Archive for the ‘2005’ Category

Enough about 2004, bring on 2005 wish list

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Farewell, 2004! Enough with the year-end wrap-ups and the moving looking-back montages set to the score of Lord of the Rings.

Here at Flick Chick Central, we’re forward-thinking children of the future. And we (well, we being me) would like to unveil the official “Flick Chick’s 2005 New Year Movie Wish List,” including the films I’m most looking forward to penciling into my Hello, Kitty desk calendar.
Star Wars: Episode III: To be honest, I was so depressed and disappointed by Episodes I and II that I really hold out only a faint flicker of hope that this series ender won’t muck it all up. Hopefully, George Lucas will relent on the overwhelming CGI and extraneous characters (Hit the bricks, Jar-Jar!) and embrace the drama of Anakin Skywalker’s (Hayden Christensen’s) final descent into evil masked terror. Let’s hear it for evil masked terror!

Play it again, and again, Hollywood

Friday, February 27th, 2009

After a year heavily larded with dispiriting sequels and misbegotten remakes, Hollywood sat itself down, looked at the declining attendance figures at movie theaters and decided to make the same mistakes all over again in 2005.

With luck, this year’s crop will merely be disappointing and misunderstood. With better luck, these five will turn out to be movies you want to see again and again, even if nobody remakes them.
“Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” (set for May 19): Love it or hate it, George Lucas’ three-episode prequel cycle comes to a close and, with it, the “Star Wars” saga begun in 1977. This is the episode in which Anakin Skywalker goes over to the dark side of the force and becomes Darth Vader, so the movie is expected to be a little on the grim side.

Star Wars actors reunited

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Actors Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor have teamed up with other stars of all six Star Wars movies for a new Vanity Fair photo spread. The magazine grouped together 22 major performers in the legendary franchise, inviting cast members from the original 1977 film Star Wars: Episode IV-A New Hope to this year’s final installment Star Wars: Episode III-Revenge of the Sith. Mastermind George Lucas, who directed four of the intergalactic movies, joined Ford, Fisher, Portman and McGregor as well as original Luke Skywalker star Mark Hamill, Samuel L. Jackson, Liam Neeson and Hayden Christensen. Robots R2-D2 and C3PO also joined their human co-stars for the reunion shoot. Lucas admits the final part of the opening trilogy marks the end of an era in his career-and he now plans to stop making successful films. He says, “I’m going to make movies nobody wants to see. I’ve earned the right to fail.”

The Vanity Fair Star Wars Cover!

Friday, February 27th, 2009

This is the movie for people who didn’t quite get the last two but enjoyed the first three,” says JIM WINDOLF, contributing editor for Vanity Fair. “They’re going to understand because there’s going to be Wookies. So you can’t go wrong with a lot of Wookies in the movie.”

They also mention the film may get a PG-13 rating:

The tone of ‘Revenge’ will be darker than the usual ‘Star Wars’ movies, and Lucas “hints that Anakin Skywalker is literally going to go to the underworld, to hell itself,” says Windolf. “He says it’s going to be a violent movie; it looks like he’s prepared to accept a PG-13 rating,” which none of the previous films have received.

Joystiq gets a peek at the Star Wars Episode III game

Friday, February 27th, 2009

The next installment of the Star Wars Trilogy is just around the corner. After decades of waiting to see how Anakin became Darth Vader, the wait is almost over. We’ll get hit with a lot of merchandise in the coming months, but none of it will hold our attention as much as the official game. I was lucky enough to get a chance to check out the Playstation 2 version of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith this week, and I’m happy to report it looks great.

Seeing previews like this is always a bit tough. It’s based on a movie that you want to see, so you’re stuck between wanting to know everything and wanting to know nothing. While the fine folks at Lucas have NDAs tattooed to their eyelids, that still doesn’t make it any easier. For instance, the demo broke ( I believe accidentally) into a film clip for a split second. Two of us averted our eyes, and looked over our shoulders. Yes, we should be blasted as nerds and demerited seven journalist points. But I, for one, will not be tainted.

