It’s Official: Ron Howard will take over directing the Han Solo project

The front runner of the choice of directors to take over from Phil Lord and Chris Miller on the untitled young Han Solo film has been confirmed by Lucasfilm. The announcement came in a press release on StarWars.com:

Lucasfilm is pleased to announce that Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard has been named director of the untitled Han Solo film.

“At Lucasfilm, we believe the highest goal of each film is to delight, carrying forward the spirit of the saga that George Lucas began forty years ago,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. “With that in mind, we’re thrilled to announce that Ron Howard will step in to direct the untitled Han Solo film. We have a wonderful script, an incredible cast and crew, and the absolute commitment to make a great movie. Filming will resume the 10th of July.”

Howard has made some of the biggest hits and most critically-acclaimed movies of the modern era. Among his many films are Lucasfilm’s Willow, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind (winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director), The Da Vinci CodeFrost/Nixon, and Rush. He also narrated and produced the beloved comedy series Arrested Development, starred in George Lucas’ American Graffiti, and remains a TV icon for his roles in The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days.

The untitled Han Solo film is slated for a May 25, 2018, release.

They still have about 3 weeks or so of production where Howard will have to review footage they already have and make the tough choices of what to keep and what to re-shoot, for which another 5 weeks have been scheduled. There could be some clashes in the future that the production will have to keep in mind with Emilia Clarke likely to return to filming for Game of Thrones (provided she doesn’t die in season 7) and Donald Glover to shoot Atlanta season 2 soon.

What will this mean for the film? Good question. Ron Howard is a safe choice and he will produce the best movie he can. He is a competent director who has work on a few average films in the last little while, the best recent film he has directed was Rush so we’ll see how we go. I can give you a proper answer in May next year.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller fired from Han Solo anthology film

I didn’t write about this when the announcement was made because there wasn’t all that much information. Now we have a report from Variety that sheds more light on the situation.

Yesterday, Lucasfilm announced that 21 Jump Street and The LEGO Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller had exited the untitled Han Solo production citing creative differences. Lord and Miller had also released a very co-operative statement. The film has been in principle photography since January this year.

Variety talked to an unknown source with knowledge of the production who said that the chemistry between the directors and Lucasfilm boss, Kathleen Kennedy was never right. The source went on to say that Lord and Miller also clashed with co-writer Lawrence Kasdan who has been heavily involved in Star Wars since Empire Strikes Back.

“Kathy, her team and Larry Kasdan have been doing it their way for a very long time. They know how the cheese is made and that’s how they want it made,” said the source. “It became a very polarising set.”

Kathleen Kennedy in her announcement stated that a new director will be announced shortly. There have been reports from Variety again and Deadline saying the Ron Howard may be the front running candidate for that new director spot.

Ron Howard would no doubt work well with Kennedy, Kasdan and Lucasfilm, he would tow the line and work well with the studio. However, Lord and Miller were hired for their comedic chops and it’d be interesting to see how what they have filmed will blend in with Howard’s product. Let’s also point out that Gareth Edwards suffered similar clashes with Kennedy during production of Rogue One – A Star Wars Story. Tony Gilroy was brought in to direct some of the re-shoots for that film.

I’m not concerned (yet) about these recent developments because of the issues that went down with Rogue One, and the film still ended up being an enjoyable Star Wars movie. I’ll be watching the developments of this production very closely.

The still untitled young Han Solo film is still slated for a May 25, 2018, release date. We will most likely see or hear updates from the upcoming D23 convention and/or Comic Con.

Star Wars 40th Anniversary – Happy Birthday!

It’s the 25th of May and 40 years ago today, the film industry, the toy industry and fandom changed.

Star Wars has had an effect on the entire world over the last four decades. Now I’m not going to lie, I love Star Wars and I keep up with the new cannon as much as possible. You’ll probably see a lot of Star Wars related blog posts on this new revived version of NFB.

Vanity Fair has released some new photos  from The Last Jedi for their Star Wars Anniversary special. Plus a few little plot details.

The images of the glamorous people you’ll see in the gallery is from a planet called Canto Bight. Described as “a Star Wars Monte Carlo–type environment, a little James Bond–ish, a little To Catch a Thief and “a playground, basically, for rich assholes”.

