Weekly Ketchup: Disney Buys Lucasfilm, Schedules Star Wars: Episode VII for 2015

Plus, new roles for Jamie Foxx, Michael Fassbender, Colin Firth, Paul Giamatti, and more.

This week in movie development news pretty much seemed to begin and end with Star Wars: Episode VII. There was, however, actually other stuff going on, including Jamie Foxx in talks to play an Amazing Spider-Man 2 villain, and new roles for Zac Efron, Michael Fassbender, Colin Firth, Paul Giamatti, and Kurt Russell.


This Week's Top Story

WALT DISNEY PICTURES BUYS LUCASFILM AND PROMISES STAR WARS: EPISODE VII FOR 2015

Most weeks, this writer has to take some time to decide what the "Top Story" is for that week's Ketchup. This week, not so much. This may just be the top movie development story of the year, much less the month or week. And, if you're reading this column, you probably already know about it, but play along as if it's news, and maybe one of these details will be new to you. Walt Disney Pictures has purchased LucasFilm from its sole owner, a Mr. George Lucas of Marin County, for the amount of $4.05 billion. Although LucasFilm is the company behind lots of other things too (like say, the Indiana Jones franchise), Disney's acquisition is almost entirely for the rights of the Star Wars franchise, including all the various media (movies, TV, games, toys, etc) that it encompasses. Specifically, more immediately -- and for the fans, most intriguingly -- is the big announcement that Walt Disney Pictures will be releasing Star Wars: Episode VII in theaters sometime (almost certainly in the summer) in 2015. Star Wars: Episode VIII and Star Wars: Episode IX will follow in 2017 and 2019, respectively. As part of the deal, George Lucas will continue to serve as an advisor for the franchise, but he will not be writing or directing any of the films in the new trilogy. Well, that's only slightly true, as Lucas has indeed written story treatments for episodes 7-9, but he won't be the writer of the actual scripts. We don't know for sure what the story will entail, except that it won't be based on any of the various Star Wars novels which have already covered in detail the events of (much of) the rest of the lives of characters like Luke, Leia, Han Solo, and their kids (and are usually considered to be "canon"). The search for the writer of Episode 7 is currently ongoing. We know that people have been talking behind closed doors about this new trilogy of sequels because Mark Hamill revealed as much this week, saying that he and Carrie Fisher met with George Lucas this past summer; what's unclear is whether they would actually appear in them. The sticking point could be that Star Wars: Episode VII will be set about 20 years after Return of the Jedi, when Luke Skywalker is in his late 30s or early 40s, and Mark Hamill is already 61. Instead, it seems likely that younger actors will be cast as the older versions of the series' characters. The move to Disney has got to be a blow for 20th Century Fox, the studio that released the first six Star Wars movies. The situation also represents a quandary for future boxed sets, as 20th Century Fox retains rights to Star Wars in perpetuity, and the other five movies until 2020. There's still some money left for 20th Century Fox theatrically, however, as the studio's deal to release 3D versions of Episode II and Episode III in 2013 and 2014 remains. As for that $4.05 billion that George Lucas is receiving, it's not just going in his bank account. Instead, George Lucas is expected to donate most of that money to the various education-related charities that he supports.

Fresh Developments This Week

#1 SHOCKING NEWS: JAMIE FOXX TO PLAY ELECTRO IN THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2

Many of the most popular comic book superheroes were created in a time (1940s to 1960s) when (for whatever reasons) "caucasian" was the default race for most characters. In the 21st century, much has been done to balance this issue out, which has included such changes of race as Pete Jones on Smallville (possibly the first of this trend), Kingpin in Daredevil, Heimdall in Thor, and Nick Fury in the Marvel Studios movies (a change that actually happened first in the "Ultimate" line of comics). This week, Jamie Foxx was announced as being in negotiations to play the villain Electro in the sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man. In addition to being caucasian, Max "Electro" Dillon is also skinny/lanky, sports a bright green costume with yellow lightning bolts coming off his head, and in the Ultimate version, he's completely bald because his electric power effectively removed his hair via electrolysis. It's also worth noting that there has already been a long-running African American superhero with almost exactly the same powers as Electro, which is Black Lightning, who dates back to the 1970s when African-American characters frequently had the word "Black" in their name. It's currently unknown whether Jamie Foxx's Electro costume will feature those awesome yellow lightning bolts. Perhaps the film can spend half its running time explaining exactly what keeps those things from flopping over.


