porgs

When you get the oppurtunity to sit down and talk with Star Wars creature designer Neal Scanlan, you’re obligated to spend the majority of the interview talking about possibly the most important artistic creation from Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Of course, I’m talking about the Porgs.

In our conversation, I learned how the porgs came into being, how many were created for the film, how they are related to the Caretakers on Ach-to, and most importantly, whether or not Porgs fly. Here is everything you wanted to know about the Porgs, revealed by Neal Scanlan.

Note: this review was conducted before I had seen the film and there are no spoilers.

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi Opening Line

During my conversation with Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson at the film’s junket a few weeks back, I asked him why he decided not to come back for Star Wars: Episode 9 and he shared the story of how his new Star Wars trilogy came about. You might be surprised to learn that Disney and Lucasfilm committed to his new trilogy without a story in place.

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Luc Besson interview

The making of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets was a long journey for writer and director Luc Besson, who started reading the work of comic book writer Pierre Christin and artist Jean-Claude Mézières when he was 10 years old. He brought the comic and its two galaxy-saving agents, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne), to life with a giddy, exuberant race-against-the-clock sci-fi adventure earlier this year. Besson’s dreams (and his hard work) shows in every one of the film’s environments, which shine bright with the sort of color absent in most of today’s blockbusters.

While Valerian didn’t catch on with American audiences when it was released over the summer, Besson appears hopeful that more people will come around to his movie, which he believes is best on the second watch. We recently spoke to Besson at a press day for the Blu-Ray release of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, where he discussed the reaction to the movie, that big market sequence, and much more.

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jean-claud van johnson

Last year’s Amazon Pilot Season included Jean-Claude Van Johnson. Action star Jean-Claude Van Damme plays himself in the self-referential comedy, where Van Damme movies are only the cover for his real mission: he is actually a super spy. The full first season premieres this month on Amazon Prime.

Van Damme has already revealed some mild spoilers in previous appearances. Filip, the Van Damme lookalike with the funny voice whose favorite movie is Timecop, will return and there will be actual time travel. The show’s trailer also showcased part of the epic riverboat fight on the set of Huck, a gritty reboot of Huckleberry Finn, in which real bad guys come after Van Damme and the director mistakes them for stunt men.

Van Damme himself sat down with /Film to discuss Jean-Claude Van Johnson’s take on his epic career in action movies. Show creator Dave Callaham and director Peter Atencio (who spoke with /Film last year) joined Van Damme for our interview. Jean-Claude Van Johnson premieres December 15 on Amazon.

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The Disaster Artist writers interview

Writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber burst onto the scene in 2009 with the screenplay for (500) Days of Summer, and since then they’ve made waves with small-scale, intimate love stories like The Spectacular Now and The Fault in Our Stars. Most recently, they penned the screenplay for The Disaster Artist, a film adaptation of actor Greg Sestero’s book that details the making of the so-bad-it-might-actually-be-kind-of-brilliant cult drama The Room, the brainchild of eccentric writer/director/star Tommy Wiseau.

But The Disaster Artist is more than just a glorified making-of tale. It’s a classic Hollywood story about dreamers trying to make their mark in a rough-and-tumble industry, and a portrait of a relationship between two creatives who are driven to succeed at any cost. I sat down with the writers to talk about their approach to adapting the book, the artistic licenses they took, watching James Franco direct the movie in character, and much more.
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star-wars-the-last-jedi-luke-mark-hamill

At the Star Wars: The Last Jedi junket, I was able to sit down with Mark Hamill for the first time, fulfilling a childhood dream. It’s hard asking questions about a movie you haven’t seen yet (but I’ve seen it since the interview and you won’t be disappointed), but Hamill is amazing at answering questions without giving away anything at all. But just because I hadn’t seen the film at the time doesn’t mean I didn’t ask some big questions. Is Luke Skywalker is still a hero even if he has run away from things? Who is the chosen one? And yes, we spoke about about Hamill’s disagreements with director Rian Johnson over where the script takes Luke Skywalker.

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Mark Hamill - Force Awakens final moment

Doing a Star Wars junket means not actually seeing the movie before talking to the talent, each of whom have each been briefed not to reveal anything. So what kind of questions do you ask in this situation? Leading questions about the previous movie, of course!

So the first question I asked Star Wars: The Last Jedi star Mark Hamill was about the last scene in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. What was the direction that filmmaker J.J. Abrams gave him in that final moment as he encounters Daisy Ridley‘s Rey? Find out what he had to say about the direction of that Force Awakens final moment.

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The Disaster Artist Paul Scheer Interview

We’ve written at length about The Disaster Artist, James Franco’s terrific Hollywood tale that recounts the antics of the enigmatic writer/director/producer/star Tommy Wiseau and his 2003 movie The Room, which is a candidate for one of the best worst movies ever made.

A couple of weeks ago, I trekked over to Beverly Hills to attend the movie’s press junket and spoke with actor/comedian/writer Paul Scheer, who plays Raphael Smadja, one of four directors of photography who worked on Wiseau’s cult classic. We covered many topics, including how Scheer was able to watch actual making-of footage shot on the set of The Room and what it was like to be directed by James Franco in character as Tommy Wiseau. Scheer also weighs in on the sexual harassment allegations that have been tearing through Hollywood over the past few months. It’s a great chat that reveals some insight into the making of one of 2017’s best movies.
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Rian johnson Star Wars

During my discussion with Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson (the full interview runs next week), I asked him what his new Star Wars trilogy means for his non-Star Wars films. Here’s how this new trilogy might impact future Rian Johnson films that don’t have Star Wars in the title.

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Star Wars The Last Jedi 57

This past weekend, I had a chance to sit down with Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson to talk about the new Star Wars film, which no one outside of Lucasfilm has seen yet. Since the filmmakers can’t say much about the film, I decided to ask about the marketing.

In the last trailer and some recent TV spots, we’ve begun to see moments from the movie that seem like they might be spoilers, but many fans believe the scenes (like the moment between Kylo and Rey in the final trailer) might actually be deceptively edited to help protect spoilers. In the interview, Rian admitted that the marketing manipulates, but never misrepresents the final film.

While the full interview will be posted next week, I wanted to share some excerpts from the discussion, especially as we barrel into the final stages of The Last Jedi marketing.

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