Is Lupita Nyong’o the New Yoda? Why She Jumped at Playing Star Wars’ New …

11 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Donald, It Was a Movie’ – See Harrison Ford’s Perfect Response to Trump’s Air Force One Praise.

After the GOP front-runner praised the actor’s turn as a terrorist-fighting president in 1997’s Air Force One during a recent interview with The New York Times, Ford fired back with the perfect response. “Donald, it was a movie. Today the release of a movie trailer is an entertainment event unto itself, with hyped teases, huge plot information dumps, and hours (upon hours) of scene-by-scene analysis after the fact.That was the reaction of Hollywood executives and movie fans on April 29, 2014, when The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Daisy Ridley, a British actress with just a handful of London television credits to her name, would play a lead role in the movie that became Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Both Ridley, now 23, and John Boyega, also 23, and best known for starring in 2011’s Attack the Block, were unknowns when they nabbed the gig of a lifetime. A few years ago those games took the form of console titles that told largely the same story as the film, but more recently they’ve shifted to mobile, where it’s faster and cheaper to develop a game alongside a movie. In fact, movie trailers used to be much simpler, with straightforward voice-over explaining why audiences should go see a movie, and little of the stylistic flourishes we take for granted today. The newcomers were joined by Adam Driver, 32, and Oscar Isaac, 36, who, while known for the HBO series Girls and such indie films as Inside Llewyn Davis, respectively, still were not exactly household names. For the unlovely architects of this slogan, the appearance of London-born actor John Boyega in the new film was evidence of #whitegenocide and “cultural misappropriation”.

While booking the highly coveted roles got both Ridley and Boyega top-tier representation, joining a massive franchise doesn’t necessarily guarantee a massive Hollywood career. Conspiracy theories took note that JJ Abrams, the talent behind the Star Wars reboot, was both Jewish and a “known” Obama supporter. “It’s just Black Lives Matter in Space” shouted one protester into the echo chamber.

Normal folks everywhere, by way of response, sighed or face-palmed before moving on to the next tale of internet crazies: What do you mean, Mad Max: Fury Road has been taken over by the bloody wimmin? #whitemaleextinction. Carrie Fisher has enjoyed a solid career as an actor and writer but she was never A-List, and original hero Mark Hamill struggled after 1983’s Return of the Jedi.

Jake Lloyd, young Anakin Skywalker in 1999’s The Phantom Menace, left Hollywood and, in June, was arrested after leading police on a wild car chase in Charleston, South Carolina. But a new add-on released this week lets players explore the “Battle of Jakku,” an event alluded to in the upcoming movie, but never really explored before (it’s the reason you see all of those downed Star Destroyers rusting away in the desert in the trailers). Hayden Christensen, who was heralded as a major star when he nabbed the role of the older Anakin in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, never lived up to the billing and now works mostly in smaller films. Disney Infinity 3.0, the first game in the toys-to-life series to introduce Star Wars characters, which launch an expansion on December 18th that covers the new movie, and includes toys based on characters like Finn, Rey, and Kylo Ren.

Abrams, who scored his first major TV hit with the female-centric Felicity, may have occasionally attracted flak for being too fast and furious with his exciting but unphilosophical Star Trek films or for being overly Spielbergian with Super 8. While some agency sources say the leads, Boyega and Ridley, are not contractually restricted from joining any other franchises, Star Wars will be their main commitment for the coming years, and another studio may not want to play second fiddle.

Meanwhile, EA just launched Galaxy of Heroes, which mashes together characters from every era of Star Wars for a free-to-play, collectible RPG where you create teams of iconic characters from the series. Just ask Gwendoline Christie, who plays Captain Phasma, a role that was originally written for a man but was gender- swapped to facilitate more equitable representation and to make room for the rather wonderful Christie. However, they’ve gone from unknowns to marquee stars overnight, which, with that sort of name recognition, will allow them to pick and choose their indie films. The actor, by now, is well-accustomed to androgynous military women, having spent several seasons in armour as Game of Thrones’ Brienne of Tarth and having lately stepped out as Commander Lyme in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. “In film and television, there’s a long tradition of non-essential women,” says Christie. “Being in Game of Thrones, where you are surrounded by well-rounded, brilliant female characters, has taught me a lot.” “It’s just the biggest thing,” Christie says. “One of the reasons that I loved Captain Phasma is that not only is she the first female villain in Star Wars, but I think it’s unusual for a female character to be presented in this kind of uniform. “Whatever wonderful random series of things that cause us to look the way we look is not relevant here.

