Hawke and Emily Mortimer.
Peter Sarsgaard, [link »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
In a major combination in the management business, Evolution Management is merging into music specialist Primary Wave.
Evolution, which recently financed “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” will become part of Primary Wave’s Talent Management division and will operate under the Primary Wave name.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
In an announcement Monday, the companies touted the combination as a major expansion of Primary Wave’s existing in-house film/TV development, management and production division.
“The partnership also offers Primary Wave Music’s talent roster the ability to tap the Evolution managers’ reach in film and TV while further enabling both companies to expand their development projects,” they added.
The new company will move to expanded offices in 2015.
- Dave McNary
NBC found great success with their stage production of The Sound of Music Live in 2013, and are now ready to unleash Peter Pan Live! this December. Already considering what they may do for an encore in 2015, the network is considering a live staging of A Few Good Men.
The 1992 movie starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore was originally based on Aaron Sorkin's play, which will serve as the basis for this live show. The network is already in the stages of working out an agreement with Aaron Sorkin to make the production become a reality. The show put Aaron Sorkin on the map as a writer when it hit Broadway in 1989. And the feature film proved to be a smash hit.
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