The Force Awakens - J.J. Abrams

The hype and buzz around Star Wars: The Force Awakens is starting to die down along with the film’s box office haul (it lost to The Revenant and Ride Along 2 last weekend), but that doesn’t mean there isn’t cool stuff to hear about the sci-fi blockbuster. In fact, just one day after the film hit theaters back in December, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences had a conversation with some of the key filmmakers on the film, including director J.J. Abrams, producer Kathleen Kennedy, writer Lawrence Kasdan, star Harrison Ford and more. That conversation is finally available to watch online. Read More »

Han Solo shortlist

Harrison Ford is Han Solo, as much as any real person can embody any fictional character, and it’s tough to imagine anyone else stepping into the role after nearly 40 years. But with a “young Han Solo” spinoff in the works from Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the time has come for us to meet and hopefully fall for a different stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder.

The filmmakers have taken their time, reportedly looking at thousands of young actors for the part, and now they’ve finally started to narrow down their choices. Among those on the shortlist are Miles TellerAnsel ElgortDave Franco, and Logan Lerman. Hit the jump for more on the Han Solo shortlist.  Read More »

star wars the force awakens gallery

There’s a chance that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will become the highest grossing film in the history of the American box office today. It still has $1.2 billion to go if it’s going to dethrone Avatar from the top of the international charts, but that that record is not beyond this movie, which has spent the past few weeks shattering expectations left and right. Remember a year ago when people wondered if Star Wars was still viable? Good times. Good times, indeed.

And soon enough, you’ll be able to recreate the entire movie frame-by-frame using only images released on the internet. You can get started with the gallery below, which contains 90 images, many of which haven’t made the rounds before and some of which have finally appeared free of watermarks.

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the force awakens Q&A

Yes, this is the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Q&A you’re looking for. Following a screening of the film for Oscar and various film guild voters, director J.J. Abrams, producer Kathleen Kennedy, co-writer Lawrence Kasdan, VFX supervisor Roger Guyett, editors Mary Jo Markey and Maryann Brandon, cinematographer Daniel Mindel, costume designer Michael Kaplan and co-production designer Rick Carter all took the stage for a lengthy chat with The Hollywood Reporter‘s Scott Feinberg. The result: 48 minutes of back and forth from the people responsible for one of the most anticipated movies of all time, all captured on video.

Yes, it’s the holidays and yes, you probably should be spending time with your family and friends instead of hunkering down in the guest bedroom and watching this video. But go ahead and give into your hate. Give into your anger. With each passing moment, you make yourself more susceptible to having a festive time with your loved ones and not indulging in this lengthy The Force Awakens Q&A.

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Star Wars Jurassic World Box Office

As expected, Star Wars: The Force Awakens obliterated box office records this weekend — including the one set by Jurassic World earlier this year for the biggest opening weekend of all time. But apparently there are no hard feelings on Jurassic World‘s side. Just as the Marvel team congratulated Jurassic World on a job well done when it took over The Avengers‘ record, the Jurassic World gang is gamely toasting Star Wars‘ stellar performance.  Read More »

The Force Awakens spoilers

It’s been over ten years since George Lucas finished his prequel trilogy, and it’s no secret they left plenty of fans twiddling their thumbs in disappointment. Despite coming from the man behind Star Wars, the prequels didn’t feel like Star Wars movies — they were missing the spirit, emotion and adventure of the original trilogy. All these years later, can J.J. Abrams get this series back on the right track with Star Wars: The Force Awakens?

Well, we’re finally finding out tonight. After the jump, share your thoughts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the comments. Please note that spoilers are encouraged in the comments section for this post. If you have not seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we encourage you to return once you have.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Power of Storytelling Q&A

A  couple weeks back, the cast and filmmakers behind the new Star Wars film Star Wars: The Force Awakens participated in a Power Of Storytelling Q & A at YouTube Space Los Angeles. Video of the entire 44 minute stage presentation is now online. YouTube executive Danielle Tiedt moderates the question and answer session, which includes Force Awakens director JJ Abrams, producer and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley and Gwendoline Christie.

The topics include the first stories that inspired them, how do you keep Star Wars fresh over almost four decades, how JJ Abrams became involved in the project, Abrams talks about how you have to look backwards to go forward, the pressure from the intense fanbase, building characters that are different than your own story, what characters inspire them, how did they plan the sound design of Force Awakens, advice for young female creators, managing the human elements in a Star Wars movie, will the Force Awakens capture new audiences like the original did, how do you balance telling an original story but based in a branded franchise, practical effects vs computer generated effects, and the struggles of performing in 125 degree heat in a stormtrooper outfit.

All that and more. The video is filled with some interesting and insightful answers into the inspirations and creative process behind these stars and filmmakers of The Force Awakens.  Hit the jump to watch the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Power of Storytelling Q&A.

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Jaws 19 trailer

Now that Steven Spielberg is back at Universal, many industry insiders have been wondering if the legendary filmmaker will dig into his Amblin archives for some new remakes or sequels. Well, we know two things for sure: He will never remake Jaws or E.T. But what other movies in the Amblin library might he be considering?

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Kathleen Kennedy and JJ Abrams

As excited as I was to chat with filmmaker J.J. Abrams about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I was even more excited to chat with super producer Kathleen Kennedy, who aside from producing many of the films of my childhood is the head of Lucasfilm — which means she is in charge of the future of the Star Wars franchise.

I talked to Kennedy about how she and her team are planning out the future of the Star Wars franchise, how George Lucas’ treatments evolved into Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the abandoning of the Star Wars expanded universe, what was being developed at Lucasfilm before George sold to Disney, how the theme park stuff is being worked on, the differences between the Saga films and the Star Wars Story anthology films, the collaboration between J.J. Abrams and future sequel trilogy directors Rian Johnson and Colin Trevorrow, and whether they can top Darth Vader with Kylo Ren. Obviously, some of these quotes were featured on the site last week, but there is so much here that wasn’t — so please read it in its entirety.

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jj abrams

Since it was announced that J.J. Abrams was going to direct Episode 7 of the Star Wars saga, he hasn’t talked too deeply about the process of developing the new film. So when I had the opportunity to talk to Abrams at the Star Wars: The Force Awakens press junket, I was filled with questions about how his vision of the next episode of Star Wars came about.

After the jump you can read my full J.J. Abrams interview. Some of the quotes have been previously features on the site (for instance, the stuff on working with Rian Johnson and The Raid guys and also his belief on the Force being more inclusive than midi-chlorians and bloodlines). But the interview packs a lot more: I ask Abrams about how his vision of the future of the Skywalker saga differed from the treatments that George Lucas turned in for the upcoming sequel trilogy, the lessons he took away from the Star Wars prequels, and more.

And you’ll notice that Abrams uses his Jedi mind tricks to not directly answer some of these questions, but his answers (for instance, his response about what he loved about the original trilogy) are actually very calculated and telling responses.

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