#2 MICHAEL FASSENDER AND COLIN FIRTH TO SQUARE OFF OVER WHO'S MORE OF A GENIUS

Colin Firth and Michael Fassbender have signed on to star in the literary biopic Genius about publishing editor Max Perkins (Firth), and his relationships with various early 20th century authors, including Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Thomas Wolfe (Fassbender). Filming will start in early 2014, around the time that Fassbender will turn 37, which was the age that Thomas Wolfe was when he died of tuberculosis, soon after he had reconciled differences with Perkins. British actor Michael Grandage will make his directorial debut with Genius, working from a script by screenwriter John Logan, whose other upcoming films include Darren Aronofsky's Noah, Jon Favreau's Jersey Boys, and the next three James Bond movies (including Skyfall). Logan's script is an adaptation of the biography Max Perkins: Editor of Genius, by A. Scott Berg, who also wrote biographies of Samuel Goldwin, Katherine Hepburn, and Charles Lindbergh.


#3 GUILLERMO DEL TORO RUMOR OF THE WEEK: A SUPERNATURAL SUPER TEAM MOVIE CALLED HEAVEN SENT?

The movie websites of today are admittedly a lot slicker than our collective roots, but there are still sites out there like Ain't It Cool News and Latino Review that harken back to that earlier, more rambunctious time. This story does indeed come from Latino Review, and it's also completely unconfirmed at this point, but it's also such a cool story, that we had to include it. Latino Review is claiming that Guillermo Del Toro so impressed Warner Bros with Pacific Rim that they have been trying to get him interested in other projects (like a V movie or a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory sequel). What Guillermo Del Toro really wants to do instead is supposedly called Heaven Sent. If it's real, Heaven Sent would be a sort of super team movie featuring various "supernatural" heroes from DC Comics, which has way more such characters than Marvel does. The list of potential characters includes The Spectre, Deadman, Swamp Thing, Phantom Stranger, Zatanna, John Constanine: Hellblazer, and Etrigan the Demon. Of course, the down side to all of this is... this story could be completely bogus. But if it's real... the idea of Guillermo Del Toro being allowed to play with the very big toy box of the DC Comics magical characters is sort of a fanboy's dream.


#4 HORROR/WESTERN HYBRID BONE TOMAHAWK ATTRACTS KURT RUSSELL AND OTHERS

There is a certain casting technique, arguably perfected by Quentin Tarantino, in which a young director shows off his influences via the actor that he casts in his first film(s). That appears to be what's going on with the horror/western hybrid Bone Tomahawk from first time director S. Craig Zahler. If that's true, then it's possible that Zahler is a fan of the 1980s films of John Carpenter (Kurt Russell), The Cabin in the Woods (Richard Jenkins), Boys Don't Cry (Peter Sarsgaard), and the Showtime series Dexter (Jennifer Carpenter). Or... all of those connections might just be coincidental. Bone Tomahawk will be about four men who team up to rescue people being held captive by a group of cannibal troglodytes (aka cavemen).


#5 THE JFK ASSASSINATION DRAMA PARKLAND ATTRACTS THREE ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEES

Parkland is the title of a drama that Tom Hanks is producing about the Dallas hospital where President John F. Kennedy, his (presumed) assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, and his assassin Jack Ruby all died in November, 1963. Filming is going to start soon so that the movie can be in theaters just in time for the 50th anniversary on November 22, 2013. As part of that, casting is well underway, with awards-friendly actors Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton, and Jacki Weaver all now cast in Parkland. The film will mark the directorial debut of Peter Landesman, who also wrote the script, based on material in the book Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, by Vincent Bugliosi, author of Helter Skelter (and yes, I got that right off the book's cover).


