‘It’ Smashes Box Office Records and J.J. Abrams is New Episode IX Director

The latest Stephen King adaptation, It, came out this past weekend, and it definitely left its mark in the box office. It was originally projected to make $50-60 million in its opening weekend, a number that is amazing on its own. However, surprising many people it managed to more than double those predictions and make $123 million in its opening weekend. This broke many box office records including:

  • Largest September Opening (Beating Hotel Transylvania 2 which opened with $48.5 million in 2015)
  • Largest Fall Opening (Gravity previously having this with a $55.8 million opening in 2013)
  • Largest Horror Movie Opening (Paranormal Activity 3 brought in $52.6 million in 2011)
  • Largest Stephen King Adaptation Opening (1408 came in at only $20.6 million in 2007)
  • Second Largest Opening For an R-Rated Film (Of course, Deadpool is in first place with $132 million in 2016)
  • Widest R-Rated Opening (It opened in 4,103 theaters beating Logan‘s 4,073 record)
  • Second Highest Total Gross For a Stephen King Adaptation (Unadjusted for inflation The Green Mile is in first place; Adjusted for inflation It is in seventh place)

I think we can all agree that this is one of the biggest box office surprises of the year. No one expected this to open this big. It even made more that Spider-Man: Homecoming, which opened at $117 million. You also have to keep in mind that there could have been a bigger opening if Hurricane Irma didn’t close down theaters in Florida. I do have admit that I haven’t seen It yet because we had family over from the hurricane, so I had to stay with them. I do send my condolences to all in Florida that were affected and the families of those who were affected by Hurricane Irma. Movies are fun to talk about, but real life is more important. Because of all that, I plan to see It next weekend. In the mean time, I’m working on another Stephen King movie review that should go up sometime this week. Guess what it is in the comments!

Image via Warner Bros.

In other news, Star Wars: Episode IX has a new director. Starwars.com announced that J.J. Abrams will return from Star Wars: The Force Awakens to work on the final film in the new Star Wars trilogy. Abrams will direct the film and co-write it with Oscar-winning Chris Terrio. Kathleen Kennedy made the following statement:

“With The Force Awakens, J.J. delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for, and I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy,”

Image via IMDb

I think this quote says what my thoughts are on Abrams returning. I loved The Force Awakens, it was a great reintroduction to the universe that was one of the most enjoyable Star Wars movies to date. I said in one of my previous articles that I thought Rian Johnson would direct Episode IX, so this is somewhat surprising to me. I am excited that J.J. is coming back, he will probably bring the fun feel that The Force Awakens had the close out the trilogy in a high note. However, I would have liked to see a new take for Episode IX instead of bringing back Abrams, but I’m certainly not upset by the choice they made. 

What do you think of It doing extremely well this weekend? Do you want to see J.J. Abrams return to direct Episode IX? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Colin Trevorrow Leaves ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’

After Disney bought Lucasfilm, there was a plan to make more Star Wars movies with a new trilogy with that. We’ve had two new Star Wars movies so far with three more officially announced on the way. They had a plan for who would direct each film, and when they would release. Lucasfilm wrote a report saying that Colin Trevorrow would no longer be directing Star Wars: Episode IX. They released the following statement:

“Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow have mutually chosen to part ways on Star Wars: Episode IX. Colin has been a wonderful collaborator throughout the development process but we have all come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ. We wish Colin the best and will be sharing more information about the film soon.”

This is very concerning for many Star Wars fans, especially after the recent news that Lord and Miller would not direct the Han Solo stand alone movie, well into production, with Ron Howard stepping in the finish the film. Lucasfilm hasn’t announced a new director yet, but they did say in their statement that updates would be coming soon. 

Image via Lucasfilm

Lucasfilm seems to be having some problems with keeping their visions straight with their directors. The same thing happened when Lord and Miller were removed from the Han Solo movie. However, according to multiple reports that was a case of the directors agreeing to make one movie and instead making a slapstick comedy. If that’s what happened, it wasn’t completely  Lucasfilm’s fault. The crazy thing about that director change was that they only had weeks of filming left, so they had already made the majority of the film when they left. Lucasfilm seemed to have learned their lesson this time, separating before production starts on the film. This would remove problems with mixing ideas inside the film and how much time is spent on reshoots.

