Over the past few weeks, it’s become pretty obvious casting Star Wars Episode VII is a priority at Disney and Lucasfilm. Besides all the major actors who’ve read for roles, open casting calls literally all over the world are still ongoing, hoping to find two teenagers who are believed to anchor the film.
A new report in the Hollywood Reporter suggests that search is still ongoing and adds a new wrinkle. The piece says, because of the recent rewrite by J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan, they’re also casting “a 40-something military man a la Matt Damon in Elysium.” Read More »
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The time is almost here. Once the calendar turns, writer/director J.J. Abrams will finally head across the Atlantic to shoot Star Wars Episode VII in England, where much of the original was made. (Episode VII will shoot at Pinewood Studios, rather than Elstree, where the original Star Wars work was done.) Abrams, however, has hinted in the past he didn’t want to film there simply because it meant leaving his family in the United States for a long period of time. As expected tradition won out and Abrams is going to film across the Atlantic, so he’s now putting as positive a spin on it as possible.
Below, read some new quotes about his reluctance -and excitement – of filming in London, as well as the opportunity to work with co-writer Lawrence Kasdan. Read More »
Previous live-action film incarnations of Optimus Prime have had a specific look, but for the fourth film, Transformers: Age of Extinction, things have been changed. The first official image of the character isn’t the best for picking out fine detail, but it looks like many vestiges of the leader’s truck disguise have been stripped away, leaving just one pissed-off robot. See the image below. Read More »
The band Broken Bells, aka Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton and James “the Shins” Mercer, makes very cinematic music. For a video to accompany new material the pair had a great idea. Burton took a story concept to Jacob Gentry (The Signal, My Super Psycho Sweet 16) and gave him the freedom to make an extended pair of shorts that effectively act as a music video for the album, rather than for any one song. (Gentry had previously done an earlier video for the band.)
The result is a two-part sci-fi romance starring Kate Mara (House of Cards) and Anton Yelchin (Star Trek, Only Lovers Left Alive), which uses music from the Broken Bells record ‘After the Disco,’ along with some material that is exclusive to these videos, as the score for the whole story. There are some classic sci-fi influences here, a nice little twist, and an emotionally affecting arc to it all. Check out both parts below. Read More »
There’s a vast difference between simply making a movie and taking the time to develop a new idea to make a movie about. It’s the difference between franchises releasing a new sequel every year, and the work of Spike Jonze, a filmmaker who up to this point has only made three movies in 15 years. His fourth film, Her, is the director’s first original screenplay. It’s everything you’d hope for from the mad genius who brought to life Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Where the Wild Things Are.
Her is a dramatic sci-fi romance about a man named Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with his artificially intelligent computer operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). It’s a simple, yet brilliant conceit realized with depth and emotion, two rare traits in mainstream cinema. The depth comes from Jonze’s ideas about technological dependence and loneliness, and the emotion is conveyed as the film raises questions about what it means to love and our capacity to do so. It’s a film that’ll both spark intelligent debate and plenty of tears.
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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire isn’t your typical blockbuster sequel. Yes it’s bigger and better than the original movie. The stakes have been raised and new characters are added. But what makes Catching Fire unique is how it’s infused with a gravitas most major Hollywood entertainment lacks. At every single turn, the plight of the citizens of Panem is felt as they face the cruel tyranny of the Capitol, adding layers of pathos and tension to everything we see. Couple that with the impressive IMAX visuals and a more surprising story, and Catching Fire joins that rare breed of sequels that improve on the original. Read More »
At 23, Jennifer Lawrence has reached heights most of us never even dream of. She won the Oscar for Best Actress with her second nomination, for Silver Linings Playbook. She stars in a superhero franchise and toplines another of the biggest franchises in Hollywood, The Hunger Games. Without a doubt, she’s one of the biggest stars in the world, yet has somehow managed to remain genuine, funny and unfiltered. Jennifer Lawrence isn’t only America’s sweetheart, she’s everyone’s sweetheart.
So, in short, sites like /Film usually don’t get to speak to her, especially not for a film as highly anticipated as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. But you ask nicely, expect to get turned down, and then somehow find yourself outside a hotel room, the only online outlet who’ll be speaking one on one, in person, with Hollywood’s darling. No pressure.
While I can’t gauge my performance, Lawrence did not disappoint. Even after two full days of non-stop press, Katniss Everdeen herself snuggled up on her hotel room chair, slippers and all, and spoke eloquently about the pathos in Catching Fire, its political messages, shooting with IMAX cameras, her duties as reigning Best Actress, how often she gets out to the movies, Short Term 12, “texting Fassbender” (yes, that one), why promoting X-Men movies can be better than Hunger Games and the insane Internet notion she could play a female Han Solo. Read the full interview below. Read More »
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If you’re looking for someone to credit for the success of The Hunger Games, producer Nina Jacobson is a good start. The former Disney executive turned producer was one of the main reasons Suzanne Collins‘ book got picked up by Hollywood. Now, with the release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, she’s right in the middle of all the major discussions: casting new roles, filming in IMAX, keeping Francis Lawrence with the franchise, splitting Mockingjay, hiding the arena in the marketing, and changing the character of Finnick Odair.
We spoke to Jacobson about all of these things as well as a few more spoilery things about the end of Catching Fire. Read the full interview below. Read More »