There is no denying 2015 is going to be mega - Avengers, James Bond and The Terminator are back, Jurassic World opens its gates once again and they’ve only gone and made another Star Wars movie...
R2-D2 graced the over of the latest Total Film Magazine which explored some of the most anticipated films of 2015, including of course, Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens. They also created a rather humorous fictional production Diary for J.J. Abrams...
THE FARCE UNLEASHED
We've finally got a trailer. But there's still a million unknowns about Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Total Film attempts to fill the void with an exclusively (made up) look at J. J. Abrams' production diary... WORDS MATTHEW LEYLAND
Our script is finished! Although it’s chocka with spoilers. Right on the first page, the line ‘A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...’ gives away far too much for my liking. Thinking of tweaks: ‘A point in time that’s strictly on a need-to-know basis, location TBC...’
Very happy with it otherwise; grateful as I am for all the work original screenwriter Michael Arndt (who wrote Toy Story 3) did, I do think we made the right decision cutting the Aliens going ‘OooOOooh!’ every time there’s a lightsaber, Slinky Dog in a gold bikini and the bit where Lots-O’-Huggin’ Bear tries to set up a protection racket in the Ewok Village.
29 April 2014
The big cast announcement! Half their roles are so hush-hush even I don’t know what they are. Though judging from the table-read photo we released, Domhnall Gleeson is playing Alex James from Blur. Actually, was a bit concerned that people would be able to lip-read stuff they’re saying about the script, so I had ILM digitally alter their mouths; now it looks like Mark Hamill is going “toss piece”.
BTW diary, you didn’t hear it from me, but Mark’s character rhymes with ‘Puke Fly-stalker’. Who’ll be reunited with old pals like ‘Glans Rolo’, ‘Poo-stacker’ and ‘D2-R2’ (that one’s an anagram - you’d need to be Alan Turing to crack my cunning code!).
16 May 2014
And... action! We’re off to a flying start - well, we were once I relented on my super-secrecy policy and agreed to have the cameras actually switched on. And removed the actors’ blindfolds. And had several wads of cotton wool surgically removed from my ears which I’d stuffed there just in case I overheard a third-act reveal or something.
Amazing vibe between everyone -before the first shot we all stood in a prayer circle and chanted, as per showbiz tradition, “Break a leg!”
“Hope we’re not tempting fate,” I laughingly said to Harrison Ford.
Oh, shit! Harrison Ford has broken a leg! Turns out he did it days and days ago, but was carrying on in his customary manly fashion. I did have my suspicions when he fell over 49 times getting out of his pilot’s chair. Then there was the other afternoon when John Boyega announced he’d “found an ankle” in the catering tent.
It took a while, but we finally persuaded Harrison to go to hospital - though he insisted on flying the air ambulance, stopping en route to rescue some baby birds, mend a church roof and give some pensioners a lift.
Things to do: reiterate that, to bamboozle the paps, all cast need to wear full Wampa suits when leaving their trailers; tell Warwick Davis to stop asking Max von Sydow to appear on Celebrity Squares; find out who Daisy Ridley is; gently explain to George Osborne why he's not suitable for a role in Episode VII. OR Star Trek3!
OR Mission: Impossible 5! Maybe Cloverfield 2 though.
Must mention that the other day, Carrie Fisher treated us to a dazzling rendition of her one-woman show, riffing honestly and hilariously on her celebrity heritage, her struggles with addiction, a life lived in the spotlight... admittedly, it was a bit of an odd way to ad lib a scene where all she had to say was “Han! Get the door!”
Getting worried about all the production leaks (Stormtrooper concept art, Millennium Falcon photos, the revelation that Gwendoline Christie will be playing a tall person) so am toying with some fake diary entries, a la Gone Girl (by which I don't mean I'll be describing the sex I'm having with Ben Affleck). So...
Today, we shot some pivotal scenes! 1) two Jawas taking it turns to roll each other around in a bin; 2) Yoda's ghost bemoaning that the lack of women in the afterlife - it's all men in musty brown robes; 3) Chewbacca having a new hip fitted; 4) Andy Serkis performance-capturing a hatstand - the most expressive, nuanced hatstand you've ever seen. That should keep the bloggers busy!
24 OCT 2014
I'm fine with the production leaks, really, I'm fine. I just imagine myself as the runaway train from Super8, smashing through the leakers' stupid leaky faces. Still, it does remind me how we need to lock things down a bit more, fly under the radar. This is a movie, not a circus! I said as much to our honoured set visitors Kevin Smith, Daniel Radcliffe, Daniel Craig, One Direction, Team GB, the Muppets and the Five Armies.
6 NOV 2014
Title announcement! Drumroll... 'Star The Force Awakens Wars’. That's what the logo says, anyway. True, it's
been convention to have the words Star and Wars together, but we're in a new era now. Also, no one went with my suggestion ‘Into Darth-ness'.
28 Nov 2014
Turn the page for the first proper look at next year's most anticipated movie. Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on 18 December 2015.
Eight key things from the 88-second first teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens...
01 The first name on April's official cast announcement and now the first face in the teaser, John Boyega's clearly a major player. Is he a Stormtrooper? A Stormtrooper imposter? Or is it just dress-as-a-Stormtrooper Friday?
02 Bolstering the trailer's sense of urgency while adding a touch of cute, we're calling this whizzy new droid R2-BeachBall. Expect to see the little fella rolling en masse into Disney Stores in time for next Christmas.
03 Here's something else the same but different: classic Stormtroopers rocking light-up guns and a running-mascara look. Is Boyega among them? Where are they landing? Is it weird to feel a sense of nostalgia for faceless evil?
04 Here's our first in-character shot of hitherto unknown Daisy Ridley, sporting attire that harks all the way back to Episode IV concept art. Her speeder zooms across a desert landscape that's so obviously Tatooine that it probably isn't.
05 Shorn of any Inside LlewynDavies/Ex_Machina beard, it's Oscar Isaac - presumably playing a good guy given his helmet's Rebel insignia? Either way, he's seen some action judging by the throbbing bruise under his right eye.
06 Isaac's at the controls of one of these modified X-Wing Fighters, skimming low over a body of water that can't possibly be on Tatooine. Unless they've put in some sort of fun park since the last we saw it.
07 And so to the trailer's biggest questions: who the hell is his guy? Is he the one doing the moody narration (“There has been an awakening...”)? Is he out to give other lightsaber users blade envy with his flaming three-pronger?
08 A new Falcon for the new millennium, rollercoastering around the atmosphere of Tatooine (or is it?) and into a TIE Fighter clash. After all the mystery and foreboding, nice to end on a note that simply screams "WHEEEEEEE!"
[Source: Total Film, February 2015 Issue 228. P.1,3,102-104. Copyright © 2015 Future Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.]