Like I said, many fans are upset by this because it’s the second time in a row this has happened. I think those concerns are absolutely valid While I’m not really worried about it, it only makes sense to be apprehensive now with the same thing happening twice. I don’t think Lucasfilm is falling apart or anything like that, but something is going on whether that’s a major thing or a minor thing.

Image via Lucasfilm

On the other hand, some fans are happy about this news based on Trevorrow’s filmography. While Jurassic World was one of the biggest movies of all time, it was not received very well critically. Also, Book of Henry failed critically and in the box office. I didn’t bother seeing Book of Henry because of lack of interest and review. But, I did see Jurassic World and I thought it was a fun movie, however it had script and structural problems along with that. I think the most likely choice to direct Episode IX is Rian Johnson. Disney seems to be very pleased with what he’s done with The Last Jedi, and it makes sense for him to go from Episode VII to IX. It would be a smooth transition to have the same director with the two films. 
Like all movie news, let’s not freak out just because of this one story. Let’s wait to see who is the new director, a trailer, or better yet wait until the movie itself comes out. While it’s natural to be concerned, we can’t judge the movie until we see it.

What do you think about Colin Trevorrow leaving Episode IX? Do you feel apprehensive? Who do you think will direct now? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Obi Wan Kenobi Spinoff Movie in the Works

It looks like the next Star Wars spinoff will be a much requested one, Obi Wan Kenobi.

The Hollywood Reporter wrote an exclusive article revealing that Lucasfilm is developing the next Star Wars movie that will come out after Episode IX, and it will be focused on the character of Obi Wan Kenobi. Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours) is in early talks to direct the film.  The report goes on to say that multiple spinoffs are being considered including a Yoda movie and a Boba Fett movie. No details have been announced about the cast or plot details.

I think we’ve all been asking for this movie. Of all the possible ideas for a spinoff, Obi Wan has probably been one with the highest demand. He has the most story potential. There’s a huge gap between episodes III and IV where we know nothing about what Obi Wan was doing. Ewan McGregor has expressed a lot of interest in coming back to play the character, so it would make sense for him to come back. I’d really love to see him third and so would the rest of the fans. 

Image via Lucasfilm

As much as I do want the Obi Wan movie, I would like to see Lucasfilm stray away from character that we already know. The article goes on to say that Boba Fett and Yoda movies are in development. I feel like the Star Wars universe is starting to seem small. If we keep relying on characters that we already know, then there’s less expansion of the world. Star Wars is filled with thousands of possibilities. There are countless planets, alien species, and stories to make movies about. You could tell so many stories that don’t have to do with any of the trilogies and stand in their own. I think there is a certain mentality that people won’t see a Star Wars movie if it doesn’t have familiar characters. I think The Force Awakens proved that wrong because while Han Solo was in the trailers, he was a very small part of them. It shows that the creators are perfectly capable of establishing new character and getting audiences instantly attached to them like Rey and Finn. 

Variety adds in their report that a Jabba the Hutt movie is also being considered. Surprisingly enough, I think this idea has potential if they take it in a certain direction. I wouldn’t want a movie centered around Jabba the Hutt, but if you could make a Star Wars movie based in the underworld, I think that would be something really different and interesting. It could be like a Star Wars gangster movie. Jabba could be in the movie of course, but not the main character. If he is the focus of the movie, I’m not interested. However, if he is a side note it could be really good. Just keep in mind that the Yoda, Boba Fett, and Jabba movies might not even happen. They are just being considered. 

Image via Lucasfilm

As far as the Obi Wan news, I think it has a lot of different ways it could go. Depending on where the movie will be set. Like I said, I do want new character in my spinoffs, but Obi wan is one of the only exceptions to get me excited.

What do you think of the Obi Wan movie? Are you excited? Do you think Ewan McGregor will return? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ New Photos;Cast Hints at Story

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was one of the highest grossing movies of all time because it belongs to one of the biggest movie franchises of all time. We barely know anything about the sequel, The Last Jedi, but in an interview with EWMark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, and Rian Johnson shared some details about he mind sets of the characters in the movie. Especially the Luke and Rey relationship.

Mark Hamill talks about how surprised he was to read the script and see how Luke was portrayed.

“The fact that Luke says, ‘I only know one truth. It’s time for the Jedi to end…’ I mean, that’s a pretty amazing statement for someone who was the symbol of hope and optimism in the original films. When I first read it, my jaw dropped. What would make someone that alienated from his original convictions? That’s not something that you can just make up in an afternoon, and I really struggled with this thing.”

