It is a dark time for the Rebellion. Evading the dreaded Imperial Starfleet, a group of freedom fighters has established a new secret base on the remote ice world of Hoth. Unfortunately the evil Darth Vader discovers their hideout, and the desperate Rebel birds must escape the AT-ATs and Pigtroopers hot on their trail.
The free update brings 20 new levels, two bonus levels and introduces the pink bird as Princess Leia. Like the other characters we've been introduced to, she brings a unique ability to the battlefield – a tractor beam that can be used pull the legs right out from under the dreaded AT-AT walkers.
Two of the biggest names in showbiz, Steven Spielberg and Stephen King, will team up next summer on CBS.
The network announced Thursday that it has ordered 13 episodes of “Under the Dome,” a drama adapted from King’s 2009 novel about a small New England town suddenly cut off from the rest of the world by a transparent dome, from Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment. In addition to writing the source material, King is on board as an executive producer.
"Under the Dome" will launch in summer 2013 with a premiere episode directed by Niels Arden Oplev, who helmed the Swedish-language adaptation of “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”
CBS appears intent on turning “Under the Dome” into a summer television event by making it available across multiple platforms shortly after the network broadcast.
Despite Spielberg’s unparalleled reputation on the big screen, the filmmaker has had a spottier track record on TV: The big-budget sci-fi series “Terra Nova” was canceled after just 11 episodes on Fox last year.
"Under the Dome" was previously set up at Showtime. While it is not technically the first professional collaboration between the prolific novelist and the "Lincoln" director, it will in all likelihood be the first to actually come to fruition: Spielberg was on board to produce a miniseries of King and Peter Straub’s 1984 novel "The Talisman" for TNT, but the project eventually stalled.
It was confirmed last week that Lawrence Kasdan (co-writer of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) and Simon Kinberg (co-writer of Sherlock Holmes) are penning new Star Wars installments in addition to Episode VII – which is being scripted by Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3). We’re now being told that those projects might not be Episodes VIII and IX after all; instead, Kasdan and Kinberg could be writing separate films that also take place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
Kasdan and Kinberg are “not necessarily” working on Episodes VIII & IX; rather, their screenplays could end up serving as either official ‘Episodes’ or spinoffs that revolve around side characters outside of the Skywalker clan and their close acquaintances (Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, etc.). Disney CEO Robert Iger has said the intention is to release a new Star Wars movie “every two to three years” – beginning with Episode VII in 2015 – but it now appears that some of these films could indeed focus around “other pieces of the expansive mythos.”
However, it’s worth noting that soon-to-be Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has announced that the company wants to produce a few (Lucasfilm) movies on a yearly basis. When you put the pieces together, it does seem feasible that there could be Star Wars spinoffs released during the interim between ‘Episodes’ (after Episode VII releases, that is). Moreover, the indication now is that Disney and Lucasfilm are relying on a set of blueprints for constructing the expanded Star Wars movie universe that resembles what was used to build Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, with the ‘Episodes’ narrative thread serving in the same unifying capacity as Avengers installments in the MCU.
Filmmaker George Lucas Wednesday filed for a permit to demolish a building in downtown San Anselmo to make way for a small new park that will become the permanent home of two bronze statues of his popular characters Indiana Jones and Yoda.
Lucas previously started preparations to relocate a large, historical fresco that is located in the building that stands next to town hall. San Anselmo town officials, however, ordered the work halted until the demolition permit, which includes submittal of a historical analysis, is approved.
Lucas, who lives in San Anselmo, announced this summer that he is donating the land the building sits on to the San Anselmo Chamber of Commerce, which hopes to raise $150,000 to $200,000 to create a park. Lucas said then that he would donate the statues and has since also agreed to pay for demolition of the building, which includes addresses 535, 539 and 541 San Anselmo Ave.
"The work just got a little out of order," said San Anselmo Town Manager Debra Stutsman. "We wanted them to submit their historical analysis and receive a demolition permit before they do any work."
Stutsman said the demolition application and historical analysis will be reviewed by the town's Planning Commission and Historical Commission.
Sarita Patel, Lucas's estate manager, said, "I think there was some confusion with the town. What we were doing was prepping the mural for its move."
The fresco was painted in 1945 by Jose Moya del Pino, founder of the Marin Art & Garden Center. Its subject matter is the history of pharmacology. The building in which the fresco resides was built the same year to house the Rossi Brothers Pharmacy.
