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Showing posts from March, 2010

Star Wars: The Old Republic Hands-On

Working from the press room at GDC is a bit like manning a typewriter while you're sinking in quicksand -- you're sucked in just a bit further with each keystroke until you're completely immersed and unable to wriggle free.With that lovely imagery in mind, I'd like to give a big thanks to the good folks at LucasArts, who, even if it was just for about an hour or so, whisked me away from the madness-infused inner sanctums of the Moscone Center all the way up to San Francisco's lovely Presidio district for a short hands-on appointment with BioWare's highly anticipated Star Wars MMO, The Old Republicc. From the outset, it's evident that LucasArts and BioWare have a haughty task ahead of them. A massively multiplayer Star Wars universe was attempted once before with Sony Online's Star Wars Galaxies, which, while not a disaster by any means, was still met with mixed reviews from fans and critics alike. And what of the ever-expanding Star Wars universe? Doin…

What Are They Hiding at Lucasarts?

Great article by Russ Pitts. Here he tells you all about his invitation to Lucasarts. A really enjoyable read

The fact that it was a black van should have been my first clue. They are always smiling, those Lucasarts press folks, and you genuinely feel as if they're your friends. And then the van shows up, and it's black. We'd been asked by the mighty and powerful media giant to visit their San Francisco-based offices in order to see ... something. They wouldn't tell us what, exactly. We knew Bioware was involved and that it would have something to do with the forthcoming (no release date has been announced) MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Continues here

LucasArts confirms 'MI2' special edition

LucasArts has confirmed the development of a special edition of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge.Announced during the Game Developers Conference, the revamped sequel will be available for PC, Xbox 360, PS3 and iPhone in the summer.Unlike last year's Secret Of Monkey Island Special Edition, the game will feature a new control mechanism. "In addition to the point-and-click interface, we've added the ability to move Guybrush around, so you feel more connected to him," said LucasArts exec Craig Derrick.The title will also include new artwork from Peter Chan and Steve Purcell and director's commentary, as well as improved graphics, sound and a full voiceover track. Like its predecessor, the game will allow players to switch between the original graphics and high-definition art.LucasArts also revealed that The Secret Of Monkey Island Special Edition is bound for PSN and Mac OS.Tags: ,

Spielberg Eyes Jackie Kennedy Project

Two iconic American names, Steven Spielberg and the late Jackie Kennedy Onassis, are linked together in a new project. Spielberg is selling "Jackie," a hot script about the late First Lady that's making the rounds in Hollywood. Noah Oppenheim, the head of development at Reveille who's also a journalist, author and former producer at the "Today" show has written the script, which examines the days immediately following the assassination of John F. Kennedy from Jackie Kennedy's point-of-view. Spielberg is on board the project in a producerial capacity.HBO is a lead contender to buy the script and would likely develop it as a film it could air on its network. Spielberg has a long relationship with HBO; the premium cable channel is currently airing the WWII epic "The Pacific," which Spielberg executive-produced.The life and death of JFK have been frequently visited on television with projects such as the 1983 NBC miniseries "Kennedy," s…

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Steven Spielberg eyeing 'Robopocalypse'

Steven Spielberg is eyeing dystopian sci-fi film Robopocalypse for his next directing venture, according to Deadline.The DreamWorks project is based on Daniel H. Wilson's unpublished manuscript and revolves around the human race's fight for survival after a robot uprising. Wilson's book is due to hit stores in 2011.Cloverfield writer Drew Goddard has been tapped to pen the screenplay.Spielberg's next movie will be The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn, scheduled for release in December 2011.

E.T voted greatest ever children's film

E.T, the heart-warming story of a friendly extraterrestrial who is stranded on Earth, has beaten modern blockbusters such as Shrek and Finding Nemo to be named the greatest ever children's movie.
The 1982 classic, which was directed by Steven Spielberg and launched a young Drew Barrymore's Hollywood career, became famous for the phrase "E.T, phone home." In the film, a group of young children look after E.T and attempt to get him back to his home planet.
Second place in the poll went to Pixar's 1996 hit Toy Story, followed by Disney classic Mary Poppins, with The Lion King and The Wizard of Oz completing the top five. A spokesman for, which carried out the research, said: ''The films featured in the poll span across decades and all have something special about them. ''E.T is a movie the whole family can gather around to watch and it never fails to bring a tear to someone's eye." Top …

Is Dark Knight Co-Writer Jonathan Nolan’s Agency Switch a Clue to Spielberg’s Next Film? Read more: Is Dark Knight Co-Writer Jonathan Nolan’s Agency

Usually, news of a writer switching to a new talent agency is the Hollywood equivalent of a "Governor Appoints Committee to Study Problem" headline. Blah. This one, however, has larger ramifications: Vulture can exclusively report that late yesterday, William Morris Endeavor landed Jonathan Nolan, co-writer (with his director brother, Christopher) of The Dark Knight. And the move may be telegraphing a lot more. Insiders are watching the younger Nolan's move closely, because he's been at work for the last two years on the screenplay to Interstellar, a sci-fi time-travel treatment originally penned by Caltech theoretical physicist Kip Thorne that Steven Spielberg is attached to direct. The intensity of WME's fight to wrest Nolan from UTA (CAA was also competing to snag him)* signals that there's as much interest in what Nolan currently is — the writer of the next Batman movie — as what Nolan may soon become: possibly the screenwriter of Spielberg's next mov…

Spielberg: 'Avatar has changed movies'

Steven Spielberg has admitted that he was impressed by Avatar.

