Kathleen Kennedy

starwars

Seeing as Star Wars fandom is a thing that goes back a good 36 years now, its community of enthusiasts have, over time, become an eclectic group who represent a multitude of different age groups, backgrounds, and opinions. Just go to any Star Wars message board around the Internet and you’ll see a steady and healthy stream of debate about a whole host of subjects, from classic arguments like why George Lucas had Luke kiss his sister in A New Hope, to more modern debates around which changes made to the Special Edition films were positive and which were negative, to immediate concerns about whether or not JJ Abrams is going to include any known characters from ancillary Star Wars novels in his upcoming Episode VII. Two things that pretty much every Star Wars fan can agree on, though, are that a Star Wars movie just wouldn’t be a Star Wars movie without John Williams handling the music, and that Lucas—heady with the possibilities presented by new technologies—went way overboard with making everything in the Prequel Trilogy CG, to the point where he ended up making a series of live action movies that largely look like glossy, crappy cartoons. Well, some new announcements coming out of Star Wars Celebration Europe address both of these issues, and they’re the kind of announcements that will likely be seen as reason to celebrate for Star Wars fanatics.

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During the production of 2008′s Star Trek, director J.J. Abrams was quite determined to keep as much information about the film from the public as possible. This included tactics on set such as putting actors under blankets to hide their costumes, additional security on set and limiting (until the last moment) how much information was distributed to the press. He loves this game, as evidence by the even more secretive Cloverfield project and his extensive talk about his mystery box. He enjoys the fun of not knowing everything that’s going to happen next. As a longtime Star Trek fan, I found myself alright with his stance. Even though knowing a great deal about the film would fulfill some part of my devilish curiosity, the moments of discovery that occurred during that fateful first screening of Star Trek in 2008 were more than worth the wait. In that case — as it has many times — J.J. Abrams’ mystery machine worked. So now that he’s signed on to bring Star Wars back to life for new owner Disney, will Abrams toy with Wars fans as he did his Trekker brethren? And would you want him to play things close to the chest? This is the subject of this weekend’s big discussion.

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Oscars

As the roar of responses to Sunday’s Oscar ceremony dies down, it’s important to keep in mind that the award, while not nearly the only avenue to cultural immortality, is still important to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars and untold cache with movie-loving audiences. Film is the center, the core beneath all the bright lights and flash, but it would be foolish to think that the production itself doesn’t lend credence to the weight of the award and, thus, the weight of the propulsion that the statue can lend to the names inside the envelopes. But the landscape is changing. There are other awards developing their own prestige, the way we watch movies is shifting, and audiences are diversifying far beyond where the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences can currently manage. Since the future is unclear, we need an expert. Someone who knows what the future holds. Fortunately, I know someone.  I’ve called upon a media expert named Molly (using Kurzweilian technology) who lives and works in the year 2023 to talk about the Oscar ceremony they just watched and what we past-dwellers might expect to see in the next ten years.

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J.J. Abrams

As was breathlessly reported earlier this week, Disney has now confirmed (via press release) that J.J. Abrams is their official pick to direct their new Star Wars film. There’s not much else to say as of now, so let’s roll out some fun quotes from the release! Kathleen Kennedy: “It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie. J.J. is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the Star Wars experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture.” George Lucas: “I’ve consistently been impressed with J.J. as a filmmaker and storyteller.  He’s an ideal choice to direct the new Star Wars film and the legacy couldn’t be in better hands.” Abrams: ”To be a part of the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, to collaborate with Kathy Kennedy and this remarkable group of people, is an absolute honor. I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid.” What a lovefest. Abrams will produce alongside his Bad Robot and partner Bryan Burk and Kennedy. The press release also confirms that Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg will both consult on the project.

