Star Wars’ The Mandalorian Series Is Putting A-List Talent Behind The Camera

Star Wars is coming to TV in a brand new way with the very first (and super pricy) live-action series, which was recently revealed to be called The Mandalorian. Executive producer Jon Favreau announced the big news via social media, although details beyond the title and premise were scarce. Now, more information has released, and it turns out that Taika Waititi of Thor: Ragnarok and a number of others are on board to bring new stories to that galaxy far, far away.

Fans of Star Wars, get excited! Production has officially begun on the new series, and Taika Waititi will direct an episode for its big premiere on the Disney streaming service. Also directing episodes will be Dave Filoni of Star Wars Rebels and The Clone Wars, Jurassic World star and Solemates director Bryce Dallas Howard, Deborah Chow of Jessica Jones, and Rick Famuyiwa of Dope. As previously announced, Jon Favreau is on board as executive producer and writer. Sharing executive producing duties are Kathleen Kennedy and Colin Wilson on top of Filoni and Favreau.

There’s no news yet as to what will happen in the episodes these directors are set to tackle, but it’s worth noting that these directors have worked on wildly different projects throughout their careers. Both Taika Waititi and Deborah Chow have helmed superhero projects, although for under different banners and with very different tones. And that’s only one example! Despite some criticism of The Last Jedi in the aftermath of The Force Awakens, Star Wars movies are often similar in tone and structure within their trilogies. Is the variety of directors a sign that the series won’t necessarily feel like one big story? Will there be standalone episodes, or will The Mandalorian be completely serialized?

Unfortunately, we can only wait and see at this point. Of the directors who have signed on to helm episodes of The Mandalorian, Dave Filoni is the one with Star Wars saga experience. He’s slated to direct the very first episode of the new show, and his involvement is one of the elements of The Mandalorian that I’m most excited about. Filoni has directed episodes of Star Wars Rebels, will direct new episodes of The Clone Wars, and contributed to Star Wars Resistance.

Not only is Filoni well-versed in Star Wars lore with experience working alongside George Lucas, but his work on Clone Wars and Rebels makes him an expert on all things Mandalorian in current Star Wars canon. Given that The Mandalorian takes place after the fall of the Empire post-Return of the Jedi and before The Force Awakens, it’s also possible that Rebels‘ explosive Mandalorian Sabine Wren could appear in live-action. Why not bring Katee Sackhoff on board as Mandalorian leader Bo-Katan as well?

Only time will tell what’s in store with The Mandalorian. The next Star Wars project coming to the small screen is Star Wars Resistance, which was impacted by Rebels and Clone Wars in some interesting ways. Resistance is also set in the era between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens (although much closer to Force Awakens), so perhaps we should keep our eyes peeled for any Mandalorians on Resistance this fall!

Did The Big Bang Theory Set The Stage For Penny And Leonard To Break Up?

Spoilers ahead for the Big Bang Theory Season 12 episode called “The Procreation Calculation.”

The twelfth and final season of The Big Bang Theory is only just getting started, but viewers should start considering how the series is going to end, even if that isn’t set in stone at this point. The show likely won’t start any huge arcs that won’t have time to end before the final credits role, and the events of the latest episode raise the question: will Penny and Leonard break up?

The episode saw Raj seriously considering going ahead with an arranged marriage while Howard and Bernadette tried to pass their wisdom as parents and spouses along to their friends. Penny and Leonard decided to take a test to determine how compatible they are — a bit late, all things considered — which led to the reveal that Leonard wants kids but Penny does not. Once the news started circulating among their friends (and her dad, thanks to Leonard), Penny faced pressure to give in and agree to have kids (although Amy eventually came to terms with never breast-feeding Penny’s baby, and vice versa). She was really very matter-of-fact about not wanting children.

As for Leonard, he had always assumed that they would have kids, and he dropped the bombshell on Penny that he figured they’d have a child within five years. When he thought that Penny was telling him she was pregnant rather than confessing that she doesn’t want to make babies, he was ecstatic. By the end of the episode, he resigned himself to never having children, and the issue ended with classic Big Bang Theory shenanigans as Penny rented the Bat-mobile for him to drive. Still, the gigantic issue of having or not having kids didn’t seem altogether settled between them, and it may take more than a Bat-mobile for Leonard to agree with Penny.

