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Showing posts from June, 2010

Fanboys author ascends to fan nirvana: A book and movie deal

Ernie Cline, writer of Fanboys, in which four geeks journey to Skywalker Ranch, has reportedly closed a book and movie deal for his debut YA novel, Ready Player One. Which is being called Avatar meets Matrix, with a little Wonka.
Heat Vision broke the news that Warner Brothers won the massive bidding war for Cline's new YA book movie rights. The book, which features anti-hero Wade Watts, takes place in the near future, in which you can escape by mentally plugging into The Oasis. When the founder of the virtual world dies, Watts joins in for the mental scavenger hunt to find the billionaire's fortune.
Donald De Line, Green Lantern producer, is currently linked to the film and Cline will write the screenplay. Will brain-computer interfaces become the new vampires, what with Avatar and Tron on the rise?

Star Wars Celebration V official fan event to take place in Orlando in 2010

Commemorating the 30th Anniversary of “Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back,” Lucasfilm and Reed Exhibitions’ PopGroup will partner to produce what’s expected to be one of the largest official Star Wars fan events ever -- Star Wars Celebration V will take place Aug. 12 to 15, 2010, at the Orange County Convention Center. A Web site,, is dedicated exclusively to the event, and tickets to Star Wars Celebration V will be available for purchase online starting Thursday, Dec. 10.
Lucasfilm launched Star Wars Celebrations in 1999. Since then, the official Star Wars “parties” have become mega events, attracting tens of thousands of loyal and devoted fans and families. To date, there have been four Star Wars Celebrations in America, as well as a Star Wars Celebration Europe (2007) and Star Wars Celebration Japan (2008). Star Wars Celebration V will be the first Star Wars Celebration produced jointly with Reed PopGroup, which is responsible for…



Fantastic site that will bring back so many Star Wars memories.

Do you remember playing with your STAR WARS figures in the sandbox? Do you remember running around the schoolyard at recess on a snowy day pretending you were riding atop a Taun Taun? Do you remember talking your parents into watching STAR WARS at the theater just one more time, because 9 times just wasn’t enough? Do you remember begging your mom for that Stormtrooper figure you walked past at the grocery store? If you remember any of those things, you have come to the right place. Since I was 7 years old, STAR WARS has been a part of my life. And if you are here, its been a part of yours too! Well here is your chance to see some cool videos and pictures that you and your fellow collectors have sent in. This is the place to celebrate together!

Lucasfilm Ltd. Responds to Wicked Lasers' "Pro Arctic Laser"

Earlier this week, Wicked Lasers released photos and information regarding the "Pro Arctic Laser," a product designed to resemble the famous lightsaber hilt from the Star Wars Saga. Described by Wicked Lasers as "the most dangerous laser ever created," the product description goes on to say that "extremely dangerous is an understatement." Lucasfilm's General Counsel David Anderman had this response:
“It has come to our attention that a company called Wicked Lasers is selling a highly dangerous product out of Hong Kong that is designed to look like a lightsaber from Star Wars. This product is not licensed or approved by Lucasfilm in any way. We have demanded that Wicked Lasers immediately cease and desist their infringing activities. As Wicked Lasers itself admits, this product can cause serious injury to the user and other people. We strongly disc…

'Star Wars' Chewbacca has co-starred with Bea Arthur, and Gary Railcats are next

Chewbacca, that hairy, hulking giant from "a galaxy far, far away" (aka actor Peter Mayhew) has been booked for some pretty strange show biz gigs during the last three decades.
In 1980, just four months before the opening of "The Empire Strikes Back," the box office smash sequel to "Star Wars," Mayhew joined his castmates Luke Skywaker aka Mark Hamill and robots C-P3O and R2-D2 as guest stars on "The Muppet Show" opposite Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest.
On Tuesday, July 6, Chewie will be right here in our own backyard for a special appearance at 6 p.m. with the Gary Railcats at U.S. Steelyard in Gary as part of this season's special "Kids Day" promotion. Mayhew (don't expect him to be under all that fur in July heat) will sign autographs and meet and greet fans of all ages as the Railcats celebrate the iconic "Star Wars" film series and other science fiction classics along with themed promotions. Just for this specia…

Disneyland Paris Opens Michael Jackson’s “Captain E.O.”

