Tuesday 30 September 2014

David Fincher discussed directing Star Wars

A plethora of A-list Hollywood directors were linked with Star Wars: Episode VII before JJ Abrams took the helm, and he turned the gig down first time around.

Auteurist David Fincher (Gone Girl) talked exclusively to Total Film about Lucasfilm approaching him to direct Episode VII:

"I talked to Kathy about it, but I think that it’s a different thing from… I don’t know what Disney-Lucasfilm will be like. It’s tricky. My favorite is The Empire Strikes Back. If I said, ‘I want to do something more like that,’ then I’m sure the people paying for it would be like, ‘No! You can’t do that! We want it like the other one with all the creatures!’ I always thought of Star Wars as the story of two slaves [C-3PO and R2-D2] who go from owner to owner, witnessing their masters’ folly, the ultimate folly of man… I thought it was an interesting idea in the first two, but it’s kind of gone by Return Of The Jedi."

Whilst Fincher may not be directing Episode VII, there's no reason to conclude he may never be attached to a spin-off movie at Disney. Plus he got his career break working as an assistant cameraman on Return of the Jedi.

Do you wish David Fincher had directed Star Wars? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday 29 September 2014

Star Wars Rebels coming to your galaxy this Friday

Star Wars Rebels movie Sparks of the Rebellion premieres around the world this Friday on the Disney Channel. The new series starts the following week exclusively on Disney XD.

Checkout this extended trailer featuring a cameo from a classic Star Wars character.

Does Rebels live up to its critically-acclaimed predecessor The Clone Wars and the original trilogy? The Bearded Trio's Rob Wainfur has posted a spoiler-free review.

Friday 26 September 2014

Chrome Stormtroopers in Star Wars: Episode VII

No, you're not looking at a Cylon Centurion from Battlestar Galactica, but a chrome Stormtrooper from JJ Abrams' upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII. That's according to the latest rumour percolating around the internet.

“A couple sources have expressed that the chrome troopers are a private security force for Adam Driver’s character – silver mercenary rent-a-cops rather than true Imperial Forces for Adam Driver’s character,” Indie Revolver speculates. “While we’ve not heard this from anyone directly, the most abundant rumor about Driver is that he’s a wealthy aristocrat with an interest in Sith artifacts.”

In further Stormtrooper-related news. Actor Oscar Isaac talked to Entertainment Weekly.

"There’s a lot of enthusiasm and it’s being done with a lot of heart," Isaac promised. "There’s nothing cynical about the way we're doing this. Even in the way [Abrams is] shooting it—he’s shooting on film and actually building the sets, so you've got hundreds of Stormtroopers or whatever, and hundreds of extras and all the ships. You actually see it. It’s all real. Everyone can interact with the world.

"I'm constantly looking for a cheesy line to say to harken back to the old ones. No, what they're trying to do and what’s really great is J.J.’s been loosening it up a little bit and trying to make it alive and energized. It’s not formal. They're messy, energized people. We've all intentionally tried to do that. Just make it a little more fiery and messy."

Do you think chrome Stormtroopers are cool? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday 25 September 2014

Hot Toys' Han Solo and Chewbacca action figures

Hot Toys, acclaimed for its detailed sixth scale collectible action figures including Batman, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Avengers, and more, kicks off its new Star Wars collection with Han Solo and co-pilot Chewbacca from Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.

The movie-accurate Han Solo collectible figure is specially crafted based on the image of Harrison Ford as Han Solo in the film and features a newly developed body, highly detailed costume, weapons, accessories, and a specially designed figure stand. The movie-accurate Chewbacca collectible figure is specially crafted based on the image of Chewbacca in the film and features a newly developed body, brown fabric hair throughout the whole body that captures Chewbacca’s unique appearance, highly detailed bowcaster and accessory, and a specially designed figure stand.

This collectible figure set will include an additional Stormtrooper belt and blaster rifle for Han Solo and an additional heavy blaster for Chewbacca.

Star Wars fans shouldn't pass up the opportunity to add this beloved duo to your collection! You can pre-order (affiliate link) today.