Daisy Ridley says that Rey “misses the gruff warmth of Han Solo” and is trying to get Luke to pick himself back up and become the hero she wants him to be.

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Image via EW

“Regardless of everything else, she’s been welcomed. No one ever really turns away from her.  ’Oh my God, this other man that I lost within a couple days was somewhat of a father figure. Now he’s gone, and instead I’m with this grumpy guy on an island who doesn’t want me here.’ I don’t think one girl, who he doesn’t know, turning up with a lightsaber is gonna make him go, ‘Oh, s—, yeah, of course I’ll get back into the action.'”

Rian Johnson is taking a very different direction for Luke Skywalker than fans expected, according to EW. They say that Star Wars starts with “A long time ago” but doesn’t end with “Happily ever after.”

“The very first step in the writing of this was figuring out why he’s on that island. We know that he is not a coward. He’s not just hiding because he’s scared. But we also know that he must know his friends are in danger. He must know the galaxy needs him. And he’s sitting on this island in the middle of nowhere. There had to be an answer. It had to be something where Luke Skywalker believes he’s doing the right thing – and the process of figuring out what that is and unpacking it is the journey for Rey.”

In The Force Awakens, we learned that Luke was training Ben Solo, who later became Kylo Ren. Hamill says Luke feels guilty about that.

“[Luke] made a huge mistake in thinking that his nephew was the chosen one, so he invested everything he had in Kylo, much like Obi-Wan did with my character. And he is betrayed, with tragic consequences. Luke feels responsible for that. That’s the primary obstacle he has to rejoining the world and his place in the Jedi hierarchy, you know? It’s that guilt, that feeling that it’s his fault, that he didn’t detect the darkness in him until it was too late.”

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Image via EW

He also says that every detail about the past isn’t explained.

“There’s massive amounts of backstory that is left to your imagination and I couldn’t do my job without figuring out what that was. Since it’s not really important to the main story as a whole a lot of it is just for my own process. I talked with Rian about it and went into this elaborate scenario of what happened to Luke after the end of the Return of the Jedi.

Along with the interview, EW posted some exclusive photos from the new movie which you can see some of them below.

I haven’t talked about it much on the website, but I am a massive Star Wars fan. I like to read the canon novels, I’m reading the comics, and love most of the movies (not the prequels). I went to Star Wars Celebration this past April and got to watch the trailer for The Last Jedi on the show floor with hundreds of fans. Everybody went crazy throughout the whole thing, but especially when Luke says “It’s time for the Jedi… to end.” There was a mixture of excitement, confusion, and intrigue all throughout the crowd. What Rian Johnson is doing with the movie is fascinating.

He is taking a radically different approach to the character of Luke than what was expected. It looks like we have a guilt stricken Luke Skywalker here because he takes responsibility for Kylo Ren and the First Order. It looks like instead of a direct mentorship between Luke and Rey, like we had in A New Hope with Luke and Ben Kenobi, both characters are going to help each other get to the point that they want each other to be. It’s almost like he wanted to be what Obi Wan was to him to Ben Solo, but couldn’t have that.

I can’t wait to see what Rian Johnson can do with the power of writing and directing a Star Wars movie. He seems to be very confident that this is the right way to tell the eighth chapter in the Star Wars. Lucasfilm has impressed me so far with their Star Wars installments, so I trust them with this one.

What do you think about the news of The Last Jedi? What do you think of the new photos? Are you excited for the movie? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Star Wars: The Last JediFinn (John Boyega) in a Ski Speeder on Crait
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Disney Starting Their Own Streaming Service;Ending Deal With Neflix

Since 2012, Disney has been putting their movies on Netflix once they release on Blu Ray with a deal they’ve had. This will change based on what Disney CEO, Bob Iger, stated.

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Image via Lucasfilm

In an earnings call, Bob Iger announced that in 2019, Disney plans on starting their own streaming service which will have many Disney movies and television shows. This means that instead of like it is now, when we get movies like Doctor Strange, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,  and Zootopia, we won’t get any new movies on the service. Netflix replied to a concerned fan on Twitter and confirmed that this deal will not affect the Marvel Netflix TV shows like Daredevil and Luke Cage.

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Image via Disney

This could change the way we view Disney owned movies from now on. We don’t know many details about the service, but there is plenty of room to speculate. If they want to make a profit, they would have to charge a certain amount. With that, they would have to host a worth while amount of movies and TV shows. This will most likely include many older Disney movies, maybe some MCU movies, Pixar, and Disney original animated movies.  If they choose to also add their newer movies, which in 2019 will include Star Wars: Episode IX, Captain Marvel, and Frozen 2, people might not buy them on Blu Ray and digitally.

