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On paper, Chris Weitz might seem like an unlikely choice to write a Star Wars movie. As a director, he’s best at realistic fare like About A Boy and A Better Life. He’s done bigger fantasy too, like The Golden Compass and The Twilight Saga: New Moon, but those are based on books. Even his latest film, Cinderella, is based on a very well known story and uses magic as sparsely as possible. Star Wars is a whole other beast, especially since he’s writing a standalone movie that could literally be about anything.

We were given the chance to speak to Weitz on the occasion of the release of Cinderella and, of course, had to bring up a galaxy far, far away. To recap, he was brought on to rewrite the first standalone movie, which comes out in December 2016 and will be directed by Gareth Edwards. Weitz, speaking to the press for the first time since the announcement, told us about his excitement going after the project, the security behind the process, how he’s using the film’s first screenplay by Gary Whitta, if he’s read the online rumors about the project and, finally, what fans should expect from the movie. Below, read our Chris Weitz Star Wars quotes. Read More »

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Gary Whitta Star Wars

Screenwriter Gary Whitta (Book of Eli, After Earth) is about to release his first novel, Abomination. To promote the pre-order of the historical fantasy novel, Whitta sat down with us for an extensive interview spanning his career thus far. Over the course of this week we will be posting all of the parts of this interview broken up into digestible thematic bites — we’re calling it “/Film’s Week Of Whitta”.

In the first installment we wanted to cut to the chase and present the meatiest Gary Whitta Star Wars comments. As you know, Whitta wrote for a year on the first Star Wars spin-off film being directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla), which will hit theaters on December 16th 2016. We talked to Whitta about growing up with movies, which includes the original Star Wars trilogy. We also discuss the controversy over comments he’s made about the Star Wars prequels and special editions. (I’m not sure how the comments are controversial, considering most everyone I know shares a similar viewpoint.) And, of course, we talk to Gary about working on the upcoming Star Wars spin-off film, and while his Lucasfilm NDA prevents him from revealing any details, its worth reading. Read the Gary Whitta Star Wars interview after the jump.
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Star Wars sequel trilogy

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens December 18 of this year. The first Star Wars standalone film opens December 16, 2016. After that, we have a good idea of what the next few years have in store for Star Wars but nothing is 100% set in stone. For example, though every single outlet in the world has confirmed Rian Johnson is directing Star Wars Episode VIII, along with the filmmaker himself, the company has yet to acknowledge it. And though we’ve heard there will be a Star Wars movie every single year, only the two dates above are confirmed.

However, the long-term future of Star Wars was recently mentioned by Disney CEO Bob Iger. In a Disney shareholders report, he talked about seeing footage from The Force Awakens, confirmed the release years for the next two films in “this” trilogy, and failed to mention the second standalone film. There’s more, too. Read the extremely loaded Star Wars sequel trilogy quote below. Read More »

Chris Weitz to Write ‘Star Wars’ Spinoff

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Another screenwriter is rocketing off to a galaxy far, far away. Chris Weitz is set to pen the Star Wars standalone being directed by Gareth Edwards, following Gary Whitta‘s departure a couple weeks ago. More on the Star Wars Chris Weitz news after the jump. Read More »

Han Solo

For months, we’ve heard two seemingly conflicting rumors about one Star Wars spinoff: one, that it’ll be about Boba Fett, and two, that it’ll be about Han Solo. The common assumption was that one or the other had to be false — but if this latest rumor is true, it could mean both of the other ones are, too.

Word is the Star Wars spinoff won’t be a Han Solo story or a Boba Fett story, but a single film that includes both fan-favorite characters. More on the Star Wars spinoff rumor after the jump.  Read More »

tatiana maslany orphan black

Gareth Edwards has begun testing actresses for a lead role in his 2016 Star Wars standalone movie. There’s no word what the role is but The Hollywood Reporter reports Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara, and recent Oscar nominee Felicity Jones are all testing for a part in the film.

UPDATE: Variety reports that Kate Mara also read for the role. Read More »

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The Best Movie Animal Performances of 2014

Best Animal Performances of 2014

I was watching Gone Girl for the fourth time and admiring how David Fincher (and his cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth) majestically shot Ben Affleck‘s character Nick Dunne’s cat and I began to wonder about the cat’s true role in the story. The cat is featured too prominently to be just a background prop. What did the cat mean?

As I thought about this I began to realize that there had been a lot of big screen kitties this year. The New York Times notes in their review that “cats are the new dogs,” and judging from the list of animals in this article, they might be right. But as I started to think about it more, it wasn’t just cats but dogs and some actually amazing performances by other animals in this past year of film. So the list of best animal performances of 2014 grew and grew. After the jump you will find my examination of why 2014 was the year of animal movie performances and what it all means. Read More »

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Late last week, news quietly broke that Gary Whitta was no longer the writer of Gareth EdwardsStar Wars standalone movie. The departure seemed amicable, as both Whitta and Edwards released statements to The Hollywood Reporter. But it raised several questions about the film, which is scheduled to go in front of cameras at Pinewood Studios later this year once Spectre finishes production.

Primary among those questions was, if Whitta is out, who will be taking over the writing duties on the December 16, 2016 release? /Film has learned, but was unable to confirm, that it will be Simon Kinberg. At Lucasfilm, Kinberg is a consultant on The Force Awakens, a writer and producer on Star Wars Rebels, and writer of at least one standalone movie. Whether or not that became this film or is another remains unclear. But Kinberg will be taking over duties for Whitta on this movie. Read More »

Olly Moss Star Wars gift

Star Wars Bits is back with a vengeance. We’ve got The Force Awakens, we’ve got the spinoffs, we’ve got Clone Wars, comic books, art and so much more. Below, read about the following:

  • New spin-off rumors suggest it’s about Han Solo, Aaron Paul is involved and filming starts after Spectre.
  • Watch a sueded version of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer.
  • The stunt actor playing Chewbacca in The Force Awakens may have been revealed.
  • Marvel will rerelease their original Star Wars comics in remastered editions.
  • Watch a trailer for the Star Wars Fan Film Awards.
  • See the animated Lucasfilm holiday card.
  • Matt Lanter recorded some new Anakin Skywalker Clone Wars voice over last week.
  • Oscar Isaac got his Star Wars obsessed uncle a role in The Force Awakens.
  • A new rumor says Lupita Nyong’o‘s Force Awakens character is nothing like you’ve heard.
  • What box office records could Star Wars: The Force Awakens break?
  • Han Solo and Chewbacca Force Awakens concept art, villain rumors, Imperial ships and more.

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