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Disney buys Lucasfilm for $4 billion, new “Star Wars” movie coming 2015

Disney acquires Lucasfilm

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In a shock move, Disney announced today that it has purchased the entirety of Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion, and has set “Star Wars Episode 7″ for a 2015 release. George Lucas will step into a creative consultant role for the new division.

In a statement, Lucas said:

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. It’s now time for me to pass ‘Star Wars’ on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that ‘Star Wars’ could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, ‘Star Wars’ will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment and consumer products.”

The acquisition comes on the heels of Disney’s 2009 purchase of Marvel Entertainment, a move seen as widely successful as its last release “The Avengers” is one of the highest-grossing pictures in movie history. Now the Mouse House can add the adventures of Luke Skywalker to its growing stable, which also includes Pixar.

“Star Wars Episode 7″ will be the first new live-action “Star Wars” film since 2005’s “Revenge of the Sith,” which was the third entry in a new trilogy. The company also released a CGI-animated pic “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” in 2008.

Are you excited for a new “Star Wars” film? Let us know in the comments below!

Underworld

Under Your Spell

10 Otherworldly Romances That’ll Melt Your Heart

Spend Valentine's Day weekend with IFC's Underworld movie marathon.

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Photo Credit: Screen Gems/courtesy Everett Collection

Romance takes many forms, and that is especially true when you have a thirst for blood or laser beams coming out of your eyes.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a werewolf, a superhero, a clone, a time-traveler, or a vampire, love is the one thing that infects us all.  Read on to find out why Romeo and Juliet have nothing on these supernatural star-crossed lovers, and be sure to catch IFC’s Underworld movie marathon this Valentine’s Day weekend.

1. Cyclops/Jean Grey/Wolverine, X-Men series

The X-Men franchise is rife with romance, but the steamiest “ménage à mutant” may just be the one between Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Cyclops (James Marsden), and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). Their triangle is a complicated one as Jean finds herself torn between the two very different men while also trying to control her darker side, the Phoenix. This leads to Jean killing Cyclops and eventually getting stabbed through her heart by Wolverine in X-Men: The Last Stand. Yikes!  Maybe they should change the name to Ex-Men instead?


2. Willow/Tara, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Joss Whedon gave audiences some great romances on Buffy the Vampire Slayer — including the central triangle of Buffy, Angel, and Spike — but it was the love between witches Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Tara (Amber Benson) that broke new ground for its sensitive and nuanced portrayal of a LGBT relationship.

Willow is smart and confident and isn’t even sure of her sexuality when she first meets Tara at college in a Wiccan campus group. As the two begin experimenting with spells, they realize they’re also falling for one another and become the show’s most enduring, happy couple. At least until Tara’s death in season six, a moment that still brings on the feels.


3. Selene/Michael, Underworld series

The Twilight gang pales in comparison (both literally and metaphorically) to the Lycans and Vampires of the stylish Underworld franchise. If you’re looking for an epic vampire/werewolf romance set amidst an epic vampire/werewolf war, Underworld handily delivers in the form of leather catsuited Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and shaggy blonde hunk Michael (a post-Felicity Scott Speedman). As they work together to stop the Vampire/Lycan war, they give into their passions while also kicking butt in skintight leather. Love at first bite indeed.


4. Spider-man/Mary Jane Watson, Spider-man

After rushing to the aid of beautiful girl-next-door Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), the Amazing Spider-man is rewarded with an upside-down kiss that is still one of the most romantic moments in comic book movie history. For Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), the shy, lovable dork beneath the mask, his rain-soaked makeout session is the culmination of years of unrequited love and one very powerful spider bite. As the films progress, Peter tries pushing MJ away in an attempt to protect her from his enemies, but their web of love is just too powerful. And you know, with great power, comes great responsibility.


5. Molly/Sam, Ghost

When it comes to supernatural romance, you really can’t beat Molly and Sam from the 1990 hit film Ghost. Demi Moore goes crazy for Swayze like the rest of us, and the pair make pottery sexier than it’s ever been.

When Sam is murdered, he’s forced to communicate through con artist turned real psychic, Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg in her Academy Award-winning role) to warn Molly she is still in danger from his co-worker, Carl (a pre-Scandal Tony Goldwyn). Molly doesn’t believe Oda is telling the truth, so Sam proves it by sliding a penny up the wall and then possessing Oda so he and Molly can share one last romantic dance together (but not the dirty kind). We’d pay a penny for a dance with Patrick Swayze ANY day.


6. Cosima/Delphine, Orphan Black

It stands to reason there would be at least one complicated romance on a show about clones, and none more complicated than the one between clone Cosima (Tatiana Maslany) and Dr. Delphine Cormier (Evelyne Brochu) on BBC America’s hit drama Orphan Black.

