J. J. Abrams
April 17, 2015 | 4:30 a.m.
Thousands of die-hard “Star Wars” fans — more than a few bearing lightsabers and clad in homemade costumes — came into the opening panel at the Star Wars Celebration fan convention in Anaheim with three big questions. Would J.J. Abrams, director of the highly anticipated “Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens,” show a new trailer? Would Harrison Ford — still recovering from injuries sustained in a plane crash last month — make his first-ever appearance at a “Star Wars” convention? And would fresh plot details about the new film — not hitting theaters until Dec. 18, an excruciatingly long wait for the faithful — finally be unveiled? The answers were yes, no and, as Yoda might say, “Patience, young Skywalker.” In a presentation Thursday morning at the Anaheim Convention Center that was heavy on nostalgia for the much-loved nearly […]
April 16, 2015 | 12:30 p.m.
This weekend’s Star Wars Celebration is the place to be for fans of all things related to the galaxy far, far away and a long, long time ago, but you don’t have to go to the Anaheim Convention Center to get an inside look at the fan expo. The convention, which kicked off Thursday morning with a presentation from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” director J.J. Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy, is being live-streamed for the enjoyment of “Star Wars” fans across the globe. Click on the video above to stay in the loop. Star Wars Celebration: Trailer unveiled | Watch the live stream | Fans gather | Preview So far, key moments at Star Wars Celebration include the unveiling of the first full-length trailer for “The Force Awakens”; a Q&A with “Star Wars” cast members, including newcomers John Boyega, […]
April 16, 2015 | 11:25 a.m.
The first full-length trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was unveiled Thursday morning, offering fans an extended look at what is perhaps this year’s most anticipated film. Director J.J. Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy introduced the two-minute trailer during the Star Wars Celebration fan expo in Anaheim. The trailer begins with narration from Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker, the protagonist of the original “Star Wars” trilogy. Star Wars Celebration: Trailer unveiled | Watch the live stream | Fans gather | Preview “The Force is strong in my family,” he says. “My father has it. I have it. My sister has it. You have that power too.” It’s unclear whether he is addressing a member of the Skywalker family or another character altogether. The trailer shows scenes from Jakku, a desert planet not unlike Tatooine, where the wreckage of […]
April 16, 2015 | 4:00 a.m.
“Star Wars,” the space-opera franchise that revolutionized the movie business and spawned a sprawling multi-billion-dollar multimedia empire, is back with a renewed force. “Star Wars Episode VII,” the first new “Star Wars” film in a decade, won’t hit theaters until Dec. 18. But the countdown begins in earnest Thursday, when grown men in Stormtrooper costumes, suburban moms dressed as Princess Leia and kids done up as cuddly Ewoks will descend in droves on the Anaheim Convention Center for the Star Wars Celebration fan convention. It marks a pivotal moment for one of the most lucrative series in film history — and for Walt Disney Co., which paid $4 billion to acquire Lucasfilm and its “Star Wars” franchise from creator George Lucas in 2012. Star Wars Celebration: Trailer unveiled | Watch the live stream | Fans gather | Preview Disney is […]
March 12, 2015 | 10:42 a.m.
Mark you calendars. “Star Wars: Episode VIII” will open May 26, 2017. Walt Disney Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Bob Iger revealed the news at the company’s annual shareholder meeting Thursday in San Francisco. “Episode VIII” will be directed by Rian Johnson (“Looper”), who will take the reins of the saga from J.J. Abrams — Abrams’ film, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is set to open Dec. 18 and will see stars of the landmark original trilogy reprise their iconic roles alongside a large ensemble of newcomers including John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac. Johnson’s previous films include the high-school noir “Brick” and the caper comedy “The Brothers Bloom,” and he’s best known for the mind-bending time-travel thriller “Looper,” starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis. The 2012 movie grossed $176 million at the worldwide box office. Iger also said that the first […]
Feb. 12, 2015 | 12:00 p.m.