Twelve years after it closed, Michael Jackson’s 3-D space adventure/music video epic, “Captain E.O.”, is screening again at Disneyland Paris. The attraction opened today to overwhelming response from Disneyland and Michael Jackson fans, all excited to experience the musical mastery of Jackson’s “E.O.” one more time.
“Captain E.O.” is a collaboration between Walt Disney Imagineering and Michael Jackson, and is directed by Francis Ford Coppola with George Lucas receiving executive producer credit. The project was initiated by former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, who wanted to help bring something new and relevant to the struggling Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. During the mid-1980′s, no one’s star shined brighter than Jackson’s. Himself a tremendous lifelong Disney fan (Jackson often frequented Disney Parks, and visited Disneyland in California two weeks before his death), the artist composed two original songs for the film – “We Are Here (To Save the World)” and “A…

The force to be reckoned with

Back then it was dismissed as 'good junk' , but 30 years on, The Empire Strikes Back is hailed as the best sequel ever. Turning 30 can be tough. Time can be a cruel beast. The world around you can seem like one constant reminder that you're not quite the person you used to be. As the '80s babies enter their third decade, a film which can be unarguably viewed as one of the definers of the era finally comes of age.
The Empire Strikes Back, a sequel to Star Wars (the surprise summer smash of 1977) hits the big 3-0 without many worries. Commonly known as one of the rare sequels that actually stands up as better than the first (a fact reiterated by a recent film survey in the UK that named it best sequel ever), the legacy of Empire as not just a classic film but as a pop culture phenomenon remains untarnished.
But back in May 1980, it received a tough time from the critics. The New York Times labelled it as "silly" and "time-consuming" while…

A Free-to-Play Star Wars MMO for Families?

What's not to like about a free-to-play Star Wars online multiplayer game aimed at kids and parents? Nothing, unless you're not a Star Wars fan, kid, or parent.
Assuming you are, Sony just revealed that Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, a new action-angled, absolutely free-to-explore virtual world in the offing for Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated TV series fans, should launch online and at retail this fall.
Sony says it's working "hand in hand" with Lucasfilm, LucasArts, and Sony Online Entertainment (Everquest II, Star Wars Galaxies, Free Realms) to make Clone Wars Adventures "the most authentic and accessible Clone Wars experience."
The company describes Clone Wars Adventures as "the ultimate destination for fans of The Clone Wars series," and that it's "create[d] a virtual world that is seamlessly integrated with the TV series and a true extension of the show."

So what's the game about then? Minigames, so…

'Jaws' opened the floodgates

by Variety
How Spielberg's seafaring adventure changed the industry
'Jaws' In Showtime's new comedy discussion show "The Green Room With Paul Provenza," it's suggested that Richard Pryor "ruined three or four generations of black comics."A similar argument exists regarding "Jaws," which established -- for better and worse -- the modern template for summer blockbusters.
Steven Spielberg's seafaring adventure will commemorate the 35th anniversary of its maiden theatrical voyage on June 20. "Star Wars" erupted two years later, and the movie-going world has never been the same.
Looking back at the "Jaws" phenomenon -- thoroughly dissected in an entertaining Bio channel documentary bowing June 16 -- illustrates not only the dramatic impact of the original film, but its ripple effects from both a creative and commercial perspective.
Part of that has to do with a generation of directors who came into…

Hebridean mill lands Spielberg film role

T IS tucked away down a country lane, boasts only five staff and relies on machinery dating back to the Victorian era.
Yet the tiny woollen mill on the Hebridean island of Islay has carved out a handy sideline in work for the international film industry.

Now the mill is celebrating its biggest coup after being asked to supply costumes for Spielberg's latest blockbuster.

Tweed outfits worn by soldiers in the Oscar-winning filmmaker's forthcoming epic War Horse will be supplied by Islay Woollen Mill.

Owner Gordon Covell secured the deal thanks to a long-standing relationship with Hollywood costume designer Joanna Johnston, who is based in England.

