News Column

Poll: Who Should Direct 'Star Wars: Episode VII'?

Nov. 2, 2012

Sharon Hoffmann and David Frese

In case you've been out herding nerfs, picking up power converters at Tosche Station or making the Kessel Run (in less than 12 parsecs), here's the OMG news of the week: Disney bought "Star Wars." Wha? Yup.

The Mouse House purchased George Lucas' Lucasfilm for more than $4 billion. And -- and -- they plan to make new "Star Wars" movies, beginning with Episode VII in 2015. Who should direct? Vote in our poll!

This means war

A battle is brewing on the 2013 cinema horizon: two thrillers about a terrorist takeover of the White House and the Secret Service's efforts to stop it.

FilmDistrict just won the domestic distribution rights to Antoine Fuqua's "Olympus Has Fallen" and plans an opening date of April 5. Gerard Butler is an ex-Secret Service agent, and Aaron Eckhart is the president.

Meanwhile, Roland Emmerich is working on Columbia Pictures' "White House Down" for June 28. Channing Tatum is the agent, and Jamie Foxx is the president.

License to print money

Daniel Craig's "Skyfall," the 23rd James Bond, doesn't open Stateside until Nov. 9 (the IMAX version opens the day before), but across the pond it has earned more than $100 million in its first week.

Not surprisingly, filmmakers are already starting in on Bond 24. The Daily Mail reports that the next film will begin shooting next fall for release in October or November 2014. "Skyfall" screenwriter John Logan will pen both the next film and the one after.

Monumental project

Speaking of Daniel Craig, he has signed on to the star-studded cast of George Clooney's "The Monuments Men," a big-budget tale of the hunt for art treasure stolen by Nazis during World War II. He joins Clooney, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett and Jean Dujardin ("The Artist").

Shooting begins March 1 in Europe.

Coming up

--Variety reports that "Les Miserables," arriving Christmas Day, is running close to three hours, and the studio has no plans to cut it down. Now that's an epic tale.

-- "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" will begin shooting in March in Cleveland -- hometown of directing brothers Anthony and Joe Russo. Cobie Smulders will reprise her "Avengers" role of Agent Maria Hill, and Frank Grillo of "End of Watch" is the villain Crossbones. It's due April 2014.

--Bryan Singer, who directed the first two "X-Men" movies, will direct the next one. "X-Men: Days of Future Past" is not based on an old Moody Blues album but rather on a "Terminator"-like classic comic story about an X-Man who travels back in time to fight mutant-hunting robot Sentinels.

Source: (c)2012 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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