He has expressed interest in booking indies, starting out with a key role in James Ponsoldt’s The Circle (starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks), which filmed in September. “There definitely is a strategy,” Boyega tells THR. “It’s been fun doing the big stuff, and then coming back to doing independents. I’m exploring different avenues of great narratives.” Isaac, who’s repped by UTA and Inspire Entertainment, has continued on the same path of appearing in indie movies, although he finds himself in high demand by studios. Mobile developer Kabam is working on Uprising, for example, while Avalanche Studios made Disney Infinity and Disney Interactive handled Commander. “They are very carefully managing all of it,” Daniel Erickson, senior design director on Uprising, says of Lucasfilm. “We have a lot of great communication with them, we have a lot of knowledge about what’s going on and what the other products are doing. Add the loss of various senses and it really felt like you were working in another dimension.” It’s not just equal opportunities on the Dark Side. Isaac is also riding a wave of awards buzz for his starring role in Ex Machina, Alex Garland’s sci-fi thriller in which he plays an enigmatic inventor.

Driver has also built a name for himself in indies with films like Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young and Frances Ha, plus his memorable role as Lena Dunham’s intense boyfriend on Girls. So as other people are moving into it, we have precedence in some places.” In other words, each game provides a tiny taste of the upcoming film, and each offers a very different experience. The fast-paced action of Battlefront, for instance, is great for showing off a huge battle, giving players a real sense of the scale and size of the conflict by actually putting them there. A lively creature in an androgynous striped suit, she looks as if she might have been cloned using spliced DNA samples from Keira Knightly and Natalie Portman. “I get Keira a lot,” she says. “I really don’t look that distinctive. The person who may have the most on the line is Ridley, who is seen by some as having similarities to Keira Knightley (who pivoted between prestige indies and the Pirates of the Caribbean movies for years).

The more story-driven Uprising, meanwhile, was a better choice for filling in some of the gaps between the original trilogy and the upcoming slate of films. The multi-game approach is something EA and Disney plan to continue as more and more Star Wars movies launch, but it might not be a strategy that can apply to other franchises. After all, there are few properties that can support multiple game releases, across mobile and console, simultaneously, the way Star Wars can. “I think Star Wars is unique,” says McCully. “I can’t think of another franchise that has the depth and the lore and the ability to have that many different experiences.” Two months later, she jumped to CAA and veteran agent Hylda Queally, who represents some of Hollywood’s biggest leading actresses including Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet and Jessica Chastain. The actress has fielded offers and has been considered for a couple of movies — Rothchild at Voltage and EuropaCorp’s gun rights drama Miss Sloane — but she is unlikely to book anything before Episode VIII, which shoots in early 2016.

Some think it would be wise for Ridley to have booked a role prior to the opening of Force Awakens, even if it’s just to have something else to talk about during the long, worldwide press tour. But others point out that Queally is in no rush to push Ridley into anything, looking instead to partner her with the right filmmaker, as is her modus operandi. The new stars probably could get some career advice from Ford, who used Star Wars and Indiana Jones to craft one of the longest and most diverse careers in modern Hollywood (along the way securing an Oscar nomination for 1985’s Witness). When Ford was asked at the press junket in Los Angeles if he’d given the young stars any advice he said: “I am not going to tell them how to navigate this very personal space. Who one day is alone and scavenging for food and the next finds herself on a great adventure. “I don’t think it’s just girls that will look up to Rey.

As much as the 23-year-old loved teasing Harrison Ford and entering the “same world of action figures and Jedis and flying things” that he grew up with, he’s keenly aware that his appearance will mean a lot for other kids back in Peckham. “Obviously, representation is everything,” he says. “It’s so important for kids watching to have a point of identification.

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