The connection led to Islay wool tweed outfits being worn by Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump and Tom Cruise in Far And Away, while Covell also landed deals to provide tartan and tweed outfits for Braveheart and Rob Roy.

Covell said: "I've done quite a bit of work in the past with Joanna, who is well known in Hollywood and has worked…

"Jaws" Shark Found in Junkyard

An NPR reporter, Cory Turner, recently went on a journey to track down the mechanical shark used in Steven Spielberg's "Jaws" movie. Apparently three copies were created from the same mold and where named Bruce after Spielberg's lawyer Bruce Ramer.

Spielberg's spokesman explained that all three sharks were destroyed immediately after filming, but Turner learned on Facebook that a fourth was created (from the same mold) for display at Universal Studios Theme Park.

In 1990, the shark was taken down and shipped out to a junkyard in Southern California. The reporter tracked the junkyard down and brought Joe Alves and Roy Arbogast, who built the original shark, to verify its authenticity.

"It's the real one. Definitely. It's from the same mold," said Arbogast after examining the creature. "It's just kinda' nice to see it again after 25 or 30 years. It's amazing that it's still here."

The original shark was 25-fe…

Released photo may reveal potential new Star Tours ride destinations

The above image, released by Disney as part of the long-awaited Star Tours update announcement, may offer some clues as to what destinations guests will be traveling to when the popular Star Wars-based ride is updated in 2011.
Seated at a table in front of boards of concept art are Walt Disney Imagineer Tom Fitzgerald (left), Industrial Light and Magic VFX Supervisor Bill George, and Star Wars creator George Lucas.
Here’s a closer look at the images behind them:

Here’s a list of Star Wars locations we’ve been able to identify as possible future Star Tours destinations based on the above image:
On the far left, the round platform resembles something from Kashyyyk, the Wookie planet seen in Episode III.There are several images of forests above and around Tom Fitzgerald’s head. Perhaps Endor or Kashyyyk?The image above Bill George’s head looks like the waterfalls of Naboo, Queen Amidala’s home planet.The images between Bill George and George Lucas appear to be the nighttime st…

Spielberg eyes Australia for dinosaur epic

A couple of Queensland dinosaurs could be the next big thing in Hollywood if Steven Spielberg decides to shoot his latest TV blockbuster in Australia. The 13-part Terra Nova centres on a young family from 100 years in the future that travels back to the prehistoric era.
Entertainment Weekly says actor Jason O'Mara of Life On Mars fame has signed to play the family patriarch. Filming is due to begin later this year.
Spielberg, who shot his Pacific miniseries in Melbourne, reportedly sent a scout to north Queensland last week in search of locations for this latest project.
Queensland Tourism Minister Peter Lawlor says the state would be the perfect set.

"There would be no better place ... than in the oldest continent on Earth, which is home to the oldest rainforest on Earth and the World Heritage-listed Riversleigh Fossil Fields, home to some of the oldest and most famous dinosaurs on Earth," Mr Lawlor said.
"I'm sure if Mr Spielberg chose Queensland as …

An Update on "The Star Wars Kid"

It's been a while since we heard anything about Ghyslain Raza, better known to the Internet at large as "Star Wars Kid", star of what is heralded as "the most popular viral video of all-time." After three friends uploaded the infamous clip, which features Raza flailing about with a metal pole doing his most awkward Darth Maul impersonation, the Canadian teen became depressed, dropped out of school and wound up in a children's psychiatric hospital. The video isn't quite as hilarious when you know that.

Raza and his family eventually took the parents of the kids who uploaded the videos to court and sued them for the harassment Ghyslain has endured since the clip debuted, and they eventually earned a settlement. It seems like the story would end there, but website Motherboard brings us an update on one of the online world's most iconic people -- and where Raza is now may (or may not ... ) surprise you ...

Raza, now in his early 20s (and sl…

A Great John Williams Top Ten List

We gave John Williams fan and music critic Sean Daly a simple task: Give us your Top 10 Williams themes of all time. Little did we realize that his choices would leave us shaking our heads and wondering, "How could he leave off...?" Yeah, it's that kind of list. Maybe you'll agree with his choices. Some of you won't. But go ahead and listen. We think you'll get chills when you hear some of them again.

