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Last weekend, the Portland-based stop motion company Laika debuted its fourth feature film, Kubo and the Two Strings, which opened in fourth place with $13.6 million. That tally is roughly on par with the company's first three films, Coraline ($16.8 million opening, $75.2 million domestic), ParaNorman ($14 million debut, $56 million domestic) and The Boxtrolls ($17.2 million first weekend, $50.8 million domestic). While these movies may not be box office hits, they have all been critical darlings, but don't expect the studio to turn their critical hits into sequels.
Laika was co-founded by Travis Knight, the son of Nike founder Phil Knight, who served as an animator and producer on the studio's first three films, before transitioning to direct Kubo and the Two Strings. While promoting Kubo, Travis Knight took part in an in-depth conversation about filmmaking in Los Angeles with filmmaker and historian John Canemaker, where he revealed that his studio will never make a sequel. »
Those of you using Twitter this last week may have noticed an especially popular hashtag trending: #7favfilms. Using the tag, users shared their seven favorite movies. Within 14 hours, over 100,000 lists were shared and that data was compiled into a single, definitive list. These were – collectively – the top answers: The Dark Knight (5,056 votes) Pulp Fiction (4,966 votes) The Shawshank Redemption (4,910 votes) Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (4,772 votes) The Godfather (4,604) Goodfellas (3,877 votes) Alien (3,730 votes) Fight Club (3,574 votes) Harry Potter (2,757 votes) Jaws (2,622 votes) (Photo via Screenmusings.org)
What Are Twitter Users’ #7favfilms? »
- Brian Hadsell
Whether you wanted to or not, you probably learned a lot of people’s seven favorite films yesterday. #fav7films was the hashtag du jour, presumably because a standard top 10 would have been more likely to go over Twitter’s 140-character limit, and among the many civvies chiming in were a number of actors and filmmakers. Here, for your perusing pleasure, is a sampling of their favorites.
Read More: Emmy Nominees React To Snubs And Surprises On Twitter
(I can’t resist)
24 hr Party People
Sound of Music
— Adam McKay (@GhostPanther) August 16, 2016
— Amy Schumer (@amyschumer) August 16, 2016
Singin’ in the Rain
Squid and the Whale
Bob & Carol »
- Michael Nordine
Although “Kubo and the Two Strings” marks Matthew McConaughey‘s first animated film, the actor admitted that his interest in voice acting preceded his involvement in Laika’s latest stop-motion fantasy.
“I’d been looking for a voice acting role for years. When this came along — it’s a quality production, Laika’s quality, the story’s good — I was in,” McConaughey told Variety at the film’s Los Angeles premiere. “I haven’t made many films lately, in the last 15 years, that are children-friendly so it was nice to make something that [my kids] can go to.”
The Oscar-winning actor plays a light-hearted human-turned-insect in the fantasy epic, which follows a young Japanese storyteller’s mystical quest to defeat evil and protect his family’s legacy. Charlize Theron, Rooney Mara, Art Parkinson, Ralph Fiennes, and George Takei also lend their voices to the film, which marks Laika CEO Travis Knight‘s directorial debut. »
- Alyssa Sage
Actor best known for his role as R2-D2 in Star Wars
When the first Star Wars film opened in 1977, the life of every actor associated with it was transformed, even those who were not visible on screen, such as Kenny Baker, who has died aged 81. Baker played R2-D2, the android that resembled a common domestic dustbin with an elongated arm clamped to each side and flashing lights on his front.
Together with C-3Po (Anthony Daniels), his taller, humanoid robot companion, R2-D2 served the heroes of this intergalactic adventure, which was essentially a B-movie on a bigger budget. Though Baker and Daniels were widely reported to have had a difficult relationship, they were a dependable source of comic relief on screen together in the series’ seven instalments, including the original trilogy, which was completed by The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983).
Continue reading »
- Ryan Gilbey
Star Wars icon Kenny Baker has died at the age of 83 after a long illness. The 3ft 8in tall actor first shot to fame in 1977 after playing R2-D2 in Star Wars: A New Hope, and he would reprise the role in The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and the three prequel […]
The post R2-D2 actor and Star Wars legend Kenny Baker dies aged 83 appeared first on HeyUGuys. »
- Josh Wilding
Kenny Baker, the British actor who portrayed the fan-favorite “Star Wars” character R2-D2, has died at the age of 81 after a long illness.