#6 THE (SECOND) BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL

Although far more time was spent discussing the success of The Avengers, or the disappointment of John Carter, an underreported yet surprising story was exactly how popular The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was internationally. Produced for the equivalent of $10 million, that British comedy has taken in over $134 million worldwide. As such, it shouldn't be surprising at all to discover that the film's writer Ol Parker is now working on a sequel. All of the cast members reportedly want to return, although that's probably not possible for at least one of them (for obvious reasons). It's unknown what the sequel might be about, except that it will probably continue the stories of a bunch of elderly Brits living in a hotel in India, and might possibly add some new residents/cast members (as sequels usually do). This is one of the Fresh Developments of the week due to the 77% "Fresh" rating on the RT Tomatometer (although this particular writer disagrees with that positive rating... just to get that out there).

Rotten Ideas of the Week

#3 JASON STATHAM SEQUELS THE EXPENDABLES 3 AND THE MECHANIC 2 CONFIRMED AT AFM

Some stories require a lot of explanation, but this one really doesn't. The American Film Market is an annual event in Santa Monica, California, where independent film producers hawk their movies to the distributors who actually get the movies in theaters around the world. AFM took place this week, and two of the movies that are being sold there are the Jason Statham sequels The Expendables 3 and The Mechanic 2 (which is a sequel to a movie which was itself a remake). Not much else is really known. As for why this is a Rotten Idea, well, it's mostly because of the 53% Rotten RT Tomatometer score for The Mechanic. As for The Expendables 3, well, maybe a third one is Rotten because eventually they will run out of aging action stars (though the eventual scraping of the bottom of the barrel could lead to some truly so-bad-they're-great choices, so there is that).


#2 ZAC EFRON SAYS TO HARRISON FORD, YOU BELONG TO ME

Harrison Ford and Zac Efron are in talks to star in You Belong to Me, a psychological thriller which will be the next film from director Rob Reiner (Misery, Stand by Me). Harrison Ford would play a psychiatrist who bonds with the brother (Efron) of one of his female patients who recently committed suicide, only to find that the brother starts seducing the doctor's wife and daughter. The tone of You Belong to Me is described as being like Cape Fear (because Cape Fear is a movie people generally like). Although Reiner had a string of excellent films from 1984 to 1994, the last 18 years have seen mostly "Rotten" RT Tomatometer scores for the director, and that's why this is a Rotten Idea this week.



#1 THREE STORIES IN ONE: CASTLE WOLFENSTEIN TO AIRSPACE TO CELL

Some weeks, the stories form Seven-Degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon style chains. This story connects four movies, starting with the long-in-development notion of a movie based upon the long running Castle Wolfenstein video game series, a shooter series set during World War II that involves battling Nazis and the supernatural monsters they've created. Or, as the independent producers described it, it's sort of a cross between Captain America: The First Avengers and Inglourious Basterds, because those are movies people know and like (versus, say, comparing it to The Keep, Dead Snow, or Ilsa: She Wolf of the S.S.). Anyway, at least one of those comparisons is probably because Roger Avary used to collaborate with Quentin Tarantino, and now Avary is the guy they've hired to write and direct the Castle Wolfenstein movie. Roger Avary's agent was quite busy this week, because he's also been signed to direct the John Cusack airplane thriller Airspace, about a pilot who is chased mid-air by a "heavily armed MiG fighter pilot." And that leads us to two more movies, in which John Cusack is also going to star, in a series of castings Nicolas Cage would envy. Cell is the title of a Stephen King adaptation (Cusack also starred in the King adaptation 1408) about cellphone signals that turn people into massacre machines. Cusack also signed on for Due Process, which is set in the exciting arena of world... (zzzz...) finances. Here, Cusack will play a farmer who has to face off against two big city bankers who want to foreclose on his farm. As for why all of this is Rotten? Well, the two first two are because of Roger Avary's RT Tomatometer scores. As for all the John Cusack movies, well, it can be said at least that he's only had one "Fresh" movie (Hot Tub Time Machine) in the last five years (since 1408 in 2007).

For more Weekly Ketchup columns by Greg Dean Schmitz, check out the WK archive, and you can contact GDS via Facebook.

