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.

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rogue one preview footage

While no audience outside of Disney and Lucasfilm has actually seen the entirety of director Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story quite yet, we were among those invited to a sneak preview of 28 minutes of footage from the upcoming Star Wars spin-off…and what we saw was often spectacular.

“Often” may be the key word there. How do you judge a 133-minute movie based on 28 minutes? You can’t. That would be silly. To declare Rogue One a success or a failure after a half-hour preview would be a foolhardy endeavor. Without the context of the entire movie, it’s impossible to judge any decision as a good choice or a bad one. All you can do is talk about what you enjoyed in the preview and what concerned you.

And for those worried, this is a spoiler-free reaction to what was shown.

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the mummy

Last week I got an opportunity to talk to filmmaker Alex Kurtzman about his upcoming film The Mummy. During our roundtable chat, Kurtzman explained the reason for remaking The Mummy today, what the tone of the movie will be, how to get Tom Cruise to scream in terror, why we see Tom Cruise in a body bag in the trailer, the evolution of The Mummy’s appearance, if this film will feature a romance like the original and how the film’s PG-13 rating affects the story. All this and more, after the jump.

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Rogue One Footage Reactions

This weekend, our own Jacob Hall went to Skywalker Ranch for a special press event showing 28 minutes of footage from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. You can check out his full, spoiler-free reaction over here. But since there were several more reporters and critics on hand, we thought we’d provide you a variety of reactions after the footage screened.

The Rogue One footage reactions have plenty of praise across the board with many praising the action and loving the new droid K-2SO. There’s also plenty of confirmation that there is no opening crawl, as we already heard. And director Gareth Edwards has been paying attention to the early buzz, and he reacts to the good word of mouth coming from this sneak preview.

For more Rogue One footage reactions, all of them spoiler-free, hit the jump. Read More »

Transformers The Last Knight Photos - Mark Wahlberg

Production on Transformers: The Last Knight has officially wrapped, and we know that because the official Twitter account for the film franchise has just posted a video announcing the completing of shooting. The video contains a bunch of stills from the set, as well as behind the scenes footage of Michael Bay directing, and some of the stars in action on set. If that’s not enough for you, tomorrow will bring the first trailer for the fifth installment of the toy-based action franchise.

Check out the Transformers The Last Knight photos and video after the jump. Read More »

guardians of the galaxy 2 trailer

A few years ago, Guardians of the Galaxy felt like a big left turn and a risk for Marvel Studios. In retrospect, its critical accolades and massive box office felt predestined – this is what happens when a filmmaker as offbeat and clever as director James Gunn is allowed to play in the superhero movie sandbox.

The first full trailer for the sequel, the appropriately titled Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, has arrived and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t overjoyed to see this motley crew of universe-saving a-holes again.

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Rogue One A Star Wars Story - U-Wing Fighter

In this edition of Rogue One Bits:

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story‘s big space battle is teased.
  • A look at the design process of the U-Wing.
  • Yes, there will be plenty of available Rogue One tickets.
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live will dedicate an entire episode to Rogue One.
  • Alan Tudyk promises that K-2SO won’t be Jar Jar Binks.
  • A new interview with Gareth Edwards.
  • Take a VR tour of the Rogue One set.

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Surf's Up 2 Trailer

At the end of the summer, we got a glimpse of Surf’s Up 2: WaveMania, a sequel to the 2007 animated comedy that followed a young penguin named Cody Maverick (Shia LaBeouf) as he took part a big surfing competition. This time, Cody Maverick is hitting the waves again, voiced by someone completely new, as he joins a whole new crew of surfers who just so happened to be voiced by WWE superstar wrestlers John Cena, Undertaker, Triple H, Paige and Vince McMahon.

Now a new Surf’s Up 2 trailer has arrived, showing us exactly why this is a straight-to-DVD and VOD title instead of getting a theatrical release. Read More »

Escape from New York Prequel

We’re coming up on 10 years of development on the Escape from New York remake that originated at New Line Cinema but now finds itself at 20th Century Fox. Over the years, we’ve seen various talents attached such as writers like Gary Whitta (Book of Eli) and Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down) involved, directors such as Brett Ratner and Breck Eisner once attached, and names like Gerard Butler and Tom Hardy thrown around to play the lead.

As of now, no new talent has come on board since Luther creator Neil Cross was hired last fall, but some new details have emerged on the project that could either be really interesting or extremely frustrating for fans of the original movie. First and foremost, it has been confirmed that the Escape from New York remake is in fact a prequel that will provide some origin details on both Snake Plissken (originally played by Kurt Russell) and the state of the world. However, keep in mind that some of these details might dive into spoiler territory, so continue to read at your own risk. Read More »

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Sigourney Weaver Avatar sequels

By the time the Avatar 2 hits theaters in 2018 — if it does hit theaters in 2018 — it’ll have been nine years since the first Avatar opened. But Sigourney Weaver seems pretty confident it’ll be worth the wait. The actress gushed about James Cameron‘s scripts for Avatar2 through 4 in an interview, describing them as “much more amazing” than the original.

While we wait and see how that pans out, though, we can definitely expect to see her in next year’s The Defenders. We’re just not sure as whom. Weaver isn’t naming any names yet, but she did talk a bit about her villain character in the Marvel Netflix series. Read the Sigourney Weaver Avatar sequels comments and Defenders comments below. Read More »