Benicio Del Toro is playing a “shady character of unclear allegiances” who is never named in the film, but his character has been dubbed “DJ”. All director Rian Johnson has said is “You’ll see—there’s a reason why we call him DJ”. Now, I’m not one to speculate all that much but you look closely enough at DJ’s face and while it looks like its on the wrong side… he has a scar across his cheek. For those that have seen Star Wars Rebels… could he be Ezra?

Meanwhile, Laura Dern will play Vice Admiral Holdo, a prominent officer in the Resistance (and straight out of the Capitol of Panem). It also looks like Kelly Marie Tran’s character Rose, has a sister named Paige who will be played by Veronica Ngo. Paige will be a gunner that will be under the tutelage of Poe Dameron.

Check out the gallery below and head to Vanity Fair for all their Star Wars articles. There’s also a behind the scenes video that Vanity Fair released below the Gallery.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

J.J. Abrams to Direct Star Wars Episode VII

Hope you like your lightsabers with lens flares because many online magazines and trade reporters have announced, the director or Star Trek and Super 8 is taking on the huge role of directing the new Star Wars film set for release in 2015.

The creator of LOST originally said that he wasn’t a huge fan of taking on the role because of the big influence the series has had on his life. But the burden seems to be not as big of an issue as originally thought.

J.J. Abrams’ new film Star Trek into Darkness hits theatres May 17.

Film News Fridays – Week 31, 2011

Here’s what’s been happening in the Movie World this week…

  • Paramount Pictures have announced that they have broken the $2 Billion mark for the second year in a row.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road will now no longer be filmed in Broken Hill as first thought… Heavy rains changed the arid landscape and the location is not appropriate any more for the film. No new location has been announced.
  • Walking With Dinosaurs, a movie based on the TV and stage show, is slated for a December 2013 release.
  • Melisa Wallack has been signed to pen the screenplay for an “Emily The Strange” film, Chloe Moretz has already been attached to play the lead.
  • The trailer for Lucasfilm’s first non Star Wars/Indiana Jones film since 1994, Red Tails has been released… Think Remember the Titans meets Top Gun… interested? Click Here
  • In other Lucasfilm news, a date has been set for Star Wars – Episode One: The Phantom Menace 3D to be released in cinemas… February 10, 2012.
  • It hasn’t even opened here yet but there are already talks of a Green Lantern sequel… The president of Warner Bros. claims that the US opening was decent enough to know there is a fan base big enough to play around with continuing the story. He also stated that they have a solid script for a screen debut of The Flash, they are also toying with the idea of a Justice League film…
  • While we’re on DC comics Laurence Fishburne (of Matrix and CSI fame), has joined the cast of Man of Steel as editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet, Perry White.
  • Thats not all Super-fans! A new photo has been released of Henry Cavill as Superman!

 

 

 

 

Film News Friday – Week 24, 2011

Here’s what’s been happening in the movie world this week…
  • Benedict Cumberbatch joins the Hobbit cast as the voice of Smaug. Thats right, the Sherlock star is going to be the voice of the deadly dragon.
  • Universal have announced release dates for three movies…

The studio is targeting a September 28, 2012 release for Oliver Stone’s Savages, starring Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Salma Hayek, Benicio Del Toro, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Emile Hirsch and Demian Bichir. In the adaptation of Don Winslow’s novel, two friends from Laguna Beach share the same girlfriend and a thriving business growing and distributing the best-quality pot on the planet. When they resist being muscled by a Mexican drug cartel, the girl is kidnapped and the ransom is every cent they’ve made for the last five years. They agree to pay but hatch an alternate plan to get her back, get revenge, and then get lost.

Universal is looking to release Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me 2 on July 3, 2013. The first movie has earned an impressive $543.1 million worldwide on a budget of just $69 million.

The studio has also set a July 19, 2013 release date for Joseph Kosinski’s sci-fi pic Oblivion, starring Tom Cruise. The film is set in a future where the Earth’s surface has been irradiated beyond recognition and the remnants of humanity live above the clouds, safe from the brutal alien Scavengers that stalk the ruins. When surface drone repairman Jak discovers a mysterious woman in a crash-landed pod, it sets off an unstoppable chain of events that will force him to question everything he knows.

