After a string of teasers since filming began last year, the final trailer dropped Monday night for J.J. Abrams’s Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019), with tickets going on sale ahead of its December 20 release, according to The Guardian. The finale to the saga which began with George Lucas’s Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) promises lightsaber battles atop sinking ships, characters jumping across jungle canyons, as well as plenty of tearful closeups. Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Mark Hamill, Ian McDiarmid, and Anthony Daniels all star, and the filmmaking team confirmed back in May that old footage of the late Carrie Fisher would be repurposed into the new movie.
Francis Ford Coppola was awarded the Prix Lumiere in Lyon, France (joining the likes of Martin Scorsese, Pedro Almodovar, and Milos Forman as a recipient of the prestigious honor), and he spoke to local journalists about his thoughts on Marvel films, according to Japan Today. Expanding upon Scorsese’s now infamous remarks that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is “not cinema,” going so far as to call their output “theme park rides,” Coppola says the MCU is “despicable.” The Italian American auteur’s next project is Megalopolis, a utopian picture he has been nursing for two decades, which he promises will be even more ambitious than Apocalypse Now (1979).
Warner Media announced Thursday its acquisition of all twenty-one Studio Ghibli films for their streaming service, HBO Max, which will mark the first time the Japanese animation house’s filmography has been licensed to a streaming platform, according to The New York Times. Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away (2001), My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Princess Mononoke (1997), Castle in the Sky (1986), as well as The Wind Rises (2014), to name a few, will be available to stream next fall. Along with NET, PBS, and HBO’s Sesame Street (1969-), HBO Max hopes to compete against Disney Plus and Netflix in the children’s market because family subscriptions are the most consistent.
Beginning Tuesday night, Porchlight Music Theatre artistic director Michael Weber is reviving the stage adaptation of Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard (1950) at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts through December 8, according to the Chicago Tribune. With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber as well as lyrics and book by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, the two-and-a-half-hour play first opened in 1993 London after leading lady Gloria Swanson spent much of the 1950s fighting to create a musical interpretation. Patti LuPone played Norma Desmond during the production’s London run, while Glenn Close, Petula Clark, Diahann Carroll, and Kim Zimmer were cast in the role stateside.
Emile O’Brien, who founded the environmentalist film and television consultancy service Earth Angel, was inspired to do so after studying production at New York University and seeing how much waste there was on sets, according to Vice. As an example, BAFTA says a single hour of fiction or nonfiction television produced in the UK generates thirteen metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is almost as much CO2 as an American produces on average in a year. To encourage a business which prides itself on its progressivism to put its money where its mouth is environmentally, O’Brien suggests that crews departmentalize “Eco Production Assistants,” and that activist groups host awards ceremonies for sustainability.
Thirty-seven-year-old Priyanka Chopra Jonas returned to Bollywood for Shonali Bose’s The Sky Is Pink (2019), telling the cohosts of The View during her Tuesday interview about how the production helped her reach a catharsis after the death of her father, according to ABC News. Ashok Chopra lost a years-long battle with cancer in June 2013, but not before raising his daughter to be confident in her opinions and decisions, knowing she had her family to back her unconditionally. Chopra Jonas says his parenting style inspired her activism, which may or may not one day mean a career in politics for her.
In response to Martin Scorsese’s opinions about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Samuel L. Jackson, who stars as head of SHIELD Nick Fury in ten MCU films, reminds Variety readers the filmmaker’s movies are controversial among Italian Americans, according to The Guardian. Scorsese told Empire that Marvel pictures are “not cinema” after trying and failing to get interested in them. Other industry insiders speaking out against what Scorsese said about the MCU include James Gunn, who directed Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Karen Gillan (who plays Nebula in Guardians), as well as Joss Whedon, the director behind The Avengers (2012).