The scene we got to check out has Anakin, Obi Wan and R2 racing through a space dock with trashed craft everywhere. The droids are all familiar, and just as much fun to see break apart as they were in Obi Wan — which just so happens to be my favorite action platformer with the Star Wars name on it. The action looks very similar to Obi Wan, with light sabers swinging all over the place and incredible moves that only a Jedi (and a brilliant fight coordinator) could pull off. Indeed, some of the folks who worked on Obi Wan are working on the Episode 3 game. Knowing that makes me feel warm on the inside. Granted, they had to remove some of the more complex moves from OB for the larger, more “mainstream” audience, but it looks like there will be plenty of tricks to go around.

One of the main reasons the fight moves work so well is because the character animation is very well done. Yes, you get the inevitable jerkiness as you change directions, but once you get going the motion adds a lot to the overall experience. For example, Obi Wan’s body language is formal, even uptight. Anakin’s movement, on the other hand, is cocky and brooding. This is the result of Hayden Christensen actually consulting with the developers. At one point, the team had Christensen’s digital counterpart holding the light saber tightly, as if he was preparing for battle. But Christensen informed them Anakin would never do that. He showed them how George told him to move (I wonder who he meant by this “George”). The result is that Anakin walks around with the saber at his side, dangling, casual. He’s not preparing for a fight, he’s ready for one. That attention to detail is palpable, even in the pre-alpha.

The scenes have scripted endings so all action leads you in that direction. However, as in Obi Wan, there’s a lot of free movement within the space. Hey, throw enough bad guys at me and I won’t care if I can jump on that scaffolding or not. Indeed, you’ll need the help of Obi Wan as you move throught the hectic level I saw. At one point, after a lull in the action, you realize your path is blocked by a ship’s carcass. You and Obi Wan can team up and Force Push that puppy right off its platform, allowing you to pass. Nice.

At the end of the level the Jedi must protect R2 as he carries out his duty. Again, the scripted elements were clear as day, but it’s the nature of the beast. And Lucas has more than proven they can pull off this kind of game.

Overall, I’d say you should expect an experience similar to EA’s Lord of the Rings efforts. Perfectly fun, mainstream fare, that many of us will consider a great way to cap off an afternoon of seeing the final episode of the Star Wars series. The game is due on the shelves May 5, 2022 (05/05/05…ooooooooh), which is before the film’s release date. If you don’t like spoilers then you will definitely want to wait on the game. It has a lot of key story points on display for all to play.

Planning out for a sold out Year

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Hayden Christensen stars as Anakin Skywalker, the Jedi who becomes Darth Vader, in the May release of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of The Sith. This, the final film in the Star Wars series, is the most anticipated movie of the year.
May 19, however, will see McGregor in the most highly anticipated release of the year, George Lucas’ last installment of the Star Wars saga, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. If the trailer is any indication, this movie should shake its candy-coated predecessor’s kiddie movie status and give adult audiences all the bloody, light-saber crashing Jedi slaughtering they’ve been waiting for. Hayden Christensen looks absolutely terrifying as a Sith lord, and McGregor bears a striking resemblance to the original Obi-Wan Kenobi, Sir Alec Guinness. Liam Neeson is also reported to have a cameo in this movie, reprising his role as Qui-Gon Jinn’s spectral projection. Lucas had better come correct with this last movie, lest the geekiest mob of this side of a Star Trek convention decides to storm Skywalker Ranch and demand the film maker’s head on a charger.

Year’s upcoming movies step back into the familiar

Friday, February 27th, 2009

The Force will be with you again in May as Lucas unveils “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith,” the final chapter of his prequel series.
Fans grumbled over the first two prequels. They scoffed at starting Anakin Skywalker’s journey toward evil in childhood and ridiculed the young Jedi’s mushy romantic babble.
Still, it’s hard to imagine fans will not turn out to see Anakin take his final turn to the dark side and become the malevolent Darth Vader.
The man pulling the galaxy’s strings shrugs off the gripes. Lucas says he’s making the movies his way, not the way fans want.
The fan base basically wanted the first film to be this film, ‘Revenge of the Sith,’ and have Darth Vader become Darth Vader in the first episode, then have the other ones with Darth Vader going around killing everybody,” Lucas told The Associated Press. “But that’s really not what the story is at all. And I knew it when I was going to go back and do it. I said, ‘I’m going to tell the story of how he became that person, not the story of him being that person.

