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Watch: Dogs bark out “Star Wars” Imperial March to tease VW Super Bowl ad

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What do you do when you’ve made the most-viewed ad of 2011? You up the cuteness ante for 2012, of course.

Volkswagon has released a teaser for their upcoming Super Bowl commercial and, like last year’s “The Force,” this one is “Star Wars”-themed. Called “The Bark Side,” it features a dozen adorable pups barking the “Imperial March.” In our neck of the woods, dogs always trump kids dressed as Darth Vader. Especially when you have a dog dressed as Darth Vader.

The force is strong with these mutts. Our personal favorite is the Greyhound AT-AT at the very end, but the pup dressed as Chewbacca has struck a chord as well. It’s unclear whether this minute-long teaser will be included in the Volkswagon Super Bowl commercial or whether it’s just showing the shape of things to come, but either way it seems like an awesome “Star Wars”-themed commercial will be playing during the Super Bowl on February 5. I guess this means we have to tune in, huh?

What did you think of this new Volkswagon commercial? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Bourne

Bourne to Run

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Bourne Movies

Catch The Bourne Ultimatum this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

You know his name, as the Super Bowl teaser for the upcoming summer blockbuster Jason Bourne reminded us. In this era of franchise films, that seems to be more than enough to get another entry in the now 15-year-old series greenlit. And gosh darn it if we aren’t into it. Before you catch The Bourne Ultimatum on IFC, here are some surprising facts about the Bourne movies that you may not know. And unlike Jason Bourne, try not to forget them.


10. Matt Damon was a long shot to play Jason Bourne.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Coming off of Good Will Hunting and The Legend of Bagger Vance, early ’00s Matt Damon didn’t exactly scream “ripped killing machine.” In fact, Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe and even Sylvester Stallone were all offered the part before it fell into the hands of the Boston boy made good. It was his enthusiasm for director Doug Liman’s more frenetic vision that ultimately helped land him the part.


9. Love interest Marie was almost played by Sarah Polley.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon wasn’t the only casting surprise. Franka Potente, of Run Lola Run fame, wasn’t the filmmaker’s first choice for the role or Marie in The Bourne Identity. In fact, Liman wanted his Go star Sarah Polley for the part, but she turned it down in favor of making indie movies back in Canada. A quick rewrite changed the character from American Marie Purcell to European Marie Helena Kreutz, and the rest is movie history.


8. Director Doug Liman was obsessed with the Bourne books.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Liman had long been a fan of the Bourne book series. When Warner Bros.’ rights to the books lapsed in the late ’90s, Liman flew himself to author Robert Ludlum’s Montana home, mere days after earning his pilot’s license. The author was so impressed with his passion for the material, he sold the rights on the spot.


7. Liman’s father actually worked for the NSA.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Part of Liman’s fasciation with the Bourne series was that his own father played the same spy craft games portrayed in the books while working for the NSA. In fact, many of the Treadstone details were taken from his father’s own exploits, and Chris Cooper’s character, Alex Conklin, was based on Oliver Stone, whom Arthur Liman famously cross examined as chief counsel of the Iran-Contra hearings.


6. Tony Gilroy threw the novel’s story out while writing The Bourne Identity.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Despite being based on a hit book, screenwriter Tony Gilroy, coming off of The Devil’s Advocate, had no idea how to adapt it into a movie. He said the book was more concerned with people “running to airports” than character, and would need a complete rewrite. Director Doug Liman agreed, and Gilroy claims to have condensed the original novel into the first five minutes. Getting that out of the way, he then wrote his own story, based on a man who wakes up one day not remembering anything but how to kill.


5. Damon walked like a boxer to get into character.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Damon had never played a character like Bourne before, and was searching for a way to capture his physicality. Doug Liman told him to walk like a boxer to give Jason Bourne an edge. Damon took that to heart, training for six months in boxing, marital arts and firearms.


4. Damon broke an actor’s nose.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon’s training for the films is legendary, but mistakes still happen. While filming a scene for The Bourne Ultimatum, Damon hit actor Tim Griffin so hard, he shattered his nose. Apparently, the space the scene was filmed in was smaller than originally intended, throwing Damon off just enough to exert a real beat down.


3. James Bond visited The Bourne Legacy set.

Eon Productions

Eon Productions

Actor Daniel Craig stopped by the set of The Bourne Legacy to visit his wife, actress Rachel Weisz, who was starring in the movie. While having James Bond on a Bourne set must have been exciting, The Bourne Legacy was the only Bourne movie to not actually feature Jason Bourne, meaning our bets on who would kick whose ass would have to wait for another day.


2. The Bourne Identity was nearly a bomb (in the box office sense).

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

As reshoots began to pile up, and an all-out war between the studio and director Doug Liman spilled into the press, expectations were that The Bourne Identity was going to flop. Matt Damon told GQ that, “the word on Bourne was that it was supposed to be a turkey…It’s very rare that a movie comes out a year late, has four rounds of reshoots, and it’s good.”


