Tag: star wars
After the undeserved poor box office performance for Solo: A Star Wars Story, further “Story” films in the franchise are reportedly on hold, while Disney and Lucasfilm focus on Episode IX – but the exact state of things is unclear.
The previously announced “Boba Fett” movie may still be moving but is likely to get retooled for a smaller budget. The rumored “Obi-Wan Kenobi” movie was still looking for a director but that film could be a longshot now.
It seems that the announced new trilogies from Rian Johnson and the team of David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are still in development, as is the live-action TV series from Jon Favreau.
It is a shame that this movie is being seen as a failure. It’s really only 20% behind that of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story at the four week international box office, but it also was the most expensive film in the franchise, topping A Force Awakens with a reported budget over $250 million. It had an uphill battle as well, facing production issues while resulted in the replacement of the directors and reshoots, as well as a so-called “fan” boycott over the perceived quality of The Last Jedi. It was also the first attempt at visiting the backstory of a well known and loved character, which can be a treacherous place with fandom who come with their own preconceived imaginations of their stories and don’t want anything that can alter their pristine images. Rogue One focused on all-new characters and only dwelt in the grey areas of the known story. Alas, it means we may never see the resolution of the surprise at the end…at least in this form.
Way back when (well, just over 11 months ago) when we learned that Ron Howard was taking over as director for the upcoming Star Wars anthology film featuring a young Han Solo, with just a couple weeks left in filming and the ouster of the previous co-directors, we were filled with trepidation. We weren’t sure how we felt about doing the “Young Solo” film in the first place. And a late director change is never a good sign. There would be reshoots, rewrites, etc. Additional actors were being brought in late in the game. All things pointed to a mediocre film at best. The one bright spark? Ron Howard. The man is a genius.
As the film neared release, our hopes began to rise. We were only hearing good things about it. Even from sources we would expect to be more pessimistic. We went last night to see it. And this movie is GOOD.
One of the things we heard before the changes was that it was aiming to be more slapstick, or at least have a lot more humor than any previous Star Wars film. I was afraid we were going to get a “buddy smuggler” film. The end result still had humor, but the amount you’d expect from a film with Han, Chewie, and Lando, along with a few new enjoyable characters thrown in. And it adds some background to characters that you only heard about, or even didn’t have any idea of. But everything made sense in the context of what we already knew about the characters.
Alden Ehrenreich was pretty much unknown to me. At first I didn’t think I could buy him as Han. But as the film went on I started to see it…he does look like a young Han…and at one point even gave this very intense look that really reminded me of Harrison Ford.
This film is really worth seeing for all Star Wars fans. You can even play “spot the reference” when they name various other characters from the canon.
Sadly, the movie is tracking lower than expectations on the holiday weekend, looking at about $114.5 million for the 4-day total. However, increasing good buzz might lead to the film performing well over a longer period similar to what The Greatest Showman did at the beginning of the year.
Now we just need them to announce a sequel such that the final twist at the end can be explained… 🙂
TidBits: Anime-style Star Wars series; YouTube’s Origin sets familiar cast; Tremors dead; Clarkson likely first in Star Trek director’s chair; Sackhoff returns to space in Another Life
I’m still getting caught up after some personal travel and a variety of various things related to the end of the school year, musicals, plays, etc. – so, so busy! So here is a quick recap of notables this past week!
Star Wars will get animated again, but this time it will have an anime-inspired style. Disney has ordered up and production started on Star Wars Resistance, which is set in the period preceding Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The show will follow young Kazuda Xiono, a pilot recruited to spy on the growing First Order. Familiar and new characters will be featured, including BB-8, Poe Dameron (voiced by Oscar Isaac) and Captain Phasma (voiced by Gwendoline Christie). It will premiere this Fall on the Disney Channel in the U.S., followed by regular airings on Disney XD worldwide.
YouTube has cast two familiar Harry Potter alums in its upcoming SF thriller series Origin. Tom Felton and Natalia Tena will join newcomer Sen Mitsuji to star in the series which follows a group of strangers who are stranded on a spacecraft bound for a distant planet and must work together to survive.
SYFY has elected not to pick up the Tremors series, which would have brought back Kevin Bacon. Bacon posted on Instagram, “#Tremors Sad to report that my dream of revisiting the world of Perfection will not become a reality. Although we made a fantastic pilot (IMHO) the network has decided not to move forward. Thanks to our killer cast and everyone behind the scenes who worked so hard. And always keep one eye out for GRABOIDS!”
