Lots of awesome Episode VII talk highlights this edition of Star Wars Bits. Below, read about the following.
- Some fun rumors pop up about Episode VII cameos for Simon Pegg, Benedict Cumberbatch and the role of Warwick Davis.
- A full, rumored scene is described as well as a hint at the film’s opening.
- Read some news and see some photos from the Star Wars Episode VII wrap party.
- Mark Hamill has shaved his Star Wars Episode VII beard.
- Actress Christina Chong talks working on Episode VII.
- An upcoming book will reveal a new Episode VII ship.
- Does concept art highlight changes made from the Michael Arndt script to the J.J. Abrams/Lawrence Kasdan one?
- Peter Jackson also visited the set of Star Wars Episode VII.
- See the Hot Toys Stormtrooper figures.
- An official Star Wars costume exhibit has been announced.
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Today is October 21, 2014. In exactly one year, we’ll have Hoverboards, flying cars, Jaws 19 and a Cubs World Series victory. At least, that’s what Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future Part II surmised. And while it’s going to end up being totally wrong about all of it, it’s a date everyone is looking forward to.
2015 also marks the 30th anniversary of the first Back to the Future film, released on July 3, 1985. Much like we saw with Ghostbusters this year, plenty of celebrations are expected for the milestone from merchandise and screenings to documentaries and more. One new addition to the list is the announcement of special 30th anniversary screenings that’ll play at concert venues all over the world. There, the soundtrack of the film will be edited out so a full orchestra can perform Alan Silvestri‘s iconic score live. Even better? Silvestri is writing 15 minutes of new score for the performances. Read More »
If you’re a Harry Potter fan, the Harry Potter Studio Tour is London is heaven. Located at Leavesden Studios, on one of the stages where all eight of the films were shot, almost every single prop, set and costume from the series is displayed like you were visiting Hogwarts itself. You can walk through the actual Great Hall where they shot big scenes, look into the Gryffindor common room, and see Hagrid’s cabin, the Dursley home and so much more. I had the good fortune of going last month and was truly blown away. It honestly feels like every single thing that’s in the films is there. However, I was wrong.
On October 14, the Harry Potter Studio Tour is embracing the dark arts. The full set of Malfoy Manor is being installed, giving attendees a glimpse into the sinister set from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. They’re also adding props from Borgin and Burkes and a full replica of the snake Nagini. Below, see the first photos of the Dark Arts expansion of the Harry Potter Studio Tour. Read More »
Ask a film fan and they’ll say Fantastic Fest is the best film festival in the world. An experience so unique and exciting, there’s almost no way it could be improved.
That is, until organizers added MondoCon.
MondoCon is a sister convention put on by the team known for their highly collectible and sought-after posters. The aim was to do a convention that celebrated all things Mondo (art, posters, toys, movies, comics) but do everything differently from other conventions. To create an experience that would be really fun for fans and non-fans alike. After attending for two days, I can safely say they succeeded — but not in the ways one may think.
So many criticize Mondo for the culture they’ve helped create with their low-supply, high-demand posters. There are valid arguments on both sides, but with MondoCon the team did their best to move away from that. It wasn’t a convention that was only about buying posters. (Though you could, of course, buy lots of posters.) MondoCon was more about community and communication. It was a venue for fans to interact with their favorite artists and other fans, and revel in the controlled geekiness.
However, at the start of MondoCon no one knew that. In fact, we knew very little at all. Below, read our full MondoCon recap. Read More »
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At some point, movie theaters found themselves in the unfortunate position of playing catch up. Where theaters were once the epicenter for entertainment, rising ticket prices and the exponential improvement of home theater technology have all but pushed them to the endangered species list.
Innovation was needed. IMAX was a good start. A screen so big no home can duplicate it. 3D is a mixed bag. It’s more expensive and, frankly, better in the home setting. Sound systems such as Dolby Atmos are great, but most of what makes it special is very nuisanced.
