Jeff Jensen Tomorrowland Interview

I talk with Jeff Jensen about how he went from a television writer at Entertainment Weekly to collaborating with Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird on the story for Tomorrowland.  I must admit, I planned to go in and talk to Jensen about how the 1952 box was fabricated and how the script influenced the box and how the box influenced the script, but I found myself kind of blindsided with Jensen’s reaction. Jeff continued to pretend that the 1952 box wasn’t a creation of the team behind the film, which threw most of my prepared questions out the window. We still discuss how the box was used to sell executives and early Disney fans on the ideas behind the backstory of the movie.

I talk to Jeff about the early development of the film which saw two dueling ideas, one being a more Harry Potter approach and another more inspired by Close Encounters of the Third Kind. We also talk about the amazing Plus Ultra backstory which didn’t fully make it into the film but can be discovered through the tie-in prequel novel Before Tomorrowland he also wrote. Read all this and more in my Jeff Jensen Tomorrowland interview, after the jump.

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Brad Bird Tomorrowland interview

A couple weeks back I got a chance to chat briefly with director Brad Bird and talk about his newest film Tomorrowland. I asked for an update on the long-rumored Iron Giant blu-ray release, what it means and doesn’t necessarily mean to be a live-action Disney film, the super slick modern look of Tomorrowland vs. the retro-futurism of ray-guns, how Space Mountain ended up in the movie, and Bird’s earliest memories of Disneyland.

We also talked about how the Space Shuttle Endeavor flying over the Disney Animation building had a huge impact on the film’s story, as well as my favorite sequence in the film (an amazing long “one shot” that lets us explore Tomorrowland for the first time), and I jokingly ask if Brad plans to reprise his role as Edna Mode in Incredibles 2. Read a transcript of my Brad Bird Tomorrowland interview, after the jump.

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Dave Filoni Star Wars Rebels

The Star Wars Rebels season 2 premiere, The Siege of Lothal, will premiere on June 20. And you do not want to miss it. In an instant, the stakes on the Disney XD show are shot through the roof. However, when I spoke with the show’s executive producer Dave Filoni at Star Wars Celebration, I didn’t yet know that. We had just seen the epic season 2 trailer and I knew the notoriously cagey producer wasn’t going to spoil anything. So, instead, I looked ahead to season to and back to season 1. What did I want to know as a Star Wars fan after watching that amazing series and that awesome trailer?

In our interview, Filoni talks about the shadow Darth Vader will have over the upcoming season of the show. He talks about the weight of holding back secrets, Ezra’s lightsaber, as well as how the Rebellion will develop this season and the reintroduction of some iconic ships. Below, read our full season 2 Dave Filoni Star Wars Rebels interview from Star Wars Celebration. Read More »

simon kinberg Star Wars Rebels

If only I could’ve talked to Simon Kinberg two hours after I talked to him at Star Wars Celebration. I would have seen the season 2 premiere of Star Wars Rebels which answered many of the questions I asked. Even better, if I could’ve talked to him two weeks later, I could have asked the show’s executive producer about his Fantastic Four director, Josh Trank, leaving the Star Wars universe. Alas, neither of those things happened.

What did happen was a quick, 1:1 chat minutes after seeing the Star Wars Rebels season 2 trailer at Celebration which raised a whole bunch of questions about the second season of the hit show. Basically, if you weren’t at Celebration and only watched the trailer for Rebels Season 2, this is the perfect interview for you. Even if you were there though, there’s good stuff in here.

Kinberg talked about working with the story group to bring original trilogy characters into the series, that shocking season one finale, how far he is into season two and the end game of the series. Below, read our latest Simon Kinberg Star Wars Rebels interview. Read More »

Kevin Feige Interview

By now, odds are you’re quite familiar with Kevin Feige. He’s the president of Marvel Studios and the man whose primary job is to keep the Marvel Cinematic Universe on track. Rumor says he has a bulletin board in his office with plans for Marvel movies spanning into the next decade. If anyone knows how these films connect, it’s him, because it’s his job to figure it all out and make the movies happen.