Filmmakers were thinking mostly inside the box

Friday, February 27th, 2009

‘Star Wars’ sick day: May 19
A long time ago, in a galaxy known as early “Saturday Night Live,” Bill Murray played a lounge singer who crooned, ” ‘Star Wars,’ nothing but ‘Star Wars’ …”

And it will be nothing but “Star Wars” on May 19, when the sixth and final installment of George Lucas’ space spectacular is released. This is his last chance to bridge “Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” with the original “Star Wars,” released in 1977 and now fourth in the sequence. At one time, Lucas talked about doing nine movies, but he decided to quit at six.

In “Revenge of the Sith,” Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is lured to the dark side, and the foundation must be laid for his wife, Amidala (Natalie Portman), to become pregnant with twins, known as Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker. After all, in “Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back,” Darth Vader shocks Luke (Mark Hamill) with the revelation: “I am your father.”

This is the skinny from 20th Century Fox on the plot: After three years, the Clone Wars are nearly at an end. The Jedi Council dispatches Obi-Wan Kenobi to bring General Grievous, deadly leader of the Separatist droid army, to justice.

Back on Coruscant, Chancellor Palpatine has grown in power. He transforms the war-weary Republic into the mighty Galactic Empire. To his closest ally, Anakin Skywalker, he reveals the true nature of power and the promised secrets of the Force in an attempt to lure him to the dark side.
We know how that turns out.

The Master Behind the Action: Nick Gillard at Star Wars Celebration III

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Nick Gillard, swordmaster and stunt coordinator for Episodes I, II, and III, is set to appear at Star Wars Celebration III this April at the Indiana Convention Center.”I really enjoyed Celebration II, and I’m thoroughly looking forward to III,” says Gillard, who made several appearances at the 2002 Star Wars festival, including time on stage with Hayden Christensen to talk about lightsaber training for Attack of the Clones.Gillard has been the master choreographer behind some of the most memorable scenes of the prequels. Serious and casual fans alike remember the “Duel of the Fates” battle between Darth Maul, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace, and Obi-Wan’s “rumble in the rain” with Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones, among many others. The upcoming fight pitting Anakin Skywalker against Obi-Wan Kenobi in Revenge of the Sith, for which Gillard worked with actors Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor, may be the most anticipated on-screen lightsaber battle of all time. Gillard created individual fighting styles for each of the Jedi in the films, even though some of these were “fictional” martial arts. He felt each style used needed to have an authentic, real-life feel. Taking into account each character’s distinctive personality and position in the Jedi order helped Gillard fashion a fighting style best suited to each.

“I hate stunts that look like stunts,” said Gillard in a interview while filming The Phantom Menace.

“Every parry is deliberate. There is no pure cinema stuff, no meaningless flourishes. There are no moves that would actually leave the fighter open. In some cases the fights are going so fast that you can hardly see all this, but if you slow it down, you can see that every move is for real.”At Celebration III, fans can enjoy listening to interviews with Gillard, and hear behind-the-scenes stories on the work that goes into making memorable and believable fight scenes. Sessions will Gillard are scheduled to include time for questions from the audience, so fans should watch their favorite scenes and come prepared.In addition to the Star Wars prequels, Gillard’s recent credits as stunt coordinator include the films Dirty Pretty Things, Reign of Fire, Shaft, and Sleepy Hollow.