Click Here To See And Listen To His Top Ten

Sean Daly Explains Why He Picked The Top Ten

Disney Ads Put Humor Into Star Wars Weekends

Disney angled for humor in this year's advertising campaign, merging the Disney entertainment ethic with the unique character and vehicle designs from the Star Wars universe.

Click Here To Read The Article

The Goonies Blu-ray Release Date and Details

It's the 25th anniversary for Steven Spielberg and Richard Donner's The Goonies. From a marketing standpoint that translates to the perfect opportunity to bring the classic adventure film to Blu-ray Disc. Warner Home Video has confirmed that Goonies will be making its Blu-ray debut on November 2, 2010, in two different packages. The standard release will include the film and all its bonus features, while a ultimate collector's edition release also available on DVD will addtionally include a "Goonies" board game, collectible storyboard prints, a 1985 souvenir magazine and a 2009 Empire Magazine article on the cast and Richard Donner and Steven Spielberg.
On-disc bonus features include the following:

Deleted scenes "Making of" documentary Commentary from Donner and the entire cast Cyndi Lauper music video 'The Goonies ‘R Good Enough'

Despite rumors, no one yet sitting atop Spielberg’s ‘War Horse’

A story began pinging around the Web this morning that Steven Spielberg had cast “Savage Grace” star Eddie Redmayne as the lead in his next film, “War Horse.”
DreamWorks Studios, which is releasing the film, indicates that the rumor is not true, and that while Spielberg is in fact casting the movie right now, he has yet to settle on anyone.

'The Empire Strikes Back' Day at Dodger Stadium, Jose Lima's Last Game

The Dodgers and Lucasfilm celebrated the 30th Anniversary of 'The Empire Strikes Back' on May 21 with the first 20,000 fans receiving a commemorative poster. Darth Vader, Chewbacca, R2-D2, Boba Fett, Stormtroopers and X-Wing pilots gave fans a small treat before the game, posing for photo in center field, while Chewbacca threw out the first pitch. The Dodgers beat the Detroit Tigers 4-1 during the first inter-league game of the season. Subsequently, retired Dodgers pitcher, Jose Lima, who was last seen at the game Friday evening, died May 23.

1979 ILM “Night Crew”

Inspired by a rare Industrial Light & Magic t-shirt worn by crew members during the making of The Empire Strikes Back, this StarWarsShop exclusive by Junk Food resurrects the creative spirit of the artists responsible for bringing the AT-ATs, space slug, and asteroid chase to life, among others. Designed by ILM’s Ken Ralston in 1979, Vader’s in his nightshirt and cap, and clearly ready for some sack-time. “Star Wars II” is shown above.
Buy Now at

Celebrating 35 Years of ILM Magic Week -Pirates Of The Caribbean - At World's End

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)
The climax of the third Pirates called for an enormous ship-engulfing whirlpool, so Photoshop cocreator John Knoll supervised one of the largest fluid-dynamics sims ever processed: Artists rendered more than 15 billion gallons of water, and it was rad to the last drop.

Seth Green Spills Some Beans On The Star Wars Sitcom

“It’s gonna be CG animation. It’s gonna be really funny, and it’s gonna be Star Wars in a way you’ve never seen it. There are some recognizable characters. But it’s a huge universe, so we’re really going where all the comedy is.”

“Timeline…I don’t think anybody is really talking about that yet. But it’s not post-Jedi.”
Producer Says "Indiana Jones 5" Rumors are FalseProducer Frank Marshall has said that the story regarding the next Indy movie being about the Bermuda Triangle is 100% false. Here is what he had to say: "The rumor about INDY 5 is completely false. Nothing has changed, we are not shooting next year and still in the research phase."

For a fifth installment to be made, Steven Spielberg said that he and George Lucas would have to find something for Indy to search for. Last year, Shia LaBeouf revealed that Spielberg "cracked" the story and Lucas is now expanding the idea.

Marshall doesn't directly mention that the Bermuda Triangle storyline is false, but it's strange for an archeologist to be interested in that area. Stay tuned.

