INDIE REVOLVER EXCLUSIVE: About That Maz Kanata Deleted Scene From Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-chief

Over the past week there has been a lot of discussion about a deleted scene from The Force Awakens featuring Maz Kanata in the tunnels under her castle.

Collider posted a great interview with some of the TFA SFX team including Chris Corbould, SFX Supervisor at Industrial Light & Magic, who mentioned the scene.

CHRIS CORBOULD: There was a particular part of a scene that never made it, where they go underneath the castle and they’re going into the underground passageways, and stormtroopers are coming down the stairs and Maz uses her powers to collapse the ceiling.

From my point of view, [that] worked absolutely brilliantly because you had all the main actors running up and then Maz does her bit and then the whole ceiling collapses in front of them, but that never made it. That was a shot I was quite proud of, actually, it worked really, really well.

Slashfilm referenced this scene (as well as quite a few others) that didn’t make the final cut of the film in a great piece shortly after the film was released.

“In the original script, Maz Kanata had Force powers. After the First Order begins their attack on the castle, Maz used her Force powers to cause the ceiling to cave in on a group of stormtroopers that had them cornered. In the sequence, Han Solo was forced to stall the stormtroopers to allow Maz to concentrate. There was a funny back and forth between him and the trooper. Han runs out of things to say so he rats out Finn, revealing that he recognized Finn’s stormtrooper boots — this is how he knew he wasn’t Resistance.”

The long evolution of Maz wasn’t just in her unique look, but also in her backstory and place within the film. J.J. has spoken about how Maz initially left the castle after its destruction with Han and crew and went to the Rebel base and delivers the lightsaber to General Leia, but cut it because “it felt it unnecessary.”

Abrams explains the excision to Entertainment Weekly:

“That was a scene actually filmed, but we took out. At one point, Maz used to continue along with the characters back to the Resistance base, but we realized that she really had nothing to do there of value, except to be sitting around.”

In the film Maz tells Rey, “I am no Jedi, but I know the force.” So she confides to knowing the force but doesn’t tip her hand that she herself wields the ability to harness the force in the capacity described by Chris Corbould above.

Given this information it should be of no surprise that at one point the idea of Maz being a Yoda-like character in the new trilogy was considered. There is even a piece of concept art (below) that shows one of the early versions of Maz teaching a group of younglings including a young human female. Perhaps Rey/Kira in an earlier iteration of the story? (Also note the E.T. looking alien in the back).

Perhaps the idea of Maz having force abilities was jettisoned because they decided that that wasn’t the direction they wanted to take the character, OR perhaps Maz’s story was trimmed down in order for some of this to be explored over the next two installments. I’d personally bet the latter since the idea of Maz using the force was taken as far as completed shots and then cut so close to the release. To make it that far I have to believe that they still liked the idea. I think it would be telling if they end up including the scene as part of the 10-20 minutes of deleted scenes on the future Blu-ray release. If they don’t want the idea in people’s minds they’ll surely keep the scene in the vault and keep it out of viewers minds.

I’m also including another early piece of Maz concept art from the process that shows that, like Yoda in the Original Trilogy, they were exploring the idea of Maz being a puppet, rather than a completely CG character (something I think I would have preferred).

What do you think? Will we see Maz Kanata wielding the force in future installments of the Sequel Trilogy? Would you have preferred they keep her force abilities in The Force Awakens?

INDIE REVOLVER EXCLUSIVE: The Entire Plot of Paul Feig’s GHOSTBUSTERS Revealed!

by: Steve Sullivan

Relatively speaking, filmmaking is a medium still in its infancy, and as a uniquely expensive popular art form it has spent the entirety of its formative years shackled to industry. Economic and creative interests rarely coincide, but Hollywood has spent a century seeking harmony between great storytelling and larger profits. The studios’ batting average has climbed and dropped throughout the seasons, and from time to time they’ve stepped up to smash one over the fences. Ghostbusters was a grand slam when it was released in 1984, one of the most beloved films that Hollywood has ever produced.

For twenty-five years, hopes for a third entry in the series were at lifted upon waves of Dan Aykroyd’s enthusiasm only to be smashed each time upon the rocks of Bill Murray’s inhospitable shores. The former has more invested in the property; the concept was his brainchild and Ghostbusters represents a distant high point in his career. While Peter Venkman may be Bill Murray’s most famous role, the eccentric actor has found new success and late-career validation in offbeat indies and dramatic parts. Together with director Ivan Reitman and their co-star/writer Harold Ramis, the two were said to exercise veto power over the Ghostbusters franchise and seemed eternally out of sync on its future. Sony Pictures, who inherited Ghostbusters by purchasing Columbia Pictures while the second film was still in theaters, remained hesitant throughout to revive Ghostbusters without Murray’s involvement. It wasn’t until Ramis passed away in February of 2014 that the studio began to consider the viability of new directions.