Feige’s latest film, Avengers: Age of Ultron, is the biggest Marvel movie yet. It’s a feat of storytelling and action that probably would’ve seemed impossible almost 10 years ago when Marvel Studios started to come together. Things will only get bigger from here, with films plotted through 2019, including two more Avengers movies, a Spider-Man movie, and new characters such as Captain Marvel, Black Panther, the Inhumans, Doctor Strange and Ant-Man coming to movie screens. There’s also the matter of a Civil War next year.

So Kevin Feige is important, but not too important to sit down with /Film to talk about Age of Ultron. Some of what’s covered in this interview you’ve already read (the importance of Ant-Man, planning for Spider-Man, and the end credits sequence) but there’s a lot more here. Is what happened to one character permanent? How important are the dream sequences? And what did Feige think of DC’s announcement? Below, read our full Kevin Feige Interview for Avengers: Age of Ultron. Read More »

Jurassic World interview Colin Trevorrow

On July 21st 2014, I was lucky to visit the New Orleans set of Jurassic World. (You can read a list of over 50 things I learned on the Jurassic World set here.) While on set, we got the chance to have an extensive sit-down interview with Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow, which was conducted during the crew lunch break on a recreation of the famous visitors center from Jurassic Park. (A location which, in the film’s story, is now abandoned.) Producer Frank Marshall joined us late in the conversation.

Our conversation spanned a variety of topics, including the use of performance capture to create the dinosaurs in the new film, the idea of Weird Al having a song in the new film, bringing an independent style to the shoot, and the evolution of the Jurassic Park 4 script over the last ten years. We went into the reasons for the infamous production delay, input from Steven Spielberg, and what to expect from the new dino species.

There were fun details, too, like how a conversation with his son about Star Wars resulted in major change to the script, allegories to Black Fish and Sea World, the dinosaur stand-ins on set, and how Brad Bird not directing Star Wars resulted in Steven Spielberg finding Colin.

As I said before, the interview is extensive and so you’ll want to carve out some time to read this. Trust me, its good.

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Pixels movie - Chris Columbus interview

While in Las Vegas for CinemaCon 2015 last week, I got the opportunity to sit down with Chris Columbus, a screenwriter and director who had a dramatic effect on the cinema of my childhood, and yours. Lets do a list: Gremlins, Goonies, Young Sherlock Holmes, Adventures in Babysitting, Home Alone, Mrs. Doubtfire, Stepmom, and the first installments of the Harry Potter franchise. His latest film Pixels seems to be a return to the roots of his earlier days, and I’m personally excited to see it.

In my interview with Chris Columbus (who turns out to be a daily /Film reader) I ask him if he will ever return to writing original screenplays again like he did with Gremlins and Goonies. He explains how he got involved with Pixels, initially having not seen the viral short film which inspired the movie. He talks a bit about how the licensed video game characters became involved with the project and also talks about Pac Man creator Toru Iwatani‘s appearance in the film, not as himself (as seen in the trailer) but in a cameo role.

We learn whether or not there was any pressure to differentiate the movie from Ghostbusters, and Columbus talks about a return to the Amblin era of films, whether he’d ever direct one of John Hughes‘ unproduced screenplays, and he even gives us an update on the Gremlins reboot. Hit the jump to read my full Chris Columbus interview from CinemaCon 2015 in Las Vegas.

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Alex Garland Ex Machina 2

Talking in details about Ex Machina is difficult without spoiling some of the film’s biggest reveals. Writer/director Alex Garland has crafted a fascinating sci-fi thriller and, in speaking with both he and star Oscar Isaac, we had to talk about some of the bigger questions the raised by the end of the film.

On the topic of one particular question, the actor and director had opposite ideas about how things would have played out. In discussing some of the facets of the ending, Isaac offers interesting insight in what the film pretends to be, what it actually is, and what the characters are thinking. Below, read the director and actor talk about the Ex Machina ending. And, of course, major spoiler warning. Read More »

JJ Abrams Star Wars Interview

At this very moment, three of the most crucial people in the world of Star Wars are J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy and Bob Iger. One is the co-writer and director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the second is the President of Lucasfilm, and the third runs Disney, which owns Lucasfilm and, effectively, Star Wars. Those three people – and probably Kiri Hart, head of the Lucasfilm Story Groupare Star Wars. And the first three all appeared on the Star Wars Celebration live stream over the weekend to talk about the franchise and the new film. If you missed them live, those videos are now online. Check out the Star Wars Celebration interviews below. Read More »