Saturday, 9 February 2019

The Mandalorian keeps original Star Wars trilogy tone

Director Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) recently talked about directing an episode of the Star Wars live-action series The Mandalorian, executive produced by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), for Disney+.

"Favreau's a genius and so smart and so good at what he does and creating these worlds," he revealed during a post-panel interview at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour. "The scripts are really great. And yeah, it was really fun doing something in the Star Wars universe. It's every kid's dream just to see a Stormtrooper. When you're doing these scenes with like 50 or 60 of them, it's pretty amazing."

Waititi is excited to direct Mandalorian bounty hunters after Boba Fett captured his imagination in the original trilogy. "For most kids growing up with those films, he was one of the most favorite characters, even though he was barely in the films," the director said. "Bounty hunters, the helmets are so cool. So yeah, I mean just getting to see characters like that and getting to shoot with them was pretty cool."

The Mandalorian is set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Will Waititi be able to utilise his comedic eccentricities as evidenced in Marvel Studios' Thor: Ragnarok at Disney stablemate Lucasfilm?

"You know that Star Wars, you know, is just very different to the Marvel style," he explained. "They know that whatever was set up in the tone of the first films really should be kind of adhered to and that's what the fans like and you can't really disrespect it, I guess, is a nice way of saying it. Can't have too many jokes, but there's a little bit. Definitely my tone is in there, with the dialogue and stuff like that."

During the last few months, Favreau has shared photos, on Instagram, teasing different droids including what appears to be R5-D4 and bounty hunter IG-88.

The Mandalorian is exclusive to Disney+ later this year.

Friday, 8 February 2019

Avengers: Endgame could be 3 hours with intermission

Marvel Studios has released an official image showing the upgraded costumes for Avengers: Endgame and the Russo brothers confirm a potential running time of 3 hours, which may require an intermission much like sci-fi classic 2001: A Space Odyssey.

"We're still at the three-hour mark," co-director Joe Russo speaking to Collider.

Russo goes on to say, "I think the studio is down with what the best story is. Right now, we think the movie is playing well and we've had great responses from our test audiences and we're feeling very good about where it is. We're still doing work to it. We're not done with it."

"Again, this is a culmination film of 22 movies, it's a lot of storytelling to work into it," he explained. "Emotion is an intrinsic part of that to us. When you have to tell a really complicated story and you want strong emotional moments with the characters, it just requires a certain amount of real estate. This one, in particular, feels like three hours worth of real estate."

Disney Australia had released an official synopsis for Avengers: Endgame. However, this has been subsequently removed.

"After the devastating events of 'Avengers: Infinity War' (2018), the universe is in ruins due to the efforts of the Mad Titan, Thanos. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers must assemble once more in order to undo Thanos' actions and restore order to the universe once and for all, no matter what consequences may be in store."

Avengers: Endgame will be in cinemas this April and stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Don Cheadle, Karen Gillan and Brie Larson who first appears as the titular Captain Marvel in March.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Captain Marvel skips Netflix for Disney+

Captain Marvel is in cinemas next month and will stream exclusively on Disney+, skipping Netflix entirely, later this year in the US.

It's worth remembering Disney has pre-existing first-run distribution deals outside the US. So, for example, Captain Marvel will be on Sky Cinema Disney in the UK.

However, this points to a future where Disney could premiere all its franchises, including those from Pixar and Lucasfilm, on Disney+, as the Mouse House seeks to catch-up with Netflix, Hulu and more.

“We have a number of creative engines across our company, many of which are dedicating their time and talents to develop content for the Disney+ platform,” Disney CEO Bob Iger told investors on Tuesday. “Many are the same innovators driving the prolific success of Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Marvel. We look forward to leveraging National Geographic for even more content on Disney+.”

Disney+ will not affect theatrical distribution for now.

“We’re not looking to adjust the theatrical window here,” Iger said.

Disney+ launches later this year with the first Star Wars live-action series The Mandalorian.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Marvel fan film: Moon Knight

Cult superhero Moon Knight, analogous to DC Comics' Batman, has yet to grace the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). This non-profit fan film, from Paradox Studios, should keep fans satiated until then.

"Marc Spector is a man who's been shattered into 4 separate identities who come together to become the hooded crusader of vengeance: The Moon Knight."

Caden Butera, the writer and director of the fan film, says “I, along with all the other Moon Knight fans out there, have been dying for the character to get his debut on the big screen. He’s such an awesome & complex character; I hope one day he’ll hit the limelight of the MCU.”

What did you think of the Moon Knight fan film? Let me know in the comments below.

If you have a Marvel fan film you'd like to share, please contact me.

Monday, 4 February 2019

Captain Marvel Super Bowl TV Spot

As expected, there was no teaser trailer for Star Wars: Episode IX during the Super Bowl. However, Disney stablemate Marvel Studios was in full force.

New TV Spots dropped for Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame.

Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame will be in cinemas March and April respectively.

Friday, 1 February 2019

Aquaman beats Batman and The CW renews DCTV

As Aquaman, directed by James Wan (Furious 7), eclipses The Dark Knight Rises to become the most successful DC Comics movie of all time. According to Deadline, The CW has renewed DCTV hit series Arrow, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Black Lightning. Batwoman is set to enter the fray with her own spin-off following a successful introduction in Elseworlds.