The movie, directed by James Cameron, has broken box office records and was nominated for nine Academy Awards.

According to Showbiz Spy, Spielberg has now praised the film.

"I say thank goodness for Avatar," he said. "It is such an inspiration for all of us. I really think Jim has changed the industry forever, in a good way."

'Lars' director to helm 'Fright Night'?

Director Craig Gillespie is reportedly in talks to direct a remake of 1980s horror-comedy Fright Night.DreamWorks is currently in negotiations with the Lars and the Real Girl helmer to shepherd the update into production, reports the Los Angeles Times.Gillespie has also directed episodes of the Showtime drama United States of Tara, produced by DreamWorks's Steven Spielberg.The original Fright Night was released in US theatres in 1985. The film centred on a teenage boy who discovers that his neighbour is a vampire.Tags: ,

Spielberg: The Pacific is gruesome

Steven Spielberg has warned his new TV miniseries The Pacific is more gruesome than Band Of Brothers.
The 10-part series, which begins on Sunday, carves its own path across a lesser-known theatre of war than Band Of Brothers, which was also executive produced by Spielberg and Tom Hanks and dramatised the true story of a company of paratroopers fighting in Europe."We want the viewing public to be prepared that there is a level of savagery in The Pacific that is more intense than in Band Of Brothers," Spielberg said.He went on: "Anything less than the graphic nature of that war, or for that matter any war, would have been met by scorn by the veterans who fought in it."We only told a partial story in Band. My own relatives were saying to me, 'We all fought in the Pacific. That's a different story. It was jungle warfare.'"According to Hanks, the Pacific theatre they faced was far different from the European one."The war in the Pacific was more like…

Underwater footage key to 'Cove'

Much of the impact of "The Cove," which collected the documentary feature Oscar on Sunday night, comes from underwater footage that could not have been captured without help from Lucasfilm spinoff Kerner Optical.Kerner runs a hush-hush "skunk works" that solves high-tech problems for private industry, government contractors and the occasional three-letter agency. Since Kerner's expertise is in models, miniatures and camera engineering, many of those problems involve exotic cameras.For "The Cove," which exposes the slaughter of toxin-laden dolphins for meat in Japan, director Louie Psihoyos needed HD cameras that could sit on the sea bottom undetected and record the events at the surface. Kerner production manager Kevin Wallace became "rock camera supervisor" for the movie. Wallace, who appears in the pic, said, "We tried to envision being there and tried to create something we wouldn't be able to detect, and we felt if we couldn'…

George Lucas compared to Thomas Edison

Director George Lucas has been compared to inventor Thomas Edison.According to SciFiWire, Alice in Wonderland producer Richard D. Zanuk believes that the Star Wars filmmaker is as reverential as the man who invented the lightbulb. "He's the only person, with the exception of Sam Goldwyn, who literally put his own money in," said Zanuck. "Sam financed and owned 100% of all those great pictures he made, and no-one else has ever done that, not like he did. George put it back into ILM and Skywalker Ranch and THX sound."He added: "[Lucas] put it into the greatest equipment, all of it up to date... He's the only one who ever gave back to the industry in terms of the technology investment. And I guess James Cameron, now, but that's on a different scale. He's really been an innovator like nobody else. He's the Thomas Edison of our time."In the same interview, Zanuk also put Lucas on par with Walt Disney.

Interview: Anthony Daniels' Star Wars android in concert

FROM the moment Luke Skywalker felt the force, Star Wars was on a stellar trajectory to become a global phenomenon.
Since 1977, the feature films that lie at the heart of the sci-fi epic have spawned a universe of spin-offs. The latest addition to film-maker George Lucas' franchise, however, is a blockbuster in its own right.

Star Wars: In Concert received its World Premiere at London's 02 in April last year. Next Saturday, it plays its only Scottish dates, when it lands at the SECC.

Featuring music from all John Williams' Star Wars scores, performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the concert is billed as 'a massive multi-media event' with narration provided by - who else? - Anthony Daniels, the man who played C-3PO in all six films.

