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Tag: George Lucas (21-30 of 38)

Final 'Star Wars' prequels get back-to-back 3D releases

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Blame Jar Jar Binks. In the wake of last winter’s successful 3-D release of The Phantom Menace, Lucasfilm has announced that the movie’s fellow prequels, Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith, will be translated into the third dimension as well.

According to the official Star Wars Facebook page, these films will hit theaters again next fall. Clones will begin playing Sept. 20, 2013, while Sith will follow on Oct. 11.

George Lucas’s movies won’t be 2013′s only major re-releases. Universal announced two weeks ago that Jurassic Park 3D will debut on April 5, while Disney revealed in 2011 that enhanced versions of both Monsters, Inc. and The Little Mermaid will appear in theaters on Jan. 18 and Sept. 13, respectively.

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'Raiders of the Lost Ark' set for IMAX re-release

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Fans of a young, sweaty, dirt-covered Harrison Ford as the swashbuckling archaeologist Indiana Jones, hold onto your fedoras.

Steven Spielberg’s 1981 classic adventure romp Raiders of the Lost Ark will be given the big BIG screen treatment with a one-week rerelease in IMAX in September.

Lucasfilm, the studio helmed by the movie’s executive producer, George Lucas, announced that the Raiders IMAX theater showings will begin Sept. 7 as a lead-up to the Blu-ray release of the Indiana Jones series, on sale Sept. 18.

Sure, newer powerhouse films such as Avatar looked crisply modern, deeply blue and lush on IMAX, but Raiders of the Lost Ark is ripe for another generation of new and returning fans of Indiana Jones’s mishaps and misadventures splashed large across a screen. Spielberg told the New York Times no special effects were changed in the IMAX conversion. Only the audio has been bumped up for surround sound.

“When the boulder is rolling, chasing Indy through the cave, you really feel the boulder in your stomach, the way you do when a marching band passes by, and you’re standing right next to it,” Spielberg told the Times.

Another Spielberg favorite, the sharp-toothed 1975 shark saga Jaws, just arrived on Blu-ray this week.

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Grab your whip and fedora, ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ hits 30

Kathleen Kennedy to co-chair Lucasfilm as George Lucas 'moves forward with retirement'

Turns out George Lucas wasn’t bluffing with all that talk about retiring. Lucasfilm Ltd. announced today that Steven Spielberg’s longtime producing partner Kathleen Kennedy is joining the production company as co-chair. Lucas will retain his position as CEO but Kennedy’s new role will allow him to “move forward with his retirement plans,” according to a press release.

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'Red Tails' on DVD: George Lucas on making a 'real dogfight movie' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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Never count George Lucas out. That was the takeaway this past January from the surprise, if modest, box office success of Red Tails, the gee-whiz actioner about the Tuskegee Airmen that the Star Wars director had tried to bring to the big screen for 23 years. Despite mixed reviews, it won over audiences with its old-fashioned patriotism, earnest cast of mostly non A-listers, and visceral flying sequences, earning a solid ‘A’ CinemaScore. Oh, and $50 million in box office grosses, more than holding its own against brawnier January fare like The Grey and Underworld Awakening.

It’s hard to believe, then, that Red Tails almost never happened. In January, Lucas told Jon Stewart on The Daily Show that no major Hollywood studio was willing to finance a World War II epic featuring an all-black cast, meaning that he had to pull out his own pocketbook if his take on the pioneering African-American fighter squad was ever going to get made. It also meant he had to wait until digital technology would advance enough for him to produce an Old Hollywood spectacle without breaking the bank. “We needed to wait till now to find the digital tech that would make it financially feasible,” producer Rick McCallum told EW at Red Tails‘ New York premiere. “Otherwise, it would have been impossible to make. We may have had 2,200 shots in Revenge of the Sith, but no less than 1,600 in Red Tails. In the end, it took two weeks longer to make this movie than it took to fight World War II.”

Take a look at this exclusive video on the making of Lucas’ passion project, which shows how many of the film’s environments, including the cramped cockpits of the Airmen’s P-51 Mustangs, had to be built out of ones and zeros. Or as Lucas puts it, “With digital technology, now we can actually do a real dogfight movie the way it should be done.” READ FULL STORY

Facing local opposition, Lucasfilm cancels studio plan

George Lucas’ empire is striking back in its long-running battle to build a palatial film studio in the pastoral hills north of San Francisco. Lucasfilm, the force behind the Star Wars movies, shocked Marin County on Tuesday by announcing that it is abandoning the controversial Grady Ranch project, citing bitter opposition from neighbors and delays in the approval process. The company said it would build its new digital media production studio elsewhere and hopes to sell the historic farmland to a developer interested in constructing low-income housing. “We love working and living in Marin, but the residents of Lucas Valley have fought this project for 25 years, and enough is enough,” the company said in a statement. “We have several opportunities to build the production stages in communities that see us as a creative asset, not as an evil empire.” READ FULL STORY

'Star Wars': Deleted scene from 'Revenge of the Sith' reveals the fate of Jar Jar Binks -- EXCLUSIVE

Image Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd

Jar Jar Binks is back on the big screen with the return of The Phantom Menace in 3-D. While the cast believed that Binks would become the breakout character when the movie was originally released in 1999, critics and Star Wars enthusiasts had a much different reaction. Suffice it to say, many were not big fans of the goofy Gungan.