My DCTV viewing has lapsed due to the abundance of genre series available. However, with the cancellation of Marvel Netflix series, including Daredevil and Luke Cage, I'm catching up, and am following DC Unlimited's live-action series Titans on Netflix outside the US with interest, too.

Rumours abound this year's annual Arrowverse crossover, Crisis On Infinite Earths, will finally witness DC Comics' television and movie franchises merge into the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), on par with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) ahead of a new decade.

What series are you most looking forward to? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Anthony Daniels finishes filming on Star Wars

Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) posted a poignant farewell on Twitter after wrapping filming on Star Wars: Episode IX, directed by JJ Abrams, on Monday. Daniels has the distinction of appearing in all nine Star Wars movies.

"Today was 3PO's last on Episode IX. He's sad - so am I. But we're so proud to have worked with such a lovely, talented cast & crew lead by J.J. & Kathy. I'll miss everyone but I'm glad to know that we've been making something exceptional together, to share with the waiting world."

The actor followed up with this tweet.

"I'm so touched by all your messages. I admit, leaving the set on Monday needed a stiff upper lip. No problem for 3PO. But for me... Now your tweets keep that feeling alive, making me sadly happy. But when one door closes... Then, doors aren't the only things you open. Are they."

Daniels has reprised the role of the beloved protocol droid countless times - from animated series to theme park rides - and it wouldn't be entirely surprising to see C-3PO cameo in a live-action Star Wars series for Disney+.

However, I want to thank Anthony Daniels for his positive contribution to the lives of generations of fans (myself included)! He was an amazing host at Star Wars Celebration Europe in 2016.

What are your favourite C-3PO memories? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Dua Lipa's Swan Song from Alita: Battle Angel

Dua Lipa's anthemic Swan Song, taken from Alita: Battle Angel, is accompanied by a suitably post-apocalyptic video that evokes Mad Max and WALL-E.

Directed by Floria Sigismondi, the video places Lipa in the film’s environment. Sigismondi explains “While in the film Alita is quite literally on a journey to discover who she is, her story serves as a really powerful allegory for any girl who doesn’t yet know her own power. I wanted to play with that same profound notion by dropping Dua into a facet of Alita’s world and allowing Alita to serve as a surrogate that leads her on a journey to discover she’s stronger than she ever could have imagined.”

Alita: Battle Angel, from visionary directors James Cameron (Avatar) and Robert Rodriguez (Sin City), is in cinemas 6th February.

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Richard E. Grant teases his role in Star Wars

Since Richard E. Grant was cast in Star Wars: Episode IX, fans have speculated he may be playing Grand Admiral Thrawn in director JJ Abrams' conclusion to the Skywalker saga this December. However, the Oscar-nominated actor quickly dispelled that rumour.

“I’m not playing the Star Wars character you just mentioned,” Grant previously shared with the Radio Times. “I’m not allowed to tell you anything. Otherwise I would be fired."

Despite the need for secrecy surrounding Episode IX, Grant assures fellow fans (myself included) it'll be more than worth it and I agree.

“Oh, it’s definitely worth it,” the actor shared. “If you’re a Star Wars fan, and I am, then knowing what’s coming in this is quite something. I absolutely understand why they’re so secretive about it, because it’s very exciting.”

Grant spoke of the security surrounding the script for Episode IX earlier this month.

“Yes, I am in the last Star Wars. I have no idea [if I’ll be recognizable] because I’ve not even been allowed to tell my family what the name of my character is," Grant shared with The Graham Norton Show. “If I told you I would get fired. We’re not even allowed to take the script home. There is a lot of security.”

Grant is fondly remembered by Doctor Who fans (myself included) as the corporeal form of the Great Intelligence. A disembodied alien, originally controlling the Yeti during Patrick Troughton's era, that sought to erase the Doctor, from all of time, during Matt Smith's tenure as the titular character. Star Wars reunites the actors with Smith purportedly playing a young Palpatine in a flashback.

Whilst we wait for an official title and teaser trailer for Star Wars: Episode IX. Who do you think Richard E. Grant is playing? A First Order Officer or a droid? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Marvel announces Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge comic

Marvel has announced an official tie-in comic book series for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge from writer Ethan Sacks and artist Will Sliney.

"Black Spire Outpost has long been frequented by smugglers, merchants and travelers from every corner of the galaxy looking to make their score on the infamous black market – or experience the exotic thrills only the remote world of Batuu has to offer. It’s a place where beings thrive on unique opportunities of the lawless outpost at the edge of space – but the First Order threatens their livelihood…"

“For me personally, this is a chance to fulfill a lifelong dream that started back when I was 4 years old watching the opening crawl for the first time at the Astor Plaza in Times Square during the summer of 1977,” said Sacks. “This new adventure, set in the wondrous – and dangerous – Black Spire Outpost, will have profound consequences for the Star Wars universe, and fans will be excited to see this story span through the eras and bring together some all-time favorite characters, including Han Solo and Chewbacca!”

“Black Spire Outpost is a place of endless intrigue and adventure, and what’s uniquely exciting about the Star Wars universe is that we are able to bring these stories to life across multiple platforms including comic books, novels, games and the immersive experiences we are building in our theme parks,” said Scott Trowbridge, creative executive for the Star Wars portfolio from Walt Disney Imagineering. “Working together with Lucasfilm, we are able to integrate back stories, introduce new characters, as well as reveal previously untold stories about fan-favorite characters and their history with the planet Batuu and its colorful inhabitants.”

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge #1 will go on sale in April.