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Mark Hamill confirms he’s in conversations to return in “Star Wars: Episode VII”

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Mark Hamill has finally shared his thoughts on the ever-expanding “Star Wars” universe.

During a conversation with “Entertainment Tonight” (via /Film), Hamill confirmed that he is in conversations with Kathleen Kennedy at Lucasfilm about reprising his role as an older Luke Skywalker. He also made it very clear that he is not officially signed on at this point in time.

“They’re talking to us. George [Lucas] wanted to know whether we’d be interested. He did say that if we didn’t want to do it, they wouldn’t cast another actor in our parts –- they would write us out,” Hamill said.

He claimed that no contracts have been signed between Disney and himself, Carrie Fisher or Harrison Ford, despite reports to the contrary. Hamill said that everyone involved is still making sure having the original actors would be right for the movie.

“I can tell you right away that we haven’t signed any contracts,” Hamill said. “We’re in the stage where they want us to go in and meet with Michael Arndt, who is the writer, and Kathleen Kennedy, who is going to run Lucasfilm. Both have had meetings set that were postponed — on their end, not mine. They’re more busy than I am.”

Hamill had his own very clear ideas of how he wants the new “Star Wars” movies to be treated. He didn’t like the direction the prequel trilogy went, and he also wants to make sure that if one original actor is coming back then they all are.

“I said to George that I wanted to go back to the way it was, in the sense that ours was much more carefree and lighthearted and humorous — in my opinion, anyway,” he said. “Another thing I’d want to make sure of is are we going to have the whole gang back? Is Carrie and Harrison and Billy Dee and Tony Daniels, everybody that’s around from the original [returning]? I want to make sure that everybody’s on board here, rather than just one. I guess I’ll have to tune into your show to figure out who’s on board.”

As for what the movies will be about, his guess is as good as ours — literally. ” I’m assuming, because I haven’t talked to the writers, that these movies would be about our offspring — like my character would be sort of in the Obi-Wan range [as] an influential character.”

Michael Arndt is writing the script for “Star Wars: Episode VII” and J.J. Abrams is directing it. The movie is slated for a 2015 release. Disney has also confirmed that spinoff “Star Wars” movies are in the works.

Would you like to see Hamill and the other original actors return? 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.

Kathleen Kennedy chooses “Star Wars: Episode VII” over “Jurassic Park 4″

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Though Kathleen Kennedy acted as a producer on the first three “Jurassic Park” movies, she won’t be reprising that role in “Jurassic Park 4.” Because of her commitments as co-chair of Lucasfilm, she has had to focus her time on “Star Wars: Episode VII.”

“Ms. Kennedy has moved onto Star Wars and will not be producing JP4. She’s traded raptors for TIE fighters,” her husband, Frank Marshall, tweeted.

Fortunately “Jurassic Park 4″ is left in some capable hands. Steven Spielberg is producing the movie along with Frank Marshall, so Kathleen will likely be able to give her two cents if she needs to. Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver wrote the screenplay for the movie, and it’s due in theaters on June 13, 2014. It currently does not have a director attached.

“Star Wars: Episode VII” is in slightly better shape. The flick recently picked director J.J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt is working on the screenplay. Of course, there’s more than just one “Star Wars” movie to deal with. “Episodes VIII” and “IV” are also in the works, and Disney CEO Bob Iger has confirmed that spinoff movies are being written by Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg.

Do you think Kennedy made the right choice? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

John Williams really wants to return for “Star Wars: Episode VII”

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Someone get John Williams talking with Kathleen Kennedy stat, because he apparently hadn’t been approached about returning for the new “Star Wars” movies. With screenwriter Michael Arndt and director J.J. Abrams selected for the movie, we feel it’s about time someone make sure the man behind the iconic “Star Wars” scores is locked down for the new trilogy.

In a post written on the John Williams Fan Network, it was revealed that Williams talked about the new “Star Wars” movies at the YMF debut concert on February 9. As he was about to conduct a bit of “Star Wars” music, he discussed how he never expected the series to become as big as it is.

“Neither I, nor George, nor anyone else involved thought this would go far or in a few years there would be a sequel and I’d have to revisit the themes…and years later another trilogy,” he said. “Now we’re hearing of a new set of movies coming in 2015, 2016…so I need to make sure I’m still ready to go in a few years for what I hope would be continued work with George.”

It is hard to imagine a major “Star Wars” movie without Williams writing the score, and hopefully we don’t have to. Then again, Abrams has frequently worked with Michael Giacchino, so there’s always a chance he would turn to him to compose for “Star Wars: Episode VII.” Fingers crossed Abrams at least gives Williams the right to first refusal here.

“Star Wars: Episode VII” is expected out in 2015. In addition to “Star Wars: Episodes VII,” “VIII” and “IX,” Disney is also working on “Star Wars” spinoff movies.

Would you like to see Williams conduct “Star Wars: Episode VII”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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