"Oddly, for some reason, I'm the only person to have been there throughout – either people have died off, been replaced by a younger character or become digital. So I've seen the history, seen people come and go and be r…

Star Wars: In Concert Returns

Star Wars: In Concert, the unique multi-media event featuring music from all six of John Williams' epic Star Wars scores, returns to North America on May 13, 2010 in Ft. Myers, Florida (May 13), beginning a fifty-city leg of the worldwide tour that will include dates in the United States and Canada. Over 350,000 Americans attended Star Wars: In Concert during its three-month inaugural 47-city North American tour last year, which Pollstar rated as the 9th biggest tour of 2009 in January.

The tour's return to North America follows a month in Europe -- from March 7 to April 8, 2010 -- with stops in Dublin, Liverpool, Glasgow, Paris, Madrid, Lisbon, Milan, Antwerp, Hamburg and the O2 Arena in London, where it began one year ago.

The production features a full symphony orchestra and choir, accompanied by specially edited footage from the films displayed on a three-story-tall, high-definition LED super-screen -- one of the largest ever put on tour. The footage actually runs in sync wi…

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NBC eyeing Spielberg's "Nine Lives"

Steven Spielberg's "Nine Lives" may find a second life at NBC.
Four years ago, Syfy (then Sci Fi Channel) announced a greenlight for "Nine Lives" as a 12-hour miniseries to air in 2007.The project, with Spielberg on board as an executive producer, revolves around a group of people who find a way to reunite with their loved ones in the afterlife through near-death experiences, but those journeys unleash an evil force."Nine Lives" ultimately didn't go at Syfy, but it has sparked interest at sibling NBC. Writer Les Bohem is reworking his script for a broader broadcast audience. NBC won't make any decision until reading the latest draft, but it's eyeing "Nine Lives" as a direct-to-series vehicle as part of a new strategy to do more event-type drama projects.

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Hundreds of Star Wars fans perform 'world's largest lightsaber fight' in Bristol

Hundreds of Star Wars fans descended on Bristol's Cabot Circus for what has been dubbed "the world's largest lightsaber fight".Budding Bristolian Jedi brought their imitation weapons to the shopping centre to take part in a "flashmob", a seemingly spontaneous event that is organised over the internet.With some dressed in brown Jedi robes, they play fought with multi-coloured lightsabers, the weapon of choice for the likes of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader.Now a video clip of the event, complete with authentic Star Wars music, has been posted on the internet.The clip has also been mentioned on the official Star Wars website and has attracted a lot of interest from American fans.It all took place on a Saturday lunchtime, in the centre of Cabot Circus, opposite House of Fraser.The video clip shows unsuspecting shoppers mesmerised by a horde of Star Wars fans who turned up at a pre-agreed time to battle for three minutes.Families looked on from the rafters as p…

Where Spielberg goes, dinosaurs follow

Will Steven Spielberg and Fox be greeting television viewers with "Welcome … to Jurassic TV"?Spielberg, whose love of the thunder lizard and its ilk is well-established, is in talks with Fox to be involved in a drama series about a family that travels back to prehistoric times, Variety reports.The network is recruiting Spielberg to come aboard as an executive producer, in part because the series, called "Terra Nova," would incorporate complex sets and detailed special effects, Variety says.

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Force Unleashed hits 7m sales

The Force proves incredibly strong with LucasArts’ Star Wars console title

LucasArts’ third person action adventure Star Wars: The Force Unleashed has now sold 7m units worldwide, the publisher has confirmed to GameSpot.

The game was first released in September 2008 and shot straight to the top of the ELSPA GfK Chart-Track All Formats Top 40, enjoying the biggest ever release week for a Star Wars video game in the process.

In total the game sold 1.5m units in its first week alone.

Late last year LucasArts released an expanded version of the game dubbed Star Wars: The Force Unleashed – Ultimate Sith Edition which includes the original game and all the DLC that has since been released.

It also confirmed that it is working on a sequel to the game, which is due for release some time this year.

'Monkey Island 2' revamp rumoured

LucasArts is rumoured to be working on a special edition version of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge.According to Kotaku sources the studio could unveil the game at next week's Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco.Originally released in 1991, Monkey Island 2 follows Guybrush Threepwood's attempt to locate the mysterious tresure Big Whoop and win back the affections of love interest Elaine Marley.Last year, LucasArts released an enhanced version of The Secret Of Monkey Island for Xbox 360, PC and iPhone featuring improved graphics and sound. It has been reported that the revamped sequel will also be given a PS3 release.An official announcement regarding the Monkey Island 2 special edition is expected at the Game Developers Conference, which runs between March 9 and March 13.

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Tales of Monkey Island to rerun on iPhone and iPod touch

To call The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition a success is an understatement. Telltale did a phenomenal job on the PC original and publisher LucasArts did fine work on the iPhone port.

That's why LucasArts has commissioned the episodic Tales of Monkey Island series to set sail for iPhone.