SW3 Pickup Shoot & Voice Work

Friday, February 27th, 2009

The official site reports of a pick-up shoot of four scenes in London’s Elstree Studios on January 31st, with Natalie Portman (Padme Amidala) and Hayden Christensen (Anakin/Vader). They did not share the scene. The pickup is mainly to patch over continuity or accommodate changes in dialogue. Hayden shot a ‘follow through’ for the fight with Count Dooku (Christopher Lee). In the film, Dooku tosses Anakin and Obi-Wan through the air like ragdolls. ILM has a deadline for the effects shots of April 1st.
Meanwhile it’s been revealed that providing the voice of the evil General Grievous is Matthew Wood, whose history with Star Wars has been mostly behind-the-scenes. Though Wood is an actor, his contribution to the prequel trilogy has been primarily as supervising sound editor. Grievous’ implacable metallic skeleton gives him the aspect of a droid, but hidden inside the armored carapace is an unwholesome, living being. To remind viewers of this inner Grievous, his words are occasionally punctuated with a hard, wet hacking cough — suggesting that Grievous is literally rotten to the core.
In a three-hour recording session, Wood laid down all of Grievous lines. “He’s definitely an evil character. He’s the leader of the droid army, but not a droid. He feels things; he feels things extremely, I would say. It’s a lot of yelling, and shouting out orders, so it had a lot of drill sergeant to it. I liked the sound of the Eastern European and Romanian accents. Also, I had just come back from Prague, so I had that in mind for Grievous.” says Wood.

More Sith Rumors

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Not surprisingly, the Internet is buzzing with leaks about the much-anticipated May 19 release of
“Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” (Semi-spoiler alert). According to reports, Samuel L. Jackson’s Jedi character,
Mace Windu, supposedly “dies a spectacular death,” and Liam Neeson — whose character Qui-Gon Jinn perished in “The
Phantom Menace” — will come back as a ghost.
According to the text of the opening “crawl,” now available in full at, the final installment of George Lucas’
series opens after the “fiendish droid leader, General Grievous, has swept into the Republic capital and kidnapped Chancellor
Palpatine, leader of the Galactic Senate,” and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and Obi-Wan Kenobi
(Ewan McGregor) have set out to find him.

Final Star Wars scene shot at studio

Friday, February 27th, 2009

The last ever scene of the Star Wars saga to be filmed was shot in Elstree Studios last Monday - as director George Lucas completed a vision that began in Borehamwood three decades ago.
Lucas was at Stage Eight on Monday with actor Hayden Christensen, who plays Anakin Skywalker, as they filmed the final footage for Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith.
Lucas first used the facilities at Elstree to make the original Star Wars film in 1977.
“I know that George loves coming back here,” said the studios’ direcor of production, Julie Wicks. “I think he appreciates and feels comfortable with the facilities.”
The scene, which concerned Anakin and Padme Amidala, was only likely to be a ‘reaction shot’ as Natalie Portman, the actress who plays the role, was not present.
It was filmed in front of a blue screen - the background will be added later by computer.
“It was a very low-key affair,” said Ms Wicks. “They were only here for half a day, so it was a very short scene they were shooting.”
Paul Welsh, Elstree Studios’ historian, said: “It is quite special that George came back to the studios to film the last ever scene although it’s a natural conculsion. It all began in Elstree and he has a strong symbolic association with the studios.
Mr Welsh added that Stage Eight is the only surviving stage from when the original films were first shot in the 1970s.
“A lot has happened in that time and it is very important that Elstree is still standing for him to come back to almost 30 years on,” he said.
“George was very supportive of our ‘Save the Studios’ campaign back in the late 1980s when the studios were on the brink of closure.
“Upon our success, he sent me a lovely letter congratulating us, and expressing his kind wishes for the future.”
The forthcoming film concerns Anakin’s transformation from a Jedi to the Dark Side, eventually becoming the epitome of intergalactic evil, Darth Vader The film will now be tweaked for sound and special effects at Abbey Road studios and Lucas’s base Skywalker Ranch in California.
Most of the filming took place in Australia and Tunisia. The movie is due to get its UK and worldwide release on May 19.

