World War Z Forster Pitt

Brad Pitt and Marc Forster‘s long-discussed global zombie adaptation, World War Z, is finally hitting theaters this weekend. After a production marred in controversy, Paramount paid for massive rewrites and reshoots to (hopefully) save the movie. The story goes that, during editing, no one was happy with how the film ended. Executives decided that, instead of presumptuously building the film towards a sequel, it would be more beneficial to rein it back and complete a single story.

Screenwriters Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods) and Damon Lindelof (Lost) were recruited to help and, according to early reviews, the pair at the very least saved the movie from disaster. In fact, some people believe they helped make it a really good movie. You can decide for yourself June 21.

Below, read exactly what Lindelof and Goddard did to improve the film, spoiler free. Read More »

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Justin Theroux

Damon Lindelof is returning to TV and he’s just cast his new Jack Shephard. Justin Theroux, star of Mulholland Dr., Your Highness and the co-writer of Tropic Thunder and Iron Man 2, has just been cast as the lead in the new HBO pilot The Leftovers. Based on a novel of the same name by Tom Perrotta, The Leftovers takes place in a world where most of humanity mysteriously disappears. The story follows the confused people who remain and their struggle to survive with constant questions and insecurities.

Theroux will play Kevin Garvey, the town’s leader who tries to keep things normal even with frightening questions to be answered. Lindelof is co-writing and co-executive producing the show with Perrotta, marking his first return to television after Lost. Read More »

Coronet Star Wars marquee

It should come as a surprise to no one that Damon Lindelof adored George Lucas from a young age, but now he also has the photo to prove it. Also after the jump:

  • Star Wars Episode VII might shoot in Ireland
  • Daniel Radcliffe and John Noble want to join Star Wars
  • Watch a book trailer for The Making of The Empire Strikes Back
  • Star Wars prequel storyboards offer a peek at what could have been
  • Hasbro announces Angry Birds Star Wars action figures
  • Read an oral history of Star Wars at the Coronet Theatre

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STID Carol / FF6 Letty

It’s more or less impossible to reboot a massively popular franchise for the big screen without drawing the ire of a few fans, but one major criticsm plaguing Star Trek Into Darkness in recent days has nothing to do with J.J. Abrams‘ Klingon redesign or use of parallel timelines. Midway through the film, there’s a brief scene in which the character Carol Marcus (Alice Eve) strips down to her underwear for no apparent reason. Some fans called filmmakers out for being sexist, and so far writer Damon Lindelof has stepped up to offer his apologies.

The minor controversy was fresh in my mind when I went to go see Fast & Furious 6, which, as you’d expect, outdoes Star Trek Into Darkness‘ tiny sliver of cheesecake on every level. All of the female stars of Fast & Furious 6 are conventionally attractive to begin with, and none shy away from wearing form-fitting outfits or showing off a bit of cleavage. Additionally, scantily clad female extras are used in several sequences as little more than set decoration. And yet I walked away from Fast & Furious 6 thinking that director Justin Lin and his crew could teach the Star Trek team a thing or two about portraying female characters on screen.

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Star Trek Into Darkness - John Harrison

When the subjects are good, no amount of time is sufficient to do an interview. That goes double when you’re speaking with two producers of one of the summer’s closely scrutinized films: Star Trek Into Darkness. Preparing to speak to producer Bryan Burk and producer/co-writer Damon Lindelof, I prepared two dozen questions for a ten-minute interview. I asked three.

Thankfully, the answers were illuminating. Mainly, we talked about the process that the pair went through to decide on the film’s villain, along with director J.J. Abrams and co-writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. The pros and cons of the choice; how Star Trek: The Next Generation influenced that decision; and how the reveal changed the selling of the movie all came up. Finally, I asked Burk would repeat that process for his next film, Star Wars Episode VII. Read More »

Star Wars Dancing

Two Star Trek writers don’t think they’ll work on Star Wars, while another one does. Plus the director himself talks all about his fandom. Read about the following in this edition of Star Wars Bits:

  • Who does J.J. Abrams think shot first, Han Solo or Greedo?
  • Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci don’t think they’ll be working on a Star Wars movie…
  • …but Damon Lindelof believes he might by the end of the decade.
  • Abrams talks about lessons he learned from Star Trek that he’ll use on Star Wars and how he plans to work on both Star Trek 3 and Episode VII.
  • Costume Designer Michael Kaplan (Blade Runner, Fight Club, Star Trek) joins Star Wars Episode VII.
  • EA Games teases a brand new Star Wars Battlefront game.
  • Famous Star Wars characters danced up a storm at Star Wars Weekends at Disney Hollywood Studios.

Read More »

1952 box

Grantland has an amazing interview with screenwriter/producer Damon Lindelof which you should find the time to read (it is long). He talks about many things in the interview, but I want to focus on his discussion on the origins of Tomorrowland, the upcoming movie directed by Brad Bird and starring George Clooney. There is a lot of interesting stuff here, especially if you’re a Disneyland geek like me. Lindelof, for the first time publicly, confirms that while the story has ties to Walt Disney’s theme park creation, we won’t see Disneyland in the actual movie. Read an excerpt after the jump.

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Cumberbatch Into Darkness

Stardate December 10, 2012. A group of journalists are invited to Bad Robot in Santa Monica, CA to learn a little bit more about J.J. AbramsStar Trek Into Darkness. At this time everyone was still unclear who, exactly, Benedict Cumberbatch was playing in the film. Rumors about his character were relentless. To cut the question off at the pass, Abrams himself led everyone into a screening room to show some footage. He explained this was footage no one would see again for several months, we shouldn’t tell anyone we saw it, but it would clear some things up.

With Star Trek Into Darkness now in theaters, it’s time to talk about that footage because what we saw and what’s now playing are very, very different. This change exemplifies not only the lengths Abrams went to preserve the theatrical film experience, but it opens up the discussion for exactly why secrecy was so important. Read More »

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