Patel said Lucas is preserving the fresco and donating it to the Spanish consulate in San Francisco, in care of The Spain-USA Foundation.
Lucas hired Annie Rosenthal, a fine art conservator based in San Rafael, to evaluate the condition of the fresco and restore it as best as possible before its move. Rosenthal reported back to Lucas that while a majority of the fresco remains intact, about 5 percent to 10 percent of the design has been lost due to high humidity in the room in which it is located. Rosenthal reattached as much of the flaking paint as possible.
San Anselmo Chamber of Commerce President Connie Rodgers, who has been working closely with Lucas on the effort to create a park, said demolition of the building won't begin until after the first of the year.
"We are not going to do anything through the holiday season," Rodgers said. "We want to make sure there are no disturbances and the merchants get to utilize the maximum selling season."
Rodgers hopes to have the demolition completed in time to do new plantings for the park this spring, and she expects the park to open by summer.
"Definitely in time to be able to market the town to America's Cup visitors in August," Rodgers said.
The centerpiece of the new park will be a fountain that will incorporate the Yoda statue. A similar Yoda fountain is located at the entrance to the Letterman Digital Arts Center in San Francisco, where Lucas moved most of his operations in 2005.
Patel said, "The fountain is going to be very similar to the one in San Francisco
Paramount has released the official plot synopsis for the film, and it offers a few juicy clues to the identity of the villain played by Benedict Cumberbatch.
The synopsis reads, in part: “When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction.
“As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death,” the synopsis continues, “love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.”
So who is this “one-man weapon of mass destruction?” Though no one has confirmed it, signs point to Cumberbatch’s character being Khan Noonien Singh, the genetically engineered superman who battled Kirk in the original series episode “Space Seed” and the second feature film, “Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan.”
Notice the description of the crew’s battle as an “epic chess game of life and death?” Recall that Khan (as famously depicted in his previous incarnation by actor Ricardo Montalban) was a master strategist, whose undoing came about because he thought of the battlefield as a two-dimensional plane. (Kirk and Spock played a lot of three-dimensional chess, which helped them get the jump on Khan while in the Mutara Nebula.)
It’s too early to know for sure, but audiences will no doubt get even more clarity when nine minutes of the film is screened before Imax 3-D screenings of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” when that film opens on Dec. 14.
“Star Trek Into Darkness,” written by “Lost” alumni Damon Lindelof, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, is slated for a May 17, 2013, release. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto will reprise their respective roles as James T. Kirk and Spock. Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, Simon Pegg, John Cho and Bruce Greenwood are also returning.
Jason Flemyng has, it seems revealed that Matthew Vaughn is set to direct Star Wars: Episode VII. Flemyng, who has worked with Vaughn in all of his films, found himself caught by journalists when they were speaking to him at the UK premiere forSeven Psychopaths. The reporters asked if he had spoken with Vaughn aboutStar Wars; Flemyng took the question and ran with it:
"Me and Matt have done nine films together so I'm sure I'll get the call forStar Wars. But I'm sure it's going to be literally, 'Flemyng, no...I know on paper it doesn't look like much but I promise you it's essential to the part.' So we'll see what happens with that."
"We have questions about it," Hamill (speaking for himself and Star Wars costar Carrie Fisher) told E! last night at the Hollywood premiere of his new flick Sushi Girl. "And really, they're not even at the stage where they're able to answer those questions because, as far as I know, is there a story yet?"
"I loved all those people, I really did," Hamill gushed about working with Fisher, Harrison Ford and director George Lucas on the first three Star Wars movies. "Until I know more about what they have in mind, I think it's better to let Lucasfilm make the announcements."
Hamill, 61, stayed tight-lipped when asked about who he could see taking over his iconic role in the sci-fi franchise.
"If they were going to do a story where Luke was too young or too old for me to play, they would get an age-appropriate actor," he said. "There's so many good people."
Developers from The Old Republic have announced their latest extras and expansion for the upcoming update. A new addition is called Warzone: Ancient Hypergate.
This Warzone takes place in an ancient ruin built around a Gree hypergate. The Republic and Sith Empire are doing battle in an effort to control the area and claim the lost technology for themselves. Each of the factions have calibrated a gate that will allow reinforcements to be brought directly into the battle. These gates need to be charged up to full power in order to stabilize the connection and allow for safe passage. A nearby set of energy pylons have been brought online to achieve this goal, but they have been damaged in the fighting. They slowly build up to peak power and then discharge their stored energy into the connected gate. During this discharge, a large explosion is also released as the containment fields around each pylon fail. The only safe place is inside a bunker designed with a failsafe shield that protects from the violent explosion.
