Harrison Ford Han Solo

The rumors about Harrison Ford‘s injury continue to snowball and threaten to delay production Star Wars Episode VII. How are filmmakers dealing with the injury and could it impact the release date? Read about that, and all the items below, in this edition of Star Wars Bits.

  • Several Episode VII action scenes are potentially detailed.
  • A rumored premiere date, and details, are leaked for Star Wars Rebels.
  • Tom Cruise is rumored to have a role in Star Wars Episode VII.
  • David Cronenberg was offered a Star Wars sequel, thirty years ago.
  • Star Wars Scene Maker is now available.

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Maps to the Stars trailer

It’s a good day when you get to see footage from one of your most anticipated films of the year, and this Maps to the Stars trailer is our first look at real footage from David Cronenberg‘s new movie. The film stars Mia Wasikoska as a young woman who bears a visible external scar, and probably some pretty serious internal damage as well. She turns up in Hollywood and scores a job as personal assistant to an actress played by Julianne Moore, but we soon learn that the girl has more on her mind than just doing her job well. Check out the trailer below for hints of much stranger stuff to follow.

Update: A second trailer has been released. It is even less safe for work than the first, but it is also actually a proper trailer rather than a sales reel. Both are embedded below.

Update 2: The sales trailer has been pulled.

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cronenberg-pod

Some of David Cronenberg‘s films are scarily prescient. The pictures he made in the late ’70s and early ’80s feature concepts that seemed outlandish at the time, but have been incorporated into current technology. In exploring how humanity might live and evolve with technology, Cronenberg turned into a legitimately accurate futurist, and his pointed fictions influenced those who created legitimate tech.

But now, thanks to a company called Body/Mind/Change there’s POD (Personal On Demand), a tech which is weirdly like the gaming systems Cronenberg conceived for eXistenZ. The director himself anchors an ad for POD, which seems like the sort of thing that has already been the subject of his camera. It’s like Apple’s ” Read More »

shivers-poster

David Cronenberg’s first commercial feature was the great low-budget shocker Shivers (aka They Came From Within), in which the residents of an ultra-modern apartment complex are infected by a strange parasite. The parasite removes inhibitions, and drives its hosts into frenzies of sex and violence. Eventually the whole complex is full of a swirling mass of people that all look like they’ve taken their cosplay of scenes from Caligula a little too far.

The movie has a lot of people making out, some really weird little crawling parasite worms, and a healthy dose of early body horror in the signature Cronenberg style. It’s pretty great, but unfortunately not all that easy to see as the US DVD has been out of print for a few years.

Now, because we’re so much more comfortable with intertwined sex and violence on screen than we were when Cronenberg made the movie in ’75, Shivers is being remade. Read More »

julianne-moore-2a

David Cronenberg‘s next film is Maps to the Stars, based on a script which has been said to eviscerate the celebrity culture of Los Angeles. The director has described it as an extreme piece of work that centers on “two child actors ruined by Hollywood’s depravity.”

Cronenberg announced at Cannes last year that he planned to work again with Cosmopolis actors Robert Pattinson and Sarah Gadon. At the time Viggo Mortensen was mentioned as another possible cast member, but now he has recruited two different actors: Julianne Moore and John Cusack. (It’s surprising that Moore and Cronenberg have never worked together before now; they seem like a fairly natural fit.) Read More »

It’s unusual to see David Cronenberg‘s name in the roster of a film as an actor rather than a writer or director, but this isn’t the first time. Cronenberg is one of three primary actors in a new project called Body Art — a title that is almost right on the nose, given Cronenberg’s classic “body horror” proclivities — from I Am Love director Luca Guadagnino.

And Cronenberg won’t be alone, as he has two grand compatriots in the cast: the venerable Isabelle Huppert, and Denis Lavant. The latter is the star of last year’s best film, Holy Motors, and his presence here is enough to rocket this one high up on my to-watch list. And if that weren’t enough, the basis of the story is extremely intriguing — find that below. Read More »

Find out just how the new Maniac pulled off its violent intensity in a four-minute behind-the-scenes video. Also after the jump:

  • The new Scarface might center around a Mexican lead
  • Abbie Cornish has nice things to say about Robocop
  • Todd Lincoln discusses his failed attempt to remake The Fly
  • The viral campaign for Carrie gets literary with a couple of fake books

Read More »

As I watched David Cronenberg‘s new film Cosmopolis, I thought a lot about The Dark Knight Rises, and that led me to thinking about eXistenZ and The Matrix. Those last two movies came out within weeks of each other in 1999, and while The Matrix went on to be the mega-successful take on living in conjunction and conflict with machines, it was eXistenZ that really tried to dig deep into the ways in which our lives are being changed by interfacing with digital technology.

And so I came to Cosmopolis and The Dark Knight Rises, and the relationship there is probably pretty obvious. While Nolan’s movie pays a lot of lip service to issues of economics, social status, and the levels of power displacement that are associated with wealth and poverty, it is Cronenberg’s movie that really tackles some of those ideas with determination.

All of which is a roundabout way to get to some quotes provided in a Cosmopolis promo interview. Asked about moving into the realm of superhero movies, Cronenberg dismissed the idea, calling the form adolescent, and not ready to be treated as an “elevated art form.” And in some ways, it is difficult to disagree with his unvarnished assessment. But are superhero films destined to always be a limited form? Read More »

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