James Franco has been cast as the lead in “11/22/63,” J.J. Abrams’ new Hulu series based on the novel by Stephen King. Franco (“The Interview,” “127 Hours”), who is also a producer for the series, will portray high school English teacher Jake Epping, who travels back in time to try to prevent the assassination of President John. F. Kennedy. The nine-hour event series based on King’s thriller is coming to Hulu via J.J. Abrams’ production company, Bad Robot Productions. Abrams, the creative mind behind the likes of “Lost” and “Fringe,” is no stranger to bizarre tales of time-travel and parallel realities, and it seems this series will be no exception. In King’s “11/22/63,” published in 2011, Epping’s quest to save JFK is threatened by Lee Harvey Oswald, romance and a past resistant to change. Bridget Carpenter — whose previous credits […]
Feb. 05, 2015 | 5:00 a.m.
Mark Hamill might not have a lot of screen time in director Matthew Vaughn’s new film, “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” but what he has is certainly memorable. In the opening sequence, which arrives in theaters Feb. 13, Hamill watches an operatically violent tussle unfold inside the remote chalet where his character, a kidnapped professor, is being held. The blood-spattered action sets the tone for the gleefully violent R-rated sendup/love-letter to classic spy flicks. The scene likely will ring familiar to comic readers who know the Mark Millar-Dave Gibbons title that inspired the film (notably, the comic was co-created by Vaughn), though it does play out a bit differently on the big screen. Hamill is not, as he was in the comic, appearing as himself, nor is he listening to complaints about the inferior quality of the “Star Wars” prequels. In […]
Dec. 26, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.
Chris Taylor headed to San Francisco’s AMC Metreon 15 on Black Friday for a 10 a.m. screening of “Fury,” but it wasn’t just the Brad Pitt tank drama that he’d come to see. Taylor was among the throngs of fans who made their way to 30 theaters across the country that day to be among the first to watch the trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which will return the legendary space opera to the big screen in 2015. “There’s one guy in the theater in the back row already watching the trailer over and over again on his iPhone,” recalled Taylor, the author of the new book “How Star Wars Conquered the Universe.” Also, he said, “there were stormtroopers in the audience.” Nor was the excitement confined to cinemas; online, the clip was reportedly viewed more than 20 […]
Nov. 28, 2014 | 8:24 a.m.
The debut trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is out, offering fans a glimpse of the first new live-action footage of the “Star Wars” universe in nearly a decade. The trailer, which was released on iTunes on Friday in addition to screening in select theaters, is 88 seconds long and features new characters (including “Attack the Block” actor John Boyega in Stormtrooper gear) and familiar settings, like Luke Skywalker’s desert planet home Tatooine, where actress Daisy Ridley rides some sort of speeder bike. “There’s been an awakening,” a deep voice narrates as the trailer begins. “Have you felt it? The dark side, and the light.” The trailer, below, reveals an updated Millennium Falcon, several X-wing fighters piloted by men in battered uniforms reminiscent of Rebel Alliance gear, a new kind of droid that travels using a ball and, most […]
Nov. 24, 2014 | 11:46 a.m.
[This post has been updated to include the complete list of 30 theaters screening the trailer. Scroll to the end for the complete list.] The first trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is debuting this weekend, and according to director J.J. Abrams, it will reveal 88 seconds of footage from the highly anticipated seventh installment in the sci-fi mega-franchise. On Monday morning, Abrams tweeted a picture of a handwritten note, complete with Star Wars doodle, wishing fans “a most excellent Thanksgiving” and teasing the trailer. “A tiny* peek at what we’re working on — this Friday in select theaters,” Abrams tweeted. “*88 seconds.” THANKSGIVING pic.twitter.com/46811BgWiF — Bad Robot (@bad_robot) November 24, 2014 “Select theaters” could include nine Regal Entertainment Group venues; the movie theater operator announced on its website that the trailer would screen before each film playing Friday […]