Does Abrams need more time on Star Wars? | (

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Team Behind Star Wars: Episode VII Wanted Film Delayed to 2016

It seems like not too long ago it was announced that there would be a whole new trilogy of Star Wars films.  A year ago in fact, Disney announced that it had purchased Lucasfilm and was planning a new trilogy and that Episode VII would be released in 2015.  Fast forward to January of this year and J.J. Abrams was hired to direct the pic with Kathleen Kennedy on board to produce.

Typically, a movie takes two years to make from conception to writing the script, casting, production and post production.  On something like Star Wars, you would imagine that time frame would be a little longer considering the size of the project.  But according to a report in The Hollywood Reporter, Disney CEO Bob Iger is adamant that the film be released in 2015.  The people who are making the film however, are not as confident that can happen.

Does Abrams need more time on Star Wars? | (
Does Abrams need more time on Star Wars? | (

Sources with THR are hearing that Kennedy and “most of the film’s creative team” have asked Disney to push the release to 2016 in order to get the film right.  Disney, in all its greedy wisdom, is determined to get it into theaters in 2015 because you know, they’re apparently struggling in the merchandizing department (Sarcasm alert!).

It was reported just last week that Abrams and long-time Star Wars scribe Lawrence Kasdan were taking over screenwriting duties from Michael Arndt which is an indication that the screenplay is far from finished.  Throw in a projected early 2014 production start-date in London and the fact that not one actor has officially been cast yet and I’d say those with doubts of a 2015 release have an argument.

Of course a studio wants their biggest franchise to be released as soon as possible, but 2015 is already overloaded with giant blockbusters as it is.  Between Batman vs. Superman, Independence Day 2, Jurassic World, the final Hunger Games movie, another Bond film, a sequel to Finding Nemo, possible Pirates of the Caribbean and Terminator films and Disney’s other giant property, The Avengers: Age of Ultron being released, why not wait a year and not only easily claim the biggest movie of 2016, but also have enough time to get the story right?

It makes sense to me, but I’m just a lowly writer speculating.  Movie studios are well-oiled machines working around the clock on projects so if they say they can get the movie out in 2015, they can.  But let’s hope it’s not at the expense of story and fan expectations.

Shaun of the Dead Screening at David Minor

I know Halloween officially ended last night, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a Halloween classic on the big screen this weekend?  The David Minor Theater on 5th street will be screening Shaun of the Dead at 5:20 pm through next Wednesday.

Simon Pegg stars as Shaun, a man in his late twenties struggling to dig himself out of his “slacker faze” and into adulthood.  But not only does he have to prove to his girlfriend and mother that he will in fact mature, he has to do it all during a zombie apocalypse.

Shaun of the Dead -
A story about love and friendship and zombies. | (

It is a quintessential zombie flick filled with plenty of gore, undead transformations and creative filmmaking techniques to remind you of its endearing low-budget appeal.

Shaun as the reluctant hero and Ed (Nick Frost) as his bumbling best friend are the heart of the film.  Their real-life friendship can easily be seen on the screen but director Edgar Wright does a good job of constantly creating conflict in their friendship that is challenged as the film and the end of the world progresses.

Wright’s talents as a director are constantly on display, including a memorable tracking shot of Shaun walking from his house to a convenience store that is filmed twice, once before the zombie takeover and once after.  This is my favorite scene in the film because it perfectly conveys Shaun’s lack of motivation or seemingly ignorant perspective on his own life and the world surrounding him and it encapsulates the whole story.

Shaun of the Dead perfectly balances the humor and violence creating an entertaining film with stakes.  The music is also tremendous, including a scene where characters beat a zombie with pool cues that is in-sync with Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now.

If you haven’t seen this cult-classic I strongly urge you to head on down to David Minor, grab a beer and enjoy Shaun of the Dead in all its glory.

Emile Hirsch to Play John Belushi in Biopic 

Emile Hirsch and John Belushi - Variety
Emile Hirsch cast as John Belushi in biopic. | (Variety)

It may seem like an unlikely choice, but Emile Hirsch has been cast as John Belushi in the upcoming film about the late comedian.  The film will follow Belushi’s rise to fame on Saturday Night Live and in movies like Animal House and The Blues Brothers as well as his untimely death at the age of 33 from an overdose at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles.

Hirsch doesn’t exactly have the same body-type as Belushi, but the actor has proven in the past that he is more than capable of embodying a role.  In Into the Wild, for which he also played a real person in Christopher McCandless, Hirsch lost 40 pounds over the course of that film.  It’s an interesting choice on the part of director Steve Conrad, but considering another candidate was Adam Devine from Workaholics, I’d say he made the right decision.

Conrad is also writing the screenplay and Belushi’s widow, Judy Belushi Pisano, and Dan Aykroyd are attached as a producer and executive producer respectively.  The filmmakers are looking to shoot the film in New York in the spring.