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'Star Wars': Episode VIII to be made by 'Breaking Bad' director Rian Johnson

J.J. Abrams may be kicking off the new Star Wars trilogy, but the series will get a different director for Episode VIII: Rian Johnson, the director of Brick, Looper, and some of the most memorable episodes of Breaking Bad.

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CONSIDER THIS: Jason Reitman on the original sceenplay of 'Looper'

prize_fighter1_bannerWith Academy Awards voting underway, EW’s Prize Fighter is kicking off the “Consider This” series, asking folks with Oscar histories of their own to share their personal favorites of the year. Jason Reitman, who had a best director nomination for Juno and was a writing, directing and best picture contender for Up in the Air, offered these thoughts about filmmaker Rian Johnson’s screenplay for the time-travel drama Looper, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the younger version of Bruce Willis’ hitman, now forced to target his older self.

Here’s a fun fact… you know what Alien, Blade Runner, Close Encounters and The Matrix have in common? I mean, outside of being timeless groundbreaking movies that changed the way we watch cinema. None of these films were acknowledged for their screenplays — which makes me wonder, is it just because they have flying cars and hyperbaric sleep chambers and creatures with acid in their blood? Perhaps we’re so thoroughly engrossed that we dismiss how these films triumph in their examination of complicated ideas. Or maybe, as writers, we have some sort of prejudice against futuristic costume and production design. READ FULL STORY

Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): The inside story behind Emily Blunt's [SPOILER] in 'Looper'

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! When writer-director Rian Johnson and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt first unveiled Looper at WonderCon last March, the filmmaker and his cast carefully and pointedly kept a major feature of the time-warping sci-fi thriller under wraps. But now that audiences have had a chance to see Looper for themselves (click here for EW’s B+ review), many of the film’s key players are finally willing to talk about this top secret element for the first time — and using words like “spooky,” “brilliant,” and “extraordinary” to do it. Here, in a piece originally published right after the film hit theaters, is that reveal.

For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for EW.com’s Best of 2012: Behind the Scenes coverage.
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'Looper': The inside story behind Emily Blunt's [SPOILER] -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTO

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! Since writer-director Rian Johnson and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt first unveiled Looper at WonderCon last March, the filmmaker and his cast have carefully and pointedly kept a major feature of the time-warping sci-fi thriller under wraps. But now that audiences have had a chance to see Looper for themselves this weekend (click here for EW’s B+ review), many of the film’s key players are finally willing to talk about this top secret element for the first time — and using words like “spooky,” “brilliant,” and “extraordinary” to do it.

First, though, some quick backstory. The movie’s main character, Joe (Gordon-Levitt), is part of a class of mob assassins called Loopers, who kill victims sent back from the future — until one day they kill their future self, and “close their loop.” The film’s cast and director have spoken at length about the tricky make-up process Gordon-Levitt underwent to look more like the actor playing his future self, Bruce Willis. And they’ve given a detailed look at the process of making the movie — click here for Johnson’s exclusive tour of his stunning behind-the-scenes photographs from the film’s Lousiana-based production.

But when it comes to Emily Blunt’s character Sara, the cast and director have stayed silent. Up until now, the most anyone, including Blunt, has been willing to say about the her character is that Joe’s dogged pursuit of Older Joe brings them in contact with Sara, a single mother living on a remote Kansas farm. So why has everyone been so reluctant to say anything more about Sara or her place in the film’s story? (Obviously, if you haven’t seen Looper yet, MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW. If you plan on seeing the film, do yourself a favor and stop reading now until you have.) READ FULL STORY

Toronto Film Festival: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis at 'Looper' opening night premiere make audience gasp, cheer

Looper

Joseph Gordon-Levitt sat on the edge of his balcony seat, crouched forward, hands clasped, his dark double-breasted jacket draped next to him, as he, and his Looper costars Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt, along with close to 2,600 other people, watched the sci-fi thriller at Toronto’s enormous Roy Thomson Hall for its Toronto International Film Festival premiere, kick-starting the fest Thursday night.

