Rian Johnson

June 20, 2014 | 12:47 p.m.

‘Star Wars’ shake-up: Rian Johnson to write, direct ‘Episode VIII’

Rian Johnson is set to take the reins of the “Star Wars” franchise. The “Looper” filmmaker will write and direct “Star Wars: Episode VIII” and pen a treatment for “Episode IX,” a representative for Johnson confirmed to Hero Complex. Johnson takes over for J.J. Abrams, who is currently helming “Episode VII” from a script he wrote with Lawrence Kasdan. A representative for Disney, which owns Lucasfilm, declined to comment on the news of Johnson’s hiring. 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. Johnson, 40, is the latest genre-savvy young filmmaker to join the “Star Wars” universe: “Godzilla” director Gareth Edwards and “Chronicle” director Josh Trank have also been enlisted to direct two “Star Wars” standalone movies. Abrams’ […]
Dec. 30, 2012 | 2:11 p.m.

2012 in review: 10 movies to see — or see again

Christian Bale as Batman on the Bat-Pod in "The Dark Knight Rises." (Ron Phillips/Warner Bros.)
For fans of fantastic entertainment, it was a bountiful year at the box office. The highest-grossing movies of 2012 starred a collection of superheroes, two strong young woman with mean archery skills (Katniss Everdeen and Merida from “Brave”), a suit-sporting super spy and a mild-mannered hobbit who embarks on an unexpected adventure — not to mention a coven of sparkly vampires and a talking stoner teddy bear. With so many movies to choose from, it’s easy to see how audiences might have overlooked a few gems. So as the year draws to a close, we’ve assembled our top picks for films to belatedly check out — as well as a few that no doubt warrant repeat viewings. “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter” Yeah, yeah, so it didn’t take the box office by storm, and critics griped that the movie wasn’t funny. […]
Aug. 31, 2012 | 11:37 a.m.

‘Looper': Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Rian Johnson are a tight team

Rian Johnson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (featured image)
It’s late afternoon on a sweltering day in Hollywood, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt and writer-director Rian Johnson have just finished recording the DVD commentary track for their upcoming sci-fi mind-bender “Looper.” Legs are being stretched. The tray of guacamole and chips sitting on the console remains largely untouched. Thinking about the recorded conversation, which will surface when the movie arrives on home video a few months after its Sept. 28 theatrical release, Johnson laughs and offers: “At a certain point, you realize you’re just sitting here lifting up the veil, ruining the movie for everyone.” Given the intricate world and fantastic ideas contained in “Looper,” audiences might appreciate a small peek behind the curtain. The movie takes place in the bleak future of 2047. Time travel has not been invented — but it will be in 30 years. And then it […]
July 16, 2012 | 7:12 p.m.

‘Dark Knight Rises': Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s summer secret

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake, left, and Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon
Joseph Gordon-Levitt has 500 things to fill his days this summer — including filming his directorial debut (which stars Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore), tending to his record label and ramping up for the release of several new films with August’s bike-messenger thriller “Premium Rush” and September’s promising sci-fi film “Looper,” in which he and Bruce Willis play the same contract killer at different ends of a time-travel adventure. And then there’s the topic that everyone wants to hear about the most but Gordon-Levitt wants to talk about the least: “The Dark Knight Rises,” the final installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, which arrives July 20 with Gordon-Levitt as one of the stealth weapons in its all-star ensemble. If you approach Gordon-Levitt now you’ll get the same answer he offered last year during an on-the-set interview between scenes filmed at […]
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