star wars - leia hugging rey in the force awakens

One of the bigger fan nitpicks about Star Wars: The Force Awakens concerns a scene in the final minutes of the film: I’m talking about General Leia Organa’s hug (I’m being vague, because spoilers… not that there is a single person reading this post that has yet to see the movie yet).This morning I had the pleasure of chatting with Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams about the new movie he produced, 10 Cloverfield Lane (that interview will follow later this week). But before I talked Cloverfield, I asked Abrams about this common fan nitpick. What did the Force Awakens director say about the Leia hug? Find out after the jump.

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Ape Meets World 10 Cloverfield Lane Poster

Paramount Pictures and IMAX have given us the opportunity to debut the IMAX illustrated poster for 10 Cloverfield Lane created by a UK artist Kevin M Wilson, who goes by the pseudonym Ape Meets Girl. We’ve featured his work many times in the past on /Film; you might remember his Jaws, Back to the Future, WALL-E, Peter Pan or Incredibles posters. His latest is for the J.J. Abrams-produced, Dan Trachtenberg-directed thriller 10 Cloverfield Lane, which hits theaters nationwide on March 11th, 2016. Hit the jump to see the Ape Meets Girl 10 Cloverfield Lane poster and read my brief chat with the artist. How many hidden Easter eggs can you spot in the art?

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10 cloverfield lane trailer images

When the 10 Cloverfield Lane trailer appeared out of nowhere, moviegoers around the world were shocked to find out that JJ Abrams had secretly produced a sequel to Cloverfield. But is it a sequel? Abrams has called the film “a blood relative of Cloverfield” and the common thought is that it its the second film in a series of anthology movies (think Twilight Zone) that share the same thrilling mystery box tone and feel. But now it seems that JJ Abrams already has a third Cloverfield film in mind, if this one does well. Find out about the potential Cloverfield 3 after the jump.
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10 Cloverfield Lane

Paramount surprised audiences by releasing a new trailer attached to Michael Bay‘s 13 Hours:  The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. The trailer is for a movie that had yet to be officially titled, a new thriller from JJ Abrams‘ production company Bad Robot. The trailer is for a film titled 10 Cloverfield Lane. Did JJ Abrams and Bad Robot somehow secretly produce a sequel to Matt Reeves’ found footage sci-fi film Cloverfield?

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star wars: the force awakens

J.J. Abrams and Disney (smartly) pitched Star Wars: The Force Awakens as a throwback to the original trilogy (the movies that most fans of the franchise loved) and a lot of the behind-the-scenes footage focused on the return to practical effects. But anyone who has seen the movie knows The Force Awakens also has its share of CG visual effects. And this morning, Force Awakens was nominated for Best Visual Effects for this year’s Academy Awards.

What might surprise you is that The Force Awakens actually has more visual effects shots than Star Wars: the Phantom Menace. Not only that, while The Phantom Menace had more miniature work than all of the original trilogy films combined, The Force Awakens features not one miniature. But unlike Phantom Menace, a lot of the CG work is invisible. Learn more after the jump.

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Star Wars The Force Awakens rey finn

J.J. Abrams returned to the Television Critics Association for a panel on his upcoming Showtime series Roadies with Cameron Crowe and cast. After the panel Abrams stayed  to speak with reporters and was accommodating when questions turned again to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Accommodating in that he did not shut them down, but still answered them in J.J. Abrams style. One reporter asked directly about Rey’s lineage. Find out what Abrams said, after the jump.

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abrams r2

J.J. Abrams was on a panel for the Television Critics Association for the Hulu miniseries 11.22.63, which he is producing. After the panel, he spoke with reporters for another 10 minutes and addressed some Star Wars: The Force Awakens questions during TV talk. With Oscar nominations coming Thursday, Abrams hopes many of his crew get nominated.

“I’m hoping that there are certain people that I know deserve it definitely and it would be wonderful if they got it. I feel like the gift of working on that film is such that I don’t need any further validation than the movie being out there and people liking the movie. There are people that I will be disappointed if they don’t get nominated because I think that the work they did was really exemplary.”  Read More »

Star Wars The Force Awakens rey finn

It was not until my fourth screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens that I asked myself the following question: when exactly does the Force awaken in the movie? The answer may seem obvious to anyone who has seen the movie, but it’s not really as obvious as you may believe. Join me in an examination of this question.

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force awakens deleted scenes

JJ Abrams‘ first cut of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was almost two hours and forty minutes in length. Lets be clear, that’s his first cut of the movie, not the assembly edit. The film was chopped down to 2 hours and 16 minutes for the final theatrical release, with a reported 20 minutes of scenes getting axed in the last month of editing alone. A dozen full scenes were left on the cutting room floor, not to mention snippets of scenes, moments of dialogue… etc. A lot of these scenes had near-complete visual effects, and some of the characters and moments removed can be seen in some of the merchandise and books. So what was left out of the final theatrical cut? Let’s try to find out.
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