"There are Star Wars fans who don’t appreciate Ewoks for what they were,"Davis said in an interview with the UK's Metro. "We kicked arse and helped the rebels defeat the Empire. Without us, what would have happened? But some people see Ewoks as an excuse to sell merchandise; they were ‘too cute’ and so on. That’s a minority view within the Star Wars community. When I go to the events, everyone is usually happy to see me. Those are the sort of people who look forward to playing the Star Wars video games where you get to be a Stormtrooper and kill Ewoks. They know who they are."
Production designer Rick Carter and costume designer Joanna Johnston, who have worked together on several films for Steven Spielberg, have done just that in “Lincoln,” creating a sense of authenticity in the sets and clothing. The audience is made to feel that his is a world inhabited by real people, not just actors playing dress-up.
I'm pretty chuffed that I'm on this weeks Forcecast. Its a Thanksgiving special and The Forcecast gave listeners a chance to send in a message via a voice mail or email. So I did and you can hear me around 38 minutes in. I put on my best radio voice too.
Is Zachary Quinto going to quit the "Star Trek' movie series after the second film? He recently addressed what he called "rumors" and told fans to "simmer down."
EW quoted the 35-year-old actor as saying in a recent interview that he is ready to "go in a different direction" with his career after the second film in J. J. Abrams' movie series, "Star Trek Into Darkness," hits theaters on May 17, 2013.
Quinto made his debut as Spock, a pointy-eared half-Vulcan, half-human Starfleet Academy member, in the 2009 film "Star Trek." He previously played the serial killer Sylar on the NBC show "Heroes" and currently stars on FX's "American Horror Story" as the psychotherapist Dr. Oliver Thredson.
EW had quoted him as saying in the interview: "It's like an era of association with certain roles -- a specific part like Spock, or a kind of part, like Sylar -- is coming to an end. I think it's safe to say this will be the last serial killer I'll be playing for the foreseeable future."
He later took to Twitter to clarify his remarks.
"Simmer down kids," Quinto Tweeted to his some 575,000 followers. "Rumors are rumors for a reason. quotes out of context. let's let the second movie come out before we talk about a third... (sic)."
Pixar's Brave, distributed by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, debuted at No. 1 on the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart for the week ended Nov. 18, The Hollywood Reporter said.
The studio's latest CG-animated hit, which grossed $236.6 million at the domestic box office, also topped VideoScan's dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart for the week.
Sony Pictures' The Amazing Spider-Man, in its first full week of release, dropped a slot to No. 2 on both charts after debuting in the top spot the previous week following its Friday, Nov. 9 street date. The Marvel superhero actioner sold 28.5 percent as many total copies as Brave and 34.8 percent as many Blu-ray copies.
For Brave, 51 percent of units sold came in the Blu-ray format and 12 percent of all units sold were of the 3D version, compared with 62 percent and 15 percent for Amazing Spider-Man, respectively.
No. 3 on both charts went to Universal's Savages, the latest Oliver Stone film, and No. 4 went to Fox's sci-fi comedy The Watch; both are new releases.
On Home Media Magazine's weekly rental chart, the top three titles remained unchanged from the previous week, with Amazing Spider-Man at No. 1, Fox's Prometheus at No. 2 and Sony's Arthur Christmas at No. 3.
The Lionsgate actioner Fire With Fire rose to No. 4 on the strength of greater exposure at Redbox. Likewise, Warner's The Campaign rose from No. 79 to No. 7 in its third week of release due to titles being stocked at Redbox kiosks as a workaround to the usual embargo Warner imposes on Redbox and Netflix.
According to Box Office Mojo, Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith is now going to be released on October 4, 2013, a week earlier than its original date. The move puts the sci-fi epic up against the new Vince Vaughn comedy The Delivery Man (formerly known as Starbuck), Robert Rodriguez's long-awaited sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, and the thriller Paranoia starring Liam Hemsworth, Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford.
But good news for one 3D conversion seems to be bad for another. BOM is also saying that Fox has removed the special re-release of Roland Emmerich's alien invasion action movie Independence Day from their schedule. The film was originally supposed to have a big summer event arrival, set to come out the day before the holiday - July 3 - next year on its 17th anniversary, but now it's listed simply as "TBD." There is no explanation given for the change.
