George Lucas was asked by Bloomberg Businessweek if the three members of the original Star Wars cast would return for Episode VII. His response — “We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison—or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation. So I called them to say, ‘Look, this is what’s going on.’ ” Pausing, he said “Maybe I’m not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them.” But he did add, “I won’t say whether the negotiations were successful or not.” Deadline’s Mike Fleming reported yesterday that Fisher told Palm Beach Illustrated magazine on the record that she would be back as Princess Leia. We’ll see. Disney confirmed in January that J.J. Abrams would direct Star Wars: Episode VII. Abrams, his longtime producing partner Bryan Burk, and Bad Robot are producing along with Kathleen Kennedy under the Disney/Lucasfilm banner.
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill On Board For ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’? George Lucas Suggests They Are
Disney CEO Bob Iger seemed torn this evening between wanting to hype the spinoff Star Wars films he just announced and wanting to keep expectations under control. They are still in the very early stages, he told analysts: “I don’t have details or specifics about the films themselves,” he says. The concept is simply “becoming more real” with scripts now in development. “We’re not saying how many although I did mention two creators [Larry Kasdan and Simon Kinberg] who are working on two different films.” He and producer George Lucas spoke about the idea of having additional films when they negotiated Disney’s $4.1B agreement to buy Lucasfilm, which closed in December. But “we did not place a value on this activity.” The deal “was about the three saga films [Star Wars VII, VIII and IX] and all of the businesses that flow from those.” To that end, at a meeting a few weeks ago, he and Lucas agreed to focus their energies for now on the next Star Wars film due in 2015. They plan to investigate strategies to squeeze as much money from it as they can, including initiatives involving online, mobile apps, television, and parks and resorts. He wouldn’t discuss when they’ll appear, saying that “time will start exposing that to the outside world.”
EXCLUSIVE: Here’s some tantalizing dish to chew on before the Thanksgiving turkey and trimmings. After hiring Michael Arndt to script the first installment of the relaunch of George Lucas’ Star Wars franchise, I’ve heard Disney has approached Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg and I believe it is to get the ball rolling on the subsequent installments mapped out by Lucas. Both of the scribes in question have franchise experience.
Kasdan scripted two of the original Star Wars films in the 1980 The Empire Strikes Back and the 1983 follow-up Return of the Jedi. He also scripted Raiders Of The Lost Ark for Lucas and Steven Spielberg. Kinberg’s franchise work: X-Men: The Last Stand, Sherlock Holmes and the upcoming X-Men: Days Of Future Past which Bryan Singer will direct.
Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger and George Lucas break down their new deal.
The Star Wars creator discusses the future of the franchise and his company with the Disney-Lucasfilm deal now official. New LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy also weighs in.
BREAKING… Kathleen Kennedy has been named co-chair of Lucasfilm. Founder George Lucas will become co-chair of the company’s board and stay on as CEO. As part of the deal, seven-time Oscar nominee Kennedy will step down from her post as co-head of the Kennedy/Marshall Co production company, leaving it to Frank Marshall to run.
The move seems a bit bizarre. Kennedy/Marshall days ago made an overall TV deal at CBS, and Kennedy has produced big Steven Spielberg films while Marshall has The Bourne Legacy coming. Lucas, by comparison, seems to mostly continue to find ways to squeeze revenue out of his tired Star Wars films. He excutive produced the passion project Red Tails (Anthony Hemingway directed), which was not a box office hit and seems to be veering toward retirement or making personal films the way his pal Francis Ford Coppola does now. Lucas has all the money he needs, but it seems unclear exactly what Kennedy will be running. We were unable to get clarity on what will happen to Lucasfilm or Kennedy/Marshall, as we were told Kennedy would be unavailable to speak with Deadline. Kennedy/Marshall has a first-look deal with Spielberg at DreamWorks and sources have said they expect it to be business as usual under Marshall. But Kennedy used to be one of the smarter producers in town though her recent movies have underperformed at the box office to the detriment of her reputation: nevertheless, the loss may have an impact.
George Lucas wants to make “experimental” movies, not blockbusters anymore. The Star Wars and Indiana Jones creator told UK publication Empire Magazine that “I’m moving away from all my businesses, I’m finishing all my obligations and I’m going to retire to my garage with my saw and hammer and build hobby movies,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to make movies that were more experimental in nature, and not have to worry about them showing in movie theatres.”
Conceptual designer Ralph McQuarrie, who created the looks behind Darth Vader, Cewbacca, R2-D2 and C-3PO died at his home Saturday in Berkeley, CA, BBC reports. He was 82. In addition to helping George Lucas create the Star …
After a judge last week denied a motion to dismiss, a lawsuit is tentatively scheduled to play out in LA Superior Court on August 8 that pits former William Morris literary agent Dave Phillips against William Sherak, president of the 3D conversion house StereoD. Phillips alleges in court papers that after inviting Sherak to be his 50/50 partner on emerging 3D technology that Phillips had been retained to shop in Hollywood, Sherak betrayed him. By the time 18 months worth of meetings culminated in the deal that led to the formation of StereoD, Sherak emerged with a 32% stake in that company and signed a 3-Year $14 million deal to run it after Deluxe acquired StereoD in May. Phillips was offered $30,000 to sign a release and go away.
Sherak, the son of Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences president Tom Sherak, is accused of breaching an oral agreement and his fiduciary responsibility to Phillips. At issue is whether the technology Phillips plugged Sherak into (it originated with Kerner, an offshoot of George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic) led to the deals that formed StereoD and should be counted in the 50/50 3D deal split Phillips said he and Sherak agreed to in an oral (not written) contract. Phillips claims in his complaint that Sherak often assured him their position would be protected because of his father’s industry clout, but that he eventually became evasive after Phillips was offered the $30,000. Stereo D has quickly become a major player in 3D conversions of films that include Captain America, Avatar, Jackass 3-D, and Thor.
Phillips claims that he brought Sherak into the 3D mix because they were longtime friends and he knew Sherak’s father would use his clout to put them in rooms with the Hollywood heavyweights needed for deals that would enrich the duo with finder fees. According to Phillips’ complaint, the elder Sherak orchestrated meetings with the likes of Ron Perelman, Deluxe’s Cyril Drabinsky, Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Lightstorm’s Jon Landau. The elder Sherak also arranged for Fox to provide a print of The Rocky Horror Picture Show to be converted into 3D for demos.
Along the way, the younger Sherak arranged meetings with Christopher Mallick, the financier of Middle Men, a film Sherak produced. These meetings evolved into a focus on 2D to 3D conversion technology called VDX that wasn’t owned by Kerner, but rather a Japanese inventor named Kuniaki Izumi. The filing indicates Phillips and Sherak were involved in bringing Izumi in from Japan to meet Mallick, who shortly after dropped his Kerner pursuit. He struck a deal with Izumi that paid the inventor $1 million for technology that became the core of Stereo D. Mallick gave equal ownership stakes in StereoD to himself, Sherak and Middle Men star Giovanni Ribisi. Phillips was not included.
George Lucas gave a long-winded explanation of why the re-release of the Star Wars prequel trilogy will be important, in an interview with G4′s Attack of the Show. Personally, I was underwhelmed by the prequel and am not as sparked up for a 3D conversion as I would if The …