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Tag: J. J. Abrams (1-10 of 41)

'Star Wars': Who might Lupita Nyong'o and Gwendoline Christie play?

After much harrumphing that the new Star Wars film was in danger of not being Title IX compliant, the Force was somewhat balanced yesterday with the announcement that Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o and Game of Thrones actress Gwendoline Christie had been cast in J.J. Abrams’ space epic. That’s hardly gender parity — with Carrie Fisher and newcomer Daisy Ridley the only other females currently announced — but it’s certainly a substantial and necessary improvement for a traditionally boys-heavy franchise entering the post Hunger Games universe. Thus far, the only significant female Star Wars characters in six episodes have been a princess and a queen — but Abrams has a solid reputation for strong, well-drawn female characters, from Felicity to Alias to Fringe. 

Speculation based on seating order at the recent Star Wars read-through and preconceptions about Han and Leia’s inevitable offspring hinted that Ridley will play their teenaged daughter and perhaps be the keystone to Episode VII‘s story. But what of Nyong’o and Christie? Who might they play? And does the fact that they were not part of the first round of casting announcements indicate that they’re background players and not essential personnel?

Based on the popular profile and pedigree of both actresses, it’s unlikely that either Nyong’o or Christie will be relegated to Lobot or Cantina-dancer status. And though Lucasfilm has announced that the Expanded Universe is no longer gospel — not that it ever technically was — the studio is not against plucking favorite characters and storylines from previous material. “While the universe that readers knew is changing, it is not being discarded,” Lucasfilm said back in April. “Creators of new Star Wars entertainment have full access to the rich content of the Expanded Universe.” With that in mind, here are three hopeful character possibilities for both actresses, based entirely on wishful thinking. READ FULL STORY

'Star Wars' sequel lands working title? Is 'The Ancient Fear' the next chapter?

The great thing about taking over the Star Wars franchise from George Lucas is that it will be virtually impossible for J.J. Abrams to be criticized for the title to his 2015 sequel. Not after The Phantom Menace and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Now that the core cast has been announced, attention has shifted to what the film will be called, and Harry Knowles at Ain’t It Cool is confident that the working title is Star Wars: Episode VII — The Ancient Fear. Reportedly, the title “refers to Max Von Sydow’s villain who makes Pazuzu look like a p—y!” — Pazuzu being the demon that Von Sydow’s priest battled in The Exorcist. READ FULL STORY

J.J. Abrams made you a mystery box

Anyone who watched Lost knows that creator J.J. Abrams is into mystery. And now he’s using his love of mystery for charity — kind of.

In 2007, Abrams gave a TED talk in which he spoke about a box his grandfather gave him. Abrams never cracked open the lid. Why? On principle: “The thing is that it represents infinite possibility,” Abrams explained. “It represents hope. It represents potential. And what I love about this box, and what I realize I sort of do in whatever it is that I do, is I find myself drawn to infinite possibility, that sense of potential. And I realize that mystery is the catalyst for imagination.” Ahh, so that’s why he’s so into creating mysteries that we never find out the answers to.

Bitterness aside, Abrams’ entire TED talk is worth watching for anyone interested in why his work is the way it is. And it serves as a fitting setup to his latest project: the Mystery Box.

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Tina Fey and Amy Poehler reveal 'Star Wars VII' roles; J.J. Abrams responds

Things seem to be going pretty well these days for Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. They are about to host the Golden Globes for the second year in a row, they’re both producing multiple shows for multiple networks, and they’re serving as guest editors of the new issue of Entertainment Weekly. But what people really want to know is: When will these Saturday Night Live/Baby Mama co-stars find a way to join forces for another TV show or movie?

During our Q&A with the pair for this special issue, the 30 Rock creator/actress and Parks and Recreation star declared their desire to star together in a drama. And we mean together. “We want to play Siamese twin judges on a law procedural,” says Fey. “Our condition does not get in the way of our judgment,” adds Poehler. “And that’s what the show’s about: Even though we’re bound together, we’re not bound to each other’s ideals.” Fey agrees: “One of us is very conservative and the other is a recovering alcoholic, so it makes for great drama.”

But it was a high-profile project on the big screen that truly lit up their faces, as Fey and Poehler revealed that they have scored roles in the new Star Wars film as… Darth Vader’s mothers.
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Want to be in the new 'Star Wars'? Here's your chance.

Someone tell George Michael Bluth!

Disney and LucasFilm want you to be in the new Star Wars movie.  Disney has posted an open casting notice for anyone with a video camera. A rep for LucasFilm confirmed to EW that the casting notice is legit and is for Star Wars.