Have Hot Toys captured a good likeness of Han Solo and Chewbacca? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday 24 September 2014

NOW TV adds movies and entertainment on Apple TV

NOW TV's app for Apple TV has been updated with Sky Movies Month Pass and Entertainment Month Pass. Both were conspicuous by their absence when NOW TV launched on Apple's streaming device with only Sky Sports Day Pass last year.

The Sky company recently announced support for Google Chromecast. So, this is most welcome.

"Great news for Apple TV users today as we bring our range of NOW TV passes to the service," said Gidon Katz, director of the service.

“There’s never been a better time to get stuck into gripping box sets like The Walking Dead or The West Wing, right from the very first episode, plus get unlimited access to hundreds of the latest award-winning movies like American Hustle – straight to your main TV screen.”

Rekindled my enthusiasm for The Walking Dead by binge-viewing S1-3 box sets on NOW TV! This post-apocalyptic soap noir with zombies continues to present some of the most stunning cinematography on television (or the big screen for that matter), and I'm in for the long haul. S4 is available to stream from 1st October.

The Sky Movies Month Pass and The Entertainment Month Pass are increasing to £9.99 and £6.99 respectively from 16th October. The price increase was delayed earlier in the year.

Subscribers can enjoy watching The Ryder Cup 2014 in Gleneagles exclusively on Sky Sports 4 this week.

New customers get 10% off the Sky Sports Day Pass. Offer ends 9th November.

Are you subscribing to NOW TV? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday 23 September 2014

William Shatner to reprise Captain Kirk in Star Trek 3

BadAssDigest has learnt Roberto Orci's script for Star Trek 3 contains a scene reuniting William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy from the original series.

"I have learned that the script for Star Trek 3 includes a scene that reteams Shatner and Nimoy onscreen as Kirk and Spock for the first time in canon since 1991's Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. It would be a pretty huge moment for fans of the franchise, and likely the last time we'll ever see Shatner as James T. Kirk in official continuity..."

Leonard Nimoy has been integral to the Star Trek reboot since JJ Abrams took the helm of the cinematic franchise. Would you like to see Nimoy joined onscreen by William Shatner? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday 19 September 2014

Nick Frost guest stars in Doctor Who Christmas Special

The BBC's official Doctor Who Twitter account teased the guest stars appearing in the upcoming Christmas Special.

Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman will be joined by Nathan McMullen, Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz) and Michael Troughton, who is the son of Doctor Who star Patrick Troughton.

Nick comments: “I'm so thrilled to have been asked to guest in the Doctor Who Christmas Special, I'm such a fan of the show. The read-through was very difficult for me; I wanted to keep stuffing my fingers into my ears and scream 'No spoilers!' Every day on set I’ve had to silence my internal fan-boy squeals!"

Nick Frost's creative collaborator Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead) is no stranger to adventures in time and space. Pegg appeared in S1 episode The Long Game.

Steven Moffat, lead writer and executive producer, says: “Frost at Christmas - it just makes sense! I worked with Nick on the Tintin movie many years ago and it's a real pleasure to lure him back to television for a ride on the TARDIS.”

Are you excited for the Christmas Special? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday 18 September 2014

Millennium Falcon reveal and DC Comics Easter Egg

Directors Zack Snyder and JJ Abrams continue their Superman vs Batman: Dawn of Justice and Star Wars: Episode VII crossover fun with this reveal of the Millenium Falcon and a Bat stowaway.

Do you think Marvel should get in on the act too? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday 17 September 2014

C-3PO and R2-D2 in Star Wars Rebels

Entertainment Weekly recently interviewed Anthony Daniels and the veteran Star Wars actor talked about Episode VII and Rebels.