  • James Mangold is at the top of the short list for director of Wolverine. Mangold directed Walk the Line and Knight and Day.
  • In other Wolverine news, well sort of, Hugh Jackman has been announced to star in a movie adaptaion of Les MiÈrables. First time Jackman has performed in a movie-musical.
  • LEGO Star Wars is going to be released in a TV Special coming possibly late September. George Lucas has also announced a second animated series.
  • HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2 NEW TRAILER RELEASED!!!

Film News Friday – Week 18, 2011

Here’s what has been happening in the movie world this week…

  • New The Amazing Spider-Man photos – http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=77234
  • Fast Five Director Justin Lin is in talks to direct a new Terminator film with Arnie. Lin and Schwarzenegger reckon they have a clear direction they’d like to take a fifth film and it could very well ignore the continuity of the past two films, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Terminator Salvation.
  • New Pirates 5 Script already written up and ready to go.
  • Star Wars is coming to Blu Ray! And Lucasfilm have released the details of the nine disc box set…

Bring home the adventure and share Star Wars with your whole family when STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment! To be released beginning on September 12 internationally and on September 16 in North America, the nine-disc collection brings the wonder of the entire Saga direct to your living room, where you can revisit all of your favorite Star Wars moments in gorgeous high definition and with pristine, 6.1 DTS Surround Sound. Dive deeper into the universe with an unprecedented 40+ hours of special features, highlighted by never-before-seen content sourced from the Lucasfilm archives.

Special Features:

STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA ON BLU-RAY is presented in widescreen with 6.1 DTS Surround Sound. Special features include:

DISC ONE — STAR WARS: EPISODE I THE PHANTOM MENACE

– Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Ben Burtt, Rob Coleman, John Knoll, Dennis Muren and Scott Squires
– Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew

DISC TWO — STAR WARS: EPISODE II ATTACK OF THE CLONES

– Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Ben Burtt, Rob Coleman, Pablo Helman, John Knoll and Ben Snow
– Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew

DISC THREE — STAR WARS: EPISODE III REVENGE OF THE SITH

– Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Rob Coleman, John Knoll and Roger Guyett
– Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew

DISC FOUR — STAR WARS: EPISODE IV A NEW HOPE

– Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Carrie Fisher, Ben Burtt and Dennis Muren
– Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew

DISC FIVE — STAR WARS: EPISODE V THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

– Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Carrie Fisher, Ben Burtt and Dennis Muren
– Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew

DISC SIX — STAR WARS: EPISODE VI RETURN OF THE JEDI

– Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Carrie Fisher, Ben Burtt and Dennis Muren
– Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew

DISC SEVEN — NEW! STAR WARS ARCHIVES: EPISODES I-III

– Including: deleted, extended and alternate scenes; prop, maquette and costume turnarounds; matte paintings and concept art; supplementary interviews with cast and crew; a flythrough of the Lucasfilm Archives and more

DISC EIGHT — NEW! STAR WARS ARCHIVES: EPISODES IV-VI

– Including: deleted, extended and alternate scenes; prop, maquette and costume turnarounds; matte paintings and concept art; supplementary interviews with cast and crew; and more