Vader saves Star Wars

Friday, February 27th, 2009

He may be the man behind the most feared movie villain of all time but Darth Vader actor Dave Prowse has now turned superhero – to rescue Star Wars supremo George Lucas.Twenty-eight years after winning a place in science fiction film history for his role as the giant galactic baddie, the 69-year-old is back on the big screen, playing himself in Saving Star Wars.

The movie was shown on Sunday night at the Sci-Fi London Film Festival and tells the story of a band of crazy Star Wars fans who kidnap Lucas, the movie series’ egendary filmmaker.Dave said: “The fans hated the last two movies and they hear he’s got the script for the new one in a briefcase that’s chained to his wrist.
“They want to persuade him to get back to the essence of the original films.
“I get the job of saving George at the end and they’ve got a great lookalike for him.”

The low-budget flick is a far cry from the multi-million-pound movie trilogy that made Dave a household name.
Saving Star Wars was made on a budget of just £50,000 but has had great festival reviews and is now available on DVD.
But even “saving George” wasn’t enough to win Dave the role he really wanted – a return stint as Darth Vader in the sixth and final Star Wars movie Revenge of the Sith.
Released on May 19, it stars Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker and will finally reveal how the young Jedi Knight is transformed into Darth Vader – showing how he is turned by the infamous “dark side of the Force”.
And even though he’s now a pensioner, Dave admits he was bitterly disappointed not to have been offered the chance to finish what he started in that galaxy far, far away.
He said: “I’ve only seen a teaser trailer for the new film but it looks like it will be terrific.
“I let everyone know I was interested in the Darth Vader role but no one took me up on the offer.
I’d have loved to have done it but I guess they wanted Hayden.
“But when I did Star Wars I was 6ft 7in and weighed 20 stone and Hayden is about 5ft 9in and 10 stone soaking wet.
“How they are going to carry it off I don’t know. They will probably just use more special effects.”
Dave added: “It’s a different kettle of fish now and I think that is for the worse.“The CGI effects are now so good that eventually it will be the death knell for small part actors and actresses. You’ll just have the main stars.”
Now living in Croydon, south-east London, with wife Norma, the Bristol-born actor has fond memories of his time bringing death and destruction to outer space.
But he admits being known as the man in that famous black mask – which he last wore for Return of the Jedi in 1983 – does have its advantages.
He said: “I am regarded as the ultimate screen villian of all time but I can walk around Croydon and have complete anonymity. That’s the joy of playing a masked character.
“Or I can go to a convention and have as much publicity as I want. You can switch it off when you don’t want it and that’s the best situation.
I’d hate to be someone on the soaps.
Dave is a regular on the sci-fi convention circuit and is looking forward to meeting up with more than 50 of his former co-stars at a massive exhibition in Indianapolis, US, in April.
He said: “If I wanted to I could be somewhere in the world every weekend. That’s how busy it is. I’ve literally signed hundreds of thousands of autographs over the years.
“They are absolutely fanatical about Star Wars in Japan and I’ve got appearances lined up in Puerto Rico and Buenos Aires.
“I am knocked out that after 28 years people still queue up to see me. I’ve now put a show together, like an Evening With, and we are now touring the theatres and universities across the UK. We’re also set to go all across America.”
With just a few months to go until the final movie brings the curtain down on the Star Wars series, Dave says he is certain it will be a fitting finale.
The two recent prequels, The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, were panned by fans and critics alike.
Dave said:Empire Strikes Back was my favourite. It was the adult version of Star Wars.
“But I didn’t like Jedi because of the Ewoks. It also started the merchandising culture.
“With Phantom Menace I just felt they lost the plot with all the strange characters and convoluted story. And the technology was so much better in a film that was set 40 years before the first Star Wars.”
Dave, who also starred in three Hammer Horror films, Clockwork Orange and Casino Royale, is now writing his autobiography, which is due out in March.