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Toronto Film Festival: Emily Blunt on 'Looper,' Joseph Gordon-Levitt's transformation, and why she had a big pile of wood in her backyard

Up until this week, all the attention around the sci-fi thriller Looper has been on Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s transformation into a younger version of Bruce Willis. In the film, written and directed by Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom), Gordon-Levitt plays Joe, a mob assassin called a looper who kills off marks beamed back from the future. It’s a steady, well-paying, simple-if-brutal gig, until one day the mob decides to close your loop, and send back your future self to be killed off, severing all ties to the crime. Unfortunately for Gordon-Levitt, his older self is played by Bruce Willis, who escapes his assassination, forcing the younger Joe to try to chase down and murder his older self.

And that’s where Emily Blunt’s character comes in. It’s a part that’s been kept largely under wraps — all Blunt’s said publicly is that Joe’s pursuit of Older Joe brings him in contact with her and her family — but all that is about to change when the film premieres Thursday as the opening movie of the 2012 Toronto Film Festival. EW had a chance to talk with Blunt in July about the role; why she leapt at the chance to be in the film; the unusual training regimen she took on for the part; why she called Looper “the best movie I’ve ever been a part of”; and what it’s like to be directed by Johnson. Check out our conversation below:  READ FULL STORY

'Looper' clip: Joseph Gordon-Levitt would like Bruce Willis to 'do what old men do, and die'

In anticipation of its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival next week, the first clip from the sci-fi thriller Looper hit the Web today, featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis as the same man, 30 years apart. The younger man (Gordon-Levitt) is one of the titular Loopers, a class of mob assassin tasked with offing marks zapped from the future — until their loop is “closed” when they have to kill their future self (in this case, Willis).

Confused? Don’t sweat it too much. As Willis himself makes clear in this clip, trying to figure out the metaphysics of time travel is an exercise in futility. Much more important, to the characters and to the film: What would happen if you had to face down your future self?

Check out the clip below:  READ FULL STORY

'Looper' Comic-Con panel: Emily Blunt calls it 'the best movie I've ever been a part of'

The Project: Looper

The Panel: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, director Rian Johnson

Footage Screened: Johnson called the sizzle reel an expanded version of the latest trailer, but there were still brand new peeks at one of the buzziest sci-fi films at Comic-Con. The first was a conversation between Gordon-Levitt — playing Joe, a mob assassin called a Looper who takes out marks zapped back to him from the future — and the mob boss played by a burly, bearded Jeff Daniels. First, the boss noted that he recruited Joe as the youngest Looper he’d ever hired, and then asked Joe where he was going to go after he retired (more on that in a sec). “I’m going to France,” said Joe. “You should go to China,” said the boss. “I’m going to France,” said Joe. “I’m from the future,” said the boss. “You should go to China.”  READ FULL STORY

'Looper' U.S. trailer: Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis face off as the same man

Yesterday, writer-director Rian Johnson (BrickThe Brothers Bloom) noted on Twitter that if you are already planning on seeing his next film — the sci-fi time-travel thriller Looper — it’s likely best to skip watching the film’s trailers. Johnson’s concern was that certain moments in Looper‘s story of a mob assassin (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) tasked with killing himself from 30 years in the future (Bruce Willis) could be spoiled for you if you know too much about them going in.

Does he have good reason to worry? Well, the new domestic trailer for the film was released today, and it is indeed markedly different from yesterday’s international trailer thanks to an extended look at a crackling diner scene between Gordon-Levitt and Willis. Taken together, the two previews manage to paint a rough picture of the film’s main storyline and tone without taking us through every major beat of the plot.

Still, Johnson is right. If you have already decided to see Looper, there’s no need to see any more of it before you step into a theater. But if you remain unconvinced, perhaps this trailer will push you over the edge. Check it out below:   READ FULL STORY

'Looper' international trailer: Joseph Gordon-Levitt hunts himself, a.k.a. Bruce Willis

On the one hand, the new international trailer for Looper looks damn cool: Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a Mob assassin called a Looper who kills people sent to him from the future, and one day, he’s sent himself, 30 years older, played by Bruce Willis.

On the other hand, writer-director Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom) had this to say today about the trailer on Twitter: “If you’re already set on seeing Looper, I’d avoid any trailers from here on out. They don’t ruin the movie, but they tip a few little things.” He later added, “Just to clarify – I approved all the trailers, they’re great and they won’t ruin anything big. But the small things they tip are fun to discover in the movie.”

What to do, what to do? Oh, just check out the trailer below:  READ FULL STORY

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