Comments

CyborgUnicorn

Cyborg Unicorn

siiic Excited for new Star Wars, as well as Jamie Foxx as Electro? Is that for real? I didn't see that coming. Will Jamie Foxx get to kill Gwen Stacy?

And where is Harry Osborne?

Nov 2 - 05:01 PM

Gabe Zia

Gabe Zia

I think it's the same situation with "nobody can be J. Jonah Jameson, except JK simmons"

Nov 2 - 10:28 PM

Ricky George

Ricky George

Ain't that the truth haha

Nov 4 - 09:00 AM

MicHaeL H.

MicHaeL Hendriks

I take it you're talking about that Spider-Man movie?
Does anyone care about that movie? Really??...
I'm still annoyed about how Raimi's franchise was messed up.
Shouldn't have happened and should have been re-done.
But I guess they're currently doing that with "Wolverine" and "Conan".
In both cases they seem to pretty much want to ignore their failed sequels or spin-offs.
I wish they could've just agreed and ignored Spider-Man 3 and reboot it then and there, moving on to have Dylan Baker become the Lizard in the new "part 3", which should've happened to begin with.
But no, now we have this new "Incredible Hulk"-ish flick...

Nov 4 - 10:56 PM

Movie Monster

Bentley Lyles

2015 is going to be one hell of a year. The Avengers 2, Ant-Man, Justice League, Catching Fire Part 2, Avatar 2, and now Star Wars Episode VII. I'm super excited but a new trilogy just seems like a cash grab. Let's just hope it delivers.

Nov 2 - 05:26 PM

Ricky George

Ricky George

I think anything Disney does will seem like a cash grab. And Avengers was a cash grab, just one the fans really REALLY enjoyed. So even if VII is a cash grab, I don't think I'll mind throwing my money at a well done homage to SW that treads new ground while harking back a bit to the originals.

Nov 4 - 09:01 AM

Ivan A Jagerbomb

Ivan A Jagerbomb

Justice League won't get made and no one is interested in Ant Man.

Nov 5 - 08:04 AM

Brando Tarazon

Brando Tarazon

Are you crazy? Ant-man is badass.

Nov 5 - 02:25 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

00 - I think this is the best news I've heard in a long time. After the travesties that were the prequels and the horrid Clone Wars CGI cartoon, the only real place the franchise can go after this acquisition is up. There is literally no further that SW, as a brand, can sink. I'd love to see how some other directors approach the franchise. Imagine Joss Whedon doing Episode VII... oh, the possibilities.

On a related not: kudos to Lucas for a) stepping away from the franchise and b) pledging to donate a hell of a lot of money to charity. If I was him, I'd fill a room with hundred dollar bills, install a glass ceiling, lie on the money and watch the sky.

01 - The SM reboot was ass. Absolute ass. Webb's doing part 2 as well so I'm instantly not interested. If you want to know why it was ass, check out RedLetterMedia's review of it, under the "Half in the Bag" series. If you don't know, they were the guys that did the SW prequel reviews (which are magnificent.)

02 - Sounds interesting. I'm a little worried over the 'first-time director' thing, but there have been many such undertakings that have resulted in success, so I'm optimistic.

03 - Ohhhhhh... do not play with me so. If this is, in fact, real, then it's fucking glorious. Please be real... I'd kill to see Constantine done right in movie form.

04 - Heh, sounds cool. Hopefully it will end up being as good as it sounds. Trashy, violent fun... what's not to like?

05 - Yeah, sounds awesome as well. Am really digging the news so far this week. It's not making my blood boil, for once.

06 - Don't care.

07 - Expendables 2 surprised me. I was expecting a movie like the first: too serious, hap-dash and drab... fucking awful, is what I'm trying to say. But! 2 was so much, much better than its predecessor that it actually ended up being one of the few movies released this year that exceeded my expectations, and subsequently ended up being one of the few movies I was actually happy with.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it was the BEST movie of the year, not even close, but just that it delivered to its potential, unlike all the others: Prometheus, TDKR, A, Argo, etc.

Mechanic, however, was complete shit.

08 - Efron's again trying to make himself be taken seriously, huh? Keep on trying, buddy. This sounds like another boilerplate "thriller." Pass.

