Josh Trank feared for his life after casting Michael B. Jordan in Fantastic Four

Josh Trank feared for his life after casting Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four.In a new interview with gaming website Polygon, the director discussed working on the troubled 2015 comic book adaptation, which also starred Miles Teller …

Josh Trank feared for his life after casting Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four.

In a new interview with gaming website Polygon, the director discussed working on the troubled 2015 comic book adaptation, which also starred Miles Teller as Reed Richards, Kate Mara as Sue Storm, and Jamie Bell as The Thing.

Noting that he fought with bosses at Fox to cast Jordan as Storm, who transforms into the Human Torch after being exposed to cosmic rays, Trank also revealed that he was left on edge at one point during the shoot after he read posts on IMDb message boards from disgruntled fans who threatened to shoot him over the news the Creed star had landed the coveted role.

“I was so f**king paranoid during that shoot,” he confessed, adding that he slept with a gun during production. “If someone came into my house, I would have ended their f**king life. When you’re in a headspace where people want to get you, you think, ‘I’m going to defend myself.'”

Trank also claimed he was left out of overseeing reshoots on the highly anticipated reboot and that the film’s ending was changed after studio bosses were unimpressed with the dark tone.

“It was like being castrated,” the 36-year-old commented of watching reshoots that were overseen by producers Simon Kinberg and Hutch Parker.

Elsewhere in the interview, Trank explained it was his bad experience making Fantastic Four that led to him quitting the standalone Star Wars movie about Boba Fett that he was due to direct.

“I quit because I knew I was going to be fired if I didn’t quit,” he recalled, adding that he believed Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy was about to fire him anyway.

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Taika Waititi to direct new Star Wars movie

Taika Waititi has been named as the director of a new Star Wars movie.Executives announced that the New Zealand-born filmmaker would be heading to a galaxy far, far away on Monday, with Waititi to co-write the next instalment in the iconic sci-fi franc…

Taika Waititi has been named as the director of a new Star Wars movie.

Executives announced that the New Zealand-born filmmaker would be heading to a galaxy far, far away on Monday, with Waititi to co-write the next instalment in the iconic sci-fi franchise with Krysty Wilson-Cairns.

It’s the first official feature film to be confirmed by Disney and Lucasfilm after Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss walked away from their deal to direct a Star Wars trilogy last October.

It was first reported back in January that the 44-year-old, who directed the season finale of the Disney+ Star Wars spin-off series The Mandalorian, had been tapped to helm one of the three as-yet-untitled movies, but Waititi was previously coy when he was quizzed about the speculation.

“I think people see me hanging out with people, especially with Star Wars, and think I’m having some big discussions about it. I would f**king love to… If it was right. I would want to do any kind of movie if it made sense, and if it felt not like career suicide,” he told Variety.

However, Waititi took to Instagram on Monday to confess he’d been lying all along.

“Guess it wasn’t a rumour after all. Psyyyych! #maythe4thbewithyou,” he wrote, alongside a report confirming his involvement in the much-loved saga.

And celebrities including James Gunn, Rebel Wilson, and Kate Beckinsale were quick to offer their congratulations to the Thor: Ragnarok moviemaker, with Michael B. Jordan jokingly commenting: “Yea yea look at me I’m a big successful talented man from New Zealand and I can’t stop making great movies I (me) love to watch!! Haha boo hoo I’m so happy for you (seriously).”

While Charlize Theron humorously added: “Whatever.”

Disney and Lucasfilm also confirmed that an untitled Star Wars TV series is in the works at their new streaming service Disney+, with Netflix’s Russian Doll co-creator Leslye Headland involved.

The three untitled Star Wars movies are due to be released in 2022, 2024, and 2026.

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Daisy Ridley in talks to star in thriller The Ice Beneath Her

Daisy Ridley is in talks to star in a movie adaptation of psychological crime thriller The Ice Beneath Her. The British actress, who is best known for playing Rey in the recent Star Wars trilogy, is in negotiations to play the lead character in the ad…

Daisy Ridley is in talks to star in a movie adaptation of psychological crime thriller The Ice Beneath Her.

The British actress, who is best known for playing Rey in the recent Star Wars trilogy, is in negotiations to play the lead character in the adaptation of Swedish author Camilla Grebe’s bestselling 2015 novel of the same name, according to Deadline.

