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Heading into this year's San Diego Comic-Con, it's not unfair for fans of genre films to feel a bit like Charlie preparing to visit the Chocolate Factory: What will we see? What will we learn? Although Marvel Studios won't be present — in it's movie incarnation, at least; the TV department will be there, promoting Agents of Shield and Agent Carter — there are three panels being held in the cavernous Hall H that are likely to offer all manner of thrills for fans and casual audiences alike. Here's a (somewhat realistic) wish list of what we might see.
- Graeme McMillan
London — Pinewood Group, which runs production facilities in several countries, reported record annual revenue on Tuesday. The company received a boost from hosting “Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and the 24th Bond film “Spectre.”
Revenue for the financial year ending March 31 was £75 million ($118 million), compared with £64.1 million ($101 million) the previous year. Operating profit stood at £5.8 million ($9.11 million), compared with £4.9 million ($7.7 million) the year before.
The company can expect to see a further jump in revenue at its flagship U.K. site, Pinewood Studios, once its expansion program, known as the Pinewood Studios Development Framework, sees the completion of its first phase, which is now underway. The Pinewood Studios Development Framework will add 1 million sq ft of new facilities, including 10 large stages with supporting workshops, production offices and infrastructure.
Ivan Dunleavy, chief executive, said: “Although we have hosted the three largest film productions of the year, »
- Leo Barraclough
J.J. Abrams's secrecy around Star Wars: The Force Awakens is so complete that fans have resorted to reading toy labels in the hopes of finding out something — anything! — about the world of the film. Force Awakens merchandise isn't coming out until September, but IGN's Eric Goldman got a peek at the descriptions for the Stormtrooper action figures available for purchase at Comic-Con in July, and here's what they reveal about the movie's new bad guys, the First Order:Shock troopers clad in white armor first appeared on the galactic stage during the opening battles of the Clone Wars. Clone Trooper armor became iconic almost immediately; its stark white design stood for hope that peace and stability might be restored to a galaxy at war. But this dream of peace died with the Republic, and the Empire that rose to take its place imposed order by any means necessary. Soldiers »
- Nate Jones
We may be less than six months away from seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but with the many layers of secrecy surrounding the J.J. Abrams-directed space opera, we.re still learning about members of the cast. According to one source, veteran TV and movie actor Ken Leung will appear as a high-ranking character. Star Wars 7 News reports that they have seen "definitive proof" that Leung, who has appeared in Red Dragon, X-Men: The Last Stand, and numerous other notable films and shows, will show up in The Force Awakens. According to the report he was only on set filming for a few days, so his role is likely not particularly large, but it does sound like he.ll be a top military official. This report is very unofficial, so, as usual, take it with a grain of salt. Leung was seen on set wearing a kind of »
Greg Grunberg, who many of you know best as playing Matt Parkman in NBC's Heroes and who will be returning in a limited capacity for the new miniseries, will have a role in not only Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, but also Star Wars: Episode VIII and Star Wars: Episode IX. Grunberg has been forthcoming about his role on social media including claiming that he wears no prosthetics and filmed for seven weeks total. Who he is playing has remained a mystery and we've been clamoring to find out the details.
