Can’t Wait For Blu-REY Release to see the Feature Length Force Awakens Documentary? Get Your Butt to SXSW!

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-chief

Much like we all breathlessly waited for Star Wars: The Force Awakens to finally illuminate the screens of thousands of dark theaters, we’re now all anxiously waiting to get a taste of film from the comfort of  our own homes so that we can devour and consider the film again and again.

If you’re like me you’re champing at the bit to get into the special features. The deleted scenes will be the first thing for me to get into followed closely by Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey.

If you really can’t wait for the home video release on April 5th, you’re in luck. Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey will premiere at this year’s SXSW festival on March 14th in Austin, Texas. The feature length documentary is sure to provide all the sorts of behind the scenes footage that will scratch you exactly where you itch.

For more information, please visit sxsw.com.

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PRESS RELEASE:

BURBANK, CALIF. (March 8, 2016)— “Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey, ” a feature-length documentary will have its world premiere during the South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW®), being held in Austin, Texas, March 11-19, 2016. The documentary, a bonus feature on the upcoming Digital HD and Blu-ray Combo Pack release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is an inside look at the making of this epic movierevealed through in-depth footage and exclusive interviews with the actors and filmmakers.

The documentary will be shown at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Austin on Monday, March 14, at 12:00 p.m.  Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ BAFTA Award–winning and Academy Award®–nominated visual effects supervisor Roger Guyett, Academy Award®–nominated supervising sound editor Matthew Wood and co-producer Michelle Rejwan will be on hand for a Q&A following the screening.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens shattered box office records upon its debut to become the cinematic event of a generation with over $926 million domestic and $2 billion worldwide.

The epic movie will be available to own early on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on April 1, and is available on iTunes and other digital providers for pre-order now. Fans can also explore all things Star Wars at iTunes.com/Starwars.  It comes home on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on April 5.

ABOUT STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

Lucasfilm and visionary director J.J. Abrams join forces to take you back again to a galaxy far, far away as Star Wars returns with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The film stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von Sydow. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The screenplay is written by Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt.

ABOUT SXSW

Now in its 23rd year, SXSW Film brings together creatives of all stripes over nine days to experience a diverse film line up and access to more than 500 Conference sessions with visionaries from all corners of the entertainment and media industries. SXSW 2016 takes place March 11-20 in Austin, TX.

The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conferences & Festivals offer the unique industry convergence of music, film, and interactive technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth, SXSW is the premier destination for discovery. The event is a launch pad for innovative content with new media presentations, music showcases and film screenings providing exposure for creators and compelling entertainment for attendees.

DC/Vertigo’s ‘Scalped’ Could Be Coming to TV

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

Comic book writer Jason Aaron can craft a mean story. His best work yet has to be the series he did for DC/Vertigo with artist R.M. Guera, Scalped. It’s a mean little pulp noir story set on an Indian reservation and it has everything
awesome – sex, violence, double-crosses and conflicted anti-heroes. And now the comic book series might just be coming to a small screen soon.

The Hollywood Reporter says that WGN America has optioned a pilot episode for Scalped. Right now the only thing known is that Doug Jung (of Showtime’s Banshee) will pen the pilot and DC Comics guru Geoff Johns is on board as an executive producer.

WGN America has been producing some pretty rough and gritty TV lately. Shows like the backwoods crime drama Outsiders and the slavery-era set Underground look to be pushing the envelope as far as edgy programming is concerned. Scalped would fit in nicely with their current roster.

I’ve read the first few trade paperback collections and have been very impressed with what I’ve taken in so far. THR does a pretty good job summing it up:

Scalped is described as a modern-day crime story set in the world of a Native American Indian reservation. It explores power, loyalty and spirituality in a community led by the ambitious chief Lincoln Red Crow, as he reckons with Dashiell Bad Horse who has returned home after years away from the reservation.

The story reads like HBO’s The Wire, but based on an Indian Reservation (or “The Rez” as it’s called). It’s a complicated tale full of twists and turns that eventually have you taking second or even third looks at most of the characters and their motivations.

Keep checking back here as I’ll try to keep up to date with any developments on this story as they become available.

First Look at Disney’s Upcoming DuckTales Revival

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

Over a year ago word came out that Disney was planning a revival of fan favorite DuckTales. We knew the show would be a few years off from debuting and the plan is still to premiere in 2017. But the first image just got released and from what I can see it will make the wait well worth it.

