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 Boyega, Oscar 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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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 »
Within the next week we should have an official announcement of the Star Wars Episode VII cast. That will put to rest the rumor mill merry-go-round that has spun endlessly since the first official announcement of the new film, over a year ago. The rumors are only coming more quickly now that we’re so close to the official announcement, however. The latest says that Oscar Isaac is a likely pick for a significant role, and that Harrison Ford will have a “gigantic” role in at least the first film. Read More »
If Inside Llewyn Davis whet your appetite to see a lot more from actor Oscar Isaac, the new Patricia Highsmith adaptation The Two Faces of January is hitting at just the right time. The film stars Isaac, Viggo Mortensen, and Kirsten Dunst in a story about a vacationing couple, not exactly squeaky lean folk, who fall into a business relationship with a scamming “tour guide.” When the couple gets into some serious trouble they call upon the guide for less-than-legal assistance.
Highsmith wrote many of her prime thrillers in the ’50s and ’60s, and like another well-known Highsmith adaptation The Talented Mr. Ripley, this film preserves the time period in which the novel was written. In this case, the setting is 1962, which gives director Hossein Amini (who wrote Drive) plenty of opportunity to photograph his attractive cast in great period costumes. Check out a trailer below, which also acts as a chance to see Mortensen in a relatively rare turn as an out and out heavy. Read More »
When Joel and Ethan Coen were assembling their new film Inside Llewyn Davis, they realized the film posed a unique challenge: their script featured a lead character who needed to be able to play and sing just as well as he had to act, and there are other side characters who need to be able to play and sing as well. The brothers lucked out with Oscar Isaac, who turned out to be a more than competent musician in addition to being an actor of no small skill.
Three new featurettes talk about the creation of the film specifically with respect to the music — one features music producer T-Bone Burnett discussing the creation of the song ‘Please Mr. Kennedy,’ which features Isaac, Justin Timberlake, and Adam Driver. One focuses on finding Isaac and working with him, and is backed by a lot of early rehearsal footage. The last is about finding some of the supporting cast, including Timberlake and Carey Mulligan. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, December 4th, 2013 by Angie Han
The Coen Brothers‘ Inside Llewyn Davis has earned strong buzz from the get-go, picking up the Grand Jury Prize shortly after its Cannes debut and earning Best Feature at the Gotham Independent Film Awards this past weekend. Now, after months of hype and even more months of marketing, it’s finally about to arrive in theaters.
Oscar Isaac leads the drama as Llewyn, a singer trying to make his way around the folk scene in the early ’60s. He’s not having an easy go of it: his solo career isn’t taking off, his best friend’s girlfriend is pissed at him, and he doesn’t even have a proper coat to keep him warm through the winter. But his misfortune is our good luck, as his many trials make for a pretty great film. Watch the newest U.K. trailer after the jump.
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In her onscreen appearances this year, Elizabeth Olsen is sleeping with all the wrong people. Look no further than Oldboy for concrete proof, but if you want more, there’s the period drama In Secret, based on Émile Zola’s novel Thérèse Raquin.
Olsen plays Thérèse, trapped in an arranged marriage to her dunderheaded and frail cousin (Tom Felton), and who finds herself burning a candle — maybe a bonfire, really — for the dashing and worldy artist friend (Oscar Isaac) who enters her family orbit. The appeal here is, in part, based on the cast; Olsen is reliably great in most roles (she’s even good in Oldboy, though he work is not rewarded), and Oscar Isaac seems perfectly cast in the role of the potential paramour.
And there’s the tone, commanded by director Charlie Stratton (episodes of Everwood and Revenge), which builds mysteries and plot twists on a foundation of Victorian repression, with Olsen’s luminous face guiding us through the shadows. Check out a trailer below.
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Posted on Thursday, November 21st, 2013 by Angie Han
All movies have soundtracks. Some of them have really good soundtracks. Very few of them have soundtracks so exceptional, they’re able to inspire a concert and a subsequent documentary of their own. But leave it to the Coen Brothers to be that exception.
Their latest film Inside Llewyn Davis centers on a musician (Oscar Isaac) struggling to make it on the folk scene in ’60s New York. To complement that premise, T Bone Burnett has produced a killer soundtrack filled with performances by Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Marcus Mumford, Punch Brothers, and more.
All of them plus a few more famous friends (including Joan Baez, Colin Meloy, Patti Smith, and Jack White) got together for a benefit show in New York City this fall, and Showtime is now releasing that one-night-only concert as a documentary. After the jump, check out a trailer for the network’s Another Day, Another Time, plus another new clip from the movie itself.
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