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‘Star Wars: Episode IX’ Cast Announced

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Star Wars: Episode IX will begin filming at London’s Pinewood Studios on August 1, 2018. J.J. Abrams returns to direct the final installment of the Skywalker saga. Abrams co-wrote the screenplay with Chris Terrio.

Returning cast members include Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd. Joining the cast of Episode IX are Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, and Keri Russell, who will be joined by veteran Star Wars actors Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, and Billy Dee Williams, who will reprise his role as Lando Calrissian.

The role of Leia Organa will once again be played by Carrie Fisher, using previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” says Abrams. “Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. We were never going to recast, or use a CG character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”

Composer John Williams, who has scored every chapter in the Star Wars saga since 1977’s A New Hope, will return to a galaxy far, far away with Episode IX.

Star Wars: Episode IX will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Michelle Rejwan, and executive produced by Callum Greene and Jason McGatlin. The crew includes Dan Mindel (Director of Photography), Rick Carter and Kevin Jenkins (Co-Production Designers), Michael Kaplan (Costume Designer), Neal Scanlan (Creature and Droid FX), Maryann Brandon and Stefan Grube (Editors), Roger Guyett (VFX Supervisor), Tommy Gormley (1st AD), and Victoria Mahoney (2nd Unit Director).

Release is scheduled for December 2019.

Box Office News

The Nun Tracking For Impressive $32M+ Opening Weekend

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Warner Bros.’ might have an early Halloween treat on their hands, with their Conjuring-adjacent fright-flick The Nun on track to earn $32 million domestically in its opening weekend, with some outlets even predicting as high as $37 million.

For a low-budget, concept-driven horror, those are good numbers, and will comfortably turn the studio a profit. The Nun, a spinoff from The Conjuring 2, will be set in 1950s Romania and follow a Catholic priest and a novitiate as they investigate the apparent suicide of a nun. Collectively, the Conjuring shared universe has currently generated WB over $1 billion.

Though a $32M-$37M opening would indeed set off some smiles in the studio boardroom, it’s unlikely that The Nun will match the numbers of the same weekend last year, which saw director Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of Stephen King classic It smash box office records and generate $123 million in its opening weekend.

The Nun stars Taissa Farmiga, Bonnie Aarons, Jonny Coyne, Charlotte Hope, Demian Bichir, and Jonas Bloquet. It has been directed by Corin Hardy, and is due for release in UK cinemas on the 7th of September, rated 15.

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The Meg Nets Over $200M Worldwide, Now 3rd-Highest Grossing Shark Film Of All Time

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After just one week at the global box office, Jason Statham-vehicle The Meg has chomped $213.4 million for itself on an estimated budget of $150 million.

Directed by Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure), Warner Bros.’ The Meg follows a team of scientists working together to take down a 70-foot prehistoric shark known as the Carcharodon Megalodon – or, The Meg. The picture has now become the third-highest grossing shark film of all time, unadjusted for inflation, behind 2004’s animated family comedy Shark Tale ($367.3M) and Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic Jaws ($470.7M).

Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose and Winston Chao all co-star with Statham in the project, which currently has a 4.6 score on Metacritic, and a 6.2 User Review score on IMDb. Warner Bros. are reportedly thrilled at the flick’s overperformance, especially in China where Bingbing is a household name – yet another modern example of Hollywood prioritising the emerging mega-market of the Middle Kingdom and it paying off in droves.

The Meg is in UK cinemas now, rated 12A.

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‘Millie Bobby Brown Voicing A VR Experience For Darren Aronofsky’ Is The Most 2018 Headline You’ll Read Today

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Stranger Things‘ Millie Bobby Brown has signed on to narrate the second ‘episode’ in a three-part virtual reality experience entitled Spheres, from creative auteur Darren Aronofsky.

Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) lent her voice to the first episode, which was unveiled at the Sundance Film Festival. The third episode premiered before the second, at the Tribeca Film Festival, and was narrated by Patti Smith (Song to Song). Aronofsky has produced the series, which is described as a ‘virtual journey’ – because of course it is – and is based on the famous ‘Pale Blue Dot‘ image of Earth, taken by the Voyager 1 probe in 1990. All three episodes were directed by up-and-comer Eliza McNitt (Fistful of Stars).

The series will be shown off for the first time in its entirety at the Venice Film Festival, as part of the event’s virtual reality section, from the 29th of August until the 8th of September. Spheres will be released to the public on the Oculus VR system following the culmination of the VFF.

Millie Bobby Brown can next be seen in Legendary’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, due on the 31st May next year.

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