Given how seriously everybody took the issue of Penny vs. Leonard on the issue of having kids, it’s difficult to believe that The Big Bang Theory won’t revisit the issue. It’s also not an issue that can really be solved via compromise. Either they have children or they do not have children. Despite Bernadette’s attempts to convince Penny that motherhood is wonderful, Penny didn’t waver in her determination to live a life without kids of her own. She was happy to be Aunt Penny and love the kids around her — or at least not throw any rocks at them — but she didn’t see any mini Pennys or Leonards in her future.

As for Leonard, his glee at the chance to drive the Bat-mobile could very well be short-lived. After all, it was only a rental, and he may come to the conclusion that driving the Bat-mobile once isn’t the substitute for becoming a father, even though he did acknowledge that the Hofstadter line won’t end with him since he has a bunch of nieces and nephews. If Leonard still wants kids and Penny is still determined not to have them, they may need to break up.

Of course, The Big Bang Theory might not want to end the series’ longest-running romance in heartbreak in its final season, so there’s every chance that Penny and Leonard will end the series in agreement about kids/no kids. We do know that one other couple will almost certainly have kids, and another wedding is in the works, so there’s a lot to go down in the last batch of episodes. We’ll have to wait and see. New episodes of The Big Bang Theory air this fall on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Jake Gyllenhaal Penned A Sweet Tribute To Deadpool’s Ryan Reynolds

There are few actors as loved and admired as Ryan Reynolds is at the moment. The man behind the Deadpool mask was pivotal in bringing the hilariously foul-mouthed superhero to the screen not once, but twice. Each of his tweets is either a buzzworthy headline or a beautifully sarcastic quip. If you look up “relationship goals” in the dictionary, you’ll even find a picture of Reynolds and his wife Blake Lively angelically posing next to each other with their two children. But if that’s not enough, read this deeply touching tribute to him, written by none other than Jake Gyllenhaal:

Anyone else have a few tears coming on? His comments come via a letter Variety asked Jake Gyllenhaal to write for its distinguished New Power of New York list. The list of 50 also includes other actors such as Crazy Rich Asians breakout star Awkwafina, young Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet and A Quiet Place stunner John Krasinski amongst musicians, athletes, etc. In the letter, Gyllenhaal talks about how the two met years ago and soon became close friends. He discussed the actor’s history as a frequenter in romantic comedies who never had the chance to “fire all cylinders” until he created his own chance to with Deadpool. In the touching tribute, Gyllenhaal revealed that Reynolds works “tirelessly,” writing all night so he can be a husband and father during the day.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds shared the screen in 2017’s Life, a sci-fi thriller set on the International Space Station. During their press tour, the pair showed off their hilarious chemistry together, especially in this interview, where they just couldn’t keep it together. It’s no surprise to his fans that Reynolds is as talented as Gyllenhaal says he is in the letter, but knowing Reynolds, he’ll likely spin it into some form of off-color joke or over-the-top affair to downplay it.

If rumors that floated over the summer of Jake Gyllenhaal’s casting as Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home are true, the actors may get a chance to collaborate under Marvel or at least be a part of the same universe as Disney starts to cash in on the Fox deal. Ryan Reynolds talent and success can be found in this week’s news of Deadpool 2 returning to theaters just seven months after its release. The PG-13 release reportedly has a running title of The Deadpool Before Christmas and will be released on December 21.

Twin Peaks Is Getting A VR Experience

Virtual reality hasn’t really picked up in the casual space. Not only that, but it seems to have been dwindling in the hardcore space, according to some sales data. Even still, just because VR has ran into another hiccup with trying to appeal to the mainstream audience over the course of the last 30 years, it doesn’t mean that developers aren’t going to try to win people over with some experimental new projects tapping into unlikely brands. One of the brands being tapped to indulge our senses beyond the television screen and the computer monitors is Showtime’s Twin Peaks. Collider Games has teamed up with the cable outlet to work on a Twin Peaks VR experience that will change the way you’ve viewed David Lynch’s strangely fascinating tale.