Whether it was due to that audience discontent or the character simply not serving the story, Jar Jar’s role became progressively smaller in the next two films, with Binks only uttering two words (“Excuse me”) in Revenge of the Sith. Was the man who played Jar Jar, Ahmed Best, upset about his diminished role? “As an actor, yes,” says Best. “But as someone who understands film and as a filmmaker? No. George [Lucas] has to make his movie. And I’m happy to be whatever in any of it. And at the end of the day, it’s the story that matters, and if the character doesn’t fit into the story, there is nothing I can do. What ends up on the screen is what he says ends up on the screen. All I want to do is be able to facilitate his vision as best I can. That’s all I can do. I wanted to be in those movies more because I wanted to give him more. I felt like I could do a good job. And I did. I did the best job I could do.” READ FULL STORY

George Lucas talks 'Phantom Menace' in 3-D and how James Cameron and Robert Zemeckis helped to make it happen -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

If you’re excited to see The Phantom Menace in 3-D when it opens in theaters tomorrow, then perhaps you have James Cameron and Robert Zemeckis to thank. According to George Lucas in the exclusive video below, it was the three men’s joint desire to see updated theater projectors that ultimately led Lucas to adding a third dimension to his space saga. “I was trying to get digital projectors in the theaters,” explains Lucas. “Bob Zemeckis and Jim Cameron came and said, ‘Look, we want to get 3-D into the theaters and now that you got digital theaters you can actually do that. Would you join us in showing the theater owners that you can do 3-D?’” Lucas agreed only so that the theater owners would face increased pressure to upgrade to digital projectors. But then: “When I saw the test that we did — which was about five minutes long — of Star Wars in 3-D, I realized how great it was.”

Audiences will get to see for themselves starting tomorrow. Click on the video below to hear more of George’s thoughts on 3-D (“I don’t like the gimmick part of it. I don’t like things coming out into the audience.”), and why he’s excited about a whole new generation getting to see Star Wars on the big screen.

Fellow nerds can follow me on Twitter: @DaltonRoss READ FULL STORY

George Lucas talks about adding a digital Yoda to 'The Phantom Menace' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Moviegoers who head to theaters to see The Phantom Menace when it reopens on Feb. 10 will notice something new besides the fancy 3-D technology. Puppet Yoda is gone, and has been replaced by an all-new digital Yoda, like the one seen in episodes 2 and 3. (Digital Phantom Menace Yoda also appears in the recent Star Wars Blu-ray box set released last September.) While George Lucas has taken some heat for going back and making numerous changes to his original trilogy, he has used a much lighter hand when it comes to his second set of Star Wars films, and in the exclusive clip below, he explains that is because the technology was already in place during filming to fully carry out his vision. Except, it seems, in the case of Yoda. “We were trying desperately to get a digital Yoda into the first film, Phantom Menace,” says Lucas. “We just couldn’t make it work. We came close. We got Jar Jar, and Sebulba, and Watto, and a lot of other characters, but we couldn’t get Yoda because he was much harder to do. And so when we finally did get that accomplished, before the second film, we went back and put the digital Yoda back in the first film as it was intended to be.” Click on the video player below to hear Lucas talk more about the differences between his two trilogies, and being able to tell “the entire story of Darth Vader.”

Fellow nerds can follow me on Twitter: @DaltonRoss READ FULL STORY

George Lucas on 'Star Wars': 'The first film was really hard. It was painful. It was unpleasant.' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Star Wars will be back on the big screen soon when The Phantom Menace arrives in theaters in 3-D on Feb. 10, and the occasion has got George Lucas reminiscing about his original trilogy, and, specifically, the movie that started it all: Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope. In this exclusive clip, the man who recently revealed he was retiring from making any sort of big-budget feature film talks about his influences (mix a dash of Kurosawa with a sprinkle of anthropology and a pinch of mythology) and expectations (“I didn’t expect the film to be successful at all. I don’t think anybody did”). But what’s most revealing are his thoughts on the actual making of the 1977 movie, which are not quite as rosy as you might think. “The first film was really hard,” says Lucas. “It was painful. It was unpleasant. We never had enough time or enough money, and we were always compromising on everything, and it was a difficult experience all the way around.” Just click on the video player below to hear more from Lucas on the struggles of making his landmark film.

Fellow nerds can follow me on Twitter: @DaltonRoss READ FULL STORY

Sundance: Spike Lee on 'Red Hook Summer,' George Lucas, and Tyler Perry -- VIDEO

A day after the Sundance premiere of Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer — and Lee’s fiery post-screening Q&A — the filmmaker was far more subdued when he stopped by the EW studio with his co-screenwriter James McBride and star Clarke Peters. But that doesn’t mean Lee was reticent to discuss his film’s controversial third-act plot twist, his apparent dig at the films of Tyler Perry, and how that post-show outburst ties back to George Lucas and Red Tails. Far from it.

Check out our discussion below (and warning — some SPOILERS follow): READ FULL STORY

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