Cosima is a PhD student focusing on evolutionary developmental biology at the University of Minnesota when she meets Delphine, a research associate from the nefarious Dyad Institute, posing as a fellow immunology student. The two fall in love, but their happiness is brief once Dyad and the other members of Clone Club get involved. Here’s hoping Cosima finds love in season four of Orphan Black. Girlfriend could use a break.


7. Aragorn/Arwen, Lord of the Rings

On a picturesque bridge in Rivendell amidst some stellar mood-lighting and dreamy Elvish language with English subtitles for us non-Middle Earthlings, Arwen (Liv Tyler) and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) bind their souls to one another, pledging to love each other no matter what befalls them.

Their courtship is a matter of contention with Arwen’s father, Elrond (Hugo Weaving), who doesn’t wish to see his daughter suffer over Aragorn’s future death. The two marry after the conclusion of the War of the Ring, with Aragorn assuming his throne as King of Gondor, and Arwen forgoing her immortality to become his Queen. Is it too much to assume they asked Frodo to be their wedding ring-bearer?


8. Lafayette/Jesus, True Blood

True Blood quickly became the go-to show for supernatural sex scenes featuring future Magic Mike strippers (Joe Manganiello) and pale Nordic men with washboard abs (Hi Alexander Skarsgård!), but honestly, there was a little something for everyone, including fan favorite Bon Temps medium, Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis).

In season three, Lafayette met his mother’s nurse, Jesus, and the two began a relationship. As they spend more time together and start doing V (short for Vampire Blood), they learn Jesus is descended from a long line of witches and that Lafayette himself has magical abilities. However, supernatural love is anything but simple, and after the pair join a coven, Lafayette becomes possessed by the dead spirit of its former leader. This relationship certainly puts a whole new spin on possessive love.


9. Nymphadora Tonks/Remus Lupin, Harry Potter series

There are lots of sad characters in the Harry Potter series, but Remus Lupin ranks among the saddest. He was bitten by a werewolf as a child, his best friend was murdered and his other best friend was wrongly imprisoned in Azkaban for it, then THAT best friend was killed by a Death Eater at the Ministry of Magic as Remus looked on. So when Lupin unexpectedly found himself in love with badass Auror and Metamorphmagus Nymphadora Tonks (she prefers to be called by her surname ONLY, thank you very much), pretty much everyone, including Lupin himself, was both elated and cautiously hopeful about their romance and eventual marriage.

Sadly, the pair met a tragic ending when both were killed by Death Eaters during the Battle of Hogwarts, leaving their son, Teddy, orphaned much like his godfather Harry Potter. Accio hankies!


10. The Doctor/Rose Tyler, Doctor Who

Speaking of wolves, Rose “Bad Wolf” Tyler (Billie Piper) captured the Doctor’s hearts from the moment he told her to “Run!” in the very first episode of the re-booted Doctor Who series. Their affection for one another grew steadily deeper during their travels in the TARDIS, whether they were stuck in 1950s London, facing down pure evil in the Satan Pit, or battling Cybermen.

But their relationship took a tragic turn during the season two finale episode, “Doomsday,” when the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Rose found themselves separated in parallel universes with no way of being reunited (lest two universes collapse as a result of a paradox). A sobbing Rose told a holographic transmission of the Doctor she loved him, but before he could reply, the transmission cut out, leaving our beloved Time Lord (and most of the audience) with a tear-stained face and two broken hearts all alone in the TARDIS.

Karen Allen on “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” aliens, nuking the fridge and more

Karen Allen in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

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“Nuking the fridge” is part of the lexicon now — thanks to an infamous scene in “Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” when our intrepid adventurer miraculously survives a nuclear blast by climbing in a lead-lined refrigerator, which is then the only item blown out of the blast radius. (Never mind the radiation burns he should have suffered, once he crawled out). But despite the phrase replacing “jumping the shark” to indicate a serial story which has dropped in quality and/or credulity, and the resulting widespread debate whether the fridge scene or the alien subject matter of the fourth film meant the “Indiana Jones” series had, too, jumped the shark, at least one cast member had remained happily ignorant of the cinematic controversy, at least until recently.

Karen Allen, who played Marion Ravenwood in the first and fourth “Indiana Jones” films, sat down with IFC earlier this week to promote the series’ release on Blu-ray, and confessed that she only recently became aware of the disappointment level expressed by both fans and filmmakers. “I didn’t even know what that was, ‘nuking the fridge,'” Allen laughed when the topic came up. “My son had to tell me.” Nicholas, who just turned 22, wore a hat recently which had the phrase “Nuke the fridge” on it, and his mother inquired, “What does that mean?” “He said, ‘What? Are you kidding? You don’t know?'” she laughed, recalling the exchange.

