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TV News Roundup: Josh Charles Joins ‘Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders’

10 hours ago | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

In today’s roundup, Josh Charles has been cast in “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders,” while Sissy Spacek will star in a new Hulu drama set in the Stephen King multiverse.


Josh Charles has been added to the cast of “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders” as Dr. Jerome Oziel, the Menendez brothers’s controversial psychiatrist. Charles joins previously announced cast Edie Falco as defense attorney Leslie Abramson, Heather Graham as Judalon Smyth, Gus Halper as Erik Menendez, Miles Gaston Villanueva as Lyle Menendez, and Cliff Chamberlain as Detective Tom Linehan, among others. The series is a Wolf Entertainment production in association with Universal Television, and is executive produced by Dick Wolf, Rene Balcer, Leslie Linka Glatter, Arthur Forney and Peter Jankowski.

Hulu announced that Sissy Spacek and Jane Levy have joined the cast of upcoming original drama series “Castle Rock.” Spacek plays Ruth Deaver, the estranged adoptive mother of Henry (Andre Holland) and »

- Erin Nyren

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Sissy Spacek, Suburgatory's Jane Levy Join Cast of Hulu's Castle Rock

11 hours ago | | See recent news »

Two big names are about to move to Castle Rock.  

RelatedCastle Rock Taps Ahs Vet Andre Holland

Sissy Spacek and Jane Levy have joined the cast of Hulu’s upcoming Stephen King-inspired horror anthology, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The series, set in King’s fictional Maine town of Castle Rock, will weave together famous characters and themes from King’s novels and short stories. The Knick‘s Andre Holland has already signed on to star as death-row attorney Henry.

Spacek, who just wrapped up a three-season stint as mom Sally on Netflix’s Bloodline, will play Ruth Deaver, »

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Sissy Spacek, Jane Levy to Star in Hulu's 'Castle Rock'

12 hours ago | The Hollywood Reporter - TV News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - TV News news »

Sissy Spacek and Jane Levy are moving into Hulu's Castle Rock.

The duo have been tapped to star alongside Andre Holland (Moonlight) in the anthology drama from J.J. Abrams and Stephen King.

Castle Rock is a 10-episode project from writers and executive producers Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason (Manhattan). It is described as an anthology that weaves together characters and themes from King's novels, featuring the mysterious town of Castle Rock. The psychological horror series combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of King's works, weaving a saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles »

- Lesley Goldberg

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Sissy Spacek, Jane Levy join Hulu drama 'Castle Rock'

15 hours ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Actresses join previously announced Andre Holland in 10-part series.

Hulu announced on Monday that Sissy Spacek and Jane Levy have joined the cast of its upcoming original drama series Castle Rock.

The psychological horror series is set in Maine and based on the Stephen King multiverse, combining the mythological scale and characters of the author’s best-loved works.

Spacek will play Ruth Deaver, the estranged adoptive mother of Henry (Andre Holland), a retired professor whose fading memories may hold a key to Castle Rock’s unsettling past. 

Spacek is already a staple in the world of Stephen King, having played the titular character in the 1976 horror Carrie, based on King’s novel. She recently starred for three seasons on Netflix’s Bloodline

Levy, most known for her turn in the ABC comedy series Suburgatory, will play Jackie, the death-obsessed, self-appointed historian of Castle Rock. She recently starred in the horror film Don’t Breathe. 

Sam Shaw and [link »

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Han Solo Firing Proves Studios’ Franchises Don’t Want Directors To Be Storytellers

23 June 2017 11:39 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Oh, the irony: As TV creators seek inventive ways to adapt the visual language of cinema, Hollywood’s big-budget, big-screen movies are increasingly becoming more like television.

With serialized TV shows, control needs to be in the hands of writers and showrunners. That’s because the story is still unfolding and the production is built from episode to episode. The director can’t be the principal storyteller, which makes it challenging to put a premium on visual storytelling.

Read More: The ‘Mr. Robot’ Experiment: Can a TV Show Be Shot Like an Indie Film?

Those who run the Marvel Cinematic Universe might sympathize. When it launched in 2008, their choices of directors seemed like head scratchers for a big action film. In retrospect, they make perfect sense.