Thirty-eight years ago, Steven Spielberg wanted musical Americana for his first feature, "The Sugarland Express." He hired John Williams on the strength of the composer's folksy scores for "The Reivers" and "The Cowboys."
"Lincoln" marks their 26th film, one of the longest-running director-composer partnerships in modern movie history. Williams calls it "an amazing relationship. We've never really had an argument. It's just something that has, personally and musically, worked well."
Fifteen of those films earned Oscar nominations for Williams, and three have won ("Jaws," "E.T." and "Schindler's List"). For the 80-year-old dean of American film composers, who already has a record-setting total of 47 nominations, "Lincoln" explores yet another aspect of Americana circa the 19th century.
"I thought that the music, in some fundamental way, should have the harmonic and melodic grammar of the 19th century," Williams explains.
He started his work near the end of the film, when Lincoln delivers his second inaugural address ("with malice toward none, with charity for all"), thinking that "if I could solve the inaugural scene, be supportive at the right level," he might find the key theme for the score.
Once he and Spielberg decided on the music for that scene, however, the composer discovered that the film demanded different moods for different aspects of Lincoln's character and experiences: a sorrowful piano for the president's dead son Willie; a noble theme for the moment when black Americans are permitted inside the House of Representatives to witness the passage of the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery; a lighthearted fiddle for the shady work of political operatives; an elegy for a field of hundreds of dead Civil War soldiers; and others, six themes in all.
"It's a tapestry, really, of thematic pieces original to the film," Williams says.
Much of the score, recorded with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, is restrained and dignified, befitting the subject. Producer Kathleen Kennedy describes it as having an "elegant simplicity. To reinforce the context of the period, he intentionally kept his instrumentation sparse. (It) elevates the emotion without being overpowering."
Lawrence Kasdan wrote on both The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi, and was man of the match on Raiders of the Lost Ark. He’s also the writer-director of several films I love, from Body Heat to Grand Canyon and now, Deadline believe, he’s on Lucasfilm’s wish list for their revitalised Star Wars plans. The Hollywood Reporter say that the deals have been locked and that Kasdan and Kinberg are now on board. What isn’t set, just yet, is which of them will write which episode. They will both also receive producing credits – and presumably do some producing work. Officially speaking. You can read more about this over at http://www.bleedingcool.com/2012/11/20/lucasfilm-want-empire-strikes-back-scribe-lawrence-kasdan-back-for-new-star-wars/
With a high score of 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, Lincoln received praise from critics for Day-Lewis' performance and Spielberg's decision to create an unconventional biopic that humanizes a man who went on to become an icon
Read below to see what the top critics are saying:
Todd McCarthy from The Hollywood Reporter says, “Far from being a traditional biographical drama, Lincoln dedicates itself to doing something very few Hollywood films have ever attempted, much less succeeded at: showing, from historical example, how our political system works in an intimate procedural and personal manner. That the case in point is the hair-breadth passage by the House of Representatives of the epochal 13th Amendment abolishing slavery and that the principal orchestrator is President Abraham Lincoln in the last days of his life endow Steven Spielberg's film with a great theme and subject, which are honored with intelligence, humor and relative restraint.”
LA Times' Kenneth Turan points out that “This narrow focus has paradoxically enabled us to see Lincoln whole in a way a more broad-ranging film might have been unable to match. It has also made for a movie whose pleasures are subtle ones, that knows how to reveal the considerable drama inherent in the overarching battle of big ideas over the amendment as well as the small-bore skirmishes of political strategy and the nitty-gritty scramble for congressional votes.”
Turan later adds, “One of the surprises and the pleasures of Lincoln is its portrait of the president as a man gifted at reconciling irreconcilable points of view, someone who wouldn't hesitate to play both ends against the middle and even stretch the truth in the service of the greater good.”
Richard Corliss from Time writes, "The analogy of the 16th and 44th U.S. Presidents provides a fascinating undercurrent to Lincoln, the sturdy, sometimes starchy drama directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Tony Kushner. Rather than add to the dozens of movie biographies of the Great Emancipator, Kushner dipped into Doris Kearns Goodwin’s 2005 book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln to focus on the President’s drive for the House ratification of the 13th Amendment. Boasting an urgent density of detail and cunning performances by Daniel Day-Lewis in the lead role and Tommy Lee Jones as Stevens, Lincoln is a civics lesson that frequently brings life to the nation’s central political and moral debate. Just as important, it joins Argo as a movie that dares to remind American moviegoers that its government can achieve great victories against appalling odds."
