There was lots of movie news this week. A quick recap of highlights:
• Warner Bros. announced that Jupiter Ascending, the newest film from the Wachowski siblings (The Matrix movies) is being postponed from its release on July 18 to Feb. 6, 2015, citing more time needed for extensive special effects.
Really? The announcement comes just weeks before the film was to be released, and the Wachowskis are just now saying they need more time? Hmmm.
• Variety reports that Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, the last two Twilight films) will direct a live-action version of Disneys Beauty and the Beast, joining another live-action adaptation of a classic Disney tale already in the works: The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau. Both films are obviously hoping to cash in on the mega-success of Maleficent.
Whats next? The Lion King?
• Ghostbusters is gonna call Aug. 29 the date for a theatrical re-release, in celebration of the seminal comedys 30th anniversary. This precedes the films Blu-Ray release on Sept. 19.
In other re-release news, Forrest Gump will get an I-MAX release on Sept. 5 celebrating its 20th anniversary, further signifying that Hollywood is going to re-release everything in I-MAX. Eventually.
• Oscar winner Lupita Nyongo (12 Years a Slave) joined the cast of a little movie called Star Wars: Episode VII. Production on the film is already underway. Its due in theaters Dec. 18, 2015. Not so far, far away.
• In other Star Wars news, Josh Trank (Chronicle) has been hired by Disney to direct a Star Wars spinoff film. Trank is currently working on the Fantastic Four reboot. No story details were announced.
Gareth Edwards, hot off Godzilla, was previously announced to direct a separate Star Wars spin-off film. It looks like Disney is following its Marvel comic book films model in prepping the Star Wars franchise. Its box-office receipts are sure to go into hyper drive.
• In a last bit of Star Wars news, Episode VII director J.J. Abrams toyed with fans last week when he tweeted a picture of a hand-written note that said: I wish people would stop leaking photos from Episode VII. And making ridiculous claims that the Millennium Falcon is in the movie.
The catch, though, is that the note was sitting atop what looked like the famous game board seen on Han Solos ship in a previous Star Wars film.
So Abrams is either, wink-wink, acknowledging that the Millennium Falcon will indeed be in Episode VII, or not.