Celebrating 35 Years of ILM Magic Week - AI Artificial Intelligence

AI: Artificial Intelligence (2001)
Rouge City
Directors working with CG often have to imagine scenes in their mind’s eye—ILM helped Steven Spielberg see them on a laptop: Its previsualization system could show him how a shot would look before cameras rolled, crucial when working with vast CG environments like Rouge City.

Back To The Future And Jurassic Park games in the works

Video games based on Back to the Future and Jurassic Park are reportedly in the works.

Telltale Games is developing titles based on the two popular film series, reports The New York Times.

The games will be available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PC and Mac this winter.

''I think it's a prime time to reintroduce these properties in the digital world,'' said Telltale Games CEO Dan Connors.

He added: ''Telltale Games has always set out to be a great storytelling company. We've been honing our chops over the past six years, and we're ready to take on these two iconic properties and continue to advance storytelling in games.''

The games will tell new stories featuring characters from both franchises.

STAR WARS Cantina scene used in Adidas World Cup ad

adidas Originals invites you to join David Beckham, Daft Punk, Snoop Dogg, Franz Beckenbauer, Noel Gallagher, Ian Brown, Ciara, Jay Baruchel, DJ Neil Armstrong and some of your dear, old friends for an intergalactic 2010 FIFA World Cup™ viewing party that you'll never forget.  I love the way they resolve the "Greedo shot first" argument!

Announcing the Collectors Edition for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2! Exclusive Starkiller Mimibot USB key with tons of goodies on it!

From Lucasarts Twitter page:

Click on people's faces in the photo to tag them.

Unconfirmed - Indiana Jones 5 Will Be About The Bermuda Triangle is reporting that the next Indy film will be about the Bermuda Triangle where as we all know is where aircrafts and boats mysteriously go missing.  The movie that starts shooting next year will once again star Harrison Ford and Shia LaBeouf.

“George (Lucas) and Steven (Spielberg) have been working on a script and it's almost there," a source explained. “Harrison is on stand-by for filming next year. This looks like being an emotional and exciting conclusion to the franchise, with Indy facing his biggest challenge yet.”

“Shia LaBeouf has a central role again as Indy's son but this will be a blockbuster made in the old fashioned way rather than the CGI efforts of the last movie,” the source added.

This is all unconfirmed so lets wait and see.  I'm not entirely convinced by the facts above and need more than "a known source."  Thebeardedtrio will keep you updated as soon as we get any more news.

Celebrating 35 Years of ILM Magic Week - Terminator 2

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
T-1000’s passage through the bars
To produce this signature bit of film villainy, ILM artists employed a proprietary texturing software called Make Sticky. It let them project 2-D effects onto a 3-D surface, creating the illusion of a liquid-metal robot assassin oozing through a grid of steel bars.

Soundtrack Of The Week - Torchwood - Ben Foster, Murray Gold

Soundtrack by Ben Foster, Murray Gold and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Music from the UK TV series.  The soundtrack has a wide range from the exciting tracks "The Chase" to "Captain Jack's Theme" to the slower and very atmospheric track like "Owen#s Theme." with a great but simple use of piano.  Ben Foster and Murray Gold worked together on the Doctor Who soundtrack.

Celebrating 35 Years of ILM Magic Week - Star Wars

To celebrate 35 years of ILM, this entire week we are dedicating to the amazing effects studio and how they have become a cinematic legend.

To pull off the climactic finale in Star Wars, ILM commandeered its own parking lot. Effects artists sculpted a miniature Death Star surface out of urethane foam and cardboard and shot it using a high-speed camera mounted on the bed of a moving pickup truck.

Visit To Star Wars Collector's Fair In Newport With Peter Mayhew

So I have just got back from the Star Wars Collector's Fair in Newport South Wales.  What a great time I had.  Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) was there and I must say what a top guy.  Very friendly and funny.

Also had my picture taken with Michael Carter (Bib Fortuna.) who was also friendly and takes the time to personalise your photo.  Also there was Mike Edmonds (Logray) who never stopped smilling and quite happy to have his photo taken with us.  There was a fully working R2-D2 too.

