Wednesday, 17 January 2018

The official synopsis for Solo: A Star Wars Story



Whilst Star Wars fans (myself included) anxiously await a trailer. Lucasfilm has published an official synopsis for Solo: A Star Wars Story.

"Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in Solo: A Star Wars Story, an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes."

Finally, fans will see how Han and Chewie first met. This isn't the first time the story has been told, it appeared in Dark Horse Comics' Star Wars: Chewbacca miniseries in 2000, but this is official canon. I recall excited discussions with college friends postulating how Han was an imperial officer in the Empire and saving Chewie changed his life forever. Imagine if there's a cameo from Darth Vader?

Solo: A Star Wars Story, directed by Ron Howard, is in cinemas 25th May.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Black Lightning is prestige TV



Black Lightning premieres on The CW tonight. Whilst the prospect of another superhero show may seem daunting in an era of so-called peak television. This new series stands alone from DCTV's Arrow, The Flash, DC's Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl. That said, in the wake of the incredible crossover Crisis on Earth-X, I'm hoping Black Lightning will make a cameo in the future.

Early reactions to Black Lightning are positive and here's hoping it'll be shown on Sky1 in the UK soon.

The Washington Post

Black Lightning, a wholehearted and energetic live-action revival of the character premiering Tuesday night on CW, is refreshingly and intentionally focused on Jefferson's attempt to balance the conflict among his truest selves – as a black father in his late 40s, a husband, a revered high-school principal and, ultimately, a superhero who comes out of self-imposed exile to fight violence in his community.

The Hollywood Reporter

The pleasant surprise, then, is that Black Lightning, based on yet another DC Comics property, is smart and relevant and full of an attitude that's all its own. It takes its characters and their world seriously, but thus far doesn't take itself too seriously. And, best of all, it's ostensibly entirely separate from Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Arrow and Supergirl, so the risk of time-consuming crossovers or key plot points delivered on a different show is currently nil.

The New York Times

Luke Cage and Marvel's Runaways have diversified the comics-TV lineup. (Black Panther arrives in theaters in February.) But this show's race-forward sensibility and its older protagonist, conflicted about getting back into the game, give Black Lightning its spark.

Looking forward to Black Lightning? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Rian Johnson wrote The Last Jedi on a MacBook Air



Director Rian Johnson wrote the script for Star Wars: The Last Jedi on an air-gapped Apple MacBook Air. Johnson revealed this fascinating insight in an interview with the WSJ.

“I typed Episode VIII out on a MacBook Air. For security it was “air-gapped” — never connected to the internet. I carried it around and used it for nothing except writing the script. I kept it in a safe at Pinewood Studios. I think my producer was constantly horrified I would leave it in a coffee shop.“

Ahead of the launch of The Last Jedi, Apple Stores ran exclusive video editing workshops to celebrate Force Friday II.

Friday, 12 January 2018

John Williams to score Star Wars: Episode IX



Hollywood composer John Williams, fresh from scoring Star Wars: The Last Jedi, is slated to compose Han Solo's theme for director Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story with John Powell composing the rest.

Speaking to trade paper Variety, Williams hopes to compose the entirety of Star Wars: Episode IX, which is currently in pre-production with JJ Abrams at the helm after Colin Trevorrow's departure. Thus completing an enviable body of work spanning 9 movies. The veteran composer is especially fond of Rey (Daisy Ridley) and her theme from The Force Awakens is a fan favourite.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story undergoing more reshoots



With a 25th May release now only months away, director Ron Howard is reportedly reshooting more of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Reshoots are part and parcel of filmmaking. However, given the second Star Wars spin-off's troubled production, seemingly more so than Rogue One, it adds further intrigue and uncertainty within the fan community.

It's surprising Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy didn't move Solo to December. Thereby giving Howard more time, and for the film not to clash with Avengers: Infinity War. The latter marking the 10th anniversary of the release of Iron Man and heralding the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

A trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story is expected any day.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Two BAFTA nominations for The Last Jedi



The Star Wars franchise has been synonymous with special effects and sound design since the first movie was released in US theatres in May 1977.