Thanks to Star Wars 7 News, we now know not only Grunberg's character but two other familiar faces from Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi that are coming back for another round against the bad guys. All three of these characters will be fighting on the same side and could be seen on screen in the same scene. »
A little more than 38 years after the first film came to U.S. theaters, the original Star Wars trilogy flew its way into China theaters for the first time. That's right, the Shanghai International Film Festival screened the first mainland Chinese theater screenings of the sci-fi films, as they showed all six films this week. And speaking of all six films, if you ever said to yourself, "Hey, I like these Star Wars movies, but I'd like to watch them all at the same time. You know, just to save time," well, I got some good news for you. First, the China screenings. If you're wondering why the movies didn't screen during its original 1977 release, the reason is because the nation was emerging from the Cultural Revolution at the time and, therefore, had yet to launch economic reforms to transform from the Communist-ruled country, Yahoo reported. Why it didn't get screened before this, »
- Will Ashton
It's a new era in blockbusters and we're all trying to find out just what manner of new school blockbuster appeals to us. Maybe you're a Marvel fan, maybe Fast and Furious, maybe you liked the new Jurassic World, maybe a combination of what's being offered or just maybe you shun it all. Either way, a new selection is on the way as not only a new trilogy of Star Wars movies begins this December with Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens as well as the beginning of a series of standalone films, starting with Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One, releasing next year and shooting this summer. We traditionally know what to expect from the Star Wars films, but now that franchise creator George Lucas has taken a backseat and sold Lucasfilm to Disney for nine gajillion dollars we may be getting a whole new galaxy far, far »
- Brad Brevet
There's a lot of talk about the digital campfire concerning the Arri's new Alexa 65 camera, which combines the proven image quality, dynamic range, and usability of the Alexa with a much larger 65mm equivalent sensor. Emmanuel Lubezki used it to shoot Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's The Revenant, Robert Elswit used the camera for the much-talked-about underwater sequences in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation and it's being used as I type to film Captain America: Civil War. Well, now it's heading to a galaxy far, far away. The Hollywood Reporter brings word cinematographer Greig Fraser (Zero Dark Thirty) will be using the camera to lens Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One for director Gareth Edwards, delivering the latest in premium, large-format, 6K resolution in digital filmmaking. Meanwhile, Rian Johnson, who will be filming Star Wars: Episode VIII revealed on Twitter he'll be using 35mm for that shoot, though he did consider 65mm. This »
- Brad Brevet
Comic-Con 2015 is fast approaching, and the San Diego convention — now in its 46th year — is set to feature a bevy of television and movie previews, panels and Q&As. Bookmark this page as Comic-Con draws closer, as Variety will keep you constantly updated with the latest scheduling moves from Sdcc.
July 8 (Preview Night)
Thursday, July 9
“Mockingjay – Part 2″ and “The Last Witch Hunter” (12 p.m., Hall H) Q&As with the stars and filmmakers will give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the two fall releases, along with first-look footage.
“Damien” (6:45 p.m., Room 6A) A first look at the inaugural season precedes a Q&A with cast and producers.
- Seth Kelley
The Force will be strong at the San Diego Comic-Con next month following today's announcement that Lucasfilm will be in Hall H and bringing a new look at Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens with them.
The official Star Wars website made the big announcement today and teased that J.J Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy will be in attendance to "provide a special look" at Star Wars Episode 7. Special guests will also be in attendance so I would expect Star Wars Celebration attendees Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and new droid Bb-8 at minimum to step onto the stage to the tune of thunderous applause. Lucasfilm and Disney can really get the crowd on their feet if Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill also show up.
Disney will present a special look at the film in Hall H on Friday, July 10. Expected to attend the panel are director J.J. Abrams, producer Kathleen Kennedy, writer Lawrence Kasdan and “special guests.”
In addition to the Hall H panel, Disney will host several other “Star Wars”-related events, including Hasbro’s in-depth look at the popular “Star Wars” toyline as well as a 40th anniversary panel for vfx specialists Ilm.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opens in theaters Dec. 18.
- Variety Staff
Billie Lourd is, indeed, following in her famous mom's footsteps and joining the Star Wars world, but she won't be playing the younger version of Carrie Fisher's character. The 22-year-old actress is shooting down this recurring rumor about her Star Wars: The Force Awakens role once again, telling Interview's July issue, "I'm not Princess Leia's daughter." So who will she be playing? That'd Tbd—everything's top secret on the J.J. Abrams flick! It's been quite a learning experience for Lourd, too, who told Interview, "This is the first job I've ever had—right into the fire." Fisher, 58, and Lourd's talent agent father Bryan Lourd »
Poor goldenrod. After two Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens trailers, Han Solo's favorite droid to hate has yet to make a single appearance in the upcoming sequel to Return of the Jedi. We've seen Han, Chewie, and parts of Luke and Leia. But C-3Po is being kept conspicuously under wraps.
One of the reasons we might not have seen 3Po yet is that J.J. Abrams and The Force Awakens designers have made a modification to our favorite interpreter droid. Jedi News first leaked this Star Wars Episode 7 spoilers a few weeks ago with a grainy promotional image on various products. Now a much clearer version of the image has popped up in the wild.