Check out the video

There were loads of stalls and for the collector its heaven.  What did I end up buying?  Well apart from my signed photos I walked away with a brown haired Luke Skywalker, a complete Amanaman and two sealed topps Goonies card packs.  A great day out and worth the £4 entry fee.  Take a look at the photos below and see the fun we had.  Even the wife enjoyed the fair although I was worried at one point the stormtroopers were going to take her away!

Star Wars: The Old Republic Exclusive Preview - The Sith Warrior In-Depth

Get some in-depth intel on the mighty Sith Warrior profession in this highly anticipated online game. The Old Republic will be BioWare and LucasArts' massively multiplayer game that takes place in the pre-A New Hope universe of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. We've already revealed all the game's character classes and covered many of the basics of gameplay, which developer BioWare ambitiously intends to infuse with all the in-depth story, intriguing characters, and moral choices of a traditional single-player role-playing game.

And as we've also revealed, you can play as characters on either side of the conflict between the evil Sith lords and the noble Jedi and their allies in the peace-loving Old Republic. One career path you can choose is that of the Sith Warrior, a powerful combat class that is unafraid to don a suit of heavy armor and is otherwise dedicated to following the dark side of the Force...and utterly trashing all enemies with brutal l…

Monkey Island Success Could Mean More Adventure From LucasArts

Could the success of the Monkey Island Special Editions herald LucasArts' return to straight adventure games? I spoke to Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge project lead Craig Derrick about the new remake and the possibilities it raises.
It's a time of resurgence for Guybrush Threepwood and the cast of the Monkey Island series. The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition was released last July for Xbox Live Arcade, PC, and iPhone. Telltale Games added a new chapter to the saga with the episodic release of Tales of Monkey Island.
Now LucasArts is gearing up for the summer release of Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge. Like the first SE release, it takes the original game and gives it a current-generation makeover, with updated graphics, new voice work (mostly from the original cast), a hint system, an art gallery, and a reworked musical score.
It's a larger, more complex game than the Secret of Monkey Island Special Edit…

Monkey Island 2 Special Edition video documentary from LucasArts

LucasArts has released a web documentary video for their upcoming release of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge Special Edition. The video documentary features some of the original developers (Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer, and Dave Grossman) along with some of new developers for this enhanced edition of Monkey Island 2.

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge Special Edition will be available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in Summer 2010. Visit the official website of Monkey Island 2 at

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2

In approaching the sequel to LucasArts most successful video game ever, Haden Blackman and Julio Torres first had to face the challenge of somehow reviving their hero, which they'd symbolically killed at the conclusion of the original. Here's how they overcame that obstacle, and how feathered hats, Wookiee-based superhero games, and daddy issues played an instrumental role in the creation of a franchise. Haden Blackman
To say that Haden Blackman and Julio Torres have a good working rapport would be an understatement. Before anyone even mentions the new game, I learn the development team was stewing in disappointment because Torres neglected to wear his hat for the photo shoot for this story. "I just wanted to set my gorgeous curls free," he jokes before Blackman divulges why "the hat" is such a big deal. "He usually wears an Indiana Jones–style fedora that his wife made for him," Blackman informs me. "Every time we reach a develo…

Star Wars Sculptor Installs Bronze at Lucas’ Alma Mater

A face familiar to employees of Lucasfilm’s Digital Arts Center at San Francisco’s Presidio can now be found at Lucas’s own alma-mater, USC, courtesy of sculptor Lawrence Noble.
Cinematic innovator Eadweard Muybridge, whose bronze likeness shares company with television inventor Philo T. Farnsworth, special effects pioneer Willis O’Brien, and even Jedi Master Yoda at Lucasfilm’s Presidio complex, has also been installed at the University of Southern California’s campus, famous among other things for its cinema department (of which George Lucas was a student). The Muybridge bronze comes as a gift from Lucas, who has long been a supporter of cinematic arts in education since his days at the university.

Sculptor Lawrence Noble supervises the installation of the bronze at USC
Read’s recent coverage of Lawrence Noble’s bronzes for Darth Vader, Darth Maul, Yoda, and Indiana Jones.