Swingers” writer and “Elf” director Jon Favreau was the perfect choice to improv with Robert Downey Jr. (remember, he wasn’t a star then »

- Chris O'Falt

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Lord & Miller vs. Kasdan & Kennedy: A Fight for the future of our franchise films

22 June 2017 2:15 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Anghus Houvouras on the Han Solo director situation and a fight for the future of franchise films…

I’m still in a state of utter disbelief over the disintegration that has happened between directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord and the creative conglomerate that handles the cinematic Star Wars universe. It’s an absolute gobstopper of a conversation starter with endless potential for columnists to get comfortable in their armchairs as they postulate about the rift on every single level, from studio head on down the ladder.

To me, the actual drama is less interesting than the overreaching theme of this spat. Lord and Miller represent the future of franchise filmmaking. Young, extremely talented individuals who are capable of telling great stories. Lucasfilm, most notably Kathleen Kennedy and Lawrence Kasdan, represent the old guard. Experienced minds who understand both the creative and business side of the film industry.

We’ve watched for years as studios have gobbled up young, emerging talent and slapped them onto franchise films. The trend isn’t exactly new. Warner Bros. grabbed a young Tim Burton to helm 1989’s Batman. It worked out great until Warner Bros. decided Burton’s dark and quirky visions didn’t sell enough toys and they parted ways over creative differences.

What Lord and Miller have experienced isn’t exactly new either. ‘Creative differences’ is something that happens all the time. Directors are attached and jettisoned from feature film projects with the frequency of rest stop hand jobs. The average blockbuster goes through dozens of writers and directors before settling on a creative team to take the project into production.

It’s less common to see a director leave the project in the middle of production, but there is historical precedent. Superman II, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Exorcist: The Beginning and even classics like Gone With the Wind. Movies that famously cited irreconcilable differences between director and production and had to bring in someone else to try to stick the landing.

The less common part is seeing a creative team exit a project in the modern age of franchise friendly talent. Walking away from Star Wars is a bold move. One that I am in awe of. I have sat here slack-jawed for nearly 15 hours after hearing the news. There are so many interesting facets to this story, but for me it ultimately boils down to this:

We’re looking at a battle for the future of franchise filmmaking.

Lord & Miller vs. Kennedy & Kasdan.

To be fair there really isn’t a side that needs taking. This isn’t a knock-down, drag-out fight but a salient example of the current state of franchise filmmaking. Are you interested in a newer creative vision for your favorite franchise or do you want more of the same? This is exactly what this story represents.

Kennedy, Kasdan and company are protecting a brand. Working to ensure that the elements that made the franchise successful are rigidly adhered to. However they’ve created something of a hostile workplace. Hostile is the wrong word. ‘Less than hospitable’ seems more apt. J.J. Abrams famously turned down The Force Awakens only to eventually take on the role when it seemed no one else would. Rian Johnson came on for one film. Josh Trank was fired. Gareth Edwards was basically replaced and left out of all the final decisions on Rogue One. Now Lord & Miller have been fired. I wouldn’t exactly call that a sterling employment record. If I was Colin Trevorrow, I’d be more than a little bit nervous.

Why aren’t talented young filmmakers sticking around? Why does Disney bother bringing in singular voices if they have no interest in their vision? Are they clutching their franchise so tightly that they’re choking it to death? It would be nice if Disney could loosen their grip. Bring in unique filmmakers and let them create something that stays true to the Star Wars universe but allows a Galaxy Far, Far Away to broaden and become creatively diverse.

Right now Disney has become the evil Empire desperately trying to control their franchise universe. Lord and Miller may very well become the face of the resistance.

Anghus Houvouras »

- Anghus Houvouras

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Ron Howard’s ‘Star Wars’: We Debate the New Choice For Lucasfilm’s Han Solo Movie

22 June 2017 9:11 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

With the news that Ron Howard is taking over the production of Lucasfilm’s young Han Solo movie, the IndieWire team traded emails about the shift.

Anne Thompson: Lucasfilm czar Kathleen Kennedy is siding with the writer — long-time “Star Wars” consigliere Lawrence Kasdan —over a carefully-selected director team with a strong voice. Phil Lord and Chris Miller, if you think about it, have become accustomed to running their own show. They have a little production studio humming along at Bricksburg in Hollywood, born from the blockbuster “The Lego Movie,” and they’re used to being in charge. They are stars. And they know it.

