5 directors who need their own ‘Star Wars’ movie right now

The Star Wars movies occupy an ever-expanding galaxy, so it's going to need a few more stars of the filmmaking variety sooner rather than later.With Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi (in theaters Dec. 15) looming on the horizon like a fully charged Death Star, big-name directors are getting the call. Ron Howard stepped in at the last minute to finish the young Han Solo spinoff, Solo: A Star Wars Story (out May 25, 2018), and J.J. Abrams is returning to conclude the current trilogy with Episode IX. Johnson impressed Lucasfilm brass so much he's getting to oversee a trio of films outside of the long-running Skywalker saga.  Previously: 5 things to know about the new Chewbacca, Joonas Suotamo More: Sorry, Han Solo, there's no time in 'The Last Jedi' to mourn your tragic death Also: 'Last Jedi' cast talks Leia's legacy, Ewoks and 'new boyfriend' Rian Johnson Related: The 'Star Wars' galaxy needs women behind the camera more than ever Who should be next? Here are five possibilities who could bring talent to the Force, be it in Episodes X, XI and XII or perhaps a standalone Boba Fett jam.Guillermo del ToroNo one’s got more geek cred, and the Mexican director is no stranger to franchise flicks, having helmed two Hellboy movies and almost directed The Hobbit. He’s a Star Wars fan, has a penchant for sumptuous visuals (see: Pan’s Labyrinth, Crimson Peak) and is likely an Oscar contender with his new film The Shape of Water. A best director nomination probably wouldn't hurt his chances.Ava DuVernayIf Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy finally decides to hire a woman to direct Star Wars, she’s loaded with options: TV's Michelle MacLaren (Game of Thrones), a surprise pick such as Lorene Scafaria (The Meddler) or perhaps the hottest director in Hollywood, Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman). DuVernay, though, would be the likeliest candidate: The Selma Continue Reading

‘Last Jedi’ director Rian Johnson tapped to create a new ‘Star Wars’ movie trilogy

He's got the Force, all right.Rian Johnson, writer/director of the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi (in theaters Dec. 15), has been tapped to create a new Star Wars movie trilogy. Lucasfilm announced the news Thursday.“We all loved working with Rian on The Last Jedi,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, in a statement. “He’s a creative force, and watching him craft The Last Jedi from start to finish was one of the great joys of my career. Rian will do amazing things with the blank canvas of this new trilogy.” More: Why J.J. Abrams is the right choice to direct 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Also: Luke Skywalker rolls up in the Millennium Falcon in 'Star Wars' TV spot Earlier: See exclusive new 'Last Jedi' video with Rian Johnson and Carrie Fisher Johnson's new Star Wars films will be separate from the ongoing Skywalker saga — so they won't be Episodes X, XI and XII — and introduce new characters to the expansive lore of the galaxy far, far away.“Star Wars is the greatest modern mythology and we feel very lucky to have contributed to it. We can’t wait to continue with this new series of films,” Johnson said in a joint statement with producer Ram Bergman. Johnson took to Twitter to make his first post-announcement comments: "Obviously I hope you like The Last Jedi. But man now I REALLY hope you like The Last Jedi."  Continue Reading

Obi-Wan Kenobi may get his own ‘Star Wars’ movie: reports

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co is developing a "Star Wars" standalone movie based on the beloved character of Obi-Wan Kenobi, the wise and noble Jedi master, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety reported on Thursday. The Hollywood trade publications cited unnamed sources as saying that the project was in the early stages of development by Disney and Lucasfilm. The project has no script yet but British filmmaker Stephen Daldry, best known for 2000's ballet movie "Billy Elliott," is in early talks to direct it, the publications said. Disney declined to comment. Disney bought "Star Wars" creator George Lucas' Lucasfilm in 2012 in a $4 billion deal and announced a new trilogy of films following the space saga as well as three standalone "Star Wars" projects that focus on stories outside of the central tale of the Skywalker family. Disney debuted the first standalone "Star Wars" story with 2016's "Rogue One," which featured new characters and a storyline tied loosely to the ongoing saga. A Han Solo movie is in production featuring a younger version of the freewheeling space smuggler played by Harrison Ford in the original "Star Wars" trilogy of films. Kenobi, a recluse played by the late British actor Alec Guinness, was the mentor to Luke Skywalker and introduced the young warrior to the Force in the first "Star Wars" movie in 1977. Kenobi was later killed by his old pupil, the evil Darth Vader. Actor Ewan McGregor played the character in the second trilogy of "Star Wars" films from 1999 to 2005. The Hollywood Reporter said no actor was attached to the standalone project. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," Disney's first installment of the new trilogy in the revamped franchise, brought back beloved characters Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo as well as introducing a new generation. It took more than $2 billion at the world box office after its 2015 release. The next film, "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," is scheduled for release in December. Continue Reading

