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Brad Bird and Colin Trevorrow talk directing “Star Wars: Episode VII”

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The list of directors who have said they won’t direct “Star Wars: Episode VII” continues to grow longer and longer. The latest to say he won’t get behind the camera is Brad Bird, a fan-favorite choice who has long maintained that he’ll next be working on the sci-fi project “1952.”

That hasn’t stopped fans from asking him about his involvement in “Star Wars,” though. The director took to Twitter to kindly respond to people about the claims, saying things like, “Not doing Star Wars,” and reaffirming that his next movie is “a science fiction film. Not Star Wars.”

But there is one director who has been open about wanting to helm “Star Wars: Episode VII”: “Safety Not Guaranteed’s” Colin Trevorrow. It seems like he could have the opportunity to do it, too, as an interview he did with MacGuffin Podcast over the summer (via Collider) seems to imply that he was in talks about potentially helming the new “Star Wars” movies. As we’ve known for a while, George Lucas had been talking to Disney for more than a year before the Mouse House’s acquisition of Lucasfilm was announced last month, so there could be a chance that the company had already approached Trevorrow over the summer.

“As far as professional life, I can’t speak with any specificity as to what the next thing will be,” Trevorrow said over the summer. “There are amazing opportunities that have arisen as a result of this. One of them, I will say, will probably create a great deal of ire against me on the Internet when people find out what it is. So, I just want to say in advance that I promise you, for all of those who love the mythology that I will be tackling, trust that I love it as much as you do. And I will respect it, and hopefully make it not suck.”

“Star Wars: Episode VII” is being written by Michael Arndt and is due in theaters in 2015. No director has been announced for it yet.

Who do you think should helm “Star Wars: Episode VII”? 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.

“Star Wars: Episode VII” rumors heat up: Brenda Chapman or Joe Johnson involved?

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If we keep speculating about who will be the director of “Star Wars: Episode VII,” we’ll have to be right eventually, right? The latest two names to be brought forward are Brenda Chapman and Joe Johnson, though the evidence backing up these claims could go either way.

First up is Chapman, who Bleeding Cool and /Film speculate could be working on, if not directing, the new “Star Wars” film. The “Brave” director left Pixar to work at Lucasfilm back in August, and has teased on Twitter that she could be involved. That’s not quite enough to substantiate the claim that she’s the woman for the directors chair, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that Chapman is somehow involved.

Meanwhile, Johnson was asked by The Huffington Post if he would be the man directing “Star Wars: Episode VII,” and he hedged around the question.

“A lot would depend on what ‘it’ is. I am very glad to see Lucasfilm cranking up to get productive again, regardless of who ends up doing it,” he said.

While we’re busy trying to figure out who Disney is looking at for the new film, those close to the project already know. MTV News caught up with producer Frank Marshall, who said that Disney has a “couple of candidates” who they’re looking into.

“I do (know) but I can’t reveal it, or I won’t be alive tomorrow,” he said. “I’m really excited about this. I didn’t grow up with it, but I was a big fan and have been since the series started. I’ll always remember seeing that big mothership go over the screen. I’ve never forgotten it. I can’t wait to see what’s next.”

“Star Wars: Episode VII” is expected to hit theaters in 2015.

Who do you think should direct the new “Star Wars” movie? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Will Darth Vader be resurrected for “Star Wars: Episode VII”?

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Of all the characters who have been introduced in the “Star Wars” universe, Darth Vader has got to be the most iconic. But considering his death at the end of “Return of the Jedi,” it doesn’t seem likely that his black helmet will be returning in the upcoming “Star Wars: Episode VII.”

Well, not so fast. A new rumor is claiming that the man once known as Anakin Skywalker could be resurrected for the new movie. According to a “film mole” who talked to British tabloid Express, Darth Vader could be brought back in some capacity in the forthcoming “Episode VII.”

“He’s an integral part of the franchise. Replacing him is virtually impossible. The plan is for him to return and play a significant role in the new films,” the source said. “This is science fiction remember. Darth Vader will rise from the ashes.”

Considering the plan is to bring back older versions of Luke, Han and Leia in the new movie (yes, that means it will likely star Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford), we aren’t putting anything past Disney. But Darth Vader returning? Really? Unless a new version of the character has risen to glory in the time between the end of “Return of the Jedi” and beginning of whatever “Episode VII” ends up being called, we doubt that will happen.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t think there will be a return of the man beneath the mask. Anakin followed the likes of Yoda, Obi Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn as he lived on in spirit form, so why not bring that concept back (yes, we begrudgingly realize that means bringing back Hayden Christensen as well) and just have him hanging around and offering his words of wisdom to young padawans?

Of course, we all know the real reason Disney would want to bring back Vader: Money. But if Darth Maul could sell action figures, couldn’t a new villain? We’d say let the past stay dead and don’t ruin our childhoods (again).

Would you want Darth Vader to come back in “Star Wars: Episode VII”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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