Whatever went wrong here, it’s clear who Lord and Miller are, what they can do. For one thing they are comedy directors — “21 Jump Street,” “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” “The Lego Movie” — not to mention the upcoming “Lego Ninjago Movie,” “America: The Motion Picture,” “Mib 23,” the Untitled Spider-Man Project, and a gaggle of TV series. They’re running their own factory parallel to the Lucasfilm universe and ran headlong into the juggernaut that is “Star Wars.” Kennedy’s purpose is to stay on course — as Kevin Feige does with Marvel — and keep the “Star Wars” universe humming and intact as it spins into many orbits. She can take responsibility for miscasting in this case, because Lord and Miller are who they are and, once hired, should be able to do what they do.

Read More: ‘Star Wars’: The Han Solo Movie We Will Never Get to See

When less established indie hire Gareth Edwards went off track on “Rogue One,” he had to step aside as “Bourne” franchise writer-director Tony Gilroy helped to reshoot and reorganize the final product. The trick with Jj Abrams or Rian Johnson or Colin Trevorrow is selecting directors who are team players capable of keeping the larger goals in mind, and not drawing outside the lines. That, apparently, Lord and Miller did not do—running with a different interpretation of Han Solo than Kasdan. In this case, a reinvention of the Han Solo character for a new generation was not in the cards. Of course Ron Howard is a superb competent director (“Apollo 13,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Rush”) who can execute with the best of them. He knows what to do and will do it well. But like Edgar Wright’s “Ant Man,” I  suspect the movie we will never see was more exciting and unexpected than the one that will hit global screens in 2018.

Kate Erbland: There’s no question that after the massive upheaval of Lord and Miller leaving the project with just a few weeks left to go in principal photography, Lucasfilm is desperate for anything resembling stability. Howard is a good guy for that, a seasoned professional with plenty of blockbuster experience and two Oscars to boot, and he’ll likely be able to soothe frazzled nerves and get the mechanics of the filmmaking process running smoothly in no time. That’s the draw here: He’s a safe choice, and what was so exciting about the initial hiring of Lord and Miller was that they weren’t.

Howard will surely make a perfectly serviceable feature, delivered on time and with a minimum of drama, but the fallout from this will always eclipse that final product. Not just in terms of the Han Solo movie we’ll never see — though that stings, too — but because it shows that Lucasfilm and “Star Wars” aren’t ready to take a real gamble on unique talents just yet, even when they seem so happy to keep telling us that they are.

Zack Sharf: It’s also worth pointing out that Howard’s a Hollywood veteran, so fans should rest assured this will remain a polished, maybe even elegant production. But he’s also an old-fashioned, traditional storyteller, which means anyone hoping for some narrative edge to this spinoff will most likely wind up disappointed.

But given all the news that has broken since Lord and Miller’s firing earlier this week, the real question isn’t whether or not Ron Howard is a good replacement, it’s whether or not his hiring even matters. It’s become apparent that Kennedy and Kasdan are the real directors at play here, even though their titles may not official indicate such a job. It’s why Lord and Miller were fired. It’s why Tony Gilroy was brought on to oversee Gareth Edwards’ massive “Star Wars: Rogue One” reshoots. The latter was no fluke, and the former is an alarming new wake up call to the real people calling the shots on these movies.

Directors often come and go from projects — just look what’s happening with “The Flash” over at Warner Bros. — but very rarely are they fired months into production. It makes you wonder how much these movies can have any real directorial signature. Whether it was Ron Howard or Guillermo del Toro, for instance, we might wind up with the same end product. Kennedy and Kasdan may have the perfect template for this movie, but that doesn’t mean it requires a talented filmmaker.

Chris O’Falt: I think the big thing with Howard is he can have a light touch when necessary.  He’s the rare studio director who can do intense drama, action, but is more than capable of doing comedy or building in comedic elements. He’s the best choice for preserving — and salvaging — some element of Lord and Miller’s comedic elements and while delivering a component action-adventure film. Howard is congenial and beloved, in addition to being a component producer and respected presence on set.

Read More: Han Solo Upheaval: Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s ‘Star WarsExit

As Kate said, when this movie comes out, Lord and Miller will be part of the story.  Who would you rather have out front with your “it all worked out” version of things?  Who do you want sitting with Colbert or on the Today Show rehashing this awkward situation? Howard knows how to diffuse a bomb.