Over on Collider, the site announced that it had teamed up with Showtime and the original creator of Twin Peaks, David Lynch, to create the brand new Twin Peaks VR experience. The game will be previewed for the very first time at the Festival of Disruption set to take place in Los Angeles, California between October 13 and October 14 at the theater in the Ace Hotel.

The upcoming game will be based around the latest cable television run of the show from the 2017 iteration of Twin Peaks: The Return, along with a few moments and locations that you’ll be able to experience from the original television series that aired on ABC back in 1990.

There’s no mention if Fire Walk With Me content will make it into the game, but they do mention that there will be “lines” and “sounds” directly from the show itself that will appear as gamers travel through Glastonbury Grove and other iconic locations from the series such as the Red Room.

The first-person adventure will put players in the role of FBI agent Dale Cooper. I’m not entirely sure about the plot, but it explains that the special agent attempts to make his way back into a life he left behind. I’m sure fans of the series will be more familiar with that description than outsiders.

There isn’t much in the way of gameplay details. We do know that Twin Peaks VR will be made available for the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift. I suspect that the game will likely be similar to other first-person VR adventure/mystery titles, where you can move around and pick up objects, and then examine them or survey the area for clues, similar to popular PlayStation VR titles like Robinson: The Journey or Batman Arkham VR.

I’m sure there will be additional footage that emerges from the event when it takes place next week during the weekend. Hopefully a trailer will also appear for the game so we can see what it looks like in action. Also, I’m a little shocked that the game won’t be available for the PlayStation VR right now, but perhaps if it captures a decent audience, we might see Sony attempt to get Twin Peaks VR on the PlayStation VR at some point.

Following Avengers 4, Chris Evans Has Joined Rian Johnson’s Next Movie

As we saw earlier today, it’s looking more likely that Chris Evans is bidding farewell to Captain America. Having been part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for eight years, the actor has wrapped shooting Avengers 4, and there’s no indication that he’ll suit back up in Phase 4. But life goes on, and he’s certainly not leaving the acting world. Evans balanced his time in the MCU with other projects here and there, and now word’s come in one of his first post-Avengers 4 appearances will see him collaborating with Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson on his upcoming crime drama.

According to Deadline, Chris Evans has been cast in Knives Out, which will see him acting alongside Daniel Craig. Having delivered the incredibly divisive Star Wars: The Last Jedi late last year, Johnson is tackling Knives Out before he moves onto his Star Wars film trilogy. Although Knives Out is expected to start filming before Craig tackles the recently delayed Bond 25, it’s unclear if this movie will be Evans’ first to be released after Avengers 4 or if one of the other movies he’s already signed onto will arrive sooner. Along with his cinematic endeavors, Evans is also attached to star in the Apple limited series Defending Jacob.

Chris Evans’ movies during his tenure as Captain America included What’s Your Number?, Snowpiercer and Gifted, and now that he’s seemingly retired from his patriotic superhero duties, that gives him more time to show off his acting chops in other kinds of movies. Considering all the positive chatter surrounding Knives Out, which recently Media Rights Capital bought the world rights for at the Toronto International Film Festival, Evans being one of the leads is a solid next step forward, especially since Daniel Craig will be his costar. I can’t wait to learn who will be joining these two in the main cast, but regardless, this will be a good way for Evans to delve into darker material.

The only plot details that have been revealed so far about Knives Out is that it will be a classic whodunnit murder mystery (in the vein of Agatha Christies’s stories) set in the present. In addition to directing, Johnson wrote the script and is producing with his partner Ram Bergman through their still-to-be-named company. Before jumping into the Star Wars franchise, Johnson directed grittier fare like Brick and Looper, so making Knives Out will be a return to familiar territory before he sets out to chart a new path for the galaxy far, far away.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on Knives Out and Chris Evans’ career. For now, look through our 2018 and 2019 release schedules to learn what movies are heading to theaters over the next year.