As well as being packed with Star Wars stories and acting anecdotes, it will also tell of his exploits as a world champion weightlifter and bodybuilder.
When he’s not meeting fans, the doting granddad is making the most of the time he spends with grandchildren Hannah, ten, and Josh, eight – now the pair have managed to separate fact from fiction.
Dave said: “They knew nothing about Star Wars until they went to school and one day they came home and said, ‘Grandad, you’re a baddie aren’t you’.
“I said ‘No, I’m quite nice. I give you pocket money’ but they said everyone at school had told them I was a bad man.

“So we showed them the films and they loved it and both wanted lightsabers.

It may be more than two decades since Dave hung up his lightsaber but the star hasn’t called time on showbusiness. He has now swopped acting for singing and last year even dueted with legendary showman Howard Kiel in Las Vegas.He said:I’ve been having lessons for about three years now. My teacher loves the fact he’s got Darth Vader as a pupil.

“I do things like Old Man River and songs from the shows but someone has offered me a cover and I want to do it as a Christmas single.
But I promise you, I won’t do it dressed as Darth!

Star Wars producer: ‘Elstree is our home’

Friday, February 27th, 2009

When George Lucas came to Elstree Studios last week for the final shoot of the Star Wars saga, it marked the end of a vision that started in Borehamwood almost 29 years ago.
Director George Lucas started filming the original Star Wars on July 16, 1976, at Stage Eight at the studios.
Although it was a coincidence that the final shots were filmed on Stage Eight last Monday, it was no coincidence that Lucas returned to Borehamwood.\
Rick McCallum, the producer of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and the two previous prequels, told the Borehamwood & Elstree Times that the studios were the home of Star Wars.
“We could have shot anywhere in the world,” he admitted, “but Elstree’s our home, even when we’re not shooting here, we have a production office there.
“We always come back, we were here in August and shot for two weeks. Usually we come back two or three times. We like it. We like being in Elstree, we like shooting there and we have a lot of friends here. George and I are the only Americans on the crew, all the heads of department are English.”
Mr McCallum confirmed that the final scene was between actors Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman who play Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader and his love interest Padme Amidala, but he would not say what the scene was about.
Some additional dialogue was also filmed for ‘looping’, the process of replacing dialogue in previous shots where background noise got in the way.
He said that there were no big celebrations as there had already been several wrap parties in different locations. “It was a quite sedate affair. There was only a small crew, but there was a tinge of sadness - the crew’s been together for almost 15 years.”
He added that one of the reasons they came back to Elstree was to support the studio and its future, and another was because of Julie Wicks, the studios’ director of productions.
“Every stage is basically the same - an empty four walls,” he explained, “what makes it different is the way you’re treated and the way the staff take care of you. That place is fantastic. It’s as good as any studio in the world.”
Lucasfilm, the production company behind the Star Wars films issued a statement, which read: “A long, long time ago, in a studio not so far away, George Lucas wrapped STAR WARS: A New Hope on Stage 8 at Elstree Film Studios. That was in July 1976. In perfect synergy, 29 years later Lucasfilm wrapped STAR WARS; Revenge of the Sith, snapping the clapperboard on the last take of the Star Wars feature films.
“Mirroring Lucasfilm’s successful history, Elstree Studios lays home to both indigenous and international film makers alike. Julie Wicks and her team, devotedly co-ordinate all logistical strands of a production from start through to completion.
“Combining this with Hertsmere Council’s continued commitment in keeping Elstree Studios alive for the foreseeable future, Lucasfilm would like to extend their deepest thanks.”
- There are currently two productions underway at Elstree Studios. Flyboys, a movie about young Americans joining the French air force during the Second World War; and a British television production called Class of 76.