In October, Sony announced that they’d chosen Bridesmaids’ Paul Feig to write and direct the next installment of Ghostbusters. Feig revealed that the new film would be a hard reboot set in a world without Egon Spengler, Ray Stantz, Peter Venkman, and Winston Zeddemore, and that the new ghostbusting team would be comprised entirely of women. The director found himself facing intense and immediate backlash, and has responded to the criticisms with public statements about his detractors’ misogyny and oversensitivity.

“It’s so dramatic,” Feig said in a Variety interview published this week. “Honestly, the only way I could ruin your childhood is if I got into a time machine and went back and made you an orphan.”

The reboot’s naysayers do not all belong to the camps which Feig has called out. In sniping back at the bored Twitter fringe, he addresses tangential social issues but sidesteps the growing frustration with the way Hollywood executives make creative decisions. It’s unsurprising that Feig’s not able to summon a strong defense for his approach. He wasn’t interested in the job, but former head of Sony Pictures Amy Pascal kept pushing to bring him on board.

“I was courting him for like a year,” Pascal told Jenelle Riley. She was convinced that the project needed “somebody who was going to do an entirely different idea, equally brilliant and completely their own thing.”

Sony Pictures is home to precious few dependable franchises. While James Bond is enjoying a critical upswing, the studio has somehow managed to misfire on three consecutive outings with Spider-Man while fast-tracking a second Smurfs sequel which nobody wants. Pascal and Sony saw Feig as a sure thing in the wake of the director’s impressive run at the box office, and their business-first approach led them to pursue a talent who admitted he had no clue how to approach the property. When Feig eventually suggested that he could deliver his usual brand of female ensemble comedy wallpapered with the Ghostbusters brand, Sony celebrated that they’d signed their man.

The problem with the new Ghostbusters is not that Feig wrote his story around a team of women. What’s troubling is that Sony hired a director who’s got a limited comfort zone and force fit an iconic property into that mold.

Filmmakers have been reinterpreting stories in movies and television from the beginning. The lack of respect often shown to remakes by critics is not always reflected at the box office, as familiar brands continue to fill theater seats. Nor can it be said that a derivative film can’t be an interesting exercise. Alfred Hitchcock and Michael Mann each revisited their own stories in order to improve upon them. Gus Van Sant attempted to relive Hitchcock’s Psycho experience shot-for-shot. For most, the titles of Ocean’s Eleven and The Maltese Falcon conjure images of their impressive remakes over the originals. When a talented filmmaker has a bold vision for a new direction, it’s often worth giving them the opportunity to try. Sadly, that doesn’t appear to be the fate for Ghostbusters.

Recently, we had an opportunity to read a breakdown of the reboot’s story. Far from being inspired or confident, the outline of the new Ghostbusters film represents a departure from the familiar story in mostly unimportant ways. The scientists who strike out on their own business venture are, of course, women instead of men. Their adventure begins at Columbia, the real-life school which stood in for the university which banished Venkman, Stantz, and Spengler to the private sector. The script goes out of its way to reference the original film unnecessarily – a realtor shows the women a firehouse before they find their ultimate headquarters above a chinese restaurant (where one might assume they’ll spend “the last of the petty cash”). The movie promises an origin story for a reinterpreted Slimer; their company car is an old white hearse. If the film is going to spend so much time winking at its predecessor, why discard its solid foundation to begin with? Ghostbusters was a concept ready-made for expansion, as an eager Venkman once promised that “the franchise rights alone” would make them rich beyond their wildest dreams.

Pascal was reassigned within the Sony Pictures organization after hackers released her private emails featuring racist jokes about President Obama and complaints about working with Angelina Jolie. In the months since her departure, Sony has projected a confused image on the Ghostbusters front. With Feig’s film in pre-production, the studio let slip that another team (including Channing Tatum and Chris Pratt) was also developing their own Ghostbusters script. It may be too much to hope that Pascal’s replacement, the notoriously penny-pinching Tom Rothman, is reconsidering the Feig project for creative reasons, but it would certainly be welcome.

The true magic of great comedies rarely lives on the page, but is revealed only when the writing, direction, performances and editing succeed together. Paul Feig’s attempt at Ghostbusters may ultimately be funny when it elbows its way into theaters in July of next year, but being funny alone will not earn it a place with the original.

The story outline (which we’ve confirmed is legitimate) is reprinted in full below. This is a lazy treatment for a treasured property. Ghostbusters deserved better.

