UPDATE: Not surprisingly, the rumor that 1952 is a cover for Star Wars VII has already been debunked thanks to an insider who spoke with First Showing. Original story follows.

Tuesday’s news that Disney had plans to create a whole new Star Wars trilogy immediately sparked a thousand blog posts (including ours) about who should direct the next installment. But if one intriguing theory making the rounds turns out to be true, the die may already have been cast.

Said speculation hinges on the notion that the top-secret Brad Bird / Damon Lindelof project set up at Disney, currently titled 1952, is actually Star Wars VII. Does it hold water? Hit the jump to read more.

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While it’s understandable that some diehard fans think the very idea of another Star Wars trilogy is unforgivable sacrilege, we’re more inclined to think it could be an unexpected blessing. Disney’s got their hands on one of the richest mythologies in pop culture, and enough clout that it can book some serious talent to do it justice. So with that in mind, we’ve put together a list of ten filmmakers we’d love to see explore a galaxy far, far away — and five we’d rather stayed here on Earth. Hit the jump to read.

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The team-up of screenwriter Damon Lindelof and director Brad Bird seems almost too good to be true. Lindelof, co-creator of Lost and co-writer of Prometheus and Bird, writer/director of The Iron Giant and The Incredibles, are two filmmakers with major fan cachet, so it was exciting earlier this year when it was revealed Lindelof was writing for Bird to direct, a mystery project possible called 1952. The title represents a year drenched in alien lore.

In the vein of everything these two do though, that was all we knew about the project and now it seems it might not even be true. Vulture has some reported details on the project, saying it’s set in present day, and is about aliens contacting Earth, with inspiration taken from Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

UPDATE: Vulture has now changed their tune on this. It’s not actually about aliens. Read below.

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We recently learned that the (at this point, purely theoretical) fourth Avatar movie would be a prequel, and that Battle Angel would be a few years off. But what of the two confirmed Avatar sequels? With both films scheduled to enter pre-production in January 2013 and Avatar 2 eyeing a 2015 release, James Cameron says he’s about to burrow into his “top secret writing cave” to finish the two scripts by the end of this year — and that one of his challenges will be avoiding what he calls “the Matrix 2” problem.

After the jump, read Cameron’s comments on what he has planned for the sequels. Plus, find out what Pixar and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol director Brad Bird thinks of Cameron’s plans.

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Update from /Film editor Peter Sciretta: Ryan Stewart points out on Twitter that “1952 is big in UFO lore. It’s the year Project Blue Book started.” This might give us some clues to what the project is about. According to wikipedia:

The 1952 Washington D.C. UFO incident, also known as the Washington flap or the Washington National Airport Sightings, was a series of unidentified flying object reports from July 12 to July 29, 1952, over Washington D.C.

After making a name for himself as a top animation director with films like The Incredibles and Ratatouille, Brad Bird took his first foray into live-action with last year’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. The film drew high praise from critics and ordinary filmgoers alike, proving that Bird could do both forms of filmmaking equally well. And for now, it seems Bird plans to stick with live-action. Though he has a few other projects simmering at the moment, Bird’s next step is likely to be Damon Lindelof‘s 1952, the mysterious sci-fi project we first heard about last summer.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger may not be as young as he once was, but James Cameron’s convinced that his Terminator character has plenty of life left in him yet. Also after the jump:

  • Grown-Ups 2 will shoot in Marblehead, MA
  • Brad Bird probably won’t direct Mission: Impossible 5
  • Cloverfield 2 is still searching for a new idea
  • The Star Trek video game unveils a new teaser

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It may be a while before we see the triumphant return of Bob and Helen Parr and their superpowered brood, but if Joss Whedon is to be believed, a rematch between Dr. Horrible and Captain Hammer may not be so far off. After the jump:

  • Joss Whedon will get started on Dr. Horrible 2 this summer
  • Catching Fire (a.k.a. Hunger Games 2) won’t be in 3D
  • Hey look, it’s another new Riddick image
  • Brad Bird might maybe do an Incredibles 2 someday, eventually
  • Madagascar 3 will debut at Cannes

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I have yet to get the Blu-ray release of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (it comes out on April 17th, available for preorder for 51% off on Amazon) but it appears that director Brad Bird decided to not include the expanded IMAX footage in the home video transfer.

For those of you who didn’t know, the IMAX release of this film (and other films like the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises) included footage shot with on 70 mm IMAX film, 15 perforations per frame. The quality of those sequences, almost a half hour of the total film, is amazingly vivid.And because they were shot on IMAX cameras, those segments filled up the whole IMAX screen a 1.44:1 aspect ratio (or just a little wider than the old standard definition/full frame square).

The blu-ray releases of The Dark Knight, Tron: Legacy and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen have featured expanded aspect ratios in the IMAX sequences — which means that the aspect ratio changes from the widescreen 2:35:1 to fit your entire 16:9 television during the IMAX shot sequences. I’ve always enjoyed that we get to see a little bit more of these sequences. Bird decided against this with the home video release of MI4, sticking with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio for the entire film.

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