09 - A couple of mistakes here. The first two Wolfenstein games were stealth action, not shooter. The shooter only happened once id Software took the reigns, with Wolfenstein 3D. The cover is Return to Castle Wolfenstein, which is a fairly recent game not developed by id. Cell was an alright book, not King's best work, and the other one actually sounds like the most intriguing one of the lot: the farmer fighting banks one. Sounds vaguely Erin Brockovich-ish, and I really liked that movie.

Nov 2 - 05:35 PM

Christopher Kulik

Christopher Kulik

I can't wait for the Plinkett review of Episode VII.

Nov 2 - 05:44 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Return to Castle Wolfenstein is old, unless you consider it's release in 2001 fairly recent. You are correct that it was not developed by ID, but they oversaw the development and were credited as executive producers. Not that anyone probably cares, I just felt the need to flex my nerd muscle. In any case, I loved the games and would welcome any half decent attempt to make it a film. The concept does have potential, but the lead character is more of an Indiana Jones than a Captain America. Stop the Nazis and their experiments with the supernatural, ala Raiders.

Nov 3 - 09:58 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

2001 is still fairly recent to me. Hell, I still catch myself thinking that Matrix came out not too long ago every now and then. Never mind that it's almost 14 years old by now, I still remember that time better than, say, 2006. I have no idea what happened in 2006.

I just don't see how mainstream Hollywood will make a proper Wolfenstein movie, with Nazis and Hitler. Making a satire a-la Basterds is one thing - and even then it's Tarantino, which doesn't really count - but a for-real Hitler-robot boss? No fucking way. Disney was too much of a pussy to even show Nazis in Captain America, and that's the whole reason for his bloody existence.

Nov 4 - 12:57 AM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

No, mainstream Hollywood won't, but in fact if it is based on 'Return to Castle Wolfenstein', Hitler and Swastikas were removed so the game wouldn't be contraband in Germany, where they are banned. Replaced by a more generic symbol and other bad guys, called the Axis instead of Nazis. So it wouldn't be that hard for them to make a mainstream movie, probably won't be good though.

Nov 4 - 02:01 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

True, and the final boss of Return was Himmler. But then there's the problem of Return not being nearly as good as 3D in its imagery, so it would make for a fairly generic film.

Nov 4 - 05:59 PM

This comment has been removed.

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Oh, I agree with you about Avengers, as per my 2nd paragraph of #7. I didn't think it was ass, necessarily, but it was certainly a disappointment.

It would have been a good movie if it had a story.

Nov 2 - 09:13 PM

Alan Smithee

Alan Smithee

Figured you meant (A) The Avengers, but wasn't sure... However that does bring me to the question, since when was The Expendables ever serious? Perhaps the sequel lived up to its potential of absolute assness. The Expendables franchise is only rivaled in stupidity by the Crank franchise. It's got to be a Statham thing...

Nov 2 - 10:06 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

The first movie was WAAAY too serious. Because it refused to acknowledge how asinine the premise was, it felt stuffy and self-obsessed to the point of delusion. The sequel is wholly wink-wink-nudge-nudge, as if saying, "Yeah, this is fucking ridiculous, and isn't it glorious?" For example, the sound of an eagle every time Norris is on-screen. It's gaudy to the point of being beautiful.

As for Crank - I love it. Absolutely, unequivocally and without remorse. Pure adrenaline madness that doesn't slow down for a second. There has never been a movie like it since perhaps Evil Dead 2, and the sequel is even crazier. Just like Expendies, Crank knows how absolutely ridiculous it is, and revels in it. Too bad the directors couldn't bring the same manic energy to the Ghost Rider sequel (mainly cos FOX didn't let them,) because THAT would have been awesome.

Nov 2 - 10:48 PM

Alan Smithee

Alan Smithee

I'm pretty sure Sly was aiming for self aware absurdity in the first movie. Besides, just because you have a character winking into the camera every five seconds as to say, "look how meta I am", doesn't mean you're clever. There's a subtle art to it that's obviously lost on the likes of Stallone and those other two nerds. At the end of the day, stupid is as stupid does.