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  • Kristen Wiig will be playing Erin Gabler, a science professor at Columbia University, who years prior co-authored a book with Abby Bergman, played by Melissa McCarthy, titled “Ghosts From our Past: Both Literally and Figuratively – The Study of Paranormal Knowing.“
  • The two have not spoken in years but are brought together when Erin is approached by a gentleman looking for help with a haunting. It’s during this interaction that Erin learns that Abby has made their book available online. Erin fears what the book could do to her credibility if it’s discovered and approaches her old friend to take the book out of circulation. Abby agrees only after she offers to bring her and her colleague Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) along to look into the haunting.
  • Abby is a professor of paranormal studies at a third-rate university in the Bronx where she works with Jillian.  Jillian is the Egon of Feig’s story. She’s invented a PKE Meter that she brings to test during this first investigation.
  • At the site of the haunting they encounter slime followed by the ghost of a young girl who proceeds to slime Erin. (Sound familiar?) Abby catches the incident on film. The video goes viral but the majority of the public doesn’t believe the video is real. The circumstances around the situation cause Erin to lose her job at Columbia.
  • Abby proposes the three set up a business investigating paranormal disturbances. Erin reluctantly agrees and the three embark on setting up a paranormal extermination business.
  • They next need to locate an office for their new business. The realtor shows them a perfect spot, a renovated fire house that is way too far out of their price range. They instead end up in an apartment above a Chinese restaurant.
  • We are next introduced to Patty Tolan, played by Leslie Jones, who works in the tunnels under New York City. While underground she encounters the film’s villain Rowan Elgin (The role Peter Dinklage is rumored for) carrying a device. She pursues Tolan but he gives her the slip. After losing him, she stumbles upon his device attached to the wall. A ghost in clothing from the 1600’s appears from the device and chases Patty until a train appears and hits the ghost, causing it to vanish.
  • Meanwhile, Erin, Abby and Jillian and their new intern named Kevin are brainstorming ideas for a logo for the business website when Patty arrives. Patty brings them down to the tunnel to show them the device.
  • Patty proposes that they let her join the team, offering them the use of her uncle’s vehicle for the business, an old white hearse.
  • The newly formed team gets their first official gig at Rockefeller Center where they are hired to get rid of the ghost of a fat Mafioso. They test out Jillian’s newest invention, the Proton Pack, on the ghost. The pack ends up shooting off the ghost’s arms, legs and torso, leaving only a disembodied green head (Yup, Slimer). The head manages to get away.
  • Much like their previous video, the video of their fight with the fat green ghost again goes viral, but again it’s viewed as a hoax. The evening news reports on the event, jokingly referring to them as the Ghostbusters.
  • The team’s next call brings them to a comic convention where they arrive dressed in old underground maintenance uniforms provided by Patty carrying Proton Packs, blending in with all the other cosplayers. A battle breaks out when they locate the demon-looking ghost. The crowd cheers, thinking it’s all part of the convention.
  • The Ghostbusters eventually deduce that the rise in paranormal activity is the result of Rowan who has ties to very old secret society and has been working on building a machine that will release all the ghosts in the city to facilitate the release of an ancient Sumerian god of darkness who will bring about the end of all humanity.
  • They get to Rowan too late as his machine has created a large supernatural cloud that begins to rain slime. The Army arrives to provide assistance but the raining slime causes them to become possessed. The team must find a way to stop Rowan as his machine begins to release a horde of ghosts from all periods of New York history.  While there is no Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, there is a ghost T-Rex.

Flash / Supergirl Crossover WILL Happen!

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

Even before it hit the airwaves, fans were asking if CBS’ newest show Supergirl was going to have any involvement with the Arrow / Flash Universe on the CW network. While producers denied that it was ever going to be a possibility, the recent announcement that the Scarlet Speedster will guest star on the Girl Of Steel’s show proves that if the fans want it bad enough then the Powers-That-Be will make it happen.

Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, both of whom are producers on Flash and Supergirl, made it official today in a released statement:

We are so incredibly excited to announce something that we have dreamed of happening since we starting making Supergirl The Flash and Supergirl are teaming up!. We want to thank Grant Gustin for making the time to come visit (on top of his already immense workload) and all of the folks at CBS, The CW, Warner Bros. and DC for working this out. And finally thanks to the fans and journalists who have kept asking for this to happen. It is our pleasure and hope to create an episode worthy of everyone’s enthusiasm and support.

This could have happened a lot sooner (and easier) but CW passed on Supergirl, not wanting to glut their network with superhero shows. Well their loss is CBS’ gain, as Supergirl has been getting really good reviews and has struck a chord with fans.

Deadline reports that this will be a one-way crossover of sorts, as there aren’t any plans to have Kara do a stint in Central City. Supergirl has a little bigger budget than Flash, so the main reason is monetary. But it also makes sense storywise too. As Flash has the ability to cross dimensions and universes, him making the trip to Supergirl’s neck of the woods is feasible. Sadly this also kind of confirms that the two heroes don’t share a universe, so don’t expect to see Supergirl swing by Star City or join up with Rip Hunter.

You can catch the Flash / Supergirl crossover on CBS on Monday, March 28 at 9pm, EST.

Dates set for Fast and Furious 9 and 10

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

It’s time to pull up to the line and make sure you’ve got a full tank, because the Fast and Furious franchise has just announced when fans will be able to see the “last” three films of the series.

