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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
Shepperton Studios, Middlesex - Joss Whedon looked tired. And not just a little tired, either. He looked weary, deep down in his bones tired. He looked like he was ready to just fall down where he was and sleep for a week. I've seen a number of other directors in this state and it's always when they're near the end of production on one of these mega-movies. The pressure that's on these guys in enormous, and for Whedon, following up one of the biggest films of all time can't be easy. We sat in a small group facing Whedon in the Tony Stark lab, part of the Avengers Tower set, and asked him what his primary goal was walking into the sequel. "On the first one, I was a raggedy man when I made that film. It did take a lot out of me. Going in this time, I was like… »
- Drew McWeeny
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 »
When we saw Joss Whedon on the set of "Avengers: Age of Ultron" this past summer, he looked like he had been beaten up by the movie's robotic bad guy. Bags drooped under each eye, he moved slowly, looked gaunt, and, while giving his answers the characteristically snappy Joss Whedon delivery, the way that countless characters of his have talked over the years in various TV shows and movies, this time it sounded more forced and battle-hardened. We were inside Avengers Tower, which had been mostly destroyed by Ultron (you can see bits of this in the trainer) and it looked like Whedon was part of that collateral damage.
But who could blame him? This was day 72 of the shoot, and there was at least another month of principle photography left to go. He was tired. And he was also under an incredible amount of pressure. Last time out, Whedon's »
- Drew Taylor
Today in things you didn.t realize you needed: Jason Reitman is offering the world a one night only, live reading of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back with an entirely new cast. It's a part of his ongoing series taking beloved films, recasting them, and presenting live-readings of the script, and will be coming to the stage this Thursday night. Reitman will be debuting the show at The Theatre at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles with a pretty interesting cast. Of course, Reitman isn.t showing his hand too early, only revealing a few of his cast to Entertainment Weekly. He plans to unveil more of the actors he's signed on before Thursday. However, here are the cast members we know: Aaron Paul is Luke Skywalker Reitman is shaking things up a bit by casting Aaron Paul as Luke, seemingly hoping to bring new energy to the role. »
Jason Reitman has been doing a series of live-reads at Lacma for the last few years; these one-time performances have included classic scripts like American Beauty and The Graduate. Something tells me however that his latest venture will bring his great series some serious attention as he’s headed to a whole other galaxy. Reitman has chosen The Empire Strikes Back and a few members of the principle cast have been announced! The cast so far includes: Aaron Paul as Luke Skywalker, »
- Graham McMorrow
Jason Reitman‘s live-read series has been a hot ticket at Lacma for a few years. The director chooses a new cast to read a well-known, sometimes classic script live on stage as a one-time performance. (We’ve covered many of these events in the past.) This year, among other films, Reitman has chosen one script with […]
- Russ Fischer
Instead of “Yo, bitch …” now it’s “Yoda, bitch.” (Sorry, couldn't resist.) Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul will take on the role of Luke Skywalker in director Jason Reitman’s one-night-only live-read of The Empire Strikes Back this Thursday, while fearsome Whiplash star J.K. Simmons will let the hate flow through him as Darth Vader. It’s part of an ongoing series of live performances of movie scripts Reitman stages each month, bringing in new actors to create a kind of cover version of beloved films. He has previously staged live-reads of The Princess Bride, Ghostbusters, American Beauty, and The Apartment, »
- Anthony Breznican
Having secured the license from Dark Horse, Marvel Comics is set to launch a new phase of Star Wars comics this January, but the publisher has also announced that the original Marvel adaptations of the Original Trilogy are returning for new, oversized graphic novels with remastered colouring. Things will get underway in May with the release of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, and here’s a look at the brand new cover from Adi Granov…
And here’s a side-by-side comparison of the remastered colouring and the original…
“When Star Wars took the world by storm in 1977, Marvel Comics was right there with exciting comic adaptations and new stories set in a galaxy far, far away,” says Marvel Svp Sales & Marketing David Gabriel. “With new Star Wars comics being published by Marvel in 2015, we’re proud to look back on this exciting remastered adaptation of the original film, »
- Gary Collinson
One of the most iconic sounds from the original Star Wars trilogy was the sound of the Millennium Falcon’s hyperdrive... failing. A fascinating 1980 interview has surfaced online thanks to Eyes on Cinema. It features sound designer Ben Burtt breaking down the various elements used to create the Falcon’s failure in The Empire Strikes Back. There were eight sounds combined to give us that effect, but the video only identifies five of them, and those include:
The inertia starter of an old 1928 biplaneAn air jet recorded in a dentist’s officeThe sound of an arclight motor starting and stoppingThe sound of a motor located in the turret of an armored tankPipes underneath a broken sink in the bathroom at the recording studio
You can listen to the sounds below in the video. I’ve also included a clip of one of the scenes where the hyperdrive fails. I wonder »
- Joey Paur
As we saw in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser trailer that was released late last month, there are many sounds out there that we directly associate with the sci-fi franchise . be it the gun fire of a Tie Fighter or the activation of a lightsaber. Certainly ranking with all of these noises are those associated with Han Solo.s Millennium Falcon, which has certainly made some unique rackets over the years. Certainly one of the most iconic is the legendary ship.s hyperdrive failing . but how did it get made? Eyes on Cinema has dug up an interview from 1980 featuring Ben Burtt . the sound designer for Star Wars, and in the video there is a breakdown of all the various noises that came together to create the clatter that occurs when the Millennium Falcon fails to go into hyperspace in The Empire Strikes Back. Apparently there were »