1. Matt Damon wasn’t the first actor to play Bourne.

Warner Brothers Television

Warner Brothers Television

Aired on ABC in 1988, the TV movie adaptation of The Bourne Identity, while not exactly critically acclaimed, was a more faithful version of Ludlum’s book. Richard Chamberlain, of The Thorn Birds fame, played a much less ass-kicking spy, while “Charlie’s Angel” Jaclyn Smith played love interest Marie. If you like your Bourne movies heavy with poorly lit ’80s melodrama, this might just be the adaptation for you. Otherwise, you should catch The Bourne Ultimatum when it airs this month on IFC.

Ne-Yo and the “Red Tails” cast talk “Star Wars” love, George Lucas and old-school lightsabers

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Red Tails” hits theaters Friday, bringing George Lucas’ long-awaited film about the Tuskegee Airmen to the big screen in dramatic fashion.

During interviews for “Red Tails,” IFC polled the cast of the film about a long list of subjects — everything from working with Lucas to their favorite war movies — but during one particular segment with young actors Elijah Kelly, Tristan Wilds, and Ne-Yo, one particular, off-topic question got them all grinning. After mentioning their love for “Star Wars” earlier in the conversation, I had to ask: Were they ever tempted to confess their “Star Wars” fandom to Lucas during production?

And like any fans trying to keep their cool, their answers started off simple enough, but took a right turn into fanboy territory in short order.

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“You don’t walk up to George Lucas and gush about ‘Star Wars’ to that guy,” said Ne-Yo. “You don’t do that.”

Elaborating, the musician-turned-actor hinted that it was a bit of a struggle to contain himself around the creator of “Star Wars.” But still, he kept his composure.

“As much as you want to walk up to him and go, ‘Do you have the lightsabers?’ You want to do that, but you maintain,” he laughed, imitating what he actually said to Lucas about the beloved franchise when he had the chance: “‘Star Wars’… [That’s a] good movie.”

Nevertheless, Wilds was happy to call one of his “Star Wars”-related experiences with Lucas and his son “one of the best moments of my entire life.”

“Me and his son are pretty cool, so his son took me to the warehouse where they have every single outfit and every old-school lightsaber,” he said.

“I wanted to run through it and touch the fabric of everything,” he laughed.

“I may have urinated on myself, had that been me,” laughed Ne-Yo. “It may have happened.”

So, while there’s certainly something to be said for the experience of flying a P-51 fighter plane, it’s pretty clear that the cast of “Red Tails” — at least two of the actors, anyways — clearly have their hopes pinned on a ride in the Millenium Falcon someday.

Look for more of IFC’s “Red Tails” coverage this week, including more from our interviews with the cast of the film.

Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

George Lucas to retire from blockbuster filmmaking

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George Lucas has had enough of your sass. The director is calling his upcoming pet project “Red Tails” his last blockbuster film, and had said in a recent interview with The New York Times, that, after this, he’s headed back to his roots in art house filmmaking.

“I’m retiring,” Lucas said. “I’m moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff.”

Yes, we know, you are desperately longing for more “Star Wars” prequels to the prequels and sequels to the sequels. Well, too bad for you. Lucas has heard all of the fanboys’ complaining and is sick of it. While he feels that there are “a lot more important things in the world” than bickering with angry fans, he also has no plans to return to it.

“Why would I make any more when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?” he asked.

That being said, he was “careful to leave himself out a clause [to make] a fifth ‘Indiana Jones’ film.”

Speaking of “Jones,” Lucas is still defending the fridge-nuking scene in “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” Sure, the term “nuke the fridge” has become the film version of “jump the shark,” but Lucas attributes the sequence to his own naïve style of filmmaking. Plus, according to him and “a lot of scientists,” the odds of surviving a nuclear explosion in a lead-lined refrigerator are “about 50-50.” Who are we to argue with science.

Honestly, we’re glad Lucas is returning to his roots. It was during his film school days that he had the most creative period of his filmmaking career, if we can judge creativity by new and unique projects. Between the years 1965 and 1977, Lucas created 10 original projects. Nine were short films, one of which he created a feature-length adaption for (“THX 1138″) and one was an original feature (“American Graffiti”). But then “Star Wars” was released and, soon after, “Indiana Jones,” and Lucas’ life has seemingly been devoted to them for the past 45 years. We’re glad that, following “Red Tails,” the blockbuster days are over.

“Once this is finished, he’s done everything he’s ever wanted to do,” Rick McCallum, who has been producing Lucas’s films for more than 20 years, tells the NYT. “He will have completed his task as a man and a filmmaker.”

For the first time in a very long time, we’re genuinely excited to see what Lucas will come up with next. But, just for the fun of it, we give you this:

Are you glad George Lucas is returning to his arthouse roots? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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