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Update: Apparently in response to our find, Trevorrow tweeted the following this evening: “To clarify, there is another film we all love that I’m currently trying not to mess up. Odds I will direct Episode VII: 3720 to 1.” Also, when asked if he’s officially stating that he’s out of the running to direct Star Wars, he tweeted, “That is what I am saying.“ While we wait for an official decision on who will be directing Star Wars Episode VII, the rumors continue flowing in as to who might be up for the gig. Earlier this month, Safety Not Guaranteed helmer Colin Trevorrow was named as someone who has actually had meetings at Lucasfilm and is definitely on the list of contenders. Well, now something else has come to our attention that could be an actual confirmation that the Hollywood newcomer is following his debut with a trip to the Star Wars galaxy. Reader Lenny Crist sent us a video from way back in June of Trevorrow talking to Spencer Fornaciari of The MacGuffin podcast in which he claims his next project will involve him tackling a mythology with a substantial fanbase, part of which will likely be angry with him for landing the gig. Check out the potentially revealing interview (specifically from 21:45 to 22:24) and a transcript of what he says after the break.

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Ever since the surprising announcement that we have a new Star Wars on the way, just about every movie site on the web has started running lists (including us!) of who they’d love to see direct it. I’m sure Matthew Vaughn‘s name was on more than a few of those lists (as it turned on, he didn’t appear on ours), and it seems there’s a small, small chance of that dream coming true. According to (an unconfirmed rumor on) Collider, Vaughn is in discussions to direct. First of all, take this story with a grain of salt. New Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy is probably having a lot of discussions with all kinds of directors, considering how many people would die to take a crack at Star Wars. Vaughn is most likely one of those guys and on a list of hopeful prospects they have, just like their list for who they’d want to play the old, whiny Luke Skywalker.

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Star Wars

You know the story. At this point it’s basically the new shot heard ‘round the world: Disney has bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion, George Lucas is retiring from the Star Wars game, and three more Star Wars films are planned for production starting in 2015. Lucas and the new Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy, have stated that they have archives of story treatments for more books, TV shows, and films… but with Lucas stepping back from the property, who are they going to get to direct these next three episodes in the ongoing Star Wars adventure? Let’s take a look at some candidates, whether they be likely, unlikely, or long shots.

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The past couple years have been a rocky road for Universal Studios. Long strings of costly box office flops like The Wolfman, Cowboys and Aliens, and Your Highness have not been completely balanced by their hits. Even this year, the success of The Lorax and Snow White and the Huntsman don’t completely wipe out the red numbers on the books from Wanderlust, The Five-Year Engagement, and most recently Battleship. Oddly enough, their DVD and Blu-ray releases of catalogue titles have been causing the most buzz. The studio’s 100th Anniversary Blu-ray releases of E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial and Jaws are making as much noise as their releases of Back to the Future and Jurassic Park box sets. Plus, Jurassic Park is getting a high profile re-release in 3D next summer. It only makes sense that the studio goes back to these popular franchises for a new hit. Deadline Isla Nublar is reporting that Universal has found writers for the long-awaited Jurassic Park 4. Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, who are best known for penning last summer’s prequel hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes and its upcoming sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, will be tackling the script for the high-profile dinosaur adventure.

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It’s been understood for a while now that there was already a sequel to Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin in the works, one in which Spielberg was meant to trade producing and directing duties with Peter Jackson; and that’s all still a go. Before the original had opened anywhere, work was already being done on the sequel, and now that it’s become a financial success in several overseas markets, a second Tintin adventure is all but guaranteed. What has changed, however, is Spielberg and Jackson’s original plans of where the story for the sequel will actually go. We reported a while back that the sequel was tentatively titled The Adventures of Tintin: Prisoners of the Sun, and that the story they were planning to tell would be an amalgamation of two classic Tintin stories “Prisoners of the Sun” and “The Seven Crystal Balls.” Well, that’s no longer the case, because while doing an interview with The Playlist, producer Kathleen Kennedy has confirmed that they have a different plan. “‘Prisoners of the Sun’ was a very, very early discussion, and it isn’t under discussion anymore,” she said. “We’ve still got Anthony Horowitz working on the second movie, and we don’t know what we’re doing with the third movie yet.” Despite no current plans for the third, there does seem to be an idea of where Horowitz is currently going with the second. Kennedy said of the first film, “We knew that we needed to introduce Tintin, we needed to introduce […]

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Producer Kathleen Kennedy confirms a few things for us about Steven Spielberg’s upcoming slate.

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The last time we were talking about a fourth Jurassic Park movie, we were all excited about its ridiculous premise. And now its dead… Insert sad face here.

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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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