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Harrison Ford is “looking forward” to “Star Wars: Episode VII”

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Harrison Ford still remains optimistic about having a role in “Star Wars: Episode VII.” Both he, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are in negotiations to reprise the roles of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, and Ford recently acknowledged returning to his iconic role.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he told WGN, via ComingSoon.net. “I think it’s going to happen.”

This is far from the only Ford project we’re excited for. He’s also playing a “legendary” newscaster in “Anchorman: The Legend Continues” and will portray Colonel Hyrum Graff in the upcoming “Ender’s Game” movie. Still, the idea of him playing Han Solo again is pretty darn exciting, especially if he’s going to have more than just a cameo appearance.

When Hamill recently talked about the “Star Wars” cast returning, he admitted that he hopes it’s an all-or-nothing sort of deal. “Are we going to have the whole gang back?” he said. “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.”

“Star Wars: Episode VII” is being directed by J.J. Abrams, with screenplay duties being handled by Michael Ardnit. It is expected to hit theaters in 2015. Disney has confirmed that other “Star Wars” spinoff movies are in the works.

Which of Ford’s upcoming roles are you most excited for? 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.

Billy Dee Williams to return as Lando in “Star Wars: Episode VII”?

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With Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill confirmed for “Star Wars: Episode VII” – at least according to George Lucas – we can now set our speculative phasers on the supporting players of the Star Wars franchise. The first target? None other than Mr. Cloud City himself, Lando Caliressian.

Film Buff Online reports that Billy Dee Williams spoke out about his return during last weekend’s Monster Mania convention. According to the site, “Billy Dee said, he has been asked, but hasn’t decided if he is going to do it or not yet.”

It may seem surprising that a minor character such as Lando would be considered for a return, however, it could have something to do with a statement Mark Hamill made in a recent interview:

“Another thing I’d want to make sure of,” said Hamill, “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.”

Here’s hoping that Hamill’s all-or-nothing approach works out in the end.

“Star Wars: Episode VII” is being directed by J.J. Abrams, with screenplay duties being handled by Michael Ardnit. It is expected to hit theaters in 2015.

Which Star Wars characters would you like to see return in “Star Wars: Episode VII”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Carrie Fisher “joking” about “Star Wars” involvement, but George Lucas says otherwise

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Talk about conflicting messages. Just a day after Carrie Fisher confirmed her return as Princess Leia in “Star Wars: Episode VII,” her representative has come forward and said otherwise.

“She was joking,” the rep tells CNN. “Nothing has been announced.”

Nothing has been announced, but Fisher’s involvement seems more and more likely. What this seems like is Disney telling her, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford to keep quiet on the issue until the studio is ready to talk about it. At least George Lucas cleared the air a bit during a recent interview with Bloomberg Business Week.

“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.’ 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,” he said, adding, “I won’t say whether the negotiations were successful or not.”

That’s pretty much exactly what Mark Hamill said recently. “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,” he said. Hamill also made it clear at the time that no one had signed any contracts.

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.

Do you want to see the original cast return for “Star Wars: Episode VII”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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