So what’s next? Well, it might be Barco Escape, a technology influenced by the super Cinerama craze of the 1960s, where an additional screen is placed on either side of your normal screen, giving a massive panoramic experience. The first film to be presented in Barco Escape is this week’s release, The Maze Runner. Five theaters across the country are offering the film in Barco Escape and myself and Peter Sciretta just had to try it out for ourselves.
Below, read more about Barco Escape and watch a video blog of our thoughts, criticisms and praise for what the company is calling “a little taste of the future.” Read More »
Brad Bird‘s Tomorrowland is ready to come out into the world. Tuesday, Disney revealed that the film would have a presence at New York Comic-Con. Now, we can exclusively reveal the film will also have a presentation at the D23 Destination D event that takes place November 22-23 in Orlando, Florida.
The film’s supervising art director Ramsey Avery will dive into the making of the film, specifically talking about how they reconstructed parts of the 1964 World’s Fair including the “It’s A Small World” ride.
Find out more about the Tomorrowland event and learn how to get tickets below. Read More »
Normally, U.S. film fans have it pretty good. The events and festivals that take place between the Atlantic and the Pacific are pretty much unprecedented. There are rare exceptions, though, and one is Secret Cinema. The UK company plans movie experiences where you not only see a movie, you live it. For example, when UK fans went to see Back to the Future they did so in a full recreation of Hill Valley. Dozens of working stores, the school, the clock tower and 74 actors made the movie itself almost a secondary thing.
Well, it turns out the United States is getting that experience soon. Secret Cinema has revealed that they’ll bring their Back to the Future screening to Los Angeles in 2015 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the film. Read More »
Living in Los Angeles, I’m often asked, “What should I do when I’m in town?” Every single time that question comes up, I point people to the Warner Bros. VIP Studio Tour. I wrote about it here a few years ago. It’s a two hour-plus, small-group tour through the Warner Bros. lot where you’ll see amazing iconic locations, drive by live shoots, walk on famous sound stages and see two full museums of one of a kind props.
To keep the tour fresh, those museums (which you can only see as part of the tour) are semi-regularly updated. So, for example, when I was there a few years ago, the entire second floor of one was themed to Harry Potter. It probably still is. But the latest update is just as exciting. Warner Bros. has installed a massive Batman 75th Anniversary Exhibit including props from all seven of their Batman films. Check out a slew of images below. Read More »
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Short of the tram tour at Universal Studios in Hollywood, CA, visiting Hill Valley from Back to the Future has always been impossible. Until now. This summer, a London-based company called Secret Cinema is screening the classic 1985 Robert Zemeckis film multiple times. To make the events extra special, they’ll be presented ina recreation of the fictional town. Read more information about the Back to the Future Hill Valley recreation below. Read More »
There are many things wrong with mega-conventions, and the team behind MondoCon is going to try and fix them. At many conventions the food sucks, it’s too crowded, and the lines are too long. These are problems Mondo knows about, and seeks to improve upon for the company’s first con. The stuff they won’t be able to fix — in fact, what Mondo might make worse — are the many geek Sophie’s Choices fans constantly have to make.
MondoCon, the first Mondo-centric pop culture convention, takes place September 20-21 in Austin, Texas. (That’s during the opening weekend of Fantastic Fest.) Tickets go on sale Wednesday June 4. An initial press release giving some general idea about the convention came online Monday but it raised many more questions than it answered. I got on the phone with Mondo’s Creative Director Justin Ishmael to get more answers. We talked about questions such as, how Mondo will handle the lines, what kind of events will be at the con, which artists are attending, and exactly how big the event will be.
Ishmael was able to answer some of those questions, as well as others. The prevailing feeling I got speaking to him is that, much like Comic-Con, MondoCon is going to have so much excellent stuff happening simultaneously that fans will have to make some really tough decisions on what they want to do over the course of the two days. Read more about MondoCon below. Read More »