Hayden Heads For Decameron

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Let’s clear a few things up before we begin. First of all, the title of this piece has nothing to do with the director of Aliens. Nor is it a sequel to the Evil Dead’s Necronomicon. We are, of course, talking about the 14th century Italian classic by Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron (or “Il Decameron” if you want to be all Italian about it), which is being made into an English language film starring Hayden Christensen and Mischa Barton.
Barton’s involvement has been public for some time, but it’s only today that Hayden was confirmed. Well, actually, Barton told us at the BAFTAs on Saturday night, but we didn’t quite get around to telling you about it. The OC starlet said, “I’m about to be starting one this summer called the Decameron. It’s filming in Italy with Hayden Christensen. I’m really excited.” Well, you heard it here first, ladies and gentlemen.
The book follows ten young noblemen and women, who have retired to a country villa to escape the plague ravaging Florence. This being before the days of Monopoly and Risk, they amuse themselves by telling each other stories – ten each, for a total of one hundred tales. The stories vary from the bawdy via farce to the plain filthy – but of course, this being literature and very old literature at that, it doesn’t count.
It’s basically the Italian Canterbury Tales (the Calabrian Tales, if you will), but the producers are designing it to appeal to a young audience, promising pop music and costumes by Italian designer Roberto Cavalli – which suggests that the corsets and wimples are out the window in favour of, er, corsets and jeans. We’re also going to go out on a limb and guess that they cut out about ninety of the 100 stories in favour of a subplot involving car chases and lightsabers.

Christensen leads ‘Decameron’

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Hayden Christensen has signed on to play the male lead in “The Decameron,” Dino De Laurentiis’ upcoming adaptation of the 14th century Italian classic by Giovanni Boccaccio.

Christensen will play the role of Lorenzo, starring opposite “The O.C.’s” Mischa Barton, who in December signed on as Pampinea, the project’s leading lady (HR 12/9).
Headed for an April shoot in Rome and Tuscany, “The Decameron” is being directed and adapted by Britain’s David Leland, whose helming credits include “Band of Brothers.”

“Il Decameron” is a ribald collection of 100 stories told by a group of unmarried nobles — seven women and three men — as they wait out the Florentine plague in the nearby countryside. Each tells one story per day. Pier Paolo Pasolini directed an Italian-language version of the film in 1971.

The De Laurentiis film is being designed to appeal to a younger audience and will include popular music as well as costumes from the Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli. De Laurentiis and his wife and partner, Martha De Laurentiis, are producing, with Paris-based producer and financier Tarak Ben Ammar co-producing.

Christensen next will be seen in “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith.” His credits include “Shattered Glass,” “Life as a House” and “The Virgin Suicides.” He is represented by CAA and manager Dan Spilo of Evolution Entertainment.

Christensen Joins The Decameron

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Hayden Christensen has inked a deal to star in Dino De Laurentiis’ upcoming adaptation of the 14th century Italian classic The Decameron, by Giovanni Boccaccio.
The O.C.’s Mischa Barton has already come aboard to play Pampinea. Christensen will play Lorenzo in the adaptation of the risqué collection of 100 stories told by a group of unmarried nobles — seven women and three men — as they wait out the Florentine plague in the nearby countryside. Each tells one story per day.
The film is being directed and adapted by Britain’s David Leland (Band of Brothers). Filming will begin in Rome and Tuscany in April. De Laurentiis and his wife and partner, Martha De Laurentiis, are producing, with Tarak Ben Ammar co-producing. Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli will do the costumes.
Christensen’s credits include Shattered Glass, Life as a House and The Virgin Suicides. He’ll next will be seen in Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith

After Snuffing Hundreds Of Stormtroopers, George Lucas Looks To The Future

Friday, February 27th, 2009

After 30 years, six movies, hundreds of dead stormtroopers and an unfathomable number of zeros tacked on to the end of his bank-account balance, George Lucas is finally ready to put “Star Wars” to bed. At Sunday’s Vanity Fair Oscar party, the 60-year-old science-fiction legend insisted that he couldn’t be happier.

“It’ll be nice to get things finished,” Lucas said while standing on the red carpet (see “The Oscars Party: An Inside Look”). As “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” prepares to hyperdrive into theaters on May 19, the mind behind the franchise that boasts four of the 25 highest-grossing domestic movies of all time is putting the finishing touches on the installment he claims will be the last in the series (see “George Lucas Declares ‘Star Wars’ Over After ‘Revenge Of The Sith’ “).