“It was expected, but it’s sad nonetheless,” his niece Abigail Shield told The Guardian. “He had a very long and fulfilled life. He brought lots of happiness to people and we’ll be celebrating the fact that he was well loved throughout the world. We’re all very proud of what he achieved in his lifetime.”
Baker wasn’t expected to survive puberty, Shield added: “Being a little person in those times, they didn’t have a very good life expectancy. He did extremely well in his life. He was very ill for the last few years so we had been expecting it. He had been looked after by one of his nephews, who found him on Saturday morning.”
Read More: Kenny Baker Death: Friends and ‘Star Wars’ Co-Stars Mourn
- Liz Calvario
Some sad news today, with the announcement that British actor Kenny Baker – famed for portraying the lovable droid R2-D2 in the Star Wars saga – has passed away aged 81 after a long illness.
The 3 ft 8 in actor began his showbusiness career as part of a theatrical group of dwarves, and also spent time working in the circus and as part of the comedy act the Minitones before being cast as the man inside R2-D2 in Star Wars.
Baker returned as R2-D2 in The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi (where he also portrayed the Ewok Paploo) and all three prequel films, while he was also credited as a consultant on Star Wars: The Force Awakens after handing over the role of Artoo to Jimmy Vee.
- Gary Collinson
Kenny Baker, the man who brought "Star Wars" character R2-D2 to life has died. According to a report by The Guardian, Baker had battled a long illness before passing away Saturday morning. Baker stood at 3ft 8in tall, and first became famous for playing the robot in 1977 in "Star Wars IV: A New Hope." Baker got back in the robot in "The Empire Strikes Back," "Return of The Jedi," and all of the franchises' prequel films. »
- TMZ Staff
Let me preface this by saying: Meh.
No, I'm not Meh-ing the rumor I'm about to share with you. I'm not Meh-ing the people involved in this production (cause they're stellar). I'm Meh-ing the project itself.
This new Young Han Solo movie- a spinoff/prequel from the ever-expanding Star Wars Universe- has got me worried. It was never an exciting idea to begin with because prequels, in general, don't really work for me. Unless they're going to explore very new, very fertile ground, and have very little connection to the films that take place after it, they just feel too safe and too restrained.
With the recent news that Lando Calrissian, a role originated Billy Dee Williams in The Empire Strikes Back, was going to appear in the tentatively titled Han Solo: A Star Wars Story I can't help but feel like this film is going to walk all over »
- Mario-Francisco Robles
Looks like Han Solo is getting his running buddy in his spin off film!
It was probably the most legendary casting experience ever. Allegedly somewhere near 3000 actors read for the role of young Han Solo for the Star Wars spinoff film. A role that eventually went to Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar). We know that Lord and Miller will be directing the said spinoff, and that Han will be joined be his lovable and trusty companion, Chewbacca. But we have all speculated who else from the Star Wars lore would be joining him. Would we see Boba Fett? Will we see his new “wife” from the comics? What about Jabba or Greedo? Where could this story go and who will it involve!
Well thanks to a report from The Wrap, we now know one of the characters from Solo’s past that will be joining him, and that is the smooth talking, »
- email@example.com (B.C.)
The search for someone to star in Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s Han Solo-centric Star Wars prequel was reportedly very difficult, with every young dude in Hollywood vying for the gig. They eventually settled on Hail Caesar! breakout Alden Ehrenreich, but it sounds like Lucasfilm and Disney may now have stumbled onto another casting decision that could be significantly harder than finding a young Han Solo. That’s because, according to The Wrap, the studios are now looking for someone to play a young Lando Calrissian.
As iconic as Harrison Ford as Han Solo is, the idea of someone other than Billy Dee Williams playing Lando just seems wrong. Williams simply is Lando, and the only reason the audience is willing to give him a chance at redemption in Return Of The Jedi after his betrayal in The Empire Strikes Back is because of how irresistibly smooth Billy Dee »
- Sam Barsanti
When Alden Ehrenreich steps into the shoes of the galaxy's most lovable smuggler for the upcoming Star Wars spin-off centering around a young Han Solo, he'll be bringing an old friend with him. The Wrap reports that Phil Lord and Chris Miller are currently looking for an actor to fill the role of a young Lando Calrissian. Played by Billy Dee Williams in both The Empire Strikes Back and... Read More »
- Kevin Fraser
While Lando Calrissian's whereabouts were never mentioned in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and there is no indication that we'll see him return in Star Wars: Episode VIII, LucasFilm and Disney are not done with the character by a long shot. A young Lando already turned up in Star Wars Rebels during the Disney Xd animated series' first season, voiced by the legendary Billy Dee Williams. Now it is being reported that Lando will be one of the secondary characters in Han Solo: A Star Wars Story, the franchise's second spin-off following this December's Rogue One.