Eric Kohn: There’s a bigger question behind all this: What do we want from our “Star Wars” movies? Personally, I was satiated a long time ago (in a movie theater far, far away, on the other side of the country, watching the original trilogy in its late-nineties rerelease). This franchise has been with us for so long that we take its existence for granted. Say what you want about George Lucas’ prequels, but this former aspiring experimental filmmaker was constantly thinking outside the box. The latest “Star Wars” movies, while proficient as entertainment, have also shown a kind of conservatism with respect to mainstream entertainment. Give the audience what they want — a big, slick space opera that’s easy to consume and loaded with relatable characters. The only thing truly daring about “Rogue One” was its grim finale – and I bet the Lucasfilm execs won’t let the franchise go that direction ever again.

I love the idea of hiring visionary filmmakers to play around with studio dollars, but frankly am more intrigued by the wacky possibilities of Luc Besson’s “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” than Han Solo’s backstory. (For what it’s worth: The “Star Wars” comics, which are canon, already do a fine job of filling in some of those details.) The more I consider the possibilities of a Han Solo prequel, the less exciting they become; this character has become such a fully-formed pop culture icon that the very idea of more cinematic adventures strikes me as redundant.

Here’s an idea: Take Han Solo’s name out of the script and let Ron Howard make a fast, fun space western about characters who have barely received much attention in the past. Why not give Lando Calrissian top billing? Donald Glover’s overdue for action stardom. Or, for that matter, maybe Howard could channel his penchant for music films into a concert film about Mos Eisely cantina fixtures Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes. I’d be first in line.

Wishful thinking, I know. We’re getting a Ron Howard movie about young Han Solo. As others have said, it’s a safer bet, and not the least bit surprising. Maybe it’ll be fine. But I have a strong feeling that will also be familiar.

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Related storiesHow Controversies Can Hurt Movies Before They're Released -- IndieWire's Movie Podcast (Screen Talk Episode 154)'Star Wars': Ron Howard Set to Take Over as Director of Embattled Han Solo Spinoff'Star Wars': The Han Solo Movie We Will Never Get to See »

- Eric Kohn, Zack Sharf, Kate Erbland, Chris O'Falt and Anne Thompson

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Colin Trevorrow asked Rian Johnson to add “one little thing” to Star Wars: The Last Jedi

22 June 2017 2:10 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Back in May, Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson revealed that he’d asked J.J. Abrams to make one small change to the ending of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in order to set the stage for Episode VIII, and now Star Wars: Episode IX helmer Colin Trevorrow has said that he’s asked a similar favour of Johnson.

“There was one little thing,” Trevorrow tells the Happy Sad Confused Podcast (via Dark Horizons). “It wasn’t an adjustment, it was just ‘Could you shoot this one extra thing while you’re in this place on this day?’ And he did, which was great. But, y’know, it’s part of the collaborative process that exists – everyone is in communication. There’s such a genuine want to get this right from everybody, and I think that one of the misconceptions is that there’s some kind of great corporate overlord that is dictating this story to everybody, and that’s what it’s going to be because that’s going to sell the most toys. The reality of it is that it’s a small group of people, but it’s actually, y’know, kind of large when you think about it – and none of them are corporate, all of them are creatives and all of them are genuinely, very sincerely, wanting to do the work of their lives in order to realize this.”

See Also: Mark Hamill clarifies his comments about “fundamentally disagreeing” with Rian Johnson over Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is set for release on December 14th in the UK and December 15th in the States and sees returning cast members Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata), Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux), Anthony Daniels (C-3Po), Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma), Billie Lourd (Lieutenant Connix), Andy Serkis (Supreme Leader Snoke), Peter Mayhew and Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), Tim Rose (Admiral Ackbar), Mike Quinn (Nien Nunb), Simon Pegg (Unkar Plutt), and Warwick Davis joined by new additions Jimmy Vee (Pan) as R2-D2, Kelly Marie Tran (Ladies Like Us) as Rose, and Benicio Del Toro (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Laura Dern (Jurassic Park). »

- Gary Collinson

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Last Jedi Director Responds to Star Wars Creative Control Controversy

21 June 2017 6:32 PM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

Director Rian Johnson, who is busy in post-production on this December's Star Wars: The Last Jedi, has spoken out about creative control after insinuations that his movie could be in jeopardy after Lucasfilm fired Chris Miller and Phil Lord from Han Solo: A Star Wars Story. Lucasfilm unveiled a bit of a bombshell late into the news cycle yesterday, that they had let Lord and Miller go, due to creative differences. Since this is not the first time that this has happened in recent memory, *cough* Rogue One, speculation has been rampant about Rain Johnson's Star Wars 8 and Colin Trevorrow's Star Wars 9.