Nov 3 - 01:24 AM

Dave J

Dave J

@Alan Smithee Had you ever taken 'acid' because that's what "Crank" was supposed to be! Some ppl don't know how to adapt to films that were popular on other countries b/c the Japanese were always making Crank-like films and this happens to be one of them!

Nov 7 - 01:52 PM

Alex Szatkowski

Alex Szatkowski

Im guessing you have never seen the Clone Wars Cartoon, which is genuinely very good, especially seasons 3 and 4. The Star Wars saga could go way down, especially if they violate cannon and recast actors.

Nov 3 - 11:52 AM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Haven't seen 3 and 4. 1 was enough for me. How can it go down? It has been at its nadir since the prequels, which are some of the worst movies ever made.

Nov 3 - 01:33 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

You should distinguish which Clone Wars cartoon you're referring to. There was an excellent series, non-CGI, directed by Genndy Tartakovsky that came out around 2004, I think. It's not the same as the CGI series that started around 2006 or 07. The Tartakovsky series is preferable to the prequels in every way, and as I mentioned, is hand-drawn animation.

Nov 3 - 01:42 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

I did. I called it a " horrid Clone Wars CGI cartoon." The shorts were awesome.

Nov 3 - 02:53 PM

Justin D.

Justin D.

The Clone Wars isn't that bad. It's not great, but it could have been a hell of a lot worse. I think what works against it most is that the series has to work w/ the established canon of the generally accepted as terrible prequels. The writing is pretty good and the animation has gotten better. At least the Anakin Skywalker in the show comes off as more of a hero than the whiny puss-factory he was in Episodes 2 and 3.

Nov 4 - 11:02 AM

Myron

Myron Kinsey

I'M SO EXCITED FOR STAR WARS EEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKK!! (nerdgasm)

Nov 2 - 05:42 PM

Christopher Kulik

Christopher Kulik

I can't wait for the Plinkett review of Episode VII.

Nov 2 - 05:44 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Return to Castle Wolfenstein is old, unless you consider it's release in 2001 fairly recent. You are correct that it was not developed by ID, but they oversaw the development and were credited as executive producers. Not that anyone probably cares, I just felt the need to flex my nerd muscle. In any case, I loved the games and would welcome any half decent attempt to make it a film. The concept does have potential, but the lead character is more of an Indiana Jones than a Captain America. Stop the Nazis and their experiments with the supernatural, ala Raiders.

Nov 3 - 09:58 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

2001 is still fairly recent to me. Hell, I still catch myself thinking that Matrix came out not too long ago every now and then. Never mind that it's almost 14 years old by now, I still remember that time better than, say, 2006. I have no idea what happened in 2006.

I just don't see how mainstream Hollywood will make a proper Wolfenstein movie, with Nazis and Hitler. Making a satire a-la Basterds is one thing - and even then it's Tarantino, which doesn't really count - but a for-real Hitler-robot boss? No fucking way. Disney was too much of a pussy to even show Nazis in Captain America, and that's the whole reason for his bloody existence.

Nov 4 - 12:57 AM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

No, mainstream Hollywood won't, but in fact if it is based on 'Return to Castle Wolfenstein', Hitler and Swastikas were removed so the game wouldn't be contraband in Germany, where they are banned. Replaced by a more generic symbol and other bad guys, called the Axis instead of Nazis. So it wouldn't be that hard for them to make a mainstream movie, probably won't be good though.

Nov 4 - 02:01 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

True, and the final boss of Return was Himmler. But then there's the problem of Return not being nearly as good as 3D in its imagery, so it would make for a fairly generic film.

Nov 4 - 05:59 PM

Justin D.

Justin D.

While I'm quite optimistic about the change of ownership hats of LucasFilm, I'm only nervous about one thing; Lucas still being present in the franchise. The Empire Strikes Back is proof that the least amount of control Lucas has on the story, the better it is. When he gets too involved he winds up taking control and his hokey ideas start to infect the project (a recent example would be the tragic failing of Red Tails). As long as Disney keeps him as far away from the writing and filming of the new films as humanly possible then they should be okay.