There are many factors that could affect this like how long the movies will stay, the price of the service, or there could even be ads on the service. Another possibility is that Disney could make exclusive content. They could make a Marvel show on it, a live action Star Wars TV show, or anything they want. Whatever happens, this could go very well for Disney if people are really into this idea. However, people already pay for streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, so they might be too late to the game with this one.

What do you think about Disney’s new streaming service? Would you buy it? Leave your comments below.

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Ron Howard Directing Han Solo Spinoff Film

Will Han Solo get stuck in space?

Ron Howard will be the new director for the Han Solo spinoff movie.

Image via Lucasfilm
Last week, Lucasfilm revealed that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller would no longer be directing the Han Solo movie. They left the following statement: 

The untitled Han Solo film will move forward with a directorial change.
“Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are talented filmmakers who have assembled an incredible cast and crew, but it’s become clear that we had different creative visions on this film, and we’ve decided to part ways. A new director will be announced soon,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm.
“Unfortunately, our vision and process weren’t aligned with our partners on this project. We normally aren’t fans of the phrase ‘creative differences’ but for once this cliché is true. We are really proud of the amazing and world-class work of our cast and crew,” stated Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.
The untitled Han Solo film remains scheduled for a May 2018 release.

Lord and Miller are known for directing The LEGO Movie, 21 and 22 Jump Street, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Now, Ron Howard will take over as director.

Image via Lucasfilm
The next day, THR reported that Ron Howard would take over as director.  In the report, they stated that Howard would meet with the actors to “soothe a rattled set” and that he would go through a rough edit to see what the project needs. Lord and Miller had already been shooting for  four and a half months. Howard has three and a half weeks of shooting scheduled and five weeks of reshoots built into the schedule.
Lucasfilm released the following statement:

Lucasfilm is pleased to announce that Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard has been named director of the untitled Han Solo film.
“At Lucasfilm, we believe the highest goal of each film is to delight, carrying forward the spirit of the saga that George Lucas began forty years ago,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. “With that in mind, we’re thrilled to announce that Ron Howard will step in to direct the untitled Han Solo film. We have a wonderful script, an incredible cast and crew, and the absolute commitment to make a great movie. Filming will resume the 10th of July.”
Howard has made some of the biggest hits and most critically-acclaimed movies of the modern era. Among his many films are Lucasfilm’s Willow, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind (winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director), The Da Vinci Code, Frost/Nixon, and Rush. He also narrated and produced the beloved comedy series Arrested Development, starred in George Lucas’ American Graffiti, and remains a TV icon for his roles in The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days.
The untitled Han Solo film is slated for a May 25, 2018, release.

According to multiple sources the departure was due to Lord and Miller disagreeing with the screenwriter, Lawrence Kasdan. Apparently Kasdan wanted to stick to the script, while the directors wanted to venture out and try different things. 

Image via Lucasfilm
A director leaving a film is never a good thing. Lord and Miller leaving is very disappointing. However, this could be a blessing in disguise. Tom Howard has won two Best Director Oscars, for Frost/Nixon and A Beautiful Mind. He has also directed other great movies like Apollo 13 and one of my personal favorites, Cinderella Man.
Also, he has worked with Lucasfilm before on Willow. Since he was hired, he has most likely talked with the screenwriter, so disagreement shouldn’t be a problem this time around.

All in all, this news is promising to me, and I hope that the movie turns out to be great.

What do you think about the news? Would you have chosen someone else? Leave your comments below.

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Shooting Begins on Han Solo Spin-Off Film

Han Solo is shooting first

The Han Solo spin-off film began principal photography a few weeks ago, and now they have started shooting officially.

StarWars.com announced that shooting began yesterday at Pinewood Studios, London. They also released this photo.

They put out the following synopsis:

The movie will explore the duo’s adventures before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, including their early encounters with that other card-playing rogue from a galaxy far, far away, Lando Calrissian.

The photo didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know. It’s nice to see that Chewbacca will be in the movie, I hope we see how they met. Lando was in the synopsis, so he might play a significant part in the film. Seeing the Millennium Falcon is reassuring that it’ll go back to young Harrison Ford and his smuggling days.

What do you think of the news? Are you excited? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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