While Indiewire’s Drew Taylor thinks the movie “remains remote, hermetic, bloodless and antiqued,” he does comment on how “Day-Lewis' Lincoln is uncanny, giving off the sensation that this is the closest anyone alive today will ever get to seeing to the President walking around and talking to people. Day-Lewis inhabits the character fully, in his distinctive gait and posture (his back sometimes bending into a question-mark), his reedy voice (given the painstaking amount of historical research that went into the rest of the movie, it must be based in fact) and the more honest-feeling portrayal of his moral righteousness, which wasn't as arrow-straight as most like to think it was. Lincoln, in this movie at least, was a conflicted, often tortured man, who knew what had to be done and was willing to bend certain rules and obligations to achieve his desired outcome.”
Roger Ebert gives the film four stars and adds, “The capital city of Washington is portrayed here as roughshod gathering of politicians on the make. The images by Janusz Kaminski, Spielberg's frequent cinematographer, use earth tones and muted indoor lighting. The White House is less a temple of state than a gathering place for wheelers and dealers. This ambience reflects the descriptions in Gore Vidal's historical novel Lincoln, although the political and personal details in Tony Kushner's concise, revealing dialogue is based on Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin. The book is well-titled. This is a film not about an icon of history, but about a president who was scorned by some of his political opponents as just a hayseed from the backwoods.”
A.O. Scott of the New York Times says "There is no end to this story, which may be why Mr. Spielberg’s much-noted fondness for multiple denouements is in evidence here. There are at least five moments at which the narrative and the themes seem to have arrived at a place of rest. (The most moving for me is a quiet scene when the 13th Amendment is read aloud. I won’t give away by whom.) But the movie keeps going, building a symphony of tragedy and hope that celebrates Lincoln’s great triumph while acknowledging the terror, disappointment and other complications to come."
Huffington Post’s Marshall Fine notes, “Instead of making a conventional biopic, Spielberg and writer Tony Kushner chose to use a single month of Lincoln's presidency -- January, 1865 -- to examine the character, power and persuasiveness of our 16th and, arguably, greatest president. By doing so, they reveal much about the man, his time and the difficult choices he had to make.”
Joe Belcastro at Examiner.com closes with: “Overall, Lincoln is honest and revealing, thanks to being hoisted up by impeccable work both in-front and behind the lens. Spielberg pulls back the curtain on the steady and thoughtful historical figure. And with doses of candor and reality, it never drags like a History 101 course did/does in college.”
Lincoln opened in limited theaters on Nov. 9, but releases nationwide in 1,755 theaters on Nov. 16.
Will they? Won't they? Well it appears Brad Bird Won't. For someone the fans considered a major candidate for the "Episode VII" directing job, Brad Bird remained suspiciously quiet about the gig, while just about every other candidate publicly addressed the proposition. Bird finally broke his radio silence by responding to a series of tweets that asked him if he was indeed directing "Star Wars."
Bird maintained that he is sticking to his previous plans to direct the Damon Lindelof-penned sci-fi movie, "1952," also at Disney.
Trevorrow Won't Direct
Perhaps the most surprising rumored candidate for the director's chair, Colin Trevorrow, whose "Safety Not Guaranteed" supposedly was a hit with George Lucas, has now denied the talk. He too took to Twitter to address a new-ish revelation from this summer. This past summer, Trevorrow said (via Film School Rejects), "...For all those who love the mythology that I will be tackling, trust that I love it as much as you do. And I will respect it, and hopefully make it not suck."
While Abrams tells Entertainment Weekly that ‘Star Wars’ “blew [his] mind” as a kid, he has no interest in working on the upcoming trilogy (in part because he loves it so much). But while ‘Star Wars’ is not in his future, he will be working on an as-yet-unnamed project. “I have some original stuff I am working on next,” Abrams says.
This is a similar pattern to what Christopher Nolan followed during filming of ‘The Dark Knight’ trilogy. After ‘Batman Begins’ he shot ‘The Prestige’ and after ‘The Dark Knight’ he shot ‘Inception.’ Abrams shot ‘Super 8′ in between ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Star Trek Into Darkness.’
So what is the mystery project? Abrams has in development a remake of ‘Earthquake’ and an adaptation of the New York Times article “Mystery on Fifth Avenue” about a family who discover an intricate scavenger hunt embedded into the architecture of their home.
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