Here are the official casting descriptions: READ FULL STORY

'Star Wars': A look back at Year One of the Disney regime

The still un-subtitled Star Wars sevenquel just received an official release date. If all goes as planned, J.J. Abrams will reboot his second straight Star franchise on Dec. 18, 2015. The key line being “if all goes as planned.” First announced just a little over a year ago, the new Star Wars film sits at the uneasy nexus of corporate ambitions: It’s the first step in a larger plan to revitalize one of the most popular franchise in the last half-century of fictional media, with an earnings potential of several billion dollars at stake.

There’s a lot on the line. The film’s first year of gestation was closely monitored and rife with rumor and hearsay and sudden twists. And the story of the development of the next Star Wars movie is also the story of the new regime gradually rebuilding the Star Wars universe (while destroying certain remnants of the old regime.) Forthwith, a look back at Year One of Episode VII. READ FULL STORY

J.J. Abrams apologizes for loving lens flares so so much

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Stop me if you’ve heard this before: J.J. Abrams, lens flares, joke joke joke. As a producer and a multi-platform pop storyteller, Abrams has become a defining figure of his geek generation. As a visual stylist, Abrams’ main contribution has been to fill the screen with lots of eye-tickling points of light flickering from every corner of his images. Spielberg did lens flares; Abrams loves Spielberg; Abrams does everything faster and more intense; ergo, Abrams uses lots of lens flares. Star Trek had lens flares and Star Trek Into Darkness had more lens flares, and it was beginning to seem possible that Abrams’ Star Wars movie would be a two-hour lightsaber fight composed almost entirely of lens flares.
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R2-D2 made a cameo in 'Star Trek Into Darkness' -- THEORY!

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R2-D2 is one of the most popular characters from the Star Wars franchise. Some upper-level theorists argue that he is the most important character in the Star Wars mythos — a veritable Space Heisenberg, pulling the strings of galactic history behind an impassive domelike facade. (R2-D2 is bald, after all.) And the astromech droid can lay claim to a unique honor, owing in part to his incredible powers and in part to the impact he made on a young boy named Jeffrey Jacob Abrams: He’s the only Star Wars character to appear in the Star Trek franchise. It’s true! If you look very closely in 2009’s Star Trek reboot, R2-D2 appears floating through space-debris.

Now that the reboot-sequel-premake (or perhaps just “Khanquel”) Star Trek Into Darkness has hit DVD, io9 noted that R2 also has a brief cameo in the new film. This time, he’s actually on board the Enterprise. At least, he is before Evil Admiral Robocop fires at the Enterprise mid-warp, at which point R2-D2 is sent sailing into the faster-than-light continuum. Check out a screenshot of that here: READ FULL STORY

J.J. Abrams releases part 2 of that mysterious trailer -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Last month, J.J. Abrams released a very cool, very mysterious teaser called “Stranger” for a new project he was working on. He didn’t say what project it was, so much excitement and speculation ensued. Today, he released the second half of the trailer to EW. This time, he’s being way more forthcoming, and the project is … a truly unique, fascinating book called S. conceived by Abrams and written by Doug Dorst, to be published by Little, Brown on Oct. 29.

I got a brief look at the novel, and it’s a bear to describe, but here goes: S. is basically about the relationship between a grad student named Eric and a college senior named Jennifer. They trade notes in the margins of a (fictional) 1949 novel by a mysterious author named V.M. Straka. S. contains the novel within the novel; copious handwritten notes between Jennifer and Eric (“a conversation that plunges them into the unknown,” according to the book jacket); and dozens of pieces of ephemera between the pages like newspaper clippings and a napkin with a map drawn on it. (S. will come shrink-wrapped so none of this extra material falls out.) It looks like a dense but often funny mystery — and exactly the kind of novel you’d hope for from Abrams. “I could not be more excited for people to get their hands on this book,” Abrams tells EW. “It is difficult to describe because while it is a compelling mystery and love story, it is also much more than that. The work that everyone has done on S. is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Frankly, I’m amazed it was even possible to do this project at all.”

Here’s the second half of the trailer …
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The 'Stranger' tease: Five theories about J.J. Abrams' newest pop culture mystery

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J.J. Abrams cast a meaty hook into the Web waters on Aug. 19, a teaser for a new entertainment project that we may or may not know anything about. The mystery box angler loves using this kind of bait: “Stranger” is reminiscent of his puzzling promo stuff for Super-8 or the crypto-content that the Lost brain trust used to feed fans during hiatus. (Remember “The Last Supper” ads prior to season 6?) Decoding this kind of stuff isn’t for everyone. And for some, it annoys as much as it amuses. Regardless: We’re biting. Because we are easily amused, and because we ran out of Breaking Bad analysis to read, and because no one  knows how to bait a hook quite like J.J. Abrams. We love how he turns marketing hype into storytelling fun. What’s “Stranger” about? Five theories — none of which involve Star Wars Episode VII (we assume it’s still wayyy too early for that). READ FULL STORY

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