DISC NINE — THE STAR WARS DOCUMENTARIES

– NEW! Star Warriors (2007, Color, Apx. 84 Minutes) — Some Star Wars fans want to collect action figures…these fans want to be action figures! A tribute to the 501st Legion, a global organization of Star Wars costume enthusiasts, this insightful documentary shows how the super-fan club promotes interest in the films through charity and volunteer work at fundraisers and high-profile special events around the world.
– NEW! A Conversation with the Masters: The Empire Strikes Back 30 Years Later (2010, Color, Apx. 25 Minutes) — George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Lawrence Kasdan and John Williams look back on the making of The Empire Strikes Back in this in-depth retrospective from Lucasfilm created to help commemorate the 30th anniversary of the movie. The masters discuss and reminisce about one of the most beloved films of all time.
– NEW! Star Wars Spoofs (2011, Color, Apx. 91 Minutes) — The farce is strong with this one! Enjoy a hilarious collection of Star Wars spoofs and parodies that have been created over the years, including outrageous clips from Family Guy, The Simpsons, How I Met Your Mother and more — and don’t miss “Weird Al” Yankovic’s one-of-a-kind music video tribute to The Phantom Menace!
– The Making of Star Wars (1977, Color, Apx. 49 Minutes) — Learn the incredible behind-the-scenes story of how the original Star Wars movie was brought to the big screen in this fascinating documentary hosted by C-3PO and R2-D2. Includes interviews with George Lucas and appearances by Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher.
– The Empire Strikes Back: SPFX (1980, Color, Apx. 48 Minutes) — Learn the secrets of making movies in a galaxy far, far away. Hosted by Mark Hamill, this revealing documentary offers behind-the-scenes glimpses into the amazing special effects that transformed George Lucas’ vision for Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back into reality!
– Classic Creatures: Return of the Jedi (1983, Color, Apx. 48 Minutes) — Go behind the scenes — and into the costumes — as production footage from Return of the Jedi is interspersed with vintage monster movie clips in this in-depth exploration of the painstaking techniques utilized by George Lucas to create the classic creatures and characters seen in the film. Hosted and narrated by Carrie Fisher and Billie Dee Williams.
– Anatomy of a Dewback (1997, Color, Apx. 26 Minutes) — See how some of the special effects in Star Wars became even more special two decades later! George Lucas explains and demonstrates how his team transformed the original dewback creatures from immovable rubber puppets (in the original 1977 release) to seemingly living, breathing creatures for the Star Wars 1997 Special Edition update.
– Star Wars Tech (2007, Color, Apx. 46 Minutes) — Exploring the technical aspects of Star Wars vehicles, weapons and gadgetry, Star Wars Tech consults leading scientists in the fields of physics, prosthetics, lasers, engineering and astronomy to examine the plausibility of Star Wars technology based on science as we know it today.

  • Hugh Jackman in talks for a 3D adaptation of Fantastic Voyage
  • Quentin Tarantino’s Next to be Titled Django Unchained
  • The ending of the film about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden is to be changed after the events that unfolded last weekend. Kathryn Bigelow, director of the Hurt Locker has signed Aussie, Joel Edgerton to play one of the Navy Seals.
  • Swinging Spider-Man!

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back – Review

Episode V

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

It is a dark time for the Rebellion. Although the Death Star has been destroyed, Imperial troops have driven the Rebel forces from their hidden base and pursued them across the galaxy. Evading the dreaded Imperial Starfleet, a group of freedom fighters led by Luke Skywalker has established a new secret base on the remote ice world of Hoth. The evil lord Darth Vader, obsessed with finding young Skywalker, has dispatched thousands of remote probes into the far reaches of space….

The Empire Strikes Back is the sequel to Star Wars (Now titled “Episode IV – A New Hope”), it tells the continuing saga of the rebel alliance’s fight against the evil galactic empire. The story centres around a young Jedi Padawan, Luke Skywalker, in search of further training (after his mentor Obi Wan Kenobi died) and the ability to become a full Jedi Knight; Han Solo, a smuggler turned fighter for the alliance along with his Wookie co-pilot, Chewbacca; and Princess Leia the princess (and one of the last of her people) of the destroyed Alderaan.

This 1980 film was the highest grossing of the year and the third highest of the decade. The Empire Strikes Back followed the main characters three years after their first win over the Empire, the rebels are on the run from the clutches of Darth Vader and things are starting to become dire. Luke is told by his former mentor to go in search of a great and powerful Jedi, Yoda. While Luke receives training from the Jedi Master, his friends are chased by the Empire to Cloud City where they are cornered and Han Solo is handed over to Jabba The Hutt as a prisoner. Luke interrupts his training and travels to the city to save his friends, there he must confront Darth Vader, the murderer of his father Anakin Skywalker… or was he?

This is probably the best Star Wars film in the series it has all the action, romance, comedy, suspense and more that you’d be after in a Blockbuster. It also ends differently to most movies… everything goes to shit, something that really never happened in film back then. It served as a fantastic cliffhanger for Return Of The Jedi.

5 Stars

To finish this review I give you the only possible way to make The Empire Strikes Back more enjoyable… a trailer of the movie with the music of Inception!