When Fox brought Kingsman: The Secret Service to Comic-con last year I had no idea what to expect. I knew it was a comic and… that’s it. That’s all I knew about it. And for better or for worse, that’s more than most people knew about it. Then the cast walked out, and the director, and suddenly the crowd was roaring with excitement. We all sat on the edge of our seats when the footage ran and it did not disappoint.
If you haven’t been keeping up with all the news about the upcoming Star Wars films, we’re not sure where you’ve been the last few weeks, but we have you covered. Quite a bit has been leaked about the films since Disney bought Lucasfilm, enough to possibly fill the hidden cargo holds on the Millenium Falcon.
For one, rumors started going around that X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn would be hired to direct the upcoming Star Wars VII, and shortly thereafter the fan base exploded in excitement when Harrison Ford said he was open to the idea of reprising his role as the iconic Han Solo, despite his continual avoidance of the franchise and surrounding events. Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher had already been informed of the new films, and both have also expressed interest in reprising their respective roles as Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia.
Now one rumor in particular that has surfaced is causing the fan base to explode in pseudo-excitement again: several media companies are claiming that the infamous Darth Vader will appear in Star Wars VII. How, no one really seems to know yet, and details are limited if not entirely fictitious. The unidentified source involved in the film’s production merely said that the creative team considers Vader “integral” and that “the plan is for [Darth Vader] to return and play a significant role in the new films” [Screenrant].
Vader returning like a Jedi (or Sith, technically) worries many fans, who over the past few weeks have claimed that if Disney tries to physically resurrect the asthmatic villain through some sort of technological cloning process, they will lose faith in Disney’s ability to properly stay true to the Star Wars universe. Others have said that it’s only logical that Vader should reappear as long as he is shown in flashbacks and memories. No further news has been reported on this issue as of now.
The newest information about the upcoming Star Wars films has been predominantly focused around the writing and producing. The Hollywood Reporter said that Michael Arndt, screenwriter for Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3, was brought on board to write the script for Star Wars VII even before the Disney buyout of Lucasfilm. StarWars.com confirmed this is still the plan for the 2015 movie. Considering Arndt recently penned the script to the upcoming The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, his script for Star Wars VII should hopefully have good balance of drama, comedy, and action.
Finally, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi writer Lawrence Kasdan has come on the scene in addition to the writer of the new X-Men movie, Simon Kinberg. Though it’s been confirmed that the two will help produce Star Wars VIII and IX, their exact writing roles are not yet decided. The news of Kasdan returning is positive indeed; having a veteran to the Star Wars franchise should help keep it true to its roots, and Kinberg’s credentials are nothing to balk at, either.
Star Wars news is sure to keep spilling over the next few months and years. The Grizzly Bomb will do our best to act like Bothan spies and get the information out to you as quickly as possible, so keep watching for updates!
I was about ten years old when I first sat in front of a massive CRT and VHS setup on vacation at my cousin’s cabin in the woods. Except I wasn’t scared in the least bit. I was mesmerized. So started fifteen years of action figures, extended universe books, costumes, excitement and consequent disappointment at the prequels.
You can imagine then my surprise at the news last week of Lucas selling his empire to Disney for over $4 billion. I posted my initial reactions to that corporate decision on that day on my Geek My Life blog, but since then I have realized that this sale was probably the best thing for Lucasfilm to re-energize it. I’m assuming, of course, that Disney will re-energize faithfully to the Star Wars franchise, and with the latest rumors coming out of the Hollywood offices, I think they’re on the right track.
Several sites claim to have insider information that Matthew Vaughn dropped the sequel to the X-Men movie because he was offered directorship of Star Wars VII. Vaughn has a solid and many would even say impressive resume that consists of Stardust, Kick-Ass, and X-Men: First Class. All of these films were successful in their own ways, a hard accomplishment in the cut-throat, short-attention-span industry of movies.
These films exemplified strong directing mixed with entertaining, consistent story lines and easy-to-follow pacing. If Vaughn is able to do the same thing with Star Wars VII, I doubt few Star Wars fans will find anything substantial to complain about in regards to storytelling, especially since Vaughn is a writer. “If [Vaughn] ends up directing Star Wars, we’d also be getting someone that could solve script issues on set” [Collider]. This is especially important considering that my digital media professor keeps emphasizing that the successful professionals in entertainment are the ones that know more than just one craft.
But what about the characters? What will Disney do with them? After all, people like Luke, Han, Leia, and even the non-humans like C-3PO are many of the reasons why fans are in love with Star Wars in the first place. Though the film hasn’t officially been scripted yet, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher have already gone on record to say they are excited to see the future of Star Wars. How ironic considering that when Hamill was younger he said that “[Return of the Jedi] has to be the last one, period” [Huffington Post].
Harrison Ford decided to join the ranks, kind of last-minute like when Han decided to join the Rebels. But he took it a step further, saying that he is open to the idea of being in the new film, not just supporting it off-screen. Considering that he thought Han Solo “should have died in the last one to give it some bottom” [EW], it appears that Ford’s attitude towards his character and the franchise is coming around. Ford probably “won’t go to the next level of contract talks until there’s a script and director in place” [EW], but him coming back as Han Solo for Star Wars VII could very well be one of the turning points to returning the Lucasfilm franchise to the grand old way it was.