A Twitter user decided to tweet at Rian Johnson, questioning Disney and Lucasfilm's commitment to artistic creative freedom for their directors. The fan asks this.

"(Rian Johnson) You praised Disney for months about creative control and yet Miller and Lord are fired for having their own vision. Strange."

The fan is basically insinuating that Johnson is lying about his creative freedom on the set, which is strange in itself because there's no way in hell this dude would walk up to Johnson and insinuate such a thing. Johnson calmly addressed the question and basically said that was not an issue in his experience. Read his response as posted on the official Rian Johnson Twitter.

"I had as much creative control on Tlj as I've ever had on any of my own movies."

In terms of the Han Solo firing, Lucasfilm and Disney took a similar approach with the production of Rogue One when they brought Tony Gilroy into replace Gareth Edwards at the last minute, to rewrite and reshoot elements that the studios were not happy with. This is a common practice. The decision obviously paid off at the box office and most critics and fans were very happy with the end results. The point being, Disney and Lucasfilm know what they are doing and they're not going to gamble with a franchise as beloved as Star Wars. There's no doubt that Lord and Miller had complete creative control, it's just their vision didn't jive with what Lucasfilm and Kasdan had in mind. There is also no doubt that J.J. Abrams had full creative control or that Rian Johnson and Colin Trevorrow won't receive it as well.

It is rumored that Chris Miller and Phil Lord were looking at taking the Han Solo movie and taking a comedic approach with the title character. This apparently did not sit well with the brass at Lucasfilm or screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote the script for Han Solo. There are a few names in the running to take the reigns, but an official replacement director has not been announced at the time of writing.

Disney and Lucasfilm are not hiring directors to tell them what to do. These directors are hired to do what they do best, which admittedly does sound a little odd when you think of Lord and Miller's background. Whatever, it didn't work out, a new director will be announced soon, Rian Johnson had his creative control and so will Colin Trevorrow, and Han Solo: A Star Wars Story will be released on schedule.

I had as much creative control on Tlj as I've ever had on any of my own movies.

Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) June 21, 2017 »

- MovieWeb

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi To End On A Cliffhanger Similar To The Empire Strikes Back

21 June 2017 6:23 PM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

Though J.J. AbramsStar Wars: The Force Awakens was very well received by a good majority of fans and most critics, one common complaint was that it was far too similar to A New Hope in terms of its structure and plot. Because of this, a lot of people are hoping that when we return to that galaxy far, far away for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, director Rian Johnson will deliver something we haven’t seen before.

Though it’s too soon to know if that’ll indeed be the case, we’ve been told on numerous occasions now, by numerous people, that the next chapter will be different from what’s come before and will not just be a carbon copy of The Empire Strikes Back. While that’s all well and good, fans still have their hesitations – and understandably so – and the latest report to tumble of the rumor mill certainly won’t help them feel any better.

That’s because YouTuber Mike Zeroh, who’s been a bit hit and miss with his scoops in the past – so take this with a grain of salt – is claiming that The Last Jedi will end in a manner similar to the iconic sequel from Irvin Kershner. According to him, the conclusion of the film will leave the fate of Kylo and Rey unknown, with the audience wondering where each of them is going. Not only that, but apparently there will also be many questions unanswered by the time the credits roll, which won’t be wrapped up until Episode IX.

So, while Star Wars: The Last Jedi may not draw as much from The Empire Strikes Back as The Force Awakens did from A New Hope, that cliffhanger ending, with a ton of unresolved plot threads, definitely sounds familiar to how the 1980 sequel finished off, which is sure to leave some people unhappy.

What do you think, though? Is an open-ended conclusion the way to go for the next chapter in the saga, or would you rather something a bit more definitive? Sound off in the usual place with your thoughts, and if you’re curious to know how Rey will appear in The Last Jedi, Deviant Art user tyler-wetta has dreamed up a rather awesome fan poster (below) of the Jedi in training. »

- Matt Joseph

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Will Star Wars 8 Ending Rip-Off Empire Strikes Back Cliffhanger?