The novel, which features an unreliable narrator, is similar in tone to previous book-to-movie adaptations Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. The story focuses on a detective and psychological profiler who work to solve the case after a young woman is found beheaded in the home of a prominent businessman. The investigation quickly evolves into a race against time.

The project was the subject of a bidding war among Hollywood financiers and bosses at STX won the film rights and will finance the movie, which will be directed and produced by filmmaking collective Radio Silence, which is made up of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, and Chad Villella, who are best known for last year’s breakout horror-comedy Ready or Not.

Caitlin Parrish, a writer on TV shows such as Supergirl and The Red Line, has adapted the novel, while American Sniper’s Andrew Lazar is also producing.

Ridley is currently in post-production on sci-fi adventure Chaos Walking, which is due to be released early next year. She was most recently seen in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the concluding chapter of the trilogy.

However, the 28-year-old admitted she was taken aback by the polarising reaction to the movie following its release in December.

“January was not that nice. It was weird, I felt like all of this love that we’d sort of been shown the first time around, I was like, ‘Where’s the love gone?'” she said on the DragCast podcast.

The Rise of Skywalker is being made available to stream two months early, with Disney bosses announcing on Monday that it would be released on Disney+ on 4 May, also known as Star Wars Day.

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Mark Hamill bids emotional farewell to Star Wars saga

Mark Hamill has bid an emotional farewell to the Star Wars saga after 40 years of playing Luke Skywalker.In a heartfelt letter accompanying the release of The Skywalker Saga box set, the actor recalled his audition for George Lucas’ original sci-fi tri…

Mark Hamill has bid an emotional farewell to the Star Wars saga after 40 years of playing Luke Skywalker.

In a heartfelt letter accompanying the release of The Skywalker Saga box set, the actor recalled his audition for George Lucas’ original sci-fi trilogy alongside Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher as he reflected on his role as the Jedi hero.

“What an extraordinary journey it’s been,” Hamill wrote. “Back in 1976 when Carrie, Harrison, and I were testing for our roles in what was then called ‘The Adventures of Luke Starkiller, as taken from the Journal of the Whills, Saga I: The Star Wars,’ there’s no way we could have known what an incredibly rich and imaginative set of adventures this obscure little space movie would launch inspiring eight more chapters to tell the entire Skywalker story.”

He continued: “I am deeply thankful for your continued enthusiasm and dedication to George’s faraway galaxy, which will continue to grow with new storytellers building an even bigger galaxy filled with heroes, villains, action, romance, and, of course, the Force. May the Force be with you… always.”

Hamill shared the letter on social media to mark the release of The Skywalker Saga box set, and wrote: “A few thoughts as one era ends and another begins…#StarWars.”

The 68-year-old first played Luke Skywalker in 1977’s A New Hope and the two follow-ups, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. He then reprised the role for 2015’s The Force Awakens and made his final appearance in last year’s The Rise of Skywalker.

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John Boyega teams up with Netflix to create African films

John Boyega has teamed up with Netflix to create a series of feature films focused on African stories.The 27-year-old actor, who has British-Nigerian parents, has partnered with the streaming giant through his UpperRoom Productions company to develop n…

John Boyega has teamed up with Netflix to create a series of feature films focused on African stories.

The 27-year-old actor, who has British-Nigerian parents, has partnered with the streaming giant through his UpperRoom Productions company to develop non-English language films focusing on stories and characters in Africa.

Representatives for the independent production company announced the news on Tuesday, revealing that they will “develop film projects based on stories, cast, characters, crew, literary properties, mythology, screenplays and/or other elements in or around African countries.”

Boyega, who shot to stardom playing Stormtrooper Finn in the recent Star Wars trilogy, said he was thrilled to be given the opportunity to tell stories about his ancestry.

“I am thrilled to partner with Netflix to develop a slate of non-English language feature films focused on African stories, and my team and I are excited to develop original material,” he said in a statement. “We are proud to grow this arm of our business with a company that shares our vision.”

Back in December, Boyega proudly showcased his heritage at the London premiere of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by walking the red carpet in traditional Nigerian attire, including a royal blue Agbada robe with gold accents and matching hat.

“Africa has a rich history in storytelling, and for Netflix, this partnership with John and UpperRoom presents an opportunity to further our investment in the continent while bringing unique African stories to our members both in Africa and around the world,” said David Kosse, vice president of international film at Netflix.