Even though Steven Spielberg himself has expressed his doubts about the aliens, Allen said she was not disappointed but “intrigued” by the addition of inter-dimensional beings to the “Indiana Jones” mythology, particularly because the B-movie element was an homage to the films of her youth. “I grew up with all those science-fiction-y, out-there kind of films,” she said. “I thought it was great that it was moving into that world, the 1950s, and doing a kind of homage of that time.” She particularly liked how Shia LaBeouf’s character Mutt had a “very Marlon Brando moment,” when his entrance recalled Brando in 1953’s “The Wild One” — riding a motorcycle while wearing an off-kilter cap and a motorcycle jacket. “I love the little moments that remind me of a certain element of film history,” Allen said. “That’s particularly meaningful for me.”

As for the MacGuffin of the film, the crystal skulls, Allen said, “I’m not sure I completely understood it,” but she thought it was “amazing” and “mysterious.” ” “It was like a, ‘Whoa! What’s really going on here?'” she said. “When the spaceship lifts up in the jungle, I don’t know what’s going on, but I enjoyed it. I liked it.” But because the “whole history behind those skulls” is a mystery to most people anyway, Allen said, she’s not too concerned if she understands it or not. “Then again, I didn’t know much about the Ark of the Covenant and that whole mystery before ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark,'” she laughed. “But now I could talk about it forever!”

“Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures” is available on Blu-ray now.

“Star Wars” prequels get back-to-back 3D rerelease dates

starwars3d

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If you’ve been desperate to know when “Star Wars: Episode II” and “Episode III” would be getting their 3D rereleases, we’ve got some great news for you. During this past weekend at the Star Wars Celebration VI, it was announced that the last two prequel films would be returning to the big screen in back-to-back releases next year.

The release dates were confirmed on the “Star Wars” Facebook page. “Attack of the Clones” will hit theaters on September 20, 2013 and “Revenge of the Sith” is due out on October 11, 2013.

It’s an interesting move for LucasFilm to make, and we can only see one reason for it: the original trilogy is being post-converted to 3D as well. “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” hit theaters earlier this year and made around $44 million, which is a decent pull for a 3D movie that came out more than a decade ago. We can expect the next two prequel films to do the same if not better, and then we’re free to have “A New Hope,” “Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” in theaters between 2014 and 2016.

Honestly, the sooner we can move past the new trilogy the better. It’s not a secret that the prequels are a bit divisive, and “Phantom Menace” didn’t look that great in 3D. Hopefully George Lucas is taking a page out of James Cameron’s book and is lovingly converting the original “Star Wars” trilogy into 3D so it doesn’t have the same problems “Phantom Menace” did. Then we can all anxiously await the likely 3D Blu-ray “Star Wars” boxed set that will likely be announced after these movies hit theaters.

Will you see “Attack of the Clones” or “Revenge of the Sith” in 3D? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Saturn Awards: Frank Oz talks “Star Wars,” George Lucas and the possibility of a Yoda spinoff

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Frank Oz has worn many different hats in Hollywood. He’s a staple of the Jim Henson Company, voicing many memorable characters from “The Muppets,” directing “Dark Crystal” and even playing the Wiseman in “Labyrinth.” He’s directed “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Death at a Funeral.” Heck, he even voiced three of “Sessame Street’s” main characters — Bert, Grover and the Cookie Monster — for almost four decades.

But Oz’s work as the voice of Yoda will always be what we love him most for. The little green Jedi has become a staple of George Lucas’s “Star Wars” universe, and was one of the main reasons that Oz received a Life Career Award from the Saturn Awards on Thursday. IFC had the chance to speak with Oz on the red carpet for the event and asked him about the impact that “Star Wars” has had on his life.

“I’ve been blessed that George gave me the opportunity to do Yoda and to work with him. George and Lucasfilms, they’re like a second family, a professional family. You know, it’s not a day job. You do it every fifteen years,” he said with a laugh that had a hint of Yoda in it. “But every time you do it, George just wants to make it better and it’s just a joy to bring that character to life. I know that character inside out. I know that character. And working with George is always a pleasure. He’s very specific. He knows what he wants. And it’s a joy.”

When asked why he thinks that “Star Wars” has remained so relevant over the decades since its release, he said, “I think it’s the mythology. I think the underground current of that larger mythology, that touches us all. ”

Yoda is a character who has appeared in five of the six main “Star Wars” movies, but whose origins were never explained. Of course, fans got to understand more about the Jedi master thanks to “Star Wars” novels, comic books and games, but Oz admitted that he created his own backstory for the character.

“When I was creating the character of Yoda, I got everything in the script and I really marked everything down from the script — what people knew about Yoda, what Yoda knew about people, what others didn’t, etc. — and I created a biography for him. So I have it in my head, but there hasn’t been an opportunity to work on it if there was [a spinoff],” he said.

When we asked if he’d ever want to work on something that explored more of Yoda as a character, he said, “Oh sure, sure, but it’s not one of those things that you want to [force]. It’s one of those things that you want to sit down with somebody at a bar and talk about.”

Oh how we would love to be sitting opposite him in that bar.

Would you ever want to see a “Star Wars” project explore more of Yoda’s backstory? What is your favorite thing that Oz has worked on? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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