The final trilogy of films will release every other year starting in 2017. Producer and star Vin Diesel made the announcement via his Instagram page. Fast 8 is already set for April 14, 2017. 9 will drop on April 19, 2019 and 10 will take the series over the finish line on April 2, 2021.

At this time we know nothing about the ninth and tenth installments. We don’t even know what the story will be for Fast 8. No stars have been announced, but it’s a safe bet that anyone who was involved in past films will be fair game for the next three.

Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray has been tapped to helm the eighth film in the franchise that started as a not very veiled knock-off of Point Break, but with cars instead of surfing.

This is a huge accomplishment for the saga. If it goes all the way to 2021 it will have ten films over the span of two decades time. It did have a rocky start with a couple of so-so sequels, but turned around with the fourth film, Fast & Furious, and hasn’t checked the rearview mirror since.

 

MacGyver Prequel Series Coming to TV

MACGYVER, Richard Dean Anderson, (Season 2), 1985-92, © Paramount TV / Courtesy: Everett Collection

MACGYVER, Richard Dean Anderson, (Season 2), 1985-92, © Paramount TV / Courtesy: Everett Collection

by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

A few years back it was rumored that James Wan would be directing a MacGyver film for theatrical release. But Wan has turned into somewhat of a big-time director and it seems that film just fell to the wayside.

But the MacGyver reboot is back on and Wan is still apparently involved with the project. TV Line reports that instead of a feature film it will come back as a TV show.

Odds are good that with Wan’s schedule he’ll most likely direct the pilot and then depart for larger, big-screen projects.

The series will be a reboot / prequel that follows a twenty-something MacGyver as he gets recruited by a clandestine organization that has need of his particular skill set. The on-the-fly inventor will use his penchant for making cool stuff out of seemingly random objects to help prevent disasters around the globe. This might sound familiar if you’re familiar with the CW’s unaired pilot of Young MacGyver from 2003 starring Supernatural’s Jared Padalecki playing Clay MacGyver, nephew of Richard Dean Anderson’s Angus Macgyver.


The original series, which ran from 1985 through 1992, starred Richard Dean Anderson as secret agent Angus MacGyver. He was educated as a scientist and had skills as a Bomb Team Tech. MacGyver would use his knowledge to solve problems using everyday items and preferred non-lethal solutions.

It was a cool show for its time but in a world of tough-as-nails Jason Bourne, an updated and ass-kicking James Bond and the newest big action-spy hit Kingsman, is a MacGyver reboot really necessary?

Remember the time that Supernatural’s Jared Padalecki played Young MacGyver back in 2003? Probably not, so here you go:

The Exorcist Coming to TV With Rupert Wyatt at the Helm

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

Most will agree that even after all these years The Exorcist is still one of the scariest films ever made. But now FOX is looking to give you the creeps on a week by week basis, as the network is working on a serialized adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s book – and they’ve picked a top notch director to open things up.

Deadline reports that Rupert Wyatt has stepped up to the plate to direct the first episode. Originally the job was going to be Sean Durkin’s, the director of Martha Marcy May Marlene. But he departed the project a while back (and is now set to helm the big screen version of Little House on the Prairie) and Fantastic Four screenwriter Jeremy Slater was recruited to rework the project.

The new series will be based on Blatty’s novel but is being said to bring a new twist on the classic material. It has been described as “as a propulsive, serialized psychological thriller following two very different men tackling one family’s case of horrifying demonic possession and confronting the face of true evil.”

Wyatt, the man behind the camera on Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the remake of The Gambler, was most recently attached to the next big X-Men franchise film Gambit. He left however due to “creative differences.” His work so far though has been quality stuff, so I’m interested to see what he does with The Exorcist.

Possession seems to be the hot button topic as of late. With this and Showtime’s Outcast, based on the Image / Skybound comic from writer Robert Kirkman that deals with a demonic possession of sorts, we’ll have our Halloween binge watching all mapped out for us.

No word was given yet on when this project will debut.

The Film Adaptation for Comic Descender Finds a Writer

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

Even before the first issue hit the stands, Sony snatched up the rights to the new Image Comics project Descender. The book, from writer Jeff Lemire and artist Dustin Nguyen, is set in a time where anything robotic is hunted and scrapped. But one android, TIM-21, may hold answers to stopping universe-wide destruction. Now, along with a rag-tag group of renegade robots, TIM-21 is constantly on the move in a galaxy that wants to capture him for one reason or another.

The Hollywood Reporter dropped the news that Sony has found a writer for their adaptation and that man is…Jesse Wigutow.

Wait, who? Wigutow has mainly done a couple of shorts and a made-for-TV movie. He’s been involved in the writing of the Tron: Legacy sequel and the early drafts of ill-fated Crow reboot. He’s also been working on a film adaptation of the Brian Michael Bendis graphic novel Fire. Descender may be Wigutow’s first major work to hit the big screen.

