Walt Disney CEO and owner-of-your-childhood Bob Iger talked to CNBC today and revealed some intriguing, albeit semi-abstract, news about the company’s plans for the Star Wars franchise. “We are working on a few standalone films,” Iger said, explaining that the company is planning to produce an indeterminate number of spin-off films to run alongside Episodes VII, VIII, and IX. “[Lawrence] Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are both working on films derived from great Star Wars characters,” continued Iger. He also clarified that Kasdan and Kinberg are both working with director J.J. Abrams on Star Wars: Episode VII, which is being written by Toy Story 3‘s Michael Arndt. READ FULL STORY »
Tag: Lucasfilm (1-10 of 11)
Lucasfilm isn’t kidding in its aim to pour all of its efforts – every fiber of the Force, every ounce of Stormtrooper chutzpah – into its revival of the Star Wars franchise. It’s even pushing back scheduled 3-D re-releases of prequels Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
“Lucasfilm has decided to postpone this fall’s scheduled release of Episodes II and III in 3D,” said the studio in a statement Monday to EW. “Given the recent development that we are moving forward with a new Star Wars trilogy we will now focus 100 percent of our efforts on Star Wars: Episode VII in order to ensure the best possible experience for our fans. We will post further information about our 3D release plans at a later date.”
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It’s official, and just in time for the holidays. Mickey Mouse will join forces with Obi-Wan, as Disney has completed its acquisition of Lucasfilm.
The Walt Disney Co. announced in a statement on Friday that the deal is done, spurring further joy and debate the world over for fans of Disney and Lucasfilm’s past and future Star Wars franchise.
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The Walt Disney Company is one big step closer to formally purchasing Lucasfilm.
The Federal Trade Commission announced Tuesday that it has granted Disney an early termination of the statutory antitrust waiting period for all major company acquisitions. In plain terms, it means the government has determined there aren’t any lingering issues with Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm, and the process of formally finishing the $4.05 billion deal can move forward.
As it happens, Disney also announced today that it just signed an exclusive agreement with Netflix for the VOD rights to all of its various theatrical releases, which included Pixar and Marvel films — but not Lucasfilm movies (e.g. Star Wars movies), since the deal has not been completed.
Francis Ford Coppola is ready for a big picture comeback.
The Oscar-winning filmmaker, now 73, has made some of the most iconic movies of all time, from 1972 mob classic The Godfather to 1979 war epic Apocalypse Now. But as an equally humble student and lover of film, he’s recently made smaller movies with tiny budgets such as 2009’s Tetro, starring Vincent Gallo, and murder mystery Twixt, with Val Kilmer and Elle Fanning.
Coppola spoke to EW about five of his films – Apocalypse Now, the extended version Apocalypse Now Redux, Tetro, 1974’s The Conversation, and 1982’s One From the Heart — all being released as a Blu-ray box set through Lionsgate on Tuesday. With new offices next year in Los Angeles on the Paramount Pictures lot, he also revealed his plans, and mentioned a first draft script, for a new “ambitious” big budget movie set in New York, as well as what he expects of his “kid brother” director George Lucas following the Disney- Lucasfilm acquisition. With the 2007 documentary Fog City Mavericks capturing the creative, independent spark of Bay Area filmmakers such as Coppola and Lucas, a new era for both has begun.
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Producer Rick McCallum — who was instrumental in the resurrection of the Star Wars franchise, from the “Special Edition” re-releases of the first trilogy to the prequel trilogy Star Wars films — is leaving Lucasfilm to pursue producing independent films. The announcement, made on StarWars.com, comes a month after the bombshell news that Disney is purchasing Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion, with veteran Hollywood producer Kathleen Kennedy taking the helm of the Star Wars franchise as executive producer of a planned sequel trilogy.
“There’s only person in the world who could do this, and that’s Kathleen Kennedy,” McCallum said in the announcement. READ FULL STORY »
Update: StarWars.com officially confirmed the reports Friday that Arndt will pen Star Wars: Episode VII. Full statement:
“As pre-production of Star Wars: Episode VII begins, Lucasfilm has confirmed that award-winning writer Michael Arndt will write the screenplay for the new Star Wars film. As revealed in the ongoing video series posted here on StarWars.com, Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas have begun story conferences with Arndt. Arndt won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for writing Little Miss Sunshine (2006), and was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for writing Toy Story 3 (2010).”
