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Star Wars 7 Connections to First Trilogy

The release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a mere seven months away and is guaranteed to be one of the hottest movies of the year. The fact that it’s been a decade since the last Star Wars live action movie came out make it more so.

With Disney at the helm, after having acquired Lucasfilm three years ago, the company has now looked towards making Star Wars part of a shared universe of sorts. This would be due to a new trilogy of Star Wars movies coming, including some extra spin off movies in development right now.

The idea of a shared universe comes from Disney implementing the Marvel Cinematic Universe into theaters, Avengers: Age of Ultron being the latest installment of this. Director J.J. Abrams is mainly on board with this, and has recently stated that The Force Awakens will only include “essential” references to the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy of the Star Wars franchise. He added that there were tons of references but they were taken out of fear that audiences would think the staff was trying too hard to establish the movie.

All of this is notable considering that the prequel trilogy, created by George Lucas, was laced with mixed reactions by moviegoers, and now fans are somewhat hopeful that Abrams can do a good job this time.

Thanks to Sergio Cortes for showing me this.

Indiana Jones Franchise to Continue

Ever since Disney acquired the rights to all Lucasfilm movie franchises (and by all, we mean Star Wars and Indiana Jones), we’ve been seeing a little more of a proactive approach to the continuation of some of cinema’s most beloved series. Star Wars Episodes XII, XIII, and IX are already in full swing. Two stand-alone Star Wars stories have already been greenlit for production. And now it would appear that Kathleen Kennedy, the president of Lucasfilm, has confirmed that another Indiana Jones film will be made in the near (or not so near) future. It is unclear who will play the coveted role of Henry (Indiana) Jones, Jr. There has been some talk about popular heartthrob Chris Pratt reprising the role, but that is just a rumor at this point. The Epoch Times along with Paul Mathieson noted that there is no script at this point, but another movie in the Indiana Jones series will definitely be made soon, and that is sure to warm the hearts of many a fanboy across the nation. Even if the great Harrison Ford is unable to play the one part for which he is possibly best known, we are sure to be excited about another archaeological adventure with paranormal bad guys and evil Nazis coming our way.

Avenger’s Sequel Breaks All Records Except One

The new Marvel movie, “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” has succeeded in being the summer’s first blockbuster film by topping the US and Canadian box office receipts at $191.3 million (USD or £126.5 million). This is the second biggest movie opening weekend ever in the United States. Ironically, Age of Ultron failed to surpass the original record breaker opening of the first Avengers movie. The original took in $207.4 million (USD or £137.2 million) during its 2012 opening debut. Regardless of not breaking the weekend record, Age of Ultron crushed its weekend competition, the second place film was “Age of Adaline,” took in just $6.3 million (USD or £4.2 million).Marvel Disney Offering Avengers: Age of Ultron A Smash

The latest edition from the Marvel/Disney Film shop also continued to dominate world wide. It was the leading film in the United Kingdom for the second week in a row and completed the weekend with a gross of $631.1 million (USD or £417.5 million) globally to date.

Movie economist Ray Lane believes that Age of Ultron would have done even better but for the supreme number of quality sporting events which took place on the same weekend (find more on HP). This included the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao’s Las Vegas boxing match, the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby and a thrilling NBA playoff game 7 between the Los Angeles Clippers and the San Antonio Spurs.

Age of Ultron Was to Feature Grey Hulk

Grey Hulk Was Expected for Age of Ultron

Only this past weekend, did Marvel’s newest flick, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” bust into theaters and end up sweeping the box office. As Twitter user Brian Torchin expected the film was a major success.

However, the finished product of the film wasn’t exactly the same as what was originally slated to appear. For one, the Hulk, who is one of the most famous Marvel characters overall was going to have a different look this time around. In fact what many don’t seem to know is that the original Hulk in the comics was gray in color.

The reason for why the Hulk is green is because comic creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby had problems with the ink in the early comics, so they changed the Hulk’s color to green. This is relevant because the gray Hulk was originally supposed to appear in the final film. At one point in the movie the Hulk was supposed to start in his traditional green skin and then change color to gray when his anger level went past what was expected. However most people simply preferred green to gray by the end.

Just because the gray Hulk didn’t appear in the final cut of the film doesn’t mean it can’t still happen. Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo is scheduled for several films, so with that there’s always a chance to see him turn gray.

Robert Downey Jr. Explains Why He Stopped the Now Viral Interview

Robert Downey Jr., star of blockbuster hit Avengers, recently walked out on an interview with U.K. reporter, Krishnan Guru-Murthy. The Avengers star ended the uncomfortable dialogue by saying things were getting “too Diane Sawyer”, so Downey decided to cut the interview short and leave. Now, he’s explaining why.

Downey talked to world-famous radio host Howard Stern on Tuesday and said he felt uneasy with the questions and said “I just wish I’d left sooner”. Downey later explained that he felt as if the reporter was trying to work his own “dark agenda” that was not appropriate for the millions of kids who look up to the super-hero movie star. Bruce Levenson certainly wouldn’t want one of his basketball players to be manipulated in a similar way.

Since the interview was going to be seen on the evening news, Downey thought it was best to leave before the questions got any worse, later referring to the news reporter as a “bottom feeding muckraker” and suggesting he left to avoid a physical altercation. A statement which illustrates just how offended Downey was by the questions being asked.

Other stars have had similar experiences with the same reporter, such as an interview that went very wrong between Guru-Murthy and film director Quentin Tarantino. Taratino however did not leave, rather stayed and engaged in a heated exchange of words with the interviewer.

