The Fate of Star Wars
After Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, it is now confirmed that we’ll be seeing a series of Star Wars-themed films. First of all, JJ Abrams has confirmed that he is set to direct the next installment in the famous sci-fi series, Star Wars VII. Disney CEO Bob Iger has confirmed they are planning to release three consecutive films over the period of six years, starting in 2015. Meanwhile, Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness is set to arrive in cinemas later this year.
Apart from that, Iger has also announced that there will be a number of films focusing on lesser-known characters from the saga. This means that soon we can see a Yoda movie, a Han Solo movie, and a whole series of character-based films.
On a different note, Stuart Freeborn, the makeup and special effects artist behind Yoda and Chewbacca, passed at the age of 98. He has worked on the Star Wars films, as well as Stanley Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb and 2001: A Space Odyssey among many others.
At the currently-running Berlinale festival there are a number of interesting films to see. Among these are two WCF-funded films: Emil Baigazin’s Harmony Lessons and Jose Luis Valle’s Workers. Baigazin’s film is the first Kazakh film to screen at a Berlinale festival. Meanwhile, the WCF, or World Cinema Fund, was founded in 2004 in order to support production and distribution of films and documentaries from Latin America, Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caucasian.
Other films screening at the festival are Wong Kar Wai’s The Grandmaster and Gus Van Sant’s Promised Land. The Grandmaster stars Ziyi Zhang (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 2000, House of Flying Daggers, 2004, Memoirs of a Geisha, 2005) and Tony Leung (In the Mood for Love, 2000, Hero, 2002) and focuses on the experiences of the martial-arts master Ip Man. Promised Land, on the other hand, tells the story of a salesman (Matt Damon), whose company wants to exploit the natural resources of a small town. Damon has also co-written the film, alongside John Krasinski and Dave Eggers.
The Doctor in Ryan Gosling’s New Film
Matt Smith, also known as the Twelfth Doctor, is set to star in Ryan Gosling’s new film How to Catch a Monster. Alongside Smith, the film features Christina Hendricks and Eva Mendez. They will also be joined by Saorsie Ronan. The plot focuses on Henricks’ struggles as a single mother, as her son is pulled into a fantasy underwater world.
Ellen Page to Make her Debut behind camera
Since she has been working as an actress for a while now, Ellen Page has decided to turn to directing. The actress is best known for her roles in Juno, Inception, Hard Candy, Whip It and also recently featured in Woody Allen’s To Rome with Love. The film’s screenplay has been scripted by Julia Hart and will star Anna Faris.
The Newtown Shootout in Film
There have been a series of shootouts and massacres in America during 2012 and as a result, the film industry was faced with the decision to tone down the releases of its more violent films. However, it was the shootout in a school in Newtown, Connecticut, where 28 people, mostly children, died, that started talks about gun control and the influence of violence in media.
These are the arguments Jonathan Bucari’s proposal for a film about these events has faced. Although it seems a bit too soon to make a movie about the tragedy, Bucari has insisted that his film will concentrate on the story of a 13-year-old boy, Benjamin, and his family’s growing anxiety towards him. According to the filmmakers, the film is going to be entitled Illness and any potential to be made will be the basis for a foundation to aid children with mental illnesses and their families.