Star Wars Episode 7 title

Now that a big official announcement has put many of those Star Wars Episode VII casting rumors to rest, we can turn our attention to a different kind of rumor swirling around. According to a new report, Star Wars Episode VII is currently titled The Ancient Fear. As in the opposite of A New Hope, I guess. Hit the jump for more details, including what that name might be referring to.

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Star Wars Episode 7 Cast

By Peter Sciretta, Russ Fischer, Angie Han and Germain Lussier

The announcement of the full cast for Star Wars Episode VII sent a ripple of excitement through the movie world. Not only because the official announcement ends of months of speculation, but because this cast is excellent. The lineup Abrams has chosen for Episode VII is one we’d be excited to see in any film, so it’s a good first move for Star Wars.

While we know little about the relative newcomer Daisy Ridley, who plays the female lead, the rest of the new cast is a collection of great talent drawn from a variety of acting backgrounds: John BoyegaOscar Isaac, Max von Sydow, Adam Driver, Andy Serkis and Domhnall Gleeson.

That’s a great group of guys. The pleasure of that roster is diminished only by wondering how there can’t be any room for more than one major new female role. The classic Star Wars status quo (one woman, and a bunch of dudes) is almost a running joke at this point, and we hoped that Abrams might have broken that barrier as he cast the new film. An offset, however, is that Daisy Ridley could have a particularly important role. If she ends up being one of the true leads of the series, that would change things just a bit. And while this cast remains predominantly white, John Boyega held point position in the official announcement, giving rise to the assumption that he’s the lead. Boyega, born in London to Nigerian parents, is not the typical face of Star Wars. If he’s the lead, that’s a significant step in a new direction for the series.

Below, read up on the backgrounds of each of the new additions to the Star Wars universe, along with speculation and what actual data we have about the roles for each cast member. 

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Star Wars Episode VII Cast Announced

first day of new Star Wars shooting

Finally, it’s official. Here’s the release.

The Star Wars team is thrilled to announce the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII.

Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in the new film.

Director J.J. Abrams says, “We are so excited to finally share the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again. We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud.”

Star Wars: Episode VII is being directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, and John Williams returns as the composer. The movie opens worldwide on December 18, 2015.

Check out the first cast photo below. Read More »

This is not a commercial. Well, it is. It’s not a commercial for a burger chain, but it is a commercial for a film called Branded. The movie is the product of a couple of ad guys, Alexander Doulerain and Jamie Bradshaw, who have drawn some conclusions about the nature of marketing. The prime conclusion seems to be that marketing is part of a takeover of the human race, and one masterminded by something inhuman.

A few weeks ago we saw a version of this trailer for Branded, but it was dubbed in Russian. Now the English-language version is here, so you can actually tell what’s going on; you won’t just have to look at the faces of Jeffrey Tambor, Max von Sydow, Leelee Sobieski, and Ed Stoppard. Read More »

Maybe Mad Man Michael Ginsberg wasn’t joking about being from Mars after all. The dystopian thriller Branded (a.k.a. Moscow 2017) takes as its premise the idea that corporate marketing is actually part of an evil plot to keep citizens dull and passive. And I don’t mean “evil” as in simply greedy or dishonest a la Wall Street — I mean “evil” as in sinister, possibly alien, and probably even capable of literally demolishing the world.

Adding to the intrigue of this enjoyably cheesy-sounding film is its cast, which includes Jeffrey Tambor, Max von Sydow, and Leelee Sobieski, plus Ed Stoppard (Upstairs Downstairs) as the tenacious protagonist who seeks to uncover the truth. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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The first trailer for Stephen Daldry‘s adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer‘s novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close tried to live in the area between quirky, endearing and sentimental. The balance didn’t work for me, especially thanks to the reliance on U2 as the score for the trailer. As a result I think that first look at the movie pegged it as little more than cloying Oscar bait.

Now there is a new trailer that goes straight for the sentiment by opening with the character played by Tom Hanks calling his wife, played by Sandra Bullock, from one of the high floors of the World Trade Center on the morning of 9/11. From there, the trailer swirls into minor portraits of some of the film’s characters and situations as it follows that couple’s son (newcomer Thomas Horn) through the turbulent days that follow 9/11, but there still isn’t much explanation of the story. See for yourself below. Read More »

‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’ Trailer

Here’s the trailer for Stephen Daldry‘s adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer‘s novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, based on a script by Eric Roth. The movie has been a curiosity for me for months in part because the book is a piece of post-modernism that doesn’t lend itself easily to adaptation, and in part because Daldry chose a non-actor, Thomas Horn, to play the central role of 11-year old Oskar Schell. Sure, he’s got established stars like Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock as buffers, but that’s still a ballsy move. Get the first taste of what came of that big risk-taking, after the break. Read More »

Warner Bros. evidently has high hopes for Stephen Daldry‘s adaptation of the Jonathan Safran Foer novel Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, as the studio recently set the film for a December 25 debut. Indeed, the novel, which is a quirky but heartfelt account of a young boy’s attempt to uncover some family history in the wake of 9/11, could easily be the basis for a moving holiday film.

I’m anxious to see a trailer, in part because the key role in the film — the boy Oskar — went to a non-actor: young Jeopardy! winner Thomas Horn. The potential that this film will reveal a new young talent seems high, much as True Grit did last year with Hailee Steinfeld. While we wait for that trailer, check out the first official image from the film, which shows Horn with Tom Hanks, as Oskar’s father. Read More »

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