"I will tell you that when [director] J.J. Abrams rang me to ask about filming Episode VII, one of the first things he said after he told me how wonderful I was — and that didn’t take long — but he then said, “Would you be interested in being in the film just doing the voice?” I said, “No,” and he said, “Right!” He knew I’d say that. There’s no way I would just do the voice. I also said that it can’t be the same suit. I will tell you that the team then got together and built a new suit. They made an entirely new look-a-like with changes that you will never notice [on screen] that made my life a lot easier. I can get it on and off very quickly. [During the prequels], the only time [Threepio has] been CG was when it was very dangerous [to act in the scene in a suit] — and it wasn’t very good. In fact, I’m going to say it was awful. One of the difficulties is with a character that you know and love so well is that, as a member of the audience, you go, “Oh no, that’s not right. No, he doesn’t move like that.” With me [in the suit], he’s always going to move the same way and have the same reactions, timing, and so on. With CG, you’re working with some brilliant person on the keyboard who is trying to pretend to be me. The only time that has worked without doubt is Disney’s Star Tours: The Adventures Continue [theme park ride]. There’s an element in the pre-show which is digital and I cannot tell it’s not me. It’s brilliantly done by Disney. In a cartoon series like Rebels, you accept it because it’s not trying to pretend to be reality. It’s an extension, it’s an exaggeration. On that basis, it’s utterly acceptable — providing the characterization is correct."

Daniels' candour is refreshing and his enthusiasm for both Episode VII and Rebels is infectious.

"It’s very elusive and I’ll tell you: It’s where we’re going now with Episode VII. We’re all back. And it’s great, actually, that Rebels is set before Episode IV because that film is quintessential basic, “This is Star Wars.” And you know George always used to say every time I arrived on set, I would always arrive for the first time back on set in costume, and during the prequels George would say when I arrived on set that “Star Wars has arrived” — because I was the old fashioned link. Rebels is is an old fashion link to the old fashion film, which which we all loved. And you will love Episode VII — I have electrodes strapped to my head to zap me if I say anything more about it."

Read the in-depth interview on EW.

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Sesame Street's Star Wars parody stars Chewie cookie!

Sesame Street and The Muppets occupy a poignant place in my formative years! So, I couldn't pass up seeing some of my most beloved childhood heroes in a galaxy, a milky way galaxy far, far away...

Star S'Mores is a peach of a parody and follows unlikely heroes as Cookie Monster tries to learn self-control and rescue the Princess from the evil Empire.

Hearing Frank Oz's Groda, a mashup of Gonzo and Yoda, is a highlight. What fun!

Use the Four.

Monday 15 September 2014

Obi-Wan Kenobi Star Wars spin-off movie in the works?

Making Star Wars reports Obi-Wan Kenobi may be the next Star Wars character to receive his own spin-off movie at Disney.

"I’ve heard from quite a few people now that an Obi-Wan Kenobi movie is in the works..."

Lucasfilm has already confirmed Gareth Edwards and Josh Trank are directing two spin-off movies. So, whilst this is a rumour, the Mouse House has made a statement of intent with regards to standalone Star Wars movies in addition to the new trilogy, which begins with Episode VII in December 2015.

Which Star Wars character would you like to see in a spin-off movie? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday 12 September 2014

JJ Abrams' Apple Watch tweet hints at Star Wars

Director JJ Abrams has a passion for intrigue and unseen mystery. This is self-evident in his Bad Robot tweet pertaining to Apple's Watch announcement this week.

The background design will be familiar to Star Wars fans. It's Imperial in origin and seen aboard the Death Stars and Star Destroyers of the original trilogy.

I'd suggest it's most likely foreshadowing the resurgence of the Empire following its defeat at the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi. However, some fans speculate there's a new Death Star in Episode VII.

Do you think there'll be a Death Star III? Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday 6 September 2014

The Tick rebooted as Amazon Pilot

TheWrap reports The Tick will be rebooted as part of the next Amazon Pilot Season.

The original live-action series, following the hit animated series on the defunct children's channel Fox Kids, was short-lived despite universal acclaim in 2001.

Patrick Warburton (Family Guy) is set to reprise the role of the titular character after negotiating a deal with Sony Television who held the rights to the original series.

It's a canny leftfield move by Amazon as its original series haven't been as well received as arch-rival Netflix.