The new Star Wars: The Force Awakens C-3Po image comes from Mexico where someone who spotted it on a soda can in a store snapped a pic and shared it on Twitter. »
Angelina Jolie and Domhnall Gleeson, who starred in her film Unbroken, share an equal parts candid and funny conversation in Interview magazine's upcoming June/July Youth Wave issue. Case in point: Angelina's first question for the actor is, "So, what's it like to grow up in a normal family?" Domhnall, who's probably still best known as Harry Potter's Bill Weasley, is poised for the biggest moment yet in his career, having landed a leading role in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens. During their chat, he and Angelina talked about her surprising fandom for the franchise, their childhoods, and life in the spotlight. Read on for some of our favorite moments from the Q&A, and visit Interview Magazine for the full interview - along with features on the issue's other two up-and-coming cover stars, Ex Machina's Alicia Vikander and Terminator Genisys actor Jai Courtney. On »
It seems the closer we get to the release of the first movie in the new era of Star Wars films, the more begins to float downstream. Whether it's the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, its sequels or one of the Star Wars: Anthology films (stories that take place within the Star Wars universe), there is always some measure of speculation to discuss. To that point, the website Schmoes Know has dropped a few fascinating rumors about two of the Anthology titles and other potential projects. A second film in the Anthology series for 2018 has previously been reported to focus in on villainous bounty hunter Boba Fett. Chronicle director Josh Trank had been attached to direct, but left the role last month. Schmoes Know provides speculation for both the plot of the upcoming film and who might fill the empty position. According to their source, »
- Cory Woodroof
We now know what the Andy Serkis Star Wars: The Force Awakens character name is thanks to a throwaway line in a recent article posted at the official Star Wars website. What he looks like will remain under wraps for the time being.
As the first Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens trailer insinuates through a narration by Serkis in character, his role leans closer to the dark side of the Force than the light. There's an evilness in his voice's tone that surely cannot be associated with the Resistance or anyone not on the side of the First Order.
Buried deep in a StarWars.com article on Annie Leibovitz is the following line that tells us what character Serkis will be playing, "A previously unpublished photo of Andy Serkis, also sporting mo-cap gear for his portrayal of Supreme Leader Snoke, is available here exclusively (see the »
It was known Andy Serkis would be playing a character in J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, but which character wasn't entirely clear, but today we get a glimpse at said character in a new picture as well as a name. Serkis will be playing Supreme Leader Snoke and clearly based on the image it will be a performance capture character (naturally). Otherwise, well, that's all she wrote. Check out the full-sized image below. »
- Brad Brevet
Star Wars' masterful score, one of the most iconic to ever play from a theater speaker, is just another notch in composer John Williams' sterling resume. Williams is now 83 and works far less than he did in his heyday, but that isn't stopping him from returning to a galaxy far, far away as he'll provide the score for Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens. In an interview with "Vanity Fair," the composer revealed he will be borrowing a few familiar notes for the upcoming score, taking some of the notable character themes for big names like Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia and fusing them together with his new music. "There are some scenes where we do make reference to earlier thematic pieces," Williams said. "We haven't done it yet, but we're planning to do it. It's something that I think will seem very natural »
- Cory Woodroof
When Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino (Up, Ratatouille) accepted the role of writing the score for Jurassic World, he took on a monumental task. Composing legend John Williams wrote the iconic theme to the original Jurassic Park, perfectly capturing the awe and adventure of what Dr. Hammond wanted to showcase with his Jurassic Park creation. Is Giacchino up to the task of walking in Williams' shoesc Today we get our first hint. Picking up where Williams left off, Giacchino is one of the more reliable composers working today, and it appears he has gotten to the heart of what made Williams' score so special while still bringing his own flair to the table. The first two pieces of music from the film have been made available online (via Slashfilm), after first airing on Wqxr Radio in New York. The nearly 10-minute arrangement showcases two tracks, "As the Jurassic World Turns" and »
- Cory Woodroof
Two of the best experiences I've ever had walking out of a theater were when I first saw The Dark Knight during the summer of 2008 and when I saw The Hangover in the summer of 2009. Although those two films are extremely disparate in story and in tone, for me they share a common thread: as I walked into both of them I had very little knowledge of what I was about to see on screen. That made me even more excited as I sat in my seat waiting for those movies to start, because when you know nothing, anything can happen. Now don't get me wrong, trailers and marketing aren't necessarily evil. In fact, I'll happily tell you I thought the marketing campaign for The Dark Knight impressive, primarily because it highlighted certain aspects of the film, such as its characters and the world of Christopher Nolan's Gotham City, »
- Jordan Benesh
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