Original three ‘Star Wars’ movies to be screened in theaters this summer

The original three "Star Wars" movies are striking back into theaters this summer. "A New Hope," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi" will each be shown on the big screen in more than 20 cities as part of an out-of-this-world roadshow sponsored by Alamo Drafthouse cinemas. "It's always been a dream to show the original Star Wars trilogy again — somehow, someway," Alamo Drafthouse VP of Special Events Henri Mazza said in a statement. "Seeing the original trilogy on the big screen for the first time is a real life-altering event and just a supreme amount of fun," he continued. "When the films became available to book for screenings like these, we jumped at the chance to do something big." Alamo Drafthouse plans to screen the iconic films in their 1997 re-release formats, meaning "Star Wars" diehards will have to put up with some of the more unpopular re-edits made by George Lucas many years after the movies left theaters. Such scenes include Greedo shooting first in his cantina duel with Han Solo in "A New Hope", and the Ewok’s cheery anthem "Yub Nub" being replaced by the "Victory Celebration" song in "Return of the Jedi." Still, "Star Wars" fans are certain to come out in full Force for a rare chance to see the legendary 1970s and '80s films on the big screen once again. The trilogy will be screened in New York City on August 6 at The Town Hall and on August 7 at the Kings Theater. Tickets go on sale on ReturnOfTheTrilogy.com on May 4, which is widely recognized as "Star Wars Day" thanks to the pun which plays off the famous line, "May the force be with you." Continue Reading

Nets’ Brook Lopez wants to play a wookiee in next ‘Star Wars’ movie

Brook Lopez isn’t the most willing participant in interviews, but bring up super heroes and villains and comic books and you get this: On Monday after practice, Lopez spent several minutes lobbying for a role in the next Star Wars movie as a wookiee. “I really would like to get a part, like a walk-on part, in the next Star Wars movie,” said Lopez, who is currently out with a back strain. “So, I’d like to lobby for that, too. So, let’s work on that, as well. I would really like to be a wookiee. They don’t need my ugly face in there. They don’t need me acting. I’m not going to blow anything, guys. C’mon, Mr. Lucas. I just want to be in the movie.” For the uninitiated, a wookiee is a class of tall, bushy humanoids that were residents of the planet Kashyyyk, according to an online definition on the website, starwars.wikia.com. The most famous wookiee was Chewbacca, Han Solo’s buddy and co-pilot. Chewbacca was very tall, and so is Lopez. “Yeah, exactly,” he said. “I feel like I could do it. I’m a huge Star Wars fan. I just want to be a part of it. I grew up watching it. I mean, I’d really like to be in the movie. So, you guys, you’re the media. This is like the perfect group to do it.” Lopez, when he got around to talking basketball said he didn’t care if is he loses his starting gig to Mason Plumlee when he’s ready to rejoin the lineup, saying, “(Coach) writes the lineups. I go out there and do whatever I do and get paid millions of dollars, even though I’m a moron.” But he sounded like a genius when discussing superheroes and villians, this after wearing a mask on an anti-gravity machine. “You guys are searching for the super villain, right? Bain, right? That’s Continue Reading

George Lucas won’t make any more ‘Star Wars’ movies because of grumbling fans

A Sith storm has erupted on the Internet after George Lucas vowed to never make another "Star Wars" movie — and put the blame squarely on complaining fanboys. The 67-year-old director, in an interview timed to the release of his new production, "Red Tails," said he was fed up with fans' meanspirited complaining about all the changes he has made to the original "Star Wars" trilogy and their gripes about the prequel trilogy. "On the Internet, all those same guys that are complaining I made a change are completely changing the movie," Lucas told The New York Times magazine, "I’m saying: 'Fine. But my movie, with my name on it, that says I did it, needs to be the way I want it.' "Why would I make any when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?" Fans who grew up with the original “Star Wars” movies have come out in Force to complain that Lucas has tinkered with their childhood. (There was a time when Han Solo shot first and when Sebastian Shaw played the ghost of Annakin Skywalker.) Lucas’ condemnation lent even more ammunition to some still getting over Jar Jar Binks. “Oh please get off the cross Lucas,” posted one commenter on Kotaku.com. But like it or not, Lucas is well within his rights: He owns the rights to the franchise and has always followed his instincts, studio (or any other) interference be damned. "There are different types of ‘Star Wars’ fans. There are the type who incessantly b---- at George Lucas over his changes and there are the ones who laugh at what George Lucas does and love him like a cranky grandfather," says Ain't It Cool News founder Harry Knowles, who counts himself in the second category. "When you really get down to it, a big chunk of what 'Star Wars' has become in the last 15 years — since the release of the special editions in theaters — part of the identity of it is for fans to whine and b----." Even Continue Reading