Moving on to the Spider-Man news; I was not a fan of the Amazing Spider-Man to begin with. It never justifies its existence, not doing much of anything new w/ the character or origin story, almost completely glossing over some of the most important moments of the Spider-Man story. Jamie Foxx might be a good Electro but I'd be more interested in hearing that Sony hired a new screenwriter and a new director.

Nov 2 - 06:48 PM

King  S.

King Simba

Actually, this feels almost exactly like Empire Strikes Back with the plan of George Lucas writing the initial story and then getting others to adapt and direct his work.

I know it's cool to bash Lucas but give credit when credit is due. George Lucas didn't write the screenplay for Empire Strikes Back, but he did write the story and was the one who decided to make it much darker and the middle of a trilogy, while also coming up with the big twist. The product just tends to come out better when other people are executing his ideas.

Nov 3 - 12:57 PM

Justin D.

Justin D.

The difference between now and the filming of "Empire" is that Lucas didn't have absolute control. People could - and did - say no to him while shooting that film. No one questions him now, and he had complete control over every aspect of the production of Episodes 1-3. So when we look at this fact and the poor quality of the prequels, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the connection.

Lucas is an idea man, not a big picture man (when the picture doesn't have anything to do w/ money). He gets credit from me for creating the story of Star Wars, and for the hardships he encountered while filming the first one. But even "A New Hope" was a film saved in editing. Most of the credit I give to the set designers, screenwriters, directors (besides Lucas), editors, etc., that brought the original trilogy to life. I stand by my belief that as long as Lucas is given little say over the overall production of the film, we can get a good Episode 7.

Nov 4 - 10:54 AM

Sputnik99

sputnik 99

Lucas always had the Star Wars saga as being a 9-part streak of movies. He was kind of forced to end it with ROTJ. I don't think the new movies will follow the books at all. They will follow Lucas' movie plan that he wrote up almost 40 years ago. No Grand Admiral Thrawn, to be sure. But if Han, Luke and Leia are to stay in it, they better find new actors. The originals are just a bit too gray.

Another part of this that I'm really looking forward too is if Disney will release the untouched original trilogy on Blu-Ray. I know Lucas doesn't want to, but Disney sure likes to make a buck with their DVDs. I'll buy them Here's hoping!

Nov 2 - 06:48 PM

Daniel Miller

Daniel Miller

the original crew could make for an interesting flashback/reflection cameo at some point in the three movies. might be nice kudos for the old and new guard, so to speak, as long as they don't cheeseball it, that is

Nov 4 - 12:02 PM

This comment has been removed.

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Oh, I agree with you about Avengers, as per my 2nd paragraph of #7. I didn't think it was ass, necessarily, but it was certainly a disappointment.

It would have been a good movie if it had a story.

Nov 2 - 09:13 PM

Alan Smithee

Alan Smithee

Figured you meant (A) The Avengers, but wasn't sure... However that does bring me to the question, since when was The Expendables ever serious? Perhaps the sequel lived up to its potential of absolute assness. The Expendables franchise is only rivaled in stupidity by the Crank franchise. It's got to be a Statham thing...

Nov 2 - 10:06 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

The first movie was WAAAY too serious. Because it refused to acknowledge how asinine the premise was, it felt stuffy and self-obsessed to the point of delusion. The sequel is wholly wink-wink-nudge-nudge, as if saying, "Yeah, this is fucking ridiculous, and isn't it glorious?" For example, the sound of an eagle every time Norris is on-screen. It's gaudy to the point of being beautiful.

As for Crank - I love it. Absolutely, unequivocally and without remorse. Pure adrenaline madness that doesn't slow down for a second. There has never been a movie like it since perhaps Evil Dead 2, and the sequel is even crazier. Just like Expendies, Crank knows how absolutely ridiculous it is, and revels in it. Too bad the directors couldn't bring the same manic energy to the Ghost Rider sequel (mainly cos FOX didn't let them,) because THAT would have been awesome.