There are a lot of “we’ll see” and “what ifs?” flying around right now in the Star Wars fandom, but it’s better for them to be flying around at lightspeed like the Falcon than to not be around at all. That would mean Star Wars VII isn’t happening, which would be disastrous. Besides, many of us are just starting to get used to saying Star Wars VII without questioning the reality of it. We’re in a happy place now.
When news broke that Matthew Vaughn was stepping back as director of X-Men: Days of Future Past, fans were a little surprised. The much-anticipated sequel to X-Men: First Class gained a ton of hype as soon as the title was announced, and Vaughn was expected to direct, off of a screenplay he worked on. With the announcement that he was off the project, but still on board as producer most thoughts turned to Bryan Singer taking over as director.
I have a confession to make. Despite being a comics fan, spending nearly 50$ a week on comics, collecting comics memorabilia, spending large amounts of time in a comic shop to the point where the employees and the people who are regulars there are now close friends who I see outside of the store, and just generally being admittedly a comic book nerd, I, am not that big a fan of the X-Men.
In fact, I’ve only cursory knowledge of them at best, no better really than the average, yet slightly more dedicated than usual, “Movies Only” X-Men fan. I know which characters are what, but some of the more obscure ones are lost on me, (X3 was a guessing game for a lot of characters I was clueless about), and I generally understand what their comic characterization is, but on the whole, I couldn’t recite to you a cavalcade of GREAT X-Men stories like I could for Superman or Green Lantern. In fact, when I first read this news, I had no clue of the significance of the source material until reading about it, and it’s inspiration to the tons of media that would follow it. So hearing about the X-Men: First Class sequel, was exciting, and also a bit perplexing, because while I loved First Class, I had no idea what the sequel’s “story” was based on.
Let’s get down to the details, according to [EW], the sequel will be based on ‘Days Of Future Past’, which was a story arc I’ve never heard of, or read:
For the newcomers in the audience: Days of Future Past was a time-travel story released in the early ’80s. In a bleak dystopian future, the mutants of the world are hunted down and sent to internment camps. Most of the X-Men are dead; the ones that are still alive are on the run. In the original story, the future version of Kitty Pryde time-travels back in time into her young self’s brain and works with the present-day X-Men to prevent the atrocity that kickstarts the whole miserable future. If this sounds familiar, it’s because Days of Future Past has been frequently imitated in pop culture. (Remember “Save the Cheerleader, Save the World”?)
Now I gotta say, that sounds pretty awesome. I know I’ll be losing some nerd cred by admitting I haven’t read it, but I’m a firm believer in manning up and admitting what you don’t know, rather than bullshitting people about what you do. To that end, First Class was by far the best of the previous X-Men movies, and was a welcome change from the dull talk tests that were the Bryan Singer X-Men movies. X3 was like weird retarded offshoot, that managed to entertain me more by simply being really dumb, but whenever I think about X-Men 1 or 2, my eyes start to glaze over. I think that’s always been why I could never get into X-Men period, because you have all these amazing characters with mind blowing powers (sometimes literally), and all they ever do is talk each other to death. [Ed. Note – X2 is still one of the 10 Best Comic Movies ever]I’m probably showing my ignorance here of all the tons of badass X-Men stories out there, with huge epic battles, but in my experience, picking up any form of X-Men media, be it a comic, movie, or even that animated Fox cartoon from years back, was an exercise in Mutant-related diplomatic relations, carried out slowly to avoid some really big, really important, impending threat thats juuuust on the horizon, but oh no will-they-talk-it-out-first- it’ssoimportantohmygodohmygodwilltheyfight??!??! BUT no, they never do.
Anyhow, my bitching aside, the movie sounds really good. I’m excited for it. I just tend to complain about things no matter what. You can watch an interview with Bryan Singer about the movie below:
Last years X-Men: First Class was a welcome entry into the X-Men film franchise, and of course, it’s going to get a sequel. Thankfully, the team behind the original, including Michael Fassbender, who played the brilliant Magneto, Jennifer Lawrence of newly found ‘Hunger Games’ fame, and Director Matthew Vaughn, who was also responsible for the kick ass, Kick-Ass, are all returning, given time for their respective schedules, to film the sequel in time for July 2014 release. James McAvoy is also confirmed as returning as Professor X, although there is no information at this time if he will be going bald. Details about the film itself are scarce, as it doesn’t even have a title yet, but it will focus on Magneto falling further down the spiral into super-villainry. All in all it’s still pretty early, and news about casting, new roles, further plot details and such are in the air, as it’ll likely be a year before any substantial updates are available.
What did the five fingers say to the face?
I especially look forward to the film, as First Class was the only film in the entire X-Men franchise that, in my opinion, carried any depth or genuine meaning with it, along with exciting, fun to watch action scenes that carried weight and gravitas behind them. The first two tried unsuccessfully to blend heady, talk heavy scenes into the film, but failed when it came to any kind of exhilarating fighting or action, and left us with a main character death in the second, that lacked emotional resonance, and ultimately ended up going nowhere interesting in the incredibly mediocre (but entertaining in a oh-man-this-is-bad way) third film. First Class finally showcased realistic uses of powers by characters who were refreshingly happy and willing to use them, because having powers would be amazing, and seeing characters unburdened by any sort of broody melodramatic guilt over the “responsibility” of their powers, was a breath of fresh air to see, especially in a genre where so many superheroes’ are so torn about having frickin’ SUPER POWERS.
So it goes without saying I’ll be looking forward to seeing some new X-Men action come July 18, 2014, because watching someone using mind powers gleefully is probably the best wish-fulfillment there is.