Young Lando and Han will be gambling buddies, as told in past Star Wars lore. While LucasFilm and Disney have not confirmed this news, The Wrap reveals that the filmmakers are currently casting Calrissian under the codename 'Chance'. It is believed that this is in reference to the character's luck with cards and dice. »
When we met Lando Calrissian in The Empire Strikes Back, it was established that he and Han Solo had a past. Now that there is going to be a new movie set in Han Solo’s past, it looks like we’re going to see at least some of the story about Han and Lando- the movie is casting a young Calrissian.
Although Lando doesn’t come in until Empire, a lot of references to his past with Han Solo are dropped, including Han winning his famous ship the Millennium Falcon from Lando.
Although reps for Lucasfilm declined to comment, The Wrap is reporting that the name being used in casting circles is “Chance,” which would seem to point to the fact that Calrissian has a history as a gambler. It is still unclear how big or a role Lando will be in the film, but it makes sense for him to appear, »
- Kellvin Chavez
Now that Alden Ehrenreich has officially been cast as Han Solo in the iconic “Star Wars” character’s standalone film, other key characters need to come onboard as well. Chief among these, according to TheWrap, is the young Lando Calrissian — Solo’s friend/traitor/friend again originally played by Billy Dee Williams in “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.” Asked for comment, Ehrenreich reportedly responded with a mirthless chuckle (note: not really).
The world of “Star Wars” has only expanded since Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012; in addition to a new trilogy led by last year’s “The Force Awakens,” a host of spinoffs and character-specific films are in the works as well. “Rogue One” arrives first, while the untitled project focusing on Solo’s early years is perhaps the most eagerly anticipated. »
- Michael Nordine
This isn't exactly a surprise, but The Wrap has revealed that Disney and Lucasfilm are looking to cast a younger version of Lando Calrissian for their currently untitled Han Solo movie. Played by Billy Dee Williams in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, speculation about the character showing up here has been running rampant for a long time now, so this confirmation of sorts makes sense. There have been conflicting reports about this spinoff being the first instalment in a trilogy, but regardless of whether we get three movies or a single instalment from directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, it makes sense that Han Solo will explore the titular character's history with Lando. The trade adds that the code name being used in casting circles for the role is "Chance", a moniker which makes sense given his gambling background! Who will be cast alongside Alden Ehrenreich isn't clear, »
Han Solo is getting a gambling buddy — his standalone “Star Wars” spinoff film is casting a young Lando Calrissian. Fans have speculated about which of the characters from Solo’s complicated past might turn up in “Han Solo,” and now we know at least one. The Cloud City cassanova was originally played by Billy Dee Williams, and the current code name in casting circles for young Lando is “Chance” — perhaps a reference to the character’s appreciation of cards and dice. Though we met Lando in “The Empire Strikes Back” — in which Darth Vader forced him to betray Han, Leia, »
- Umberto Gonzalez
In 1977, the world was introduced to the hokey religion and ancient weapons of the Jedi Order in Star Wars. Through Luke Skywalker, audiences learned that in a galaxy far, far away certain people could work wonders by tapping into the mysterious force that binds everything together. Those who used those powers for good were called the Jedi. If the Force-user chose a darker path, they became a Sith Lord. A black-and-white way of looking at the world, to be sure. But one that fit in with spaghetti-western-in-space feel of A New Hope. The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi would both muddy the waters a little on whether going to the Dark Side was an irredeemable act. The prequel trilogy would make everyone question the wisdom of blindly following ancient prophecies. The Clone Wars cartoon would open the door to the concept that the Jedi and the Sith »
- Donna Dickens
ABC is still hoping to visit a galaxy far, far away, according to network president Channing Dungey, who says the Alphabet has been in discussions with Lucasfilm over the possibility of bringing the “Star Wars” universe to TV.
“As a fan I would absolutely love to say yes,” Dungey said during her executive session at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. “We have had conversations with [Lucasfilm] and we will continue to have conversations with them. I think it would be wonderful if we could find a way to extend that brand onto our programming.”
After the panel, Dungey told a handful of reporters that as of now, there’s nothing official in the works in terms of a series. “It’s all a little bit hush-hush. That company exists under a big shroud of secrecy. If you feel Marvel is secretive, Lucas takes it to a whole other level,” she »
- Laura Prudom
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