The definitive ranking of all 8 ‘Star Wars’ movies

Unless you’ve been held captive by a Wampa, crash-landed a TIE Fighter on Jakku or were eaten by the Sarlacc — we see you there, Boba Fett, keep hope alive — it’s probably not news that there's another Star Wars movie heading our way.For Thursday's 40th anniversary of Star Wars, nerds and civilians alike will again be busting out their Star Wars tapes and DVDs, special editions or original recipe, and rewatching the eight previous films to get jacked up for The Last Jedi (in theaters Dec. 15), the ninth chapter in this galactic saga.We’re no different. We're binging them again, too, and these are the rankings you’re looking for.George Lucas’ prequels get a bad rap and, well, they kind of deserve it at times. Especially this one. What basically is a two-hour trailer for the rest of Anakin Skywalker’s story is kind of a mess — he was immaculately conceived? What’s this about midichlorians and the Force? The pod-race set piece is fun the first five times yet gets old quick, Darth Maul is the coolest guy in the movie and he is in it for all of three minutes, trade negotiations are not the way to start a sci-fi movie, and as for Jar Jar Binks … yeah. One thing it does do well is set up the political atmosphere that leads to the Empire and introduces Anakin as the chosen one who will bring balance to the Force. Just not in the way anybody expects.There are so many sleek special effects used in this thing that you miss the trash heaps and spit-and-gum filmmaking of Lucas’ original movies. Also, Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman have ZERO chemistry as doomed lovers Anakin and Padmé — they have a picnic in the middle of the movie, battle monsters together on Geonosis and get married at the end, and yet even a modicum of actual romance isn’t to be found. That all said, Clones isn’t a bad film and it’s pretty Continue Reading

Emilia Clarke joins the upcoming Han Solo ‘Star Wars’ movie

Emilia Clarke rules as dragon queen of the Game of Thrones landscape but now she's going intergalactic.Lucasfilm announced Friday that the British actress has been cast to star in the untitled young Han Solo Star Wars movie, scheduled for release in 2018.Clarke, who stars as Daenerys Targaryen on Thrones and had a lead role in this past summer's Me Before You, is set to play a still-unknown role. She will share screen time with Alden Ehrenreich as cosmic smuggler Han and Donald Glover as fellow space gambler Lando Calrissian.Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie) will direct the Han Solo project, which takes place before the events of George Lucas' original Star Wars trilogy. Continue Reading

SEE IT: Filmmaker mashes up all six ‘Star Wars’ movies

A short time ago in this galaxy, someone decided to make all six "Star Wars" movies run atop each other concurrently. Fans looking to binge watch all six Star Wars films before the Dec. 15 release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” can do so in just less than 2 1/2 hours. In an insane YouTube video called “Star Wars Wars,” filmmaker Marcus Rosentrater layered “Star Wars,” “Empire Strikes Back,” “Return of the Jedi,” “The Phantom Menace,” “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith” on top of each other. A LONG TIME AWAY IN THIS VERY GALAXY: TAKING THE NIECE AND NEPHEW TO SEE 'THE FORCE AWAKENS' The audio tracks from all six movies are also layered, making for a bizarre audio mashup. Dialogue is almost impossible to pick out. Multiple C3POs wander across the screen in each direction, Princess Leia calmly talks in the middle of a battle, fights rage across the Death Star and the forests of Endor and end credits roll across the screen as action from other movies continues. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Disney sees strong quarterly earnings, expects big year thanks to new ‘Avengers’ and ‘Star Wars’ movies

Mickey Mouse can thank Disney World, the Marvel universe and a galaxy far, far away for lining the pockets of his little red shorts this year. Walt Disney Co.’s quarterly revenue handily beat Wall Street expectations, as families flocking to the company’s theme parks spent more and advertising sales and affiliate fees jumped at its TV networks. Overall revenue in Disney’s second fiscal quarter that ended March 28 was up 7% vs. the same period a year ago, to $12.5 billion, the company said Tuesday. Revenue from its theme parks rose 6%, to $3.8 billion, spurred by higher ticket prices and hotel rates at its flagship Walt Disney World in California. The company’s media networks business, which includes ESPN, ABC and the Disney channels, climbed 13%, to $5.81 billion, though operating income fell 2% due to increased programming costs at ESPN. Disney also benefited from the Christmas gift that keeps on giving: “Frozen,” the animated blockbuster that was released over the 2013 holiday season and has made nearly $1.3 billion worldwide. Toy sales and other merchandising tie-ins to the movie amounted to a 32% increase in Disney’s consumer products unit. “All of our businesses had a very strong quarter, but from a percentage increase perspective, parks and resorts and consumer products led the way,” Disney CEO Robert Iger said in a CNBC interview. The company’s yearly outlook is looking super-strong, with “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” starring a slew of Marvel superheroes, having raked in nearly $200 million at the box office since it opened last weekend. Disney, which acquired Marvel Entertainment in 2009, added the “Star Wars” franchise to its portfolio when it bought Lucasfilm in 2013. A seventh “Star Wars” movie is due in December. “The excitement around this movie is unlike anything we have ever Continue Reading