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

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Shakespeare Star Wars

A confirmed filming location for Star Wars Episode VII, a possible actor for the film, two new languages and even a national award. This edition of Star Wars Bits is everywhere. After the jump, read about the following:

  • Star Wars Episode VII is confirmed to shoot at Pinewood Studios. 
  • Lord of the Rings star Dominic Monaghan hinted he might be up for Star Wars Episode VII.
  • Gamers can now play as an Ewok in Star Wars: The Old Republic.
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope has been dubbed into Navajo.
  • Ray Park would love to reprise the role of Darth Maul.
  • George Lucas is going to be given the National Medal of Arts.
  • Darth Vader is once again a spokesperson, this time for Pringles.
  • A new book has translated Star Wars into Shakespeare; see a trailer.

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This past weekend, Paramount brought footage from the delayed G.I. Joe: Retaliation to Harry Knowles’ annual 24-hour movie marathon in Austin, TX. I wasn’t in attendance, but the consensus on the Joe footage, which featured that mountainside ninja battle, was easy to read: everyone I talked to said the sequence had some of the best post-converted 3D they’d seen. Many films and quite a few clips of upcoming releases were screened at BNAT14, but the Retaliation footage created more positive talk than some other new stuff did. Doesn’t mean the movie is a winner, necessarily, but it sounds like the 3D conversion was a success.

You won’t get to see that 3D online, but this new trailer for the March release does show some new footage. It also includes slightly more of Channing Tatum than any previous trailer for the film has — whether that is due to the reported beefing-up of his role in the movie still isn’t something we know at this point. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

Lots to see in today’s Sequel Bits, including a DVD featurette, a blooper reel, a TV spot, posters, and a (not at all revealing) set photo. After the jump:

  • Another new TV spot debuts for Men in Black 3
  • Gary Busey goes nuts in Piranha 3DD outtakes
  • Watch a featurette from the Underworld: Awakening DVD
  • Simon Pegg and Zachary Quinto tweet wrapping Star Trek 2
  • Check out the Korean G.I. Joe: Retaliation posters
  • Donnie Yen is set to return for Ip Man 3D
  • Who wants to be an extra on Atlas Shrugged Part 2?

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‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ International Trailer

Cinemacon delivered a new trailer for G.I. Joe: Retaliation earlier this week, and now a new international trailer features a great deal of new footage. It’s pretty much entirely big, cheesy stuff in which the betrayed Joes battle the devious forces of Cobra with high tech and charming brawn, the latter courtesy of The Rock and Bruce Willis.

But like most of the other footage from Jon M. Chu‘s sequel, it looks like it might be just as entertaining as it is fluffy. Is it possible that Chu has his the sweet spot for summer movies with this cartoonish action film? Let’s hope. Check out the new stuff below. Read More »

Last month I received a cryptic e-mail inviting me to a private screening of a new Star Wars film edited by Topher Grace — which is funny because I had no idea there was a new Star Wars film in the works, with or without Grace’s involvement. I was told the screening was a secret private event arranged only for friends only and was asked not to talk about it beforehand. The event was held somewhere in the Hollywood area in a a screening room filled with filmmakers, editors, actors, actresses and only a few press friends. I was told I could blog about it afterwards if I wanted, so here goes…

For those of you who don’t know, Topher Grace is a film geek. He loves the Star Wars films, the Back to the Future movies and all the same signature titles of any film geek who grew up in the 1980s. He recently became interested in the editing process and wanted to learn more about the art form. Instead of cutting a short film, he wanted to use something he was more familiar with.

His idea was to edit the Star Wars prequels into one movie, as they would provide him a lot of footage to work with. He used footage from all three prequels, a couple cuts from the original trilogy, some music from The Clone Wars television series, and even a dialogue bit from Anthony Daniels’ (C-3PO) audio book recordings. He even created a new opening text crawl to set up his version of the story.

The result is an 85-minute movie titled Star Wars: Episode III.5: The Editor Strikes Back. It should be noted that the Star Wars prequel trilogy is almost 7 hours in total length, and the shortest film (Episode 1) is more than 51 minutes longer than Grace’s fan cut. What this means is a lot of footage ended up on the editing room floor, and a lot of creative choices were made in the editing process. And the result? Topher Grace’s Star Wars film is probably the best possible edit of the Star Wars prequels given the footage released and available.

Whats most shocking is that with only 85 minutes of footage, Topher was able to completely tell the main narrative of Anakin Skywalker’s road from Jedi to the Sith. While I know the missing pieces and could even fill in the blanks in my head as the film raced past, none of those points were really needed. Whats better is that the character motivations are even more clear and identifiable, a real character arc not bogged down by podraces, galactic senates, Jar Jar Binks, politics or most of the needless parts of the Star Wars prequels. It not only clarifies the story, but makes the film a lot more action-packed.
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If nothing else, Paramount is doing a great job selling G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which sees the return of Channing Tatum, Ray Park, Lee Byung-hun, Arnold Vosloo and Jonathan Pryce to the fold, and adds Adrianne Palicki, Ray Stevenson, RZA, D.J. Cotrona and small-timers The Rock and Bruce Willis.

The spots we’ve seen so far look great, and now here’s a new international trailer, which adds a few new Cobra-related shots and quick looks at Zartan in disguise and Ray Stevenson as Firefly. For those who’ve wondered just how this sequel will tie into the story of the first movie, this trailer might clear a few things up. (Or at least give some clues.) Check it out below. Read More »

Paramount is trying again with G.I. Joe this summer. Though the original film wasn’t all that well received, footage from the sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation has been turning heads beginning with the teaser trailer premiere in Austin late last year.

A new ad for Jon M. Chu‘s film will run during the Superbowl, and the spot is already online. You can check it out below, and in doing so get a first look at the film’s pretty classic-looking take on Cobra Commander. Read More »

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