21 June 2017 4:22 PM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

A new leak is suggesting that Rian Johnson will have Star Wars: The Last Jedi end on a cliffhanger, much like The Empire Strikes Back. The Last Jedi is slowly getting closer to release and new leaks are springing up from all kinds of sources. Some of these sources are inside and some of them are just dudes in a basement somewhere pontificating or just flat-out making things up, trying to earn some YouTube cash. This leaker tends to ruffle some feathers whenever he pops up in Star Wars conversations, so we'll definitely take this one with a healthy loaf of portion bread.

Ladies and gentleman, I bring you the new leak from the infamous Mike Zeroh YouTube account. The intel this time around is coming from a French dubber and this dubber has shed some light on a possible ending for The Last Jedi. Zeroh says "apparently at the end of the film, the fate of Kylo Ren and Rey will be unknown. This will leave us wondering where Rey is going and where Ren is going." Now this does seem to indicate the presence of a cliffhanger in the movie, which would make it pretty close to The Empire Strikes Back, a movie that Rian Johnson has said that The Last Jedi will be nothing like. Reverse psychology perhaps?

Mr. Zeroh also claims Daisy Ridley (Rey) recently said that The Last Jedi will leave many unanswered questions, but there are also reports where the actress reveals that many questions will be answered. There seems to be a bit of a miscommunication going on in that department. The rest of the video is used as a device to try and figure out if Rey turns to the Dark Side and if Kylo Ren switches to the Force, which I have to say, sounds pretty ridiculous no matter how you slice it.

The new "leak" comes after it was revealed that Star Wars 9 director Colin Trevorrow requested that Last Jedi director Rian Johnson shoot an extra scene while they were in a certain location for a possible inclusion in star Wars 9. What that scene is, we may never know, but it was more about Trevorrow talking the collaborative spirit between himself, Johnson, and J.J. Abrams. Rian Johnson also made a small request from Abrams to swap out Bb-8 for R2-D2 on the journey to Ahch-To to meet up with Luke Skywalker, which hints that R2 will have more of a purpose on the island than previously thought.

Alright, so there's the leak, or speculation, or whatever you want to call it. It seems pretty unlikely that Rian Johnson would spend the earlier part of this year fighting off rumors of The Empire Strikes Back comparisons to go ahead a leave The Last Jedi as cliffhanger, exactly like how Empire ends. It would certainly be unexpected though. Watch Zeroh's video for yourself below and leave him a thumbs up or down, whatever. The next Last Jedi trailer is coming in July, but whether it will land at D23, or debut a week later at Comic-Con is anyone's guess at this point. »

- MovieWeb

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Connecting Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt, and Chris Pine

21 June 2017 10:58 AM, PDT | Cineplex | See recent Cineplex news »

Connecting Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt, and Chris PineConnecting Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt, and Chris PineJenny Bullough6/21/2017 12:58:00 Pm

Is it just us, or is every hot actor in Hollywood right now named Chris? Evans, Hemsworth, Pine, and Pratt are all saving the day (sometimes even the universe) onscreen. But did you know that they’re all connected by the movies and co-stars they’ve shared? Since it's Chris Pratt's birthday, we're sharing our Chris Degrees of Separation.

Obviously, Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth are connected by co-starring in the blockbuster Avengers movies! As amazing as Captain America: Civil War was, we missed seeing Thor fighting alongside his comrades-in-arms, and can't wait for Thor: Ragnarok!

Hemsworth, of course, was in the first J.J. Abrams Star Trek reboot with Chris Pine. Although they didn’t share screen time, Hemsworth played the first Captain Kirk, who sacrifices himself in the first minutes of the film so that his crew – including his wife and newborn son James Tiberius Kirk – can escape the Romulans.

Rumour has it that he'll reprise his role as George Kirk in the next Star Trek film. It might be just a flashback sequence, but we can't help but hope that some kind of rip in the space-time continuum will allow two of our favorite Chrises, Hemsworth and Pine, to meet on the big screen! Meanwhile, you can catch Pine inhabiting another superhero franchise, battling alongside Gal Gadot's titular Wonder Woman in his role as Steve Trevor! 

Bonus: read our Five Reasons to See Wonder Woman!

The Star Trek franchise also features Zoe Saldana as one of our favourite characters, Uhura. Saldana seems to be making a career of playing space-dwelling females – she’s also the green-skinned Gamora in the two Guardians of the Galaxy films alongside another favourite Chris: Chris Pratt!

Bonus: watch the trailer below and read our Five Reasons to See Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2!