I previously surmised that the likeliest of routes for the House of Mouse would be to go CGI or some form of computer generated animation to help speed up the process. But The Wrap got an early look and I like what I see:

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So Disney is going traditional 2-D animation for this? I’m on board for that. While we know nothing of voice actors or even overall direction of the story, I’m giving this a thumbs up on the initial look alone. It captures the essence of the early Carl Barks Donald Duck books while still looking modern enough to click with the new generation of viewers.

As was reported before you can expect all your favorites to return. We’ll see Scrooge McDuck, Donald, brothers Huey, Dewey & Luey, Gyro Gearloose, Launchpad McQuack and all the rest.

No concrete date has been set but Disney said that the show is expected to debut on their Disney X D channel in 2017.

Stop the Presses! J.K. Simmons to Play Commissioner Gordon in Zack Snyder’s Justice League!

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

After spending years screaming after Spider-Man and screwing Peter Parker out a decent wage, J. Jonah Jameson has decided to jump ship.

J.K. Simmons will be trading in his stogie for a badge, as the actor has just been cast as Commissioner James Gordon in Zack Snyder’s upcoming two-part Justice League film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

So far the actor has only been cast in the two League films, but it’s not outside the realm of possibilty that the actor will reprise the role in Ben Affleck’s upcoming solo Batman film as well. Comic fans (and Batman movie fans as well) know that the Dark Knight Detective and the best cop in Gotham City have a unique relationship and mutual respect for one another.

Simmons joins the already cast Affleck (Batman), Henry Cavill (Superman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Ezra Miller (The Flash), and Ray Fisher (Cyborg). Additionally Amy Adams has been signed to once again play the role of Lois Lane.

Additional reporting from Variety said that Gordon was the last “major” role to be cast before production could begin.

Reports are vague as to the plot but many sources say that the film will see the Super Friends band together to take on a foe that is too much for any one of them alone.

Ever since winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in Whiplash last year, J.K. Simmons has been even more in demand than ever. He was a popular choice for films before but he’s been going into pure Beast Mode this last year with roles in upcoming films The Meddler, La La Land and The Accountant which are all due out later this year with a few more films in the pipeline for the near future.

Justice League, Part One will hit theaters November 17, 2017 while Part Two drops into theaters June 14, 2019.

Spider-Man Casts Actress/Singer Zendaya in Mystery Role

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

Slowly but surely the cast of Spider-Man is growing. Tom Holland has yet to make his debut as the Friendly Neighborhood crime fighter (that comes in this spring’s Captain America: Civil War) but Tom Holland already has a small supporting cast. The actor chosen to play Peter Parker will be joined by Marisa Tomei as his loving Aunt May. And now another cast mate has been chosen.

Deadline reports that actress/singer Zendaya will join the cast as a character named Michelle. Nothing outside of a name was given at the time, so this character is a total mystery. She could be friend or foe; she might be an original character or a re-worked adaptation of an existing Marvel creation. What is reported is that it is unlikely that she’ll be a love interest for Peter, as the young scientist only has eyes for Mary Jane Watson or Gwen Stacy.

Zendaya cut her teeth onscreen with the Disney channel, starring in such productions as Shake It Up and K.C. Undercover. But seeing as she’s nineteen, despite her youthful look, the actress may want to branch out and start a career outside of the tween universe. A role in major film like Spider-Man could go a long way in helping that career blossom.

This will be the third rebooting of the wall-crawler since he made his major motion picture debut almost fifteen years ago. The first trilogy was directed by Sam Raimi and had Tobey Maguire don the tights. In 2014, seven years after the last installment of the Raimi films, director Marc Webb and actor Andrew Garfield made two films before Sony (and audiences) felt like the franchise was fizzling.

Now using the character in a joint venture with Marvel Studios it looks like Sony is hoping the third time is the charm. The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit tweeted that Sony is looking to go “heavily non-white” with the supporting cast, most likely hoping to appeal to as wide an audience as possible.

The film is said to be channeling the spirit of early John Hughes films. Tackling scripting duties will be John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein while Copcar director Jon Watts will step behind the camera.

Spider-Man is set to debut (again) to a worldwide movie-going audience on July 7, 2017.