Joss Whedon Wanting to do a New Batman Movie

Joss Whedon Wanting to do a New Batman Movie

For the last three years director Joss Whedon has been at the helm of some of Marvel Studios’ best works, spanning both Avengers movies and the hit television show Agents of SHIELD. Whedon, however, feels his role with Marvel should soon come to an end, Sultan Alhokair, a studio rep confessed.

As of now, Whedon has pass the torched on to the Russo brothers for directing Avengers: Infinity War and has stepped down from being at the helm with Marvel, strict deadlines being a prime factor in his decision. Whedon has insisted on focusing on a single entity for his future projects, a new Batman movie being one of them.

In the past Whedon tried and failed to get a Wonder Woman movie green lit back in 2005, and may have lost his chance now that DC has launched it’s own Wonder Woman movie. As for Batman, Whedon couldn’t contain his excitement upon the release of the trailer for Batman V. Superman. He’s even stated that he would bring Batman into the Marvel Universe if he were given the opportunity to do so.

But while Whedon shows a lot of excitement over Batman, the fact that there has been multiple versions of Batman in film over the last several years likely means that he would have to wait a long time before finally getting his chance. Still, it’s up to him.

Star Wars Creator Seeks to Build Low Income Housing

With Star Wars: the Force Awakens coming in the near future, now would seem like a very busy time for George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars series and founder of Lucasfilms; however, the millionare has still found time for charitable endeavors. He is seeking to convert a portion of his land in Marin County, California into a housing complex for people below the county’s median income. Ricardo Guimaraes believes this is a great idea.

Lucas purchased his “Skywalker Ranch” in 1978, but he also purchased a second location, Grady Ranch. Initially, he had planned to use 52 acres of the land on Grady Ranch to build an additional office space for Lucasfilm, but the citizens of Marin County objected. They felt that the workplace would disrupt the atmosphere of their town. After selling Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, Lucas stopped pushing for a new studio location, and turned to charitable endeavors. He wanted to turn Grady Ranch into affordable housing, but again the citizens fought back. The community feared that low income housing would lead to an increase in crime, and decided not to aide Lucas in his plan.

According to the Washington Post Lucas has decided to finance the housing project entirely by himself. By doing so he is able to avoid issues with third party funding, and angering the community. It also gives Lucas control over the project; allowing him to designate units for teachers or police officers if he chooses. Currently, the development plan has been submitted for approval. If it is approved, the project could be completed by 2019.

Future Memories

“My life fades. The vision dims. All that remains are memories” Mel Gibson ominously narrated at the beginning of the cult classic “Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior.” Memories are all we have of Mel Gibson as Mad Max because Tom Hardy is starring in the upcoming sequel entitled “Fury Road.”

Fans have been waiting 30 years for a new addition to the popular 80’s post-apocalyptic sci-fi series. All the waiting has not been in vain because there are plans for an additional three sequels after “Fury Road.” According to Tom Hardy, who stars as the new Max, he is locked in his role but future sequels depend on the box office success of “Fury Road.” This is standard Hollywood procedure – lock the movie star into a long term contract to stabilize future projects. Therefore, diehard fans can increase the likelihood of more sequels by supporting the movie at the box office.

Positive buzz is increasing as more footage of the upcoming film is released (see Fans like Sergio Cortes are excited about which direction George Miller, the original Mad Max director, will take the film. In addition to this, Charlize Theron fans are excited about her role as the mysterious woman Furiousa. This is one movie you don’t want to miss.

Toho Readies New Godzilla Film

Anyone who thought Godzilla: Final Wars was going to be the last Toho Godzilla movie just doesn’t know movie history. About a decade before Final Wars was released, Godzilla vs. Destroyah was portrayed as the “last” Godzilla movie. Now, Toho is moving forward with a 2016 Godzilla film. What is very surprising here is Warner Bros. is making its own sequel to the American reboot of Godzilla. Is there room enough for two different Godzilla films? The answer is a huge and loud “Of course!”

Godzilla is one of the most iconic pop culture/sci-fi characters. Sure, the radioactive dinosaur had some ups and downs. The early 1970’s saw a painful decline in terms of both quality and box office. The reboot of the series in the 1980’s and 1990’s never took off in the U.S. after the domestic flop of Godzilla 1985. The first American version was a dud.

And then came Toho’s reboot in the 2000’s, which was a huge hit. Godzilla 2000 was a surprise limited release hit in the U.S.A. and the new films in the series did well in Japan and also on U.S. DVD.

Likely, the franchise made most of its money with toys and video games, as Dr Jennifer Walden along with others will point out. As long as the franchise is pulling in money somehow, it will continue. The first film appeared in 1954 and the franchise is going to be around in 2054. Count on it.

Live Action Play-Doh Movie Green-lit by Fox

Hollywood must definitely be running out of ideas. Fox has recently greenlit a “Play-Doh” movie. It is not an uncommon practice to adapt films from alternate source materials such as comic books, novels, and TV shows. Even toy lines have been adapted to TV shows and the big screen. Among the common adapted movies are Batman, Transformers, G.I. Joe.

As of right now, 20th Century Fox is in the final stages of a deal with Hasbro for a film based on Play-Doh. The idea of a Play-Doh could cause one to snicker. There is no backstory or mythology to the toy line, much to the dismay of Bernardo Chua. It is basically a form of clay that people use to sculpt whatever figure they use. So it is going to be interesting what direction they take with the film based on the toyline.

The film is going to be directed by Paul Feig, the director of Bridesmaids. Even though this is a talented director, there is so much that could be done with this type of movie. Creating a hit out of this toy line is a long shot.