We'll have to wait until May 2018 to finally see the Guardians alongside the Avengers in Avengers: Infinity War, but we'll bet it'll be epic. We can’t wait to see what new connections will open up!

Get in on the conversation by following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram! »

- Jenny Bullough

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Ava DuVernay, J.J. Abrams Champion Diversity in Hollywood at CAA Summit

21 June 2017 10:48 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Ava DuVernay and J.J. Abrams on Wednesday challenged their industry to boost diversity on the big screen and behind the camera and all aspects of entertainment, stressing that diverse representation makes both moral and business sense.

DuVernay and Abrams were on hand for the first-ever CAA Amplify summit in Laguna Beach, a gathering of entertainment figures, executives and leaders across many industries, including film, sports and politics.

DuVernay, who has been tapped to direct Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” shared her experience of pitching to the venerated studio a multicultural interpretation of the 1963 novel by Madeleine L’Engle.

Because of her familiarity with Disney execs, production chief, Sean Bailey, and Tendo Nagenda, executive vice president for production, DuVernay said she felt comfortable in asserting her vision for the film.

Bailey and DuVernay both serve on the Sundance Institute board. Nagenda, she joked, was easy to know. “There are five black people in Hollywood and he is one of them,” she said, eliciting some laughter.

“I was able to walk in there like a white man does,” she said, explaining that she did not have to sell herself but instead focus on the project. “All of the other stuff and baggage was not there.”

Abrams said diverse casting is paramount to undoing conventional wisdom about what kind of stars can bring studios commercial success. He said he expects casting lists to be diverse.

“All we are trying to do is change assumptions,” Abrams said, adding “It’s simply smart to bring in voices that are not the same old, same old.”

Both directors said the focus on diversity has already wrought changes reflected in television and other media.

“I think there is massive change,” Abrams said. “If you just look at the last five years, it’s an incredible thing to see what happens when someone who might not have been given a shot, is given a shot.”

DuVernay said she was heartened to see changes made by the Academy in the light of #OscarsSoWhite, an outcry partly driven by social-media activism. “there was systematic change that happened in the organization,” she said.

Sometimes, “we don’t actually get under the hood to create change in the system to make sure [the push for more diverse representation] doesn’t end.”

CAA President Richard Lovett said the two-day conference is an opportunity to bring together fewer than 200 celebrities, directors, show runners, producers and studio heads to foster connections to improve diversity efforts.

“This time together is our way to speed date the creation of a new network of allies,” Lovett said.

Other attendees include actor and producer, Kerry Washington, Warner Bros. Chairman Kevin Tsujihara and former Obama White House adviser, Valerie Jarrett.

Related storiesVice Media Receives $450 Million Boost From TPGAva DuVernay, Katie Couric Talk Tackling Big Social Issues in Documentary FormAva DuVernay to Deliver UCLA Film School Commencement Speech »

- Ricardo Lopez

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Ava DuVernay on Pitching ‘A Wrinkle in Time': ‘I Was Able to Walk in There Like a White Man Does’

21 June 2017 10:11 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Hollywood powerhouse CAA held its first Amplify conference at the Montage Laguna Beach Wednesday morning with the intention of using its formidable heft to kick open doors for a more diverse group of storytellers, performers and leaders. The agency brought an A-plus list crowd — people who can actually help make that objective happen — to have that conversation. And as Ava DuVernay, the director of “Selma” and Disney’s upcoming “A Wrinkle in Time” said in a conversation with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” helmer J.J. Abrams, part of opening those doors is building a better understanding, and gaining trust, »

- Matt Pressberg

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi's Rian Johnson was asked to add 'one extra thing' by Star Wars 9's director

21 June 2017 2:41 AM, PDT | The Independent | See recent The Independent news »

Johnson had previously asked J.J. Abrams to change one crucial aspect of The Force Awakens' final sequence »

- Clarisse Loughrey

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Should Star Trek Sequels Return to the Prime Timeline?

20 June 2017 9:36 PM, PDT | | See recent Screen Rant news »

After three adventures in J.J. Abrams' alternative Kelvin universe, is it time for Star Trek to return to its standard timeline? »

- Andy L. Kubai

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'Star Wars' Splits With Directors of Han Solo Standalone Film

20 June 2017 6:06 PM, PDT | | See recent Rolling Stone news »

Update: Ron Howard will take over for Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and direct the upcoming Star Wars film about Han Solo, Lucasfilm announced Thursday. Howard reunites with Lucasfilm after more than three decades, with the director helming 1988's Willow based on a story by George Lucas.

