April 20, 2015 | 12:47 p.m.
A new trailer for the “Fantastic Four” reboot is out, offering a closer look at the titular heroes’ superpowers as well as the villainous Doctor Doom. At the head of the “Fantastic” quartet is Miles Teller’s Reed Richards, a scientist who “knows answers to questions we don’t even know to ask yet,” says Dr. Franklin Storm (Reg Cathey). An experiment with interdimensional travel endows Reed and his team with superhuman abilities. Reed gets super-stretchy powers; Kate Mara, who plays Dr. Storm’s daughter Sue, can make herself invisible; Michael B. Jordan’s Johnny Storm can turn into a human fireball; and Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) becomes a rock-like giant known as the Thing. The film’s origin story diverges from the Marvel comics, in which the four are endowed with their powers after being exposed to cosmic rays during a scientific space mission. […]
April 20, 2015 | 11:30 a.m.
“The Mortal Instruments” spinoff TV series “Shadowhunters” has found its Jace Wayland, casting “Vampire Academy” actor Dominic Sherwood as the male lead. Sherwood will portray the “narcissistic and lethally gorgeous” demon-hunter who serves as the love interest for the story’s heroine, Clarissa “Clary” Fray, ABC Family announced Monday. Based on the bestselling “The Mortal Instruments” YA urban fantasy book series by Cassandra Clare, “Shadowhunters” follows 18-year-old Clary as she becomes entangled in the world of Shadowhunters — human-angel hybrids who hunt down demons — after her mother is attacked and taken by a demon. In order to save her mother, Clary must immerse herself in a world of faeries, warlocks, vampires and werewolves, uncover family secrets, tap into powers she never knew she had and team up with a band of Shadowhunters, including the captivating Jace — a skilled soldier […]
April 20, 2015 | 7:04 a.m.
The love for Princess Leia Organa was strong among the “Star Wars” professionals, fans and professional fans attending the “What Princess Leia Means to Me” panel on Sunday at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim. Panelists and audience members took the occasion to share the many ways the iconic character has influenced their lives. The panel, moderated by Jennifer Heddie, a senior editor at Lucasfilm, featured actress Catherine Taber, artists Cat Staggs and Katie Cook, author Christie Golden and Lucasfilm creative executive Rayne Roberts. For a number of the panelists Princess Leia was the first example they encountered in media that showed women could have agency. Princess Leia was “the first female character I remember that wasn’t the one that needed to be saved,” said Staggs, a comic book artist whose “Star Wars” related work includes illustrating trading cards and […]
April 20, 2015 | 4:30 a.m.
Some came dressed as Stormtroopers. Some got R2-D2 tattoos. Some underwent Jedi training or stood in long lines for autographs ($125 for Mark Hamill but just $50 for Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca). But like the Millennium Falcon in the grip of the Death Star tractor beam, the estimated 60,000 fans who attended the four-day Star Wars Celebration that ended Sunday were inexorably drawn to the Anaheim Convention Center for the same purpose: to share their passion for all things “Star Wars” and catch an early glimpse of the franchise’s next chapter. Before the event, “Star Wars” fans had many more questions than answers about the future of the nearly 40-year-old franchise, with the first new “Star Wars” film in a decade, “Episode VII: The Force Awakens,” due in theaters Dec. 18. “We’re really in uncharted waters,” said Eric Geller, […]
April 19, 2015 | 8:52 p.m.
For his panel Sunday afternoon at Star Wars Celebration, Billy Dee Williams, who played Lando Calrissian in 1980’s “The Empire Strikes Back” and 1983’s “Return of the Jedi,” was billed as the “Baron of Smooth.” But as he took the stage at the Anaheim Convention Center on the final day of the fan expo, the actor insisted that – notwithstanding Calrissian’s undeniable suaveness and those old Colt 45 commercials – his reputation for smoothness was overstated. “I don’t know why everybody thinks I’m smooth,” said Williams, who turned 78 this month. “I think I’m just a pretty silly person, really.” Fans listened respectfully throughout an hourlong conversation as Williams talked about his early roles in films such as “Brian’s Song” and “Lady Sings the Blues,” his more recent stint on “Dancing With the Stars” and his love of painting. But […]
April 19, 2015 | 2:17 p.m.
