Spielberg Lucas Indy 4

Steven Spielberg has such a great track record that, short of a major crime, very little could tarnish it. That’s probably why, at a recent screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark in Hollywood, the director continued to claim “full responsibility” for the idea of Indiana Jones getting into a refrigerator to survive a nuclear attack in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

The idea, “nuking the fridge,” instantly became a punchline. It’s also another way to say “jumping the shark,” a Happy Days reference long synonymous with the moment a TV show or movie goes from good to bad.

However, while Spielberg can say “nuking the fridge” was his idea, George Lucas says he’s lying. Read both quotes and search for the truth below. Read More »

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Black Angel

George Lucas basically wipes his butt with money these days (or could if he wanted to), but as a newly surfaced payroll memo from 1968 shows, even this gazillionaire had relatively humble beginnings. Also after the jump:

  • The long lost Black Angel will get a digital release in 2014
  • Harrison Ford is still ducking questions about Episode VII
  • Asa Butterfield would love to play Han Solo’s son, ICYWW

Read More »

Star Wars Abrams Logo

When Disney bought Lucasfilm last year there was some rejoicing, based in part on the idea that new Star Wars projects might take shape away from the influence of creator George Lucas. It’s rare that a core fanbase wants to see new episodes of a storyline created without the person who gave the series in question original life, but this is Star Wars, and after the prequel trilogy it was time for some new blood.

The new blood includes, of course, director J.J. Abrams and screenwriter Michael Arndt. They took up the task of making Star Wars Episode VII, working from where Lucas had left off. See, Lucas had started developing the new Star Wars film about a year before the sale of Lucasfilm. (Which was a canny strategy — it’s one thing to know that the sale included the right to make new Star Wars films, and quite another to go into it knowing a plan was already in place.)

Lucas stepped back to a consulting role after the sale, but if you thought Abrams was going to develop Episode VII without much consultation with Lucas, think again. George Lucas’ son says that the two have been “constantly talking” about Star Wars as the new film is developed. Read More »

Star Wars - Little Leia's Destiny by Nick Scurfield (header)

More people throw their hats into the Episode VII casting ring, some more sincerely than others, while George Lucas tries to get moving on his next, non-Star Wars-related endeavor. After the jump:

  • Could this guy be the new Chewbacca?
  • Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme “auditions” for Star Wars
  • J.J. Abrams says Episode VII won’t be Disney-fied
  • George Lucas‘s museum could move to Chicago
  • Jason Christman and Nick Scurfield debut new prints
  • Star Wars Pinball reveals another new trailer
  • Look for a Star Wars Rebels teaser on Monday

Read More »

gangs_of_new_york_1

Harvey Weinstein is a guy whose nature leads to intensely polarized opinions. He’s a mogul in the old style, who exerts his will with force, and grandstands, and makes good movies and irritating decisions in equal measure. Having been part of some of the biggest films of the last couple decades, Harvey also has endless stories to tell, and when he opens up there’s great stuff to learn.

Take Gangs of New York, the Martin Scorsese film that Weinstein produced in 2002. The massive project shot in Rome, and quickly became legendary in some circles as an example of Harvey’s heavy-handed demands for a shorter cut than the filmmaker wanted to deliver. Weinstein recently talked about that aspect of the film, but he also explained the origin of the CG elephant that roams through the elaborate riot sequence that acts as the climax of the film. Read More »

Spielberg Lucas Scorsese 1990

Almost twenty-five years ago, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert sat down with Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Martin Scorsese to talk about the future of cinema. At the time, Scorsese had yet to release Goodfellas, Spielberg had yet to win an Oscar and George Lucas had to to commit to the Star Wars prequels. Each was already incredibly accomplished, but not even close to the peaks of their success.

Looking back at the conversation, it’s fascinating to think about where these guys thought cinema would go, how they themselves would help push it there, and what they were wrong about. Of course, earlier this year Spielberg and Lucas once again talked about the future of movies and their predictions were much more pessimistic. I wouldn’t bet against these guys.

Check out the fantastic 50 minute interview below. Read More »

Palpatine

The big Star Wars Episode VII story coming out of D23 this weekend was that there was no big Star Wars Episode VII story. To the disappointment of many, the studio chose not to reveal any new info at all during the event. But luckily for those craving a bit of Star Wars gossip, we have some rumor and news coming from other corners of the world. After the jump:

  • Ian McDiarmid is rumored to return for Episode VII
  • Meanwhile, Ray Park is hoping he’ll get asked back too
  • George Lucas and his wife welcome a baby daughter

Read More »

Star Wars D23
The program teased it. We all expected it. But as the smoke cleared on the 2013 D23 Expo, there was not a single shred of Star Wars Episode VII news. Its absence left fans questioning not only Disney’s motives in using their new acquisition, Lucasfilm, to sell the event but also asking what the state of Star Wars Episode VII actually is.

The consensus seems to be director J.J. Abrams, executive producer and Lucasfilm CEO Kathleen Kennedy, screenwriter Michael Arndt and producers Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are simply not ready to reveal anything about Star Wars Episode VII. What’s troubling though is Disney did reveal images, concept art and more for films that’ll be out after well Episode VII. Plus, with the D23 Expo only happening every other year, the film will be out months before the next Expo. Those factors meant major disappoint for fans both at the convention and beyond.

So what does that all mean? Are Abrams and crew simply too busy to worry about marketing a film that hasn’t begun production yet, or are things not progressing in the manner everyone expected? Read More »

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