I’ve been reading the comic since the first issue and it’s a really good story. I just don’t know how I feel about it being a major motion picture. Even if it gets the trilogy treatment this is a tale that I’m thinking is best left to unfold over a long period of time. I would rather have seen it get the episodic treatment of TV or a streaming entertainment provider.

But if Wigutow can find a way to make it work, more power to him. Right now Sony has no immediate plans for filming or release but that could change depending on how much they like what Wigutow provides them.

Scoot McNairy’s Role Revealed in Batman V Superman?

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

A while ago it was rumored that Scoot McNairy would be playing a significant role in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. He was seen wearing green knee-high socks on set, the kind used in post-production digital effects. It was speculated early on that he could have been The Flash, but the casting of Ezra Miller proved that rumor incorrect. It was then thought that he could be Jimmy Olsen, a young photographer that was wounded in the Battle of Metropolis between Superman and Zod.

But it would seem those rumors are wrong as well. Latino Review says they have the inside scoop on who McNairy is playing and it’s an interesting role.

As this could be considered a SPOILER, we’ll let you stop reading now if you want…

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Still here? Cool.

So the word is that McNairy will be playing someone who is wheelchair-bound due to the battle at the end of Man of Steel. The character will be brought in to testify against Superman at the Senate hearings. But there’s more to him. Apparently this character will also be a victim of Lex Luthor.

It’s being said that Luthor is turning him into a human bomb, to get close to / hurt Superman. Could he be full of Kryptonite shrapnel? Or is it just the fact that a bomb went off around Superman and he couldn’t save innocent lives enough to tarnish Kal-El’s reputation?

We’ll find out when Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters March 25.

Your First Look at Chris Hemsworth Among 5 New Ghostbusters Images

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-chief

We’ve yet to see any footage of Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters remake (I hear that we will in the near future though) but that hasn’t stopped Sony from releasing plenty of images. This newest batch features our first look at Chris Hemsworth as Kevin the intern in original drafts of the script as well as the rest of the team consisting of, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon.

There’s nothing particularly interesting about any of these new images. Hopefully something decent comes of this film, though I highly doubt it if it resembles the original plot breakdown we published about ten months ago. Feig’s assembled a very talented cast of very funny women, I just hope they are able to rise above the subpar rehash of the original films…

Elizabeth Banks is Repulsa in Power Rangers Film

Elizabeth Banks

by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

Elizabeth Banks is about to show us it’s good to be bad.

The actress / producer / director has decided that for her next role she’s going to play a major villain. The Hollywood Reporter has the news that Banks has signed on to play alien witch Rita Repulsa in Lionsgate’s big-screen adaptation of Power Rangers.

Banks had a huge 2015. Her directorial debut with Pitch Perfect 2 did really good at the box office and she reprised her role of Effie Trinket in the final Hunger Games installment, Mockingjay Part 2.

The film will take a new group of teenagers – RJ Cyler. Becky G, Dacre Montgomery, Ludi Lin and Naomi Scott – and give them the colorful costumes and dinosaur robots that will help them attempt to stop Rita Repulsa and her plot to take over Earth.

Project Almanac director Dean Israelite is directing from a script by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. The duo of Sazama and Sharpless don’t exactly inspire a lot of faith, with their past efforts totaling Dracula Untold, The Last Witch Hunter and the upcoming (and utterly cheesy looking) Gods of Egypt.

But this is a cheesy franchise which many will look at through those rose-colored glasses that will allow them to just turn off their brains and enjoy a hokey film.

Power Rangers is currently on the schedule for March 2017.

 

 

James Gunn Confirms Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 News… Kinda

James Gunn

by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

James Gunn, director of the fan favorite Marvel film Guardians of the Galaxy, has been very guarded with the info that he’s let come out for the next installment in the space odyssey. He’s gone so far as to say that if you don’t hear it from him then it’s not true – and he’s not spilling any beans about anything.

But even the toughest nuts crack, and Gunn recently took to twitter to answer fan questions about what we can expect. And while he didn’t give anything away he did tease us in a spectacular way.

Firstly, he confirmed that not only has the big bad of the film been  cast but Star-Lord’s dad has also been cast. And while fans may think they know, Gunn assures us that we really don’t know anything as he “won’t get into his name but he’s not the same character as in the comics.”

Gunn confirmed that it took almost a year to get the initial draft of the Guardians sequel script just right and that besides budget concerns, Marvel Studios hasn’t shot down anything he’s wanted to do as of yet (which is smart considering how successful the first film was).

The filmmaker also said that he knows what is going to happen in Avengers: Infinity Wars which leads me to believe that GOTG Vol 2 will have major repercussions on what happens on Earth (or Terra as Yondu calls it) OR that the Guardians will make their planetside debut in the battle against Thanos.