“Star Wars” fans, if this weekend’s Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim is any indication, are a patient lot. Thousands camped out Wednesday night to be in the same room as director J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, and lines to buy exclusive convention merchandise could stretch up to three hours. That’s about how long, for instance, it took me to purchase a wall clock in the shape of Salacious B. Crumb, the rat-like pal of Jabba the Hutt in “Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi.” Others waited an hour or so to purchase ornaments. Some waited for love (speed dating sessions for men seeking women were booked by Friday morning, dashing my hopes of a “Star Wars romance) and still others waited hours for a glimpse of new video game “Star Wars: Battlefront” or a chance […]
April 19, 2015 | 1:17 p.m.
Just days after releasing the new trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Lucasfilm pulled back the curtain a little more on the future of the franchise at a Sunday morning panel at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, offering a sneak peek at the first of a series of spinoff films, “Star Wars: Rogue One.” While details were scant — the film is still in pre-production and isn’t due in theaters until December 2016 — director Gareth Edwards (“Godzilla”), joined onstage by Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, revealed that the plot centers on a small band of rebel soldiers (including actress Felicity Jones) who unite on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. The film is set between the last of the prequels, “Revenge of the Sith,” and the original 1977 “Star Wars,” making it essentially “Episode 3.5″ […]
April 19, 2015 | 8:37 a.m.
Mark Hamill, who portrayed young Jedi Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy of “Star Wars” films, offered a chilling alternate timeline for this December’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the seventh film in core space fantasy saga. What if he said no? Speaking Saturday night at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, Hamill regaled a packed auditorium with tales of “Star Wars” past and present. Hamill spoke of how “Star Wars” creator George Lucas first broached the subject of a new trilogy of films, shared details about the difficulty of working with a Jedi Master puppet in Yoda and said he initially viewed “The Force Awakens” director J.J. Abrams with a hint of suspicion. The talk brought to a close the the third day of the four-day fan expo, one that over the course of the weekend has featured droid races, speed dating, costume […]
April 18, 2015 | 7:15 p.m.
Forget the shiny digital gloss that marked the three “Star Wars” prequels. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the upcoming seventh episode in the space fantasy saga, drew its primary inspiration from the late 70s and early ’80s look of the original trilogy, said key members of the new film’s visual effects team on Saturday at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim. Speaking on a panel on the third day of the four-day fan expo, the effects wizards assured fans that “The Force Awakens” emphasizes characters over digital magic. “It’s almost liked ratcheting it down,” said Christian Alzmann, part of the production team for “The Force Awakens.” Alzmann, who worked on “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,” was asked how the J.J. Abrams-directed film would distinguish itself amid today’s landscape of effects-heavy genre films. “To me, there’s almost like […]
April 18, 2015 | 6:39 p.m.
The Mos Eisley Cantina theme played over loudspeakers on the Anaheim Convention Center’s second floor as 13-year-old Zachary Clayson, clad in Jedi robe and tunic, maneuvered a remote-controlled yellow robot to where a young woman was standing with an infant. The little robot — a replica of a “Star Wars” hangar deck scrubber droid — nudged the woman’s ankles. She smiled and bent down, giving the baby a closer look. “My favorite part of Star Wars Celebration is probably just driving this thing around and seeing people’s reactions when they see it,” said Clayson, who traveled with his father from the San Francisco Bay Area to attend the fan expo. At Celebration, the big panel presentations with the likes of J.J. Abrams, Carrie Fisher and Anthony Daniels may be generating the most buzz online, but for the estimated 60,000 “Star […]