So, it's only fitting director Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi receives two BAFTA nominations in those categories.

Best sound

Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Best special visual effects

Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
War for the Planet of the Apes

Good luck to the fine folks at Lucasfilm.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Ewan McGregor on Obi-Wan Star Wars spin-off



Ewan McGregor played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy and reprised the role for The Force Awakens.

The demand for an Obi-Wan spin-off movie hasn't abated and fans (myself included) are hoping McGregor gets a chance to play the lead role now that Lucasfilm is owned by Disney.

"There’s a lot of talk, and I’d be happy to play him again, but I don’t know anything more than you do," McGregor told reporters backstage at the Golden Globes, after he won a best actor award for his role in FX's Fargo.

McGregor also gave his reaction to The Last Jedi:

"I saw the new one over Christmas and I thought it was really, really beautiful."

Source: THR

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Tom Hardy's cameo cut from The Last Jedi



If you're wondering where Tom Hardy's First Order Stormtrooper was in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, he was cut from director Rian Johnson's divisive sequel. However, Hardy's scene will be included as part of an additional twenty minutes of footage in the upcoming Blu-ray disc release.

Hardy's character possessed a thick southern accent who, after initially appearing threatening, turns out to be an ally of Finn (John Boyega) (via SlashFilm).

“I know who you are…. FN 2187!” Hardy's character reportedly says. “Damn boy, I never took you for officer material.”

Did you spot Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director Gareth Edwards fighting in the trenches on Crait in The Last Jedi?

You can read my spoiler review for The Last Jedi here. Suffice to say I've already pre-ordered the 4K Blu-ray disc, which is available from Amazon (affiliate link).

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Netflix is rebooting She-Ra in 2018



For the honour of Grayskull: The Princess of Power is back!

During the holiday season, Netflix exclusively streamed the first half of The Toys That Made Us, an unmissable documentary series looking at Star Wars, Barbie, G.I. Joe and Masters of the Universe, and announced a reboot of She-Ra: The Princess of Power for 2018.

She-Ra: The Princess of Power was a Masters of the Universe spin-off in the mid-1980s when He-Man and friends outsold stablemate Barbie to become the world's number one toy. The She-Ra reboot will be made by DreamWorks with Noelle Stevenson, best known for Nimona and Lumberjanes, serving as executive producer.

The new She-Ra series will stream on Netflix later this year.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Micronauts animated series from Hasbro Studios



40 years ago this January I saw Star Wars for the first time and George Lucas' space opera captured my childhood imagination. As such, I devoured everything related. From Kenner action figures to Marvel comics. It was in the pages of Marvel's making of Star Wars magazine that I saw an advertisement for a new toy line distributed by Airfix.

The Micronauts.

The Micronauts was a storied interchangeable toy line from Takara who would go on to create the Transformers. Marvel released a tie-in comic following the adventures of Commander Rann and his battle with the evil Baron Karza. The latter would be a holiday gift in 1978.

Hasbro has announced a new half-hour animated series going into production for 2019. Here's the official synopsis taken from Hasbro's sales guide (via Bleeding Cool):

"When fate brings an unlikely team of alien space explorers to earth in pursuit of the evil Baron Karza, they make a shocking discovery—on our world they are the size of action figures! The Micronauts are small heroes in a big world but the stakes are higher than ever as their miniaturized size presents dangerous obstacles at every turn. Fortunately, they forge an alliance with teenager Cameron Ruck, who will join them in their pursuit of justice. Although the Micronauts are small in stature, their bravery and adventurous spirits remain larger than life."

Whilst no streaming platform has been announced, Hasbro has a longstanding distribution deal with the Discovery network.

The upcoming Micronauts movie, produced by JJ Abrams, will form part of Hasbro's Cinematic Universe (including Transformers, G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K. and ROM: The Space Knight) in 2020.