Finally, while he did say that he’d be open to other Marvel Studios films, they would be more grounded, but he doesn’t see Captain Marvel or Inhumans in his future.

While not exactly cracking the Rosetta Stone, any news is good news. And now that we know the father of Peter Quill has been cast you can bet that eyes will be peeled to casting sheets to see if anyone can sneak a peek at just who that may be come time for filming to begin.

Guradians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is set to blast into theaters May 5, 2017.

Noomi Rapace Will NOT be Back for Alien: Covenant

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

Even though Alien: Covenant will be a sequel to Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, only half of the surviving team will be making a comeback.

Noomi Rapace, who portrayed Dr. Elizabeth Shaw and was the only human who walked away from the carnage of the doomed mission of the Prometheus, will not return for the continuing adventure that will lead up to the events that happened in the sci-fi classic Alien.

Ridley Scott confirmed this with The Daily Mail, saying that Rapace will not be returning and that casting for the main roles are still ongoing (although it has been confirmed that Katherine Waterson will be one of the new crew members in Covenant).

Michael Fassbender will reprise his role as the android David. It’s unknown right now as to whether or not we’ll find out exactly what happened to Shaw and how David wound up alone. We do know that the film will take place ten years after the events of Prometheus, when a ship called Covenant touches down on a deserted planet whose lone inhabitant is David.

Alien: Covenant is scheduled to hit theaters October 6, 2017.

Naomi Watts and Others Join Twin Peaks Revival

Mulholland Drive Watts

by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

Even though Kyle MacLachlan is the only confirmed name for Showtime’s Twin Peaks revival that hasn’t stopped the internet from coming up with an all-star cast of rumored names that may or may not be showing up in the weirdest little town in America. Original favorites like Sheryl Lee, Sherilyn Fenn and Miguel Ferrer and new names like Amanda Seyfried and Jennifer Jason Leigh have been attached but unconfirmed.

Deadline may have hit upon a real goldmine with the latest names that are being bandied about. Apparently Naomi Watts, Tom Sizemore and director David Lynch himself will be in front of the cameras when the filming begins.

Watts got her first big start in Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, so it doesn’t come as a big shock that she might want in on his next big project. And Sizemore is a fun actor to have on board, but no one was commenting on it for the Deadline crew when they asked.

Lynch himself is reprising his role as FBI Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole is probably the icing on the cake for Peaks fans.

David Lynch is returning to co-write the series with co-creator Mark Frost. He will also be handling directing duties on each episode, ensuring that fans get the most authentic Twin Peaks story that can be told.

The series is set to premiere on Showtime in early 2017.

Director’s Cut of Deadpool is Already Being Teased

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

With a character like Deadpool, you need A LOT of leeway. Marvel edits the comics to keep the character just this side of being in their MAX imprint, but sometimes it’s just barely. When the film was announced, the filmmakers knew they needed an R rating to keep the spirit of the Merc With A Mouth true. But is that all director Tim Miller has to offer?

The answer is “no.”

According to TJ Miller, who plays Weasel in the film and has had some of the best lines in the red-band trailers so far, confirmed that a Director’s Cut will be debuting and that it will bring what we thought was an already raunchy and violent film to a whole new level.

At a fan event in London, Miller said that we’d be seeing a dirtier ‘Pool than we’ll see this Valentine’s Day:

But yeah, so the idea that when you see the fall director’s cut of it, that that’s going to be even more raw, that’s pretty heavy duty.

Does this mean more violence? Bawdier language? Extreme full-frontal nudity? How could this get any dirtier other than being NC-17?

I already figured that we’d get a bunch of gag reel footage and deleted outtakes with guys like Miller and the witty Ryan Reynolds in front of the camera. But if it gets spliced into a new cut of the film, I’m curious as to what exactly this is.

This could be released on Blu-ray / DVD but that wasn’t specified. If it makes enough bank it could makes its way back into theaters, to double dip on the fans that would pay the money to see a dirtier version on the big screen.

Time will tell. For now though, Deadpool is set to hit theaters February 12.

Don’t Close Your Eyes During the New Trailer For Robert Eggers’ The Witch

The Witch

With every new bit that’s released, my anticipation grows for Robert Eggers’ The Witch.

We’re getting close, the film is set to scare the hell out of audiences on February 19th.

Official Synopsis: 

In this exquisitely made and terrifying new horror film, the age-old concepts of witchcraft, black magic and possession are innovatively brought together to tell the intimate and riveting story of one familys frightful unraveling in the New England wilderness circa 1630.

New England, 1630. Upon threat of banishment by the church, an English farmer leaves his colonial plantation, relocating his wife and five children to a remote plot of land on the edge of an ominous forest — within which lurks an unknown evil. Strange and unsettling things begin to happen almost immediately — animals turn malevolent, crops fail, and one child disappears as another becomes seemingly possessed by an evil spirit. With suspicion and paranoia mounting, family members accuse teenage daughter Thomasin of witchcraft, charges she adamantly denies. As circumstances grow more treacherous, each family member’s faith, loyalty and love become tested in shocking and unforgettable ways.