Considering that the first installment in the next Star Wars trilogy isn’t due in theaters until 2015, tantalizing nuggets of news about the project have been coming out at a surprisingly steady clip in the past week. First we learned that Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher had lunch with George Lucas in August and discussed Episodes VII, VIII, and IX with him. Then we heard that Harrison Ford was potentially open to returning to the role of Han Solo. And now comes word that, according to Deadline, screenwriter Michael Arndt has already written a treatment for the next three Star Wars films and is in line to write the script for Episode VII. Arndt’s rep had no comment.
Arndt won the Best Original Screenplay Academy Award in 2006 for the comedy Little Miss Sunshine, was nominated for a second Oscar for his screenplay for 2010′s Toy Story 3, and has written the upcoming sequel Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Satisfying legions of Star Wars fans around the world will be no easy feat, but Arndt has devoted serious Jedi-level training to his study of the franchise. In fact, in talks to aspiring screenwriters, he has more than once used the original trilogy as an object lesson in perfect storytelling structure.
Special coverage: Disney buys Lucasfilm
Harrison Ford is open to the idea of bringing Han Solo back to life on the silver screen in 2015, according to sources close to the just-announced Star Wars sequel, but don’t be surprised if his contract includes a mandatory death scene for the sly old space smuggler.
“Harrison is open to the idea of doing the movie and he’s upbeat about it, all three of them are,” said one highly placed source, referring to Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher, the trio that made a hyper-speed jump to global fame on May 25, 1977, the opening night for George Lucas’s original Star Wars film.
The Hollywood trajectories of Hamill and Fisher led to reinvention — he’s now an in-demand voice actor; she used a gift for acerbic memoir to deliver Postcards from the Edge and Wishful Drinking. But Ford, who reached his 35th birthday in the summer of 1977, launched himself on a truly historic career run that synced up with the blockbuster bonanza of the 1980s. Ford’s star rose with The Fugitive, Air Force One, Clear and Present Danger, Presumed Innocent, Blade Runner, and of course, the four fedora films as a certain archaeologist named Henry “Indiana” Jones.
The actor, now 70, is plenty proud of Indy, Jack Ryan, John Book, and Dr. Richard Kimble but in the past he didn’t disguise his disdain for Solo. “As a character he was not so interesting to me,” the frosty Ford explained in an ABC interview in 2010.
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George Lucas is done with Star Wars, but not with filmmaking.
The Star Wars creator says he still plans to make his “own little personal films.”
Lucas spoke Friday night while attending Ebony magazine’s Power 100 Gala, days after announcing the sale of his storied Lucasfilm to Disney for $4.05 billion. The deal would allow for more Star Wars films. While Lucas will be a creative consultant, longtime collaborator Kathleen Kennedy will be in control.
When asked if he’d have a hand in picking a director for the films, he said, “I’ve turned it over to a wonderful producer, Kathy Kennedy, and I’ve known her for years. She’s more than capable of taking it and making it better than I did.”
Lucas admitted mixed emotions about letting Lucasfilm go. READ FULL STORY »
Who can forget Carrie Fisher’s gold, swirly, shamelessly skimpy bikini as a slave girl held captive by Jabba the Hutt in 1983’s Return of the Jedi? Cue sex icon posters of Fisher taped to salivating fanboys’ walls. Fast forward almost 30 years later, with both fanboys and fangirls, er fanmen and fanwomen at this point, awaiting an upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII by 2015, following Tuesday’s huge announcement about Disney acquiring Lucasfilm.
It’s a new world for women in sci-fi fantasy since the metal bikini days, or even since George Lucas’ Star Wars prequels, released in 1999, 2002 and 2005, which starred Natalie Portman as the elaborately dressed yet restrained Naboo queen-turned-senator Padmé Amidala, mom to Luke Skywalker and his sister Leia. EW reached out to female sci-fi directors about their take on the new Star Wars universe when it comes to representing women in a modern and diverse way.
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