Boyega founded UpperRoom Productions in 2016, when he co-produced and starred in sci-fi blockbuster Pacific Rim: Uprising, and has since been developing a series of TV and film projects.

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J.D. Dillard and Matt Owens working on secret Star Wars project

Director J.D. Dillard and writer Matt Owens have made history by becoming the first African-American creative team to work on a Star Wars project.The duo has reportedly been tapped to work on an upcoming project set on the hidden Sith planet Exegol, wh…

Director J.D. Dillard and writer Matt Owens have made history by becoming the first African-American creative team to work on a Star Wars project.

The duo has reportedly been tapped to work on an upcoming project set on the hidden Sith planet Exegol, which was introduced in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

However, it’s unclear if they have been hired for a movie or limited series for streaming on Disney+, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Dillard, who is best known for writing and directing the 2016 sci-fi thriller Sleight, is already affiliated with the franchise, with him working in production/technical support on Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015 and appearing as a First Order FN Corps Stormtrooper called FN-1226 in The Rise of Skywalker. Owens has worked on Marvel TV shows such as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Luke Cage, and The Defenders.

The future of the iconic sci-fi saga was cast into doubt back in October when Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss walked away from their much-publicised deal with Lucasfilm to launch another Star Wars trilogy in 2022 in order to focus on their partnership with Netflix.

However, Marvel boss Kevin Feige and The Last Jedi’s Rian Johnson are also working on separate Star Wars projects, believed to be unrelated to the Dillard one.

Disney is working on a number of Star Wars spin-offs for its new streaming service, which launched in the U.S. last year, following the success of The Mandalorian, which starred Pedro Pascal and launched the viral sensation, Baby Yoda.

Ewan McGregor is also reprising his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi for an upcoming Disney+ spin-off series, which was recently delayed due to production issues, while Diego Luna is playing his Rogue One character Cassian Andor once again in a new show.

Disney+ will launch in the U.K. on 24 March.

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Taika Waititi in talks to direct new Star Wars movie – report

Taika Waititi has reportedly been approached by Lucasfilm bosses to direct a new Star Wars movie.The filmmaker is in negotiations to join the as-yet-untitled project after he wraps production on Thor: Love and Thunder for Marvel Studios, according to e…

Taika Waititi has reportedly been approached by Lucasfilm bosses to direct a new Star Wars movie.

The filmmaker is in negotiations to join the as-yet-untitled project after he wraps production on Thor: Love and Thunder for Marvel Studios, according to editors at The Hollywood Reporter.

Waititi is no stranger to the sci-fi franchise, as he directed the last episode of The Mandalorian for Disney+, which was well-received by audiences.

The New Zealander also voiced the bounty hunter IG-11 on the show, which starred Pedro Pascal as the titular character, and saw the debut of the viral sensation, Baby Yoda.

Back in October, Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss abandoned their planned Star Wars trilogy in favour of developing projects at Netflix, leaving the future of the iconic sci-fi saga in doubt.

Negotiations are in the early stages, and it’s not yet known if the Star Wars movie will be for the big screen, or for Disney’s newly launched streaming service.

Waititi, 44, recently landed six Academy Award nominations for his critically-acclaimed World War II satire Jojo Rabbit, including Best Picture, and has just finished production on sports comedy Next Goal Wins, starring Michael Fassbender.

He is also attached to direct Warner Bros.’ live-action adaptation of Akira, a Japanese cyberpunk manga comic book series, and is currently preparing to start filming on the fourth movie in the hugely successful Thor franchise.

Chris Hemsworth will be reprising his role as the Norse god for the Marvel blockbuster, alongside Tessa Thompson, Natalie Portman, and rumoured newcomer Christian Bale, who may be playing a villain.

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Daisy Ridley doesn’t think she’s funny enough to do comedy

Daisy Ridley can’t imagine herself in a comedy film because she doesn’t think she’s funny enough.The 27-year-old recently bid farewell to her character Rey as the Star Wars trilogy came to an end with The Rise of Skywalker, and now she’s keen to expa…

Daisy Ridley can’t imagine herself in a comedy film because she doesn’t think she’s funny enough.

The 27-year-old recently bid farewell to her character Rey as the Star Wars trilogy came to an end with The Rise of Skywalker, and now she’s keen to expand her acting chops, but there’s one genre she’s steering well clear of.