 

Writer/director Robert Eggers debut feature, which premiered to great acclaim at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival — winning the Best Director Prize in the U.S. Narrative Competition — painstakingly recreates a God-fearing New England decades before the 1692 Salem witch trials, in which religious convictions tragically turned to mass hysteria. Told through the eyes of the adolescent Thomasin — in a star-making turn by newcomer Anya Taylor-Joy — and supported by mesmerizing camera work and a powerful musical score, THE WITCH is a chilling and groundbreaking new take on the genre.

Iron Fist Lands Series Writer and… Iron Fist

Iron Fist

by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

We’ve got two Marvel / Netflix series out so far (Daredevil and Jessica Jones) and both have arrived to rave reviews from critics and fans alike. Two more were announced but are yet to debut – the currently filming Luke Cage and the still-in-development Iron Fist. News on Iron Fist has been slowly trickling out, but today may as well have been a dam breaking as we learned of a writer for the series and that a leading man may have already been chosen.

First up is the writer. On Twitter, Jessica Jones writer Scott Reynolds updated his background to include the kung-fu hero as well as describe himself as the current Iron Fist writer. There hasn’t been any official announcement, but something is better than nothing at this point where Iron Fist is concerned.

Most interesting is that apparently the choice for Danny Rand, the Iron Fist himself, has been finalized. Mike Colter, who has played Luke Cage in both Jessica Jones and his self-titled series, spoke with Collider regarding who will play Cage’s fellow Hero-For-Hire:

The actor has been cast, but he’s in a basement somewhere. When the time is right, they’ll let him up and tell him where he is. I am [excited]. I’ll get a nice little break, after doing Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. Whether I’m in [his show], I don’t know, but there’s The Defenders.

Comic book fans know that Luke Cage and Danny Rand are near-inseparable best buddies known as the Heroes For Hire. Could Colter know who is playing Danny because he cameos on Luke Cage, starting the budding friendship that will eventually lead into a lucrative business? And could the reason that Colter gets a break be because the Iron Fist series is a straight-up origin set in the mystical city of K’un Lun?

As soon as we get more concrete details we’ll post them here!

Is Schwarzenegger Really Reprising Conan in a New Film?

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

He might not be back as the T-800 in any new Terminator films, but that’s not stopping Arnold Schwarzenegger from dusting off another one of his old aliases for an upcoming film.

At a special Q & A in the U.K. (which TheArnoldFans.com transcribed), the former Governor of California said that he’ll be taking up the sword and loincloth once again and playing Conan the Barbarian in a continuation of the films from the early 1980s.

Arnold said that the story will be a natural progression from where we last left the Cimmerian:

I’m sitting on the throne for years and years — decades, and then all of the sudden, the time comes when they want to overthrow me.

Even though he seems like he might not be able to hold his own at the age of 68, Schwarzenegger has assured his fans that he still has plenty of gas left in his tank:

I did all the physical stuff [of my last few movies] and it didn’t wipe me out and I have plenty of energy and feel really terrific. So I am absolutely convinced that I can do the Conan movie and do the horseback riding, the sword fights, and all the fighting.

If Arnold can still do all the physical stuff for this film I will be highly impressed. I’m just worried about what he might look like in the (possibly) revealing outfits. Being able to do the stunts is one thing. Looking the part without the help of a lot of CGI is another.

Currently the search for a director is the next step, as Arnold said last year that he has read a script (when the project was known as Legend Of Conan) and said that it was very well written. No timetable for release has been announced as of yet.

See Quentin Tarantino Read his Original Opening to Kill Bill!

Tarantino

by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-chief

There are few things I love more than reading a Quentin Tarantino script. His scripts are very different animals than most screenplays because he’s writing for himself and he takes his time describing things and really setting the scene. You really can see the whole film playing in your head and it’s impossible not to imagine each word coming directly out of his mouth because he writes just like he speaks. I would frankly plunk down good money to buy audio versions of him just reading his scripts.

If you’re like me this is probably right up your alley. Below you’ll find a video shot by Robert Rodriguez in 1994 of Tarantino reading his original opening to Kill Bill. It’s brief, only a couple of minutes, but I love how into it he is and the joy that Rodriguez gets in listening to him go through it. I literally groaned when it ended because I wanted more.

Miranda Otto to Fight Terrorists on 24: Legacy

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

It looks like FOX has found their female Jack Bauer.

Days after casting Corey Hawkins FOX has set their sights on and signed Miranda Otto as the leading actress in 24: Legacy.

Otto will star as Rebecca Ingram, former head of CTU. She’s now married to Sen. John Donovan (an as yet uncast role) and questions whether or not leaving the counter-terrorism unit was the right idea.