The directors of the upcoming Star Wars standalone film about young Han Solo, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, have exited the production over "creative differences." Lord, Miller and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy announced the decision in a joint statement on the Star Wars website. »

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Paramount sets October 2018 release date for Bad Robot’s WWII supernatural thriller Overlord

20 June 2017 5:00 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Paramount Pictures has announced that it has set an October 26th 2018 release date for the J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot-produced supernatural WWII thriller Overlord, which is heabily rumoured to be the fourth instalment in the Cloverfield cinematic universe after this year’s God Particle.

The official synopsis for Overlord reads:

On the eve of D-Day, a group of American paratroopers are dropped behind enemy lines to carry out a mission crucial to the invasion’s success.  But as they approach their target, they begin to realize there is more going on in this Nazi-occupied village than a simple military operation.

Overlord is being directed by Julius Avery (Son of a Gun) from a script by Billy Ray (Captain Phillips) and Mark L. Smith (The Revenant). Featuring in the cast are Jovan Adepo (Fences), Wyatt Russell (22 Jump Street), Jacob Anderson (Game of Thrones), Dominic Applewhite (The King’s Speech), Pilou Asbaek »

- Gary Collinson

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi Director Rian Johnson Shot A Little Something For Episode 9

20 June 2017 9:25 AM, PDT | | See recent LRM Online news »

Back when Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, and announced there was a new trilogy in the works, I just assumed, albeit incorrectly, that the same director would head up each of the installments. As we know now Disney decided to give each episode a different director. Thus far, the directors have been very helpful to each other. Similar to how Star Wars: The Last Jedi director, Rian Johnson asked J.J. Abrams for a favor (asking that R2-D2 accompany Rey to meet Luke, rather than Bb-8), Episode 9 director Colin Trevorrow asked Johnson to help him out with one thing in particular. Trevorrow was recently interviewed on MTV’s Happy Sad Confused podcast and explained, the best he could without being too spoilery, what that one shot this was:

“There was one little thing. It wasn’t an adjustment, it was just ‘Could you shoot this one extra thing while you’re in this place on this day?’ And he did, which was great. But, y’know, it’s part of the collaborative process that exists -- everyone is in communication. There’s such a genuine want to get this right from everybody, and I think that one of the misconceptions is that there’s some kind of great corporate overlord that is dictating this story to everybody, and that’s what it’s going to be because that’s going to sell the most toys.”Related: Star Wars Episode 9: Is Colin Trevorrow In Danger Of Being Replaced As Director? 

For fans, it’s reassuring to see this willingness between the directors to help, and collaborate with one another. Not only do the directors want to make strong individual films and leave their mark on the Star Wars universe, they also want to make  a more cohesive set of films and do their best to make Disney's first (and hopefully not last) Star Wars trilogy great.

Trevorrow continued:

“The reality of it is that it’s a small group of people, but it’s actually, y’know, kind of large when you think about it -- and none of them are corporate, all of them are creatives and all of them are genuinely, very sincerely, wanting to do the work of their lives in order to realize this."

The corporate juggernaut known as Disney appears to be stepping back just enough to let the creative ideas of the directors play out, and for us fans, we couldn't ask them for much more.

Does the directorial collaboration reassure you as to the overall quality of the trilogy? Let us know in the comments down below!

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Source: Happy Sad Confused (via Screen Rant)

The Official Lrm Go ahead and order that large Coke. about 14 minutes ago »

- Seth McDonald

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The 20 Best-Directed TV Drama Series of the 21st Century, Ranked

20 June 2017 8:11 AM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

TV has never been more beautiful, more daring, and more dramatic, and that’s owed to the new level of talent being given a chance to redefine what might be possible within this medium today. Since the dawn of the 21st century, we’ve witnessed an incredible array of directors (some native to TV, some fleeing the fluctuating feature film world) come to episodic storytelling to discover its potential.

Read More: The 25 Best TV Theme Songs of the 21st Century, Ranked

True story: We began this list with a wider range of genres in mind, but the number of shows we wanted to recognize grew so large that we decided to split it into drama and comedy series (we’ll get to comedies down the line). This is also the ritual place where we acknowledge that “The Sopranos,” if it had premiered just a little bit later, would have »

- Liz Shannon Miller and Zack Sharf

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