Frank Oz returns to reprise the voice of Yoda in an upcoming episode of the show which is set between the prequel and original trilogies when Yoda is in hiding. The twist here is that Yoda won't appear on screen, rather you will only hear him as a disembodied voice. Speaking about Oz's return, executive producer Dave Filoni tells TV Guide:
"I felt personally to keep Yoda as this disembodied thing it would confuse the audience less. I didn't want you to think Yoda could be teleporting from planet to planet. What's great about Frank, by keeping the voice very present and active, you do feel that it's a watchfulness and that he's speaking to you from afar. And I didn't want anyone to think that »
- Garth Franklin
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 »
Everyone knows who Yoda is: he's the small, green Jedi Master who once patrolled the cosmos but was then, after the rise of the Galactic Empire, relegated to a swampy backwater planet, whose relevance was returned when he helped a young Luke Skywalker return balance to the Force. And everyone knows what Yoda sounds like - the scratchy voice, the backwards syntax, the little squeaks and harrumphs, all provided by Frank Oz, a director, puppeteer and close confederate of Jim Henson. Oz provided the voice and performed Yoda in "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back," "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi," and "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace" (utilizing a much crummier puppet that was later replaced by computer graphics) and provided his voice for "Star Wars: Attack of the Clones" and "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith." And he'll be portraying Yoda once again... for Disney Xd's "Star Wars: Rebels" TV show. »
- Drew Taylor
Star Wars #1 has received orders of over one million on the direct market.
Marvel Comics confirmed reports that the issue has become the bestselling in 20 years.
The publisher is expanding its retail base with "a number of new outlets" to bring the comic to a wider audience.
"This very large number of comics will be sold in places where we haven't necessarily had comic sales," Marvel's senior vice president of sales and marketing David Gabriel told ComicBook.com.
"We're confident we'll have lots of new fans reading issue #1."
The Star Wars comics licence has returned to Marvel after its parent company Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012.
Dark Horse Comics controlled the license from 1991.
Star Wars #1 will be released on January 14. »
Marvel is going to release their Star Wars #1 comic book on January 14th, 2015, and according to reports, it has potential to be the best selling comic in the past two decades. ComicBook.com says that Marvel will sell a million copies of the comic when when it's released next year. It's hard to tell if that will actually be the case, but I guess it could happen.
These comics will be set shortly after the destruction of the first Death Star in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. So it takes place between then and The Empire Strikes Back. There are three comics that are being coordinated with Lucasfilm to make sure that they line up with both the original films and whatever is coming in Episode VII, VIII, IX and whatever else Lucasfilm in planning.
Princess Leia #1, kicking off a five-issue miniseries in March, 2015 by writer Mark Waid and artist Terry Dodson. »
- Joey Paur
Yes, dear readers, I must again apologize for making you go so long between installments of this column. But I’m finally back, because last week brought us a trailer far too big to ignore. Without further ado, join me as I examine the first look at what’s sure to be one of next year’s biggest films, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
Premise: Set approximately thirty years after the events of Return of the Jedi (1983), the film will star a trio of new leads along with returning actors from the previous installments.
My take: Like most children of the 1990s, I grew up loving the Star Wars trilogy. A New Hope (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Return of the Jedi were some of my favorite films when I was a kid, and played a huge role in the development of my current love of cinema.
- Timothy Monforton
The issue will be sold exclusively through direct market channels (comic shops) without the use of newsstands, contributing to the rarity and increasing value of any previous Marvel comic book covers with 'bar codes', denoting 'newsstand' distribution:
The new series takes place between the events of 'Star Wars' and 'The Empire Strikes Back', written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by John Cassaday, as a companion to the new "Star Wars" movie "A Force Awakens".
Marvel originally published "Star Wars" comic books in the 1970's, with the exclusive license then going to Dark Horse Comics, until rights reverted back to Marvel as a result of Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm and Marvel.
In 1993, DC Comics' "Batman" #500 sold 1 million issues. »
- Michael Stevens
The following contains spoilers for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 1.
If the last five minutes of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire were like clinging to a pole for dear life with one arm and a whole lot of daddy issues this side of The Empire Strikes Back, its followup The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 1 is like watching one trailer for Return of the Jedi over and over and over again, and then being told to wait another year to see what actually happens. With the revolution of Panem actually coming in 2015, the newest addition to the Hunger Games franchise has the ring of the distinctly less-thrilling episode of a TV series, where characters are treated more like chess pieces, being neatly put into place before a big strike … later.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 1 is a part of a new phenomenon that is bigger than its own franchise, »
- Nick Allen
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