No, your eyes do not deceive you, young Padawan — that is indeed Chewbacca greeting you from the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Ah, there’s nothing like seeing old friends at Christmas… Other folks dropping in for today’s Movie Morsels are Evangeline Lilly (with some new Ant-Man details), Mark Wahlberg (with Transformers 5), Bradley Cooper (in the latest trailer for American Sniper), Captain America: The Winter Soldier‘s Anthony Mackie, and the Broadway-bound class from School of Rock!
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
J.J. Abrams and co. have just gifted us with a little stocking stuffer — in the form of a third video from the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. You’ll recall that last May when Abrams first announced the Star Wars Force for Change initiative for UNICEF he did so from the film’s Abu Dhabi set. The director followed that in July with a look at The Force Awakens‘ new X-wing fighter. Now we’ve got a thank you message from Abrams, his crew (including producer Kathleen Kennedy), and a couple of the film’s returning favorite characters — R2-D2 and Chewbacca. Hopefully we’ll see a whole lot more of these guys when Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrives in our galaxy on December 18, 2015.
Well I guess Mark Wahlberg really does believe Transformers is “probably the most iconic franchise in movie history.” The Age of Extinction star has announced he’ll be back for a “couple more” films in the blockbuster robot franchise. Although Michael Bay has said he won’t direct the next installment, Wahlberg remarks, “You know I can’t speak for Mr. Bay, but something tells me we’ll be on the set soon.” Which makes sense, given Wahlberg’s belief that the fourth Transformers was “bigger and better than the other three combined.” Take that, Stah Wahrs! Here’s MTV‘s interview with the actor.
Evangeline Lilly has just confirmed that her Ant-Man character Hope Van Dyne will be the daughter of two superheroes — Henry Pym and Janet Van Dyne (she’d previously revealed the names of her character’s parents). Speaking to Empire, Lilly remarked, “I was raised by two superheroes. So, I’m a pretty screwed up human being. I am also fairly capable, strong, and kick-ass, which is wonderful to play, but the most fun to play was just how messed up she was from being raised by two superheroes. And the clear message sent by name is that I’m not a big fan of my father and so I took my mother’s name.” Ant-Man lands on July 17, 2015.
School of Rock
Director Richard Linklater is having himself quite the year. His Boyhood has been garnering plenty of accolades and looks sure to earn some Oscar recognition, and now we hear his 2003 hit School of Rock is heading for Broadway, with music by the mega-successful Andrew Lloyd Webber (of Cats and Phantom of the Opera fame). School of Rock (The Broadway Musical) will be written by Downton Abbey scribe Julian Fellowes, and open on December 6, 2015 at Manhattan’s Winter Garden Theater. Meanwhile, Nickelodeon’s TV adaptation of the Jack Black starrer is also set to debut next year. For those about to rock, I salute you.
Director Clint Eastwood’s look at the life of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle wasn’t nominated for any Golden Globes, but it’s still received some buzz for star Bradley Cooper’s portrait of a soldier whose mind is teetering on the brink. The film’s second trailer is out, offering a disturbing view of the mental state of Cooper’s character. American Sniper will be out in limited release on December 25th, before opening wide in January.
Make a Wish
Director Justin Simien’s Dear White People was one of the most talked about indie comedies on the 2014 festival circuit, and his follow-up film is sure to get even more attention. Captain America: Winter Soldier star Anthony Mackie (whose Falcon was, for my money, the best thing about the Marvel epic) is on board for Simien’s Make a Wish. Mackie will also executive produce the film, which boasts a 2013 Black List script by Zach Frankel, just picked up by Paramount, about “a football star [played by Mackie] who wants to grant the final wish of a dying 14-year-old who adores the gridironer. It’s not an easy wish, though; the kid wants the football star to help him ‘score’ before he [dies].” Trust me — if there’s any man who can rid someone of their virginity, it’s Anthony Mackie.
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