“The film is finished, basically,” reported Lucas. “We just finished the music last week, and I’m going to mix it next week. In a month, it will be pretty much finished.”

Last month, Vanity Fair magazine promoted Lucas’ upcoming release via an Annie Leibovitz photo spread that featured the writer/director/producer posing with stars and characters from all six films. These days, any question about Jar Jar, Midi-Chlorians or Greedo shooting first might mark the last time he has to address such geek-boy concerns. Lucas insists that he hasn’t had to face those tearful final moments yet, but expects them to come along soon enough.

“I’m just chugging along like I normally am,” he said. “We’re getting very close now, but we’re still working away like crazy. It’s hard to stand up, breathe and realize it’s all coming to an end.”

Working in the present to put the past behind him, Lucas is keeping his energy level up by looking toward the future. “I’m going to produce a film called ‘Red Tails,’ about black fighter pilots during World War II,” he said. “I’m going to produce a couple TV shows, then I’ll think about when I’ll direct again.”

Oh, yes, there is one other project on the man’s calendar: something involving an archeologist adventurer with a predilection for whips and fedora hats. “We’re working on scripts,” Lucas says of a fourth “Indiana Jones” adventure, “but we’re not going to do it until we get a script we’re happy with.”

Interviewed earlier this month on the set of his upcoming “War of the Worlds” (see “Set Visit: ‘War Of The Worlds’ “), Steven Spielberg claimed he had been prepared to pursue the long-awaited “Indy” sequel before “Worlds,” but was forced to change his plans when Lucas put the project on hold. “We go through the whole development process all the time,” Spielberg said, “and sometimes you’re really intent to make a picture, like I was with ‘Indy 4,’ in which case my producer didn’t like the script as much as I did. My intention was to make ‘Indy 4′ a year-and-a-half ago — it didn’t work out, and now I’m hoping to make it a year-and-a-half from now, maybe less.”

Lucas, while eager to reunite with Spielberg and star Harrison Ford, said that the group will continue to wait as long as it takes to shoot a film worthy of the name “Indiana Jones.” But he’s vague when asked for the plot points that the script he’s got in mind will contain: “A movie that moves forward, is entertaining, and has an interesting story to tell.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

Star Wars’ trailer to premiere during ‘OC’

Friday, February 27th, 2009

NEW YORK - Darth Vader is coming to “The O.C.”
The trailer for “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” will premiere during the March 10 episode of the Fox show.

The final installment of the “Star Wars” saga will open in theaters on May 19. The new trailer will be released in movie theaters beginning March 11.
“Revenge of the Sith” is the third prequel to the original “Star Wars” trilogy. It continues the chronicle of young Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), who eventually turns to the dark side and becomes Darth Vader.

As an avid superhero fan, Seth Cohen, the main character of “The O.C.” played by Adam Brody, would likely relish the event.

Christensen Named ShoWest Male Star of Tomorrow

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Before Hayden Christensen becomes the most reviled Jedi knight in a galaxy far, far away, he’ll head to Sin City for a warmer reception.
The 23-year-old actor will be honored as the Male Star of Tomorrow at ShoWest 2005’s closing-night ceremonies on Thursday, March 17 in Las Vegas, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Although he started his career only recently, Hayden has already shown an incredible range of talent and emotion on the big screen,” says ShoWest co-managing director Mitch Neuhauser. “He grows with each new performance and always proves that he is a cinematic force to be reckoned with.”
ShoWest 2005 — which will kick off on March 14 at Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas — is the largest annual convention for the motion picture industry.
Christensen’s film credits include “Life As a House,” “Shattered Glass” and “Attack of the Clones.” He next reprises his role as Anakin Skywalker, the future Darth Vader, in the final “Star Wars” film, “Revenge of the Sith,” which will hit theaters nationwide on May 19.
He’s also signed on opposite Mischa Barton to film the big-screen adaptation of Giovanni Boccaccio’s “The Decameron” in Italy beginning in April.