Ant-Man Left An Important Storyline Open, And The Director Really Wants To Go Back And Address It

While Ant-Man And The Wasp did a great job as a story capitalizing on the previous on-screen adventures of Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne, there is one plot thread from their first movie that has yet to be concluded. At the end of Ant-Man, Mitchell Carson (played by Martin Donovan) was shown grabbing a vile of Cross Particles before escaping the soon-to-be-imploded Pym Tech building, and in the last three years we haven’t heard anything about his whereabouts or what he’s done with the shrinking material. It remains as a lingering mystery in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it should be recognized that director Peyton Reed knows it’s a question worthy of answering, and told me in a recent interview,

Earlier this week I sat down with Peyton Reed at the 10 Years of Art in the Marvel Cinematic Universe event at the Hero Complex Gallery in Los Angeles, and it was in the midst of our conversation that I brought up Mitchell Carson. I was curious if the character was ever in the mix for the story being told in Ant-Man And The Wasp, and while Reed confirmed that there were discussions about him, they ultimately decided to dedicate more focus to the story they wanted to tell.

What gives this story an extra little twist is that there almost was a definitive end to Mitchell Carson’s arc in the first Ant-Man… until there wasn’t. As Peyton Reed explained, the production actually filmed a scene for the end of the movie where Carson has a final confrontation with Scott Lang, allowing him to retrieve the dangerous technology, but that sequence was left on the cutting room floor. Said Reed,

Of course, there are still many Marvel Cinematic Universe movies coming in the future, and nobody expects that the Ant-Man And The Wasp series will stop after just two titles. Obviously it’s not clear now how exactly Mitchell Carson could take advantage of the rare technology he possesses in a third blockbuster, but that’s for Peyton Reed, Paul Rudd, and the other creatives to figure out between now and then.

For now, fans can endlessly enjoy both Ant-Man and Ant-Man And The Wasp, the latter having been released on digital this past Tuesday. And if you’re more into physical media, the film will be available on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD starting October 16th.

How Star Wars Resistance Was Impacted By Clone Wars And Rebels

Star Wars is returning to the small screen this month thanks to the long-awaited premiere of Star Wars Resistance on Disney Channel. Resistance promises to explore a place in the epic Star Wars timeline that hasn’t been covered on previous shows or movies, and given that Rebels aired its finale early this year and there’s still a while to wait before The Clone Wars is back, the new show should whet our appetites for new Star Wars action. Star Wars Resistance executive producer Justin Ridge spoke with CinemaBlend about the new series and how it was impacted by the two series that came before, saying this:

Justin Ridge had already worked on two popular animated Star Wars series before Resistance, so he had experience with what it takes to bring Star Wars to television. Although the animation style for Resistance is quite different from both Rebels and The Clone Wars, Ridge’s work on the two earlier shows taught him and inspired him in ways to guarantee that the new series fits into the saga so many have come to know and love. Dave Filoni was quite successful at the helm of Star Wars Rebels, and of course George Lucas himself was an asset in developing the magic touch for bringing Star Wars to TV.

All of this said, Star Wars Resistance is not going to just be Clone Wars 2.0 or Rebels: Part Deux, and not just because of the different animation style. By taking place between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens (although much closer to The Force Awakens than the previous movie), Resistance will get to show off some of what Star Wars fans haven’t gotten to see too much of.

After all, we only have two movies in the sequel trilogy at this point, and Resistance will get to show a lot more of this era in the timeline than we could get in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. The movies can’t spend precious minutes of limited screen time focusing on technology and world-building, but Resistance can. Clone Wars and Rebels both provided far more hours of their respective eras than were found in just the three movies of each trilogy. Justin Ridge went on to say this about using the TV format to do what the movies can’t necessarily in this new era:

Star Wars Resistance follows talented young pilot Kazuda Xiono after he is recruited by Poe Dameron himself for a top-secret mission on behalf of the Resistance as the First Order continues to expand. Kaz takes an undercover assignment at the aircraft refueling platform known as The Colossus, which is located on an Outer Rim water planet. Working with a mechanic and joined by some unexpected new friends (as well as some very familiar to Star Wars fans), Kaz continues his mission to become the best pilot in the galaxy while also continuing his mission for the Resistance.

You can catch the first two episodes of Star Wars Resistance on Sunday, October 7 at 10 p.m. ET on Disney Channel and DisneyNOW. Be sure to tune in to experience the next chapter in Star Wars television.