Murmurs regarding a possible iPhone version were crystallised during a discussion I had with a source close to the game who confirmed that it will indeed appear on the App Store this year. In fact, LucasArts is planning to announce the game during GDC in early March.

How the game will be sold is an interesting question. While I wasn't able to glean any specifics, LucasArts could either sell each episode individually or allow in-app purchases. In other words, you'd buy the first episode and be given the option to purchase the other four from within the game. Of course, there's nothing stopping them from doing both.

Whatever form it takes on the App Store doesn't matter as long a…

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LucasArts unveils 'Lego Star Wars III'

LucasArts has announced plans to publish a third multi-platform game in the Lego Star Wars franchise. Titled Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars, the game will be released on the Wii, DS, PS3, PSP, Xbox 360 and PC in autumn 2010.Developed by Traveller's Tales, the new title will include all the characters from animated TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, as well as other popular figures from the Star Wars saga.Players can become a Jedi Knight or Separatist Fighter and make use of all-new character abilities, such as squad command, lightsaber slicing and long distance Jedi attacks.The game will also feature an upgraded level builder facility enabling the creation of customised bases and battlefields for head-to-head combat. "The Lego Star Wars franchise is a massive hit with fans, bringing in sales of over 20 million units worldwide," said LucasArts president Darrell Rodriguez."We're thrilled to extend this experience to Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars, delive…

Star Wars and Indiana Jones Come to PlayStation Home

Posted by Locust_Star // PlayStation Home Online Community Specialist

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: This week hosts one of the largest content updates in the history of PlayStation Home! I know, I know…we’ve made this type of announcements multiple times over the course of the past year. But never – and I mean never – has it been truer than this week. Don’t believe me? Then I challenge you to log in to PlayStation Home this Thursday, February 18th and try to wade through the wide assortment of new stuff we’ll have waiting for you. We’re talking two new game spaces (MotorStorm and LocoRoco), two new personal spaces (LocoRoco and PlanetLand), a new Mall (full of Star Wars gear – including lightsabers, Stormtrooper costumes, and more!), new videos in the Theater (for The Tester, and SOCOM: Fire Team Bravo) and events galore. We have a lot to look and just a little space to do it in, so let’s get down to it!When you pull up your World Map this Thursday, you’ll notice that the M…

Acad bestows Sci-Tech awards

From Variety

It was an emotional night for the film industry's engineers and technologists as the Acad presented its Scientific and Technical Awards at the Beverly Wilshire.The certificates and plaques handed out Saturday night represented a change from prior years. No Academy Award of Merit Oscars were presented, nor was the Sawyer Award honorary Oscar or the Bonner Medal for service. Those trophies had been staples of the Sci-Tech ceremony, but an Acad spokesman said no names proposed to the Scientific and Technical Awards committee rose to the standards they maintain for the kudos.That didn't put a damper on the evening, however, as the honorees, many of whom had come from overseas to receive their awards, voiced deep appreciation for Academy kudos they never imagined they would receive.Klaus Anderle, who received two awards, departed from his prepared speech on his second trip to the podium to offer an emotional thank you to "all the actors and directors and everyone e…

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George Lucas producing a CGI musical! Featuring Fairies

According to Hollywood Reporter George Lucas is tackling his first musical.The untitled, top-secret CGI-animated film is in preproduction at Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch in Marin County.The project marks a rare foray outside the “Star Wars” universe for Lucas who, while not directing a movie since “Revenge of the Sith” in 2005, is putting the finishing touches on “Red Tails,” the adventure movie that tells the World War II story of the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first black pilots. Lucas wrote the screenplay for “Tails” and is exec producing.Kevin Munroe is directing the CGI film, which is expected to feature music from a variety of sources. Munroe hails from the animated world and made his directorial debut in 2007 with the fourth Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, “TMNT.” He recently wrapped production on his live-action debut, the adaptation of the “Dead of Night” comic that stars Brandon Routh and Taye Diggs.David Berenbaum, who wrote the Will Ferrell comedy “Elf” and children’s fantas…

Hugh Jackman to hold open casting call for movie Hugh Jackman is giving an aspiring actor the chance of a lifetime by holding open auditions to star alongside him in Steven Spielberg's upcoming movie "Real Steel." The big budget movie, which tells the story of a futuristic boxing industry where robots take over from real fighters, is the first project for Spielberg's DreamWorks studio since the director cut ties with Paramount Pictures. Jackman wants an unknown boy to star in the movie as his 11-year-old son and has set up open calls to cast the coveted part. He tells Access Hollywood, "I'm starting work on my new film Real Steel with my friend and the film's director Shawn Levy." Levy adds, "We're actually looking for a young actor to play Hugh's son in the movie from DreamWorks, so if you think you're maybe our guy, go to for more information on how to audition. It could be you."
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