The actress was a regular on Homeland until last year, so she should feel right at home in the world of government politics and terrorism. She was originally supposed to be in HBO’s Westworld series, which is currently filming, but left that (possibly for this).

The new series will be following the same formula as its predecessor, meaning we’ll get a terror plot against America that will most likely lead to another terror plot and possibly another terror plot – like a Russian nesting doll of attacks.

No word yet on when the series will debut or even when shooting begins, but as soon as we find out we’ll let you know.

 

Kingsman Sequel to Have Some International Flair

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

One of my favorite action films last year was Kingsman: The Secret Service. I called it the spy film that Spectre wishes it was and I wholly stand behind that statement. It was a breath of fresh air in a stale genre and it was obvious from its box office receipts that a sequel was forthcoming.

With Matthew Vaughn returning to the helm the sequel (which is a first for the director) and star Taron Egerton reprising his role as Eggsy, the Kingsman sequel is all set to start filming this summer. But what will the film do to top the original?

Luckily Egerton has an update on that for us. While at Sundance for a special surprise screening of his upcoming film Eddie the Eagle, the actor talked about what lies ahead for the young superspy:

With Kingsman, we’re shooting in the summer at present. There’s a script, it’s brilliant. Obviously there’s only so much I can say but what I can say is that we shot the first one all in the UK, that won’t be the case with the next one. It’s a far more international story, we’re going to some incredible places, and we have a villain to rival Samuel L. Jackson – this new one is so brilliantly written I wish I could play it. It’s amazing.

So we’ll be doing a bit of globe-trotting in the sequel? I’m down for seeing Eggsy and crew travel around the world and kicking ass . And now I’m very curious as to who will be cast as the villain, if Egerton believes the role is that good.

Kingsman 2 is penciled in for Summer 2017. Keep checking back here for casting and plot updates as they become available.

Our New Batman Kills Dudes Which Makes Him Edgy

BvS 2

by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

So Batman as a character has some major rules that he doesn’t break. Chief among them are that he doesn’t use guns and that he doesn’t kill. The original iteration back when he debuted in 1939 broke both of those rules, but for the most part, since the middle of the Golden Age of comics, the Dark Knight does not take a life.

Until now.

Charles Roven, one of the producers of the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, talked to Empire about why Batman seems so angry in the trailers and TV spots that we’ve been seeing:

[Batman] is not giving people a chance. He is more than a vigilante. He has become not only the cop, if you will, he has also become the jury and the executioner. He’s older and he’s seen the worst of what man can do. He’s been darkened by it, he’s tougher, he’s angrier I guess. He’s still lost those that are near and dear to him and not necessarily from old age or disease.

So Batman kills the bad guys? First Superman killed Zod in Man of Steel (which I was thoroughly enjoying up until that part) and now we have to deal with Batman whacking bad guys left and right? I could see him being a little rougher thanks to what would appear to be a dead sidekick memorial (from the trailer), but killing? To be fair, he has killed in other films, but this quote makes it sound much more cavalier than the killing that’s taken place in other Batman films. I’d say Burton’s Batman was the most liberal with doling out death sentences while Nolan went out of his way to explain why Batman didn’t take lives in Batman Begins.

I’ve been looking forward to Ben Affleck as Batman for some time now, but I’m finding harder and harder to have faith in this film with each and every passing day.

I’ll pass judgment when I see the finished product on March 25. Until then take a look at Empires newest hi-res images…

A Classic OT Star Wars Character May be Gearing up for Action in Rogue One

Star Wars Darth Vader

by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

So we’ve all seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens (in some cases more than a few times) and we’re now gearing up for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, right? I know I am. A real war film involving the theft of the plans to the original Death Star set in the Original Trilogy timeline with no Jedi? This sounds like an original idea that really has some legs.

We’ve heard rumors of possible cameos from characters in that time period, more specifically a couple of old-school villains. And Making Star Wars has the good word that we’re going to see a classic villain in action.

These are possible SPOILERS so read ahead with caution…

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Still here? Good…let’s begin.

So it looks like we may be seeing none other than Darth Vader in action. And not just in action but apparently he’ll be kicking major ass!

The action sequences filmed are unknown, but there was work pitching the different ways Darth Vader could kill rebels on a battlefield with the Force and his lightsaber. The storyboard “pitches” showing decapitated rebels, people being dismembered by Vader throwing his sword, levitating bodies to make human shields and so on. The art was more violent than what we’ve seen Darth Vader do on screen before.

It seems as though they went through great effort to ensure Vader’s suit matches his suit exactly from A New Hope, down to the lenses in the helmet.

There are some people that will complain because we were told no Jedi and no Force in this film. To them I say – suck it up and deal, technically Vader is a Sith, not a Jedi anyway! The last time we saw Vader onscreen was when he was screaming like a candyass for Padme. I need this rectified. I need to see a badass Darth Vader killing dudes left and right.

December can’t come soon enough!!!