Why A Star Is Born Works Better Than Most Remakes, According To Sam Elliott

Depending on your perspective, remakes are a tricky business. Either you understand how they can blow the dust off of a dated property and repurpose it for a new audience, or you are diametrically opposed to the concept, because the original material was fine enough. We were surprised when we sat down across from Sam Elliott at the press junket for A Star Is Born, because he made it clear up front that he’s NOT okay with remakes. In general, he’s opposed to the idea of them. (Someone must have tipped him off to the news of a Roadhouse remake… terrible idea, Hollywood!) But Elliott opened up as to why this remake of A Star Is Born works, explaining to CinemaBlend:

I know that some of you might read Sam Elliott’s comments and think, “Well, what else is he going to say? He’s promoting a remake!” But when we started the conversation about the industry’s penchant for remaking anything from the past that is a household name, Elliott certainly didn’t hold back, critiquing those decisions as strictly monetary, and standing in the way of creativity. Elliott confessed:

Sam Elliott can speak with conviction because the remake that he’s part of improves in virtually every aspect of the previous versions of A Star is Born, benefitting from the brilliant casting of Lady Gaga in the lead role, and the commanding control shown by Bradley Cooper as a first-time director. Sam Elliott plays Cooper’s manager, a steady hand for an artist who’s tumbling along in an alcoholic haze. He plays an important part in the narrative. Here’s Elliott on remakes:

You can start to see for yourself what Sam Elliott is talking about, because A Star Is Born is in theaters as we speak. Why are you still here? Go!

Jamie Dornan Will Play A Journalist In Both Of His Fifty Shades Follow-Ups

Say what you will about the Fifty Shades franchise, but its stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson are continuing to rise to stardom and take on new fascinating roles much because of its past success. Johnson is creating buzz surrounding her two upcoming October releases, Bad Times at the El Royale and horror-remake Suspiria. Dornan is also sharing a busy release schedule with three films with his name coming out before the year’s end. Two of which has the actor portraying the stories of two very different real-life journalists in A Private War and in the HBO TV movie, My Dinner With Hervé. Why did Dornan make this shift from playing a shady, kinky billionaire you may ask? Here’s what he said:

In an interview with the Manila Bulletin, the former Christian Grey explained the difference between these two roles. Up first, My Dinner with Hervé has Jamie Dornan playing a struggling journalist, Danny Tate, who forms a friendship with Fantasy Island actor Hervé Villechaize (Peter Dinklage) shortly before the television star committed suicide in 1993. His other role in A Private War has Dornan portraying British photojournalist Paul Conroy, who photographed some of the most taunting war images in the middle east alongside badass journalist Marie Colvin, played by Rosamund Pike.

For A Private War, Jamie Dornan recounted meeting with Paul Conroy, who showed him some of images he photographed. They were so gruesome that newspapers felt they could not publish them and are permanently imprinted in Dornan’s brain. While Dornan maintains that both the roles are polar opposites, he said he thinks someone has to be “a wee bit mad” to be a journalist of any kind. A madness that he also believes actors such as himself and other creatives must possess. Delving into the world of war journalism proved to be more taxing as the movie discusses the damage the line of work has on people. His co-star Rosamund Pike will be portraying journalist Marie Colvin, who wears an eyepatch in the film due to her close encounters with war and died in 2012 while covering the siege of Homs in Syria.

Jamie Dornan is also involved in the Robin Hood reboot starring Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx. Dornan will be playing Will Scarlet in the fun action flick, one of the iconic members of the Hood’s Merry Men. The actor certainly has a lot of exciting upcoming roles to follow-up the Fifty Shades franchise. My Dinner with Hervé airs on HBO on October 20 and A Private War and Robin Hood hit theaters on November 21.

Hobbs And Shaw Has Added A Deadpool 2 Actor

The casting, first reported by Collider, reunites Eddie Marsan with his Deadpool 2 and Atomic Blonde director David Leitch, who is helming the Fast and Furious spinoff. Plot details for Hobbs and Shaw are currently under wraps, but brutal fights, fast cars and an explosion or two seem probable, and likewise this casting news does not give us any idea about whom Eddie Marsan is playing in the film. However, the casting news does note that Eddie Marsan’s role is not a large one, but it is said to be significant. Eddie Marsan joins a cast that includes Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Mission: Impossible Fallout‘s Vanessa Kirby and Idris Elba, who will be playing the villain in the film.