Rogue One Reshoots

The morning after watching 28 minutes of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, I joined the rest of the gathered press as we reconvened at Lucasfilm for a full day of interviews (which you can read right over here). But before that, we assembled for the group press conference, moderated by StarWars.com’s Andi Gutierrez. In attendance were Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, director Gareth Edwards, visual effects supervisor (and story creator) John Knoll, and actors Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, and Riz Ahmed.

The result was a sprawling morning that covered everything from the genesis of the film’s unique look, to George Lucas’ reaction to the final cut, to Kathleen Kennedy addressing her previous comments about women directing Star Wars movies…to Alan Tudyk’s very, very tight motion capture jumpsuit. Here’s everything you need to know.

Read More »

gamer

No matter how you feel about the films of Brian Taylor — a high-voltage assortment that includes Crank, Gamer, and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance — they all, at first glance, inspire a shared singular question: how the fuck did this get made?

Seriously. Just look at what these movies are about:

  • To avoid dying, a British hitman must keep adrenaline coursing through his body.
  • In a future where kids can control humans as if they were video game characters, a wrongly imprisoned death row convict seeks freedom.
  • Years after making a deal with the Devil, a hell-on-wheels monster known as “The Ghost Rider” must save a young boy (and, ultimately, the world).

To many, these films are considered “guilty pleasures.” Yet interestingly enough, they come from an unexpectedly honest place: a desire to provide viewers with an alternative to the four-quadrant, check-the-boxes, CGI-everything Hollywood Machine.

This underlying, upend-the-system ethos was just one the many things I learned during my conversation with Taylor. But by no means was it the most interesting. Not compared to hearing about his wild and crazy “maniac” days, the strange legacy of Gamer and what it’s really like to work with the iconic and eccentric enigma that is Nicolas CageRead More »

Rogue One Star Wars riz ahmed interview

Riz Ahmed has been having one hell of a 2016. Before audiences see him as Imperial pilot turned Rebel sympathizer Bodhi Rook in the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, he played a key role in Jason Bourne earlier this summer and headlined HBO’s critically lauded miniseries The Night Of. Toss in major roles in modern gems like Four Lions and Nightcrawler and you’re left with one of the most interesting (and multi-faceted) young actors working today.

I was able to speak with Ahmed shortly after watching 28 minute of footage from Rogue One and we chatted about using fanboy feelings as on-set fuel, the importance of diversity in modern stories, and what it’s like to play an ordinary person in the Star Wars universe. Oh, and we wasted valuable Star Wars time chatting about Nightcrawler.

Read More »

diego luna interview

Everyone at the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story junket is tired, exhausted from days of press and hours of interviews. Except for Diego Luna. He’s alert and energetic and improbably cheerful for a man who has been answering questions from reporters and bloggers all day.

The actor I sit down with couldn’t feel more different from his character, Captain Cassian Andor, a Rebel intelligence officer who was seen making some very tough decisions in the Rogue One footage we saw the night before. Cassian is a pragmatic soldier not above living in shades of gray to get the job done. Diego Luna is positive, charming, and had to go camping with former Marines so he could learn the ins and outs of soldering. Our conversation was far too brief.

Read More »

christopher nolan imax
We have learned from multiple sources that a seven-minute prologue for Christopher Nolan‘s new film Dunkirk will play in front of select 70mm IMAX showings of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Hit the jump to learn more about the Dunkirk IMAX preview.

Read More »

Westworld

I’m still trying to recover from that fantastic Westworld season one finale. A lot of people watching the series are likely not paying attention to the incredible Westworld website that HBO has constructed that takes you inside the world of the show. An update occurred after the finale that gives us a bunch of hints at the future of the show, and may finally reveal what year this story takes place in. Hit the jump to dive in.

Read More »

westworld dolores and man in black

Westworld‘s 90-minute season finale delivered the goods, answering the most pressing questions, providing dramatic closure to the major characters, and still finding several opportunities to turn this entire weird world on its head and set up a very different second season. And while this is the rare Westworld episode to shut more doors than it opens, I still have ten questions to ask before we begin the long wait for more of 2016’s most intriguing and frustrating and entertaining new show.

Read More »

Rogue One Alan Tudyk Interview

Of course Alan Tudyk is in a Star Wars movie.

And of course the beloved character actor whose eclectic credits include Firely, Serenity, I, Robot, Death at a Funeral, Wreck-It Ralph, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, and Frozen would play a seven-foot-tall, antisocial Imperial security droid reprogrammed to serve the Rebel cause and help steal the Death Star plans in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. After all, Tudyk has a knack for popping up in unexpected places, taking on the strangest roles, and stealing every scene he’s in.

I sat down with Tudyk the day after watching 28 minutes of Rogue One footage, which revealed his K-2SO (a digital character created through motion capture) to be an early contender for the film’s MVP. During our all-too-brief conversation, we spoke about bringing humor to a dark movie, avoiding getting typecast, and the importance of spontaneity on set.

Read More »

Universal Monsters Movie Universe

Last year it was revealed that Fast and the Furious producer Chris Morgan was teaming with screenwriter/director Alex Kurtzman to design a Universal Monsters cinematic universe. The plan was to reboot the Universal Monsters properties, including characters such as Dracula, The Wolf Man, Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, and Creature from the Black Lagoon, each with their own movies leading to an Avengers-type film that would bring them all together.

The trailer for the first film in the series, The Mummy starring Tom Cruise, was released over the weekend, giving us a first look at the Universal Monster movie universe. I had the opportunity to talk with director Alex Kurtzman about the creation of this world, what their intentions are, how they hope to bring it all together and more. Please note the headline comparison to Marvel is my own, not Kurtzman’s. Although I think its obvious that Kurtzman’s opinion on building a cinematic movie universe seem to closely reflect Marvel Studios’ own philosophies and approach.

Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Star Wars Rogue One set - Diego Luna, Felicity Jones, Jiang Wen, Gareth Edwards

Gareth Edwards looks tired.

It’s the kind of fatigue you see on the faces of filmmakers after they’ve put the finishing touches on major motion pictures and have to summon a second (third? fourth?) wind to survive the press cycle. A stiff breeze could knock him over. But the director of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is smart and alert and clearly as much in love with George Lucas’ classic science fiction universe now as he was when he first signed to to make Lucasfilm’s first Star Wars spin-off movie. He’s also the kind of filmmaker who is comfortable naming The Battle of Algiers as an influence on his space opera.

I spoke with Edwards the day after watching 28 minutes of Rogue One and the director of (the wonderful) Monsters and (the divisive but brilliant) Godzilla shared his thoughts on moving from the independent realm to the world of blockbusters, why Star Wars still matters, and how the war-torn fictional moon of Jedha is like Nazi-occupied France.

Read More »