Which series would you like to see rebooted? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday 4 September 2014

Amazon Fire TV to challenge Apple TV in Europe

Amazon has announced Fire TV is coming to Europe only months after the sleek streaming device's US debut.

Speaking on the first day of the IFA technology show in Berlin, senior vice president of devices David Limp said: "We think that the products that are out there - and we sell a lot of them on Amazon - just haven't offered customers the value that we think you can, and this is an existence proof that you can put a lot of horsepower and performance into a box, at a great value."

Fire TV ships from 23rd October. The device will be available from Amazon, Argos, Dixons, Sainsbury's and Tesco.

New and existing Prime members can pre-order Fire TV for only £49 in the UK. That's a £30 saving on the listed price until Monday.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder and CEO said: "Tiny box, huge specs, tons of content, incredible price- customers love Fire TV and we’re thrilled to introduce it in the UK.

"Voice search that actually works means no more typing on an alphabet grid. Our exclusive new ASAP feature predicts the shows you’ll want to watch and gets them ready to stream instantly. And our open approach gives you not just Amazon Instant Video and Prime Instant Video, but also Netflix, Sky News, YouTube, Spotify, and more."

In related news. Amazon has reported a 70% increase in streaming since rebranding LOVEFiLM.

“Customers tell us that they love exclusive content and we see that these movies and TV shows almost always enter the Top 5 most watched lists immediately”, said Chris Bird, Film Strategy Director for Amazon Prime Instant Video UK. “Since exclusive content has continuously been among the most streamed, we are very happy to announce more highlights coming up this autumn such as the Amazon Studios original series Transparent starring Jeffrey Tambor and Roman Coppola’s Mozart In The Jungle, and of course the third series of the cancelled popular British drama Ripper Street which we’re currently filming exclusively for Prime Instant Video customers and will launch later this year before broadcast on the BBC next year.”

Tempted to add another box below your TV? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Netflix nabs new drama series Gotham

Netflix, not satisfied with simply playing in Marvel's sandpit, has acquired international streaming rights to Warner Bros. Studios upcoming Batman prequel series Gotham.

“In this era of new business models and expanding windows, this is an unprecedented deal for our company and our industry,” said Jeffrey R. Schlesinger, president, Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution, in a statement.

Gotham chronicles a young pre-Commissioner Gordon, serving as a Detective, and his fateful meeting with Bruce Wayne in the wake of Wayne's parents murder.

“‘Gotham’ is the most anticipated new series of the fall season and we are thrilled to offer it to our members around the world,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix, in a statement. “The Batman origin story is sure to have massive global appeal so it is fitting that, along with Warner Television, we have created a new model for distributing a show that international and domestic audiences will love.”

Gotham premieres on Fox this September.

Tuesday 2 September 2014

NOW TV on Google Chromecast as ITV Encore debuts

NOW TV has quietly updated its iOS and Android apps with support for Google Chromecast. The first I learnt of this was when updating NOW TV for iPad earlier today.

This doesn't displace the NOW TV Box (based on a Roku LT) for streaming catch up services, but does add another option for subscribers who own a Chromecast device.

@blindpete has pointed out Chromecast will use one of only four device slots linked to your NOW TV account.

ITV Encore is now available to Entertainment Month Pass subscribers at no additional cost! You'll be able to watch Poirot, Prey, The Widower, Monroe, Mr. Selfridge S2 and the final series of Whitechapel.

Why not sign up for an Entertainment Month Pass and get a £5 Asda voucher? New subscribers only. Offer good through 30th September.

Monday 1 September 2014

Star Wars Rebels: "Not What You Think"

Lucasfilm and Disney XD have posted a new short for the upcoming Star Wars Rebels series.

The shorts have met with positive reaction from fans. Mostly. There's a fear Star Wars Rebels may eschew the gravitas of The Clone Wars in favour of more 'childish' pursuits. However, I'm looking forward to the new series' debut this October on Disney XD.

Psyched for Star Wars Rebels? Let me know in the comments below.