“The one thing I can’t see myself doing is comedy because I don’t think I’m a funny person – but I could be the straight person,” she told Variety. “Also, you know, it’s time to be brave. So, I’ll go for it!”

Daisy really wants to land a role in a horror movie, even though she’s scared of watching them on the big screen.

“I’m terrified of horror films, but I like them. So I’d like to be in one. But I think it would also, like, screw me up a bit,” she laughed. “I feel like you’d have to be living with your family to exorcise the bad juju when you left set.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Daisy also admitted that since working on Star Wars alongside a huge star-studded cast – including Adam Driver, John Boyega, Mark Hamill and the late Carrie Fisher – she’s drawn to starring in movies in which she feels part of a big group.

“Well, my main thing – which is why I did Orient Express immediately afterwards – is I really like to be part of the group,” the British actress said, noting her 2017 film, Murder on the Orient Express. “And I’ve only really done one like leading thing, which was Ophelia, which was overwhelming. I like to be part of a group of people.”

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Rian Johnson: ‘Pandering to film fans is a mistake’

Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson believes creating storylines with the sole purpose of pleasing fans is a mistake.The filmmaker, who faced a barrage of criticism from die-hard fans for making unexpected choices when he directed The Last J…

Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson believes creating storylines with the sole purpose of pleasing fans is a mistake.

The filmmaker, who faced a barrage of criticism from die-hard fans for making unexpected choices when he directed The Last Jedi in 2017, explained that he doesn’t consider pandering to fans to lead to a satisfying final product.

“I think approaching any creative process with (making fandoms happy) would be a mistake that would lead to probably the exact opposite result,” the 46-year-old said during a recent interview on the Swing & Mrs. podcast. “Even my experience as a fan, you know, if I’m coming into something, even if it’s something that I think I want, if I see exactly what I think I want on the screen, it’s like ‘oh, okay.’

“It might make me smile and make me feel neutral about the thing and I won’t really think about it afterwards, but that’s not really going to satisfy me.”

While the director’s instalment in the Star Wars saga divided fans, he said he simply wanted cinemagoers to have the same experience with The Last Jedi that he did when watching George Lucas’ The Empire Strikes Back for the first time in 1980.

“I want to be shocked, I want to be surprised, I want to be thrown off-guard, I want to have things re-contextualised, I want to be challenged as a fan when I sit down in the theatre,” Johnson explained.

“What I’m aiming for every time I sit down in a theatre is to have the experience (I had) with Empire Strikes Back, something that’s emotionally resonant and feels like it connects up and makes sense and really gets to the heart of what this thing is and in a way that I never could have seen coming.”

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J.J. Abrams stunned by ‘weirdly miraculous’ discovery of unseen Carrie Fisher footage

J.J. Abrams remains stunned by the “weirdly miraculous” discovery of unseen footage featuring Carrie Fisher that enabled her character to appear in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.The actress reprised her role as Princess Leia when the sci-fi franchis…

J.J. Abrams remains stunned by the “weirdly miraculous” discovery of unseen footage featuring Carrie Fisher that enabled her character to appear in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

The actress reprised her role as Princess Leia when the sci-fi franchise was revived in 2015 with The Force Awakens, which was directed by Abrams, but she passed away before the release of her next outing as Leia in 2017’s The Last Jedi, helmed by Rian Johnson. Abrams, who helmed the upcoming The Rise of Skywalker, didn’t want to conclude the trilogy without Leia or digitally recreate her or recast the role, and was saved by the discovery of old footage from The Force Awakens.

And while the decision to include footage of Carrie after her death divided opinion among some fans, the filmmaker remains stunned that the unused takes featured the screen star saying almost exactly what they needed her to say.

“The reality that we had the material that was actually her saying things that we needed her to say was vaguely, weirdly miraculous,” he said during an interview on the Australian TV show The Project.

However, he admitted that if the actress was still around “we would have done a few different things. We would have added some stuff that would have been great.”

He jokingly added: “And she would be here today which would make the day much more fun.”

During the interview, Richard E. Grant, who plays Allegiant General Pryde, revealed his own doubts over using the old footage.

“To kind of exhume that footage from another movie and if it wasn’t good enough for the other movie, why should it be good enough for the end?” he mused. “All those caveats or anxieties I had about it were completely put to rest when I saw how they’d done it. It is seamless.”

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