Jan. 16, 2015 | 3:33 p.m.
George Lucas co-wrote and executive produced the new animated tale “Strange Magic,” which arrives in theaters Jan. 23. The musical romp, directed by Gary Rydstrom, takes very loose inspiration from Shakespeare, telling the story of a monstrous Bog King (Alan Cumming) who finds unexpected love in a magical realm of elves and fairies. But it isn’t the only new movie Lucas has on the horizon. The 70-year-old “Star Wars” creator currently is writing two new features, both experimental movies that hearken back to his student days at the University of Southern California. However, he has no plans to ever release either project publicly. “The way [the films] are, they’re not really movies that can be released,” Lucas said of his upcoming projects during a recent phone call from New York City, where he was promoting “Strange Magic.” “They’re movies more […]
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 […]
Nov. 21, 2014 | 10:48 a.m.
Disney has released the first trailer for the upcoming Lucasfilm animated musical “Strange Magic,” offering a glimpse of the movie’s eccentric world of fairies and goblins. The film, inspired by William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” pits the magical folk (sparkly fairies and elves) against the Dark Forest’s mysterious creatures (goblins and other troll-like creatures) in a battle over a dangerous potion. Based on a story by “Star Wars” mastermind George Lucas, “Strange Magic” will feature modern-day pop songs from the last six decades. The trailer features covers of “Wild Thing,” “Say Hey (I Love You)” and a rather grating rendition of “Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch.” (Check out the trailer below) Gary Rydstrom, a seven-time Academy Award-winner for sound and sound effects editing, is directing the film from a screenplay penned by David Berenbaum (“Elf”), Irene Mecchi (“Brave,” “The Lion […]
Nov. 17, 2014 | 12:24 p.m.
Organizers of Star Wars Celebration, the traveling confab that celebrates all things connected to George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away, are expecting April’s gathering in Anaheim to be the biggest yet — thanks in no small part to the anticipation surrounding the release of J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The 2015 Celebration rolls into the Anaheim Convention Center April 16-19, with interactive programming including diorama building, Jedi training and “Star Wars” tattooing. A new session of “Star Wars University,” a classroom-style presentation that in the past has featured a lesson in storyboarding with “Star Wars Rebels” executive producer Dave Filoni, also is set to take place during the semi-annual event . Last week, Hero Complex exclusively debuted the poster for the 2015 event; today readers can check out a new promotional video for the Celebration above. The Celebrations […]
Nov. 13, 2014 | 5:01 p.m.
For many fans, J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” looms on the 2015 release date calendar like a most eagerly anticipated holiday gift that can’t be unwrapped quickly enough. Organizers of Star Wars Celebration, the traveling confab that celebrates all things connected to George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away, are hoping to capitalize on that enthusiasm, looking to build attendance for the 2015 gathering, which rolls into the Anaheim Convention Center April 16-19. (Hero Complex readers can get an exclusive first look at the poster for the 2015 event above.) “It’s going to be really interesting, because we are way ahead with ticket sales from where we usually are this far out,” said Mary Franklin, senior events and fan relations lead for Lucasfilm. “I feel safe saying this is going to be the biggest one yet.” The Celebrations date […]
Nov. 11, 2014 | 10:36 a.m.
“Strange Magic,” a musical animated feature film inspired by William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” is coming to theaters in January, Disney announced Tuesday. The news comes after much speculation that the film would be a sequel to Disney’s record-breaking blockbuster “Frozen.” The rumor mill appears to have gotten it wrong, with nary a snowman in sight. Instead, the project — from Lucasfilm and Touchstone Pictures — is inspired by Shakespeare’s magical comedy and based on a story by “Star Wars” mastermind George Lucas, and will feature modern-day pop songs (Electric Light Orchestra, anyone?). Here’s the official description from Disney: “Strange Magic” is a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked […]
Oct. 03, 2014 | 12:15 p.m.
The sun was shining brightly on one recent afternoon at Skywalker Ranch, George Lucas’ lush yet cozy retreat in Marin County. But Kilian Plunkett, art director for the new animated series “Star Wars Rebels,” was not outside enjoying a stroll through Lucas’ vineyard or taking a dip in the waters of Lake Ewok. He was inside, in the dim light of the Lucasfilm archive, holding a bit of cinematic history in his hands. At just 18×41 centimeters, artist Ralph McQuarrie’s gouache concept paintings for the original “Star Wars” trilogy are smaller than expected, but then again, so is the Mona Lisa. Physical size bears no relation to the impact these paintings have on pop culture. “I always assumed these things were giant movie poster size,” Plunkett said as he pointed out the finer details of McQuarrie’s style. For “Star Wars” […]
Oct. 02, 2014 | 1:25 p.m.
“Star Wars Rebels” is getting a second season, Disney announced Thursday, the day before the cartoon’s first season premiere. Disney XD has ordered a second season of the new animated series, which has been praised by critics as well as fans who saw a debut screening at San Diego’s Comic-Con International in July or who caught early screenings on digital platforms. “The fan response to the show has been amazing, humbling and inspiring,” Lucasfilm’s vice president of creative development, Kiri Hart, said in a news release. “We’re looking forward to the adventure ahead.” “Star Wars Rebels” is meant to be the origin story of the Rebel Alliance — the group that Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo would eventually lead to defeat the evil Empire. Set about five years before the beginning of “Star Wars Episode IV: A New […]
Aug. 04, 2014 | 6:05 p.m.
Excited to see “Star Wars Rebels”? Tonight, you can watch the first seven minutes of the first episode online. Set about five years before the beginning of “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope,” the new animated series follows the adventures of a group of heroes desperately trying to combat the all-consuming might of the Empire, the fascistic government arisen from the ashes of the Old Republic in “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.” Although the story will recount the formation of the Rebel Alliance, the group that Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo would eventually lead to defeat the evil Empire, at the outset of the show the organization is little more than a ragtag band of aliens and a Jedi Knight in hiding, Kanan (voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr.), who engage in minor skirmishes with Imperial […]
July 24, 2014 | 11:32 p.m.
“Star Wars” fans got their first look at the new “Star Wars Rebels” series on Thursday at Comic-Con with a screening of the first episode, which isn’t due to premiere on the Disney Channel until October. While the animation wasn’t quite finished, and therefore not quite ready for review, it did evoke the look and feel of “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.” The exclusive clip above was screened at the panel and gave fans a feel for the lighthearted, more adventurous feel of the new series. At the show’s panel discussion beforehand, executive producers Dave Filoni and Simon Kinberg appeared before fans for the first time with the show’s cast, which includes Freddie Prinze Jr., Steve Blum, Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray and Tiya Sircar. The new series takes place in the “Star Wars” timeline between “Revenge of the […]