Nov 2 - 10:48 PM

Alan Smithee

Alan Smithee

I'm pretty sure Sly was aiming for self aware absurdity in the first movie. Besides, just because you have a character winking into the camera every five seconds as to say, "look how meta I am", doesn't mean you're clever. There's a subtle art to it that's obviously lost on the likes of Stallone and those other two nerds. At the end of the day, stupid is as stupid does.

Nov 3 - 01:24 AM

Dave J

Dave J

@Alan Smithee Had you ever taken 'acid' because that's what "Crank" was supposed to be! Some ppl don't know how to adapt to films that were popular on other countries b/c the Japanese were always making Crank-like films and this happens to be one of them!

Nov 7 - 01:52 PM

Josh Evans

Josh Evans

Top Story = Rotten Idea

Nov 2 - 07:10 PM

Corr

Alexander Sciury

How is it possible that The Mechanic gets a sequel? It only made $51 million on a $40 million budget. I would consider that a bomb.

Nov 2 - 07:27 PM

Mitch Jones

Mitch Jones

I wouldn't be surprised if this gets shelved. It could be an announcement just to test the waters and see if anyone would actually go to see this. There's no point for a sequel unless someone actually wrote a decent script or decided they could make a sequel for much cheaper.

Nov 4 - 08:48 AM

Frisby2007

Frisby 2007

Top news, despite my loathing towards SW (nerdiest franchise ever made), is the only interesting news this week & in the past few. Anyways, with this news, Disney could do a better job at the franchise seeing how much they can do with stuff like this, & after seeing what they have done with The Avengers & the other Marvel movies, I have no doubt they can bring that franchise back up to please the fans.

Nov 2 - 07:47 PM

Milleneum Draasul

Milleneum Draasul

Lucas lives in Marin county, San Rafeal is the nearest city to his sprawling campus. San Marin county, to my knowledge, does not exist. I was born in Marin county.

Nov 2 - 08:02 PM

greg_dean_schmitz

Greg Dean Schmitz

Thanks for pointing that out, I've actually been to Skywalker Ranch, so I know it's Marin County. Don't know how that "San" slipped in there. :) You're right that I may have been thinking of San Rafael.

Nov 2 - 11:01 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Oh, I agree with you about Avengers, as per my 2nd paragraph of #7. I didn't think it was ass, necessarily, but it was certainly a disappointment.

It would have been a good movie if it had a story.

Nov 2 - 09:13 PM

Alan Smithee

Alan Smithee

Figured you meant (A) The Avengers, but wasn't sure... However that does bring me to the question, since when was The Expendables ever serious? Perhaps the sequel lived up to its potential of absolute assness. The Expendables franchise is only rivaled in stupidity by the Crank franchise. It's got to be a Statham thing...

Nov 2 - 10:06 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

The first movie was WAAAY too serious. Because it refused to acknowledge how asinine the premise was, it felt stuffy and self-obsessed to the point of delusion. The sequel is wholly wink-wink-nudge-nudge, as if saying, "Yeah, this is fucking ridiculous, and isn't it glorious?" For example, the sound of an eagle every time Norris is on-screen. It's gaudy to the point of being beautiful.

As for Crank - I love it. Absolutely, unequivocally and without remorse. Pure adrenaline madness that doesn't slow down for a second. There has never been a movie like it since perhaps Evil Dead 2, and the sequel is even crazier. Just like Expendies, Crank knows how absolutely ridiculous it is, and revels in it. Too bad the directors couldn't bring the same manic energy to the Ghost Rider sequel (mainly cos FOX didn't let them,) because THAT would have been awesome.

Nov 2 - 10:48 PM

Alan Smithee

Alan Smithee

I'm pretty sure Sly was aiming for self aware absurdity in the first movie. Besides, just because you have a character winking into the camera every five seconds as to say, "look how meta I am", doesn't mean you're clever. There's a subtle art to it that's obviously lost on the likes of Stallone and those other two nerds. At the end of the day, stupid is as stupid does.

Nov 3 - 01:24 AM

Dave J

Dave J

@Alan Smithee Had you ever taken 'acid' because that's what "Crank" was supposed to be! Some ppl don't know how to adapt to films that were popular on other countries b/c the Japanese were always making Crank-like films and this happens to be one of them!

Nov 7 - 01:52 PM

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