Paramount apparently plans to move forward with two separate Star Trek films simultaneously. We already knew about the Tarantino-helmed R-rated production, but now it appears that Tarantino’s project is in some way independent of the current Kelvin-timeline movies, but it is very hazy what that means yet. It could be a different ship and crew, or it could be yet another timeline. Instead, a new Kelvin-timeline movie to follow up Star Trek Beyond is now getting started, with female British director S.J. Clarkson in negotiations to take point – which would make her the first female to head a film in the frachise’s history. This film would also bring back Chris Hemsworth as George Kirk, James Kirk’s father, who appeared in a cameo in 2009’s Star Trek.
Last but not least, Battlestar Galactica and Longmire star Katee Sackhoff will launch back into space aboard the Netflix series Another Life, about astronaut Niko Breckinridge (Sackhoff) on a mission to search for extraterrestrial intelligence and explore an alien artifact.
Starting to get excited…but am I the only one sensing this could just as easily be a prequel to Guardians of the Galaxy if you just swapped some characters around?
In Theaters May 25th!
Lucasfilm announced that Jon Favreau, who helped usher in the era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Marvel Studios, will now take the reins of the upcoming untitled live-action Star Wars series that will be part of Disney’s direct-to-consumer video service.
“I couldn’t be more excited about Jon coming on board to produce and write for the new direct-to-consumer platform,” says Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “Jon brings the perfect mix of producing and writing talent, combined with a fluency in the Star Wars universe. This series will allow Jon the chance to work with a diverse group of writers and directors and give Lucasfilm the opportunity to build a robust talent base.”
Favreau is familiar with the Star Wars universe as well, having voiced Pre Vizsla in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and will appear in the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story. “If you told me at 11 years old that I would be getting to tell stories in the Star Wars universe, I wouldn’t have believed you. I can’t wait to embark upon this exciting adventure.”
Favreau was nominated for an Emmy in 2005 for producing dinner for Five, and and won the Saturn Award in 2009 for Best Director for Iron Man. He directed both Iron Man and Iron Man 2, and executive produced the Iron Man and Avengers movies, and also appeared as Tony Stark’s assistant Happy Hogan in many of them. He’s currently working on The Lion King for Disney.
No release date for the Star Wars series has been announced.
We already know that Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been charged with developing a new saga trilogy to follow on once the Skywalker saga is concluded with Episode IX. But now it appears there is another saga in the works, this one from the minds of Game Of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
We wonder if this might squeeze out the anthology films, while these two sagas interleave their release years.
Disney happened to have their earnings call today as well, and CEO Bob Iger was asked if they considered doing a series, given their experience in the small format. Their interest was in creating Star Wars films,” replied Iger. “We’ve been talking with them for some time. They didn’t express interest in a series.”
Of course there were no details on release dates or plot, but Iger did say they were focused on “a particular point in time” in the Star Wars universe. I’m still hoping for some new stories set in the Old Republic.
In theaters May 25th
So, I promised a bit of a review of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and it would be impossible to talk about it at the level I want without spoilers, so be forewarned…SPOILERS AHEAD!
Before getting there, some spoiler-free notes. Despite what I am going to say below, I thought it was a great film. Visually stunning and with superb audio, it kept you riveted. I love when a story delves into its own mythology, which we get a bit of here with the Jedi. I think overall the story was solid, although how it got there had a number of issues.
So let’s get started…
It’s time to come out of our holiday-induced coma and get caught up on the news, so here is some rapidfire TidBits…
Sadly, we have learned that actress Heather Menzies-Urich, wife of late actor Robert Urich and best known as Louisa in The Sound Of Music, passed away on December 24th at the age of 68. Obscure SF TV fans may also known her for playing Jessica in the TV series version of Logan’s Run.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi added another $99 million over the holiday weekend, although analysts expected more from the weekend. Fans seem to be greatly debating the merits of the movie…from our point of view it was a good movie but with a slew of technical problems. Expect a spoiler-laden review later this week.
In the meantime, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle appeared to get a big turnout from holiday audiences looking for something lighthearted, getting $72m since the Wednesday open and including $2m from the Amazon Prime Members preview earlier in the month. It’s definitely a good movie for audiences looking for a laugh. The Greatest Showman, which appears to be fighting critical reviews as well as the competition, only made $19m for the same six days, but we think is a great musical film with several Oscar-worthy songs.
Lastly, Quentin Taranino’s R-rated Star Trek has named a writer – The Revenant‘s Mark L. Smith.
Disney/Lucasfilm sure appears to be exercising their force powers on the moviegoing audience…the latest installment in the franchise crossed $500 million worldwide. The domestic tally beat $250 million as of today, adding $21.8 million Monday, $20.4 million Tuesday and looking at at least $17 million today as fans get second and in some cases third viewings in.