The sequel to 2011′s The Muppets, called Muppets…Again! (aka The Muppets 2) has begun production in London. It will be in theaters on March 21, 2014. The Muppets was one of my favorite movies of 2011, so I’m very excited for this one, even though I’m not a very big fan of the human cast members this time around.
It finds the Muppet repertory company enjoying a triumphant world tour, only to become tangled up with a criminal mastermind named Constantine, who is out to steal an enormous diamond—and who happens to be a dead ringer for Kermit.
“I always loved those classic jewel-heist capers from the ’60s and ’70s, so I was very keen to do a movie that had elements of that [genre] featuring the Muppets and comedy and songs,” says returning director James Bobin, who co-wrote the script with Nicholas Stoller.
Since the Star Wars prequels, many things have been said about the state of Star Wars and the fandom. And that includes a massive hours-long rant by a fan that people claim to be the definitive answer to George Lucas’ prequel trilogy. To that particular individual I say, “eh, get over it.” At this point, it’s all moot anyway.
Many things have been said about the new Star Wars trilogy, but I’ve not yet read anything that talks about why this isn’t going to be another prequel trilogy repeat. The reason why it’s different from the prequels will surprise you, because it has nothing to do with the quality of the films, and everything to do with the story.
It comes down to this: we don’t know what is going to happen next. The sense of discovery that we had with the Original Trilogy unfolding before us will be present.
J.J. Abrams has a very good understanding of what made the very first Star Wars film, A New Hope, work. Right from the start, that film had mystery after mystery, and took you on a ride. It answered some questions while raising more.
Watch this video from a Ted conference a few years ago, called The Mystery Box. It’ll give you a very good idea of what drives the stories that Abrams tells, and what’s behind the choices he makes. In it, you’ll also see a scene that he considers to be one of the greatest scenes of all time, from the movie Jaws. And it’s not a scene that people normally think of when they think about that movie.
J.J. Abrams is directing Star Wars: Episode VII
What many considered to be an impossible situation has actually happened. J.J. Abrams has quickly become one of my favorite directors, having created some of my favorite TV series, and actually did the impossible: got me to watch a Star Trek film based on his name alone. And I’ll be watching my second Star Trek film with his second film in the series: Star Trek Into Darkness. I have heard that he’s signed on for three Star Trek films, so I’m pretty sure that after he completes work on Episode VII, he’ll likely meet up with his writing team to start scripting and ultimately direct Star Trek III.
A few months ago I had an idea that, while imperfect, could have resulted in a much better response to The Phantom Menace. Would the movie play better if every Neimoidian character was replaced with a human in an Imperial officer uniform? What a way to start planting the seeds of the Empire early, by making them the Trade Federation. Read to see how this change might have effected all three of the prequels. I haven’t thought through all of these ideas, but I feel like even these subtle changes would make for much stronger films, even as they already are.
Let’s start with The Phantom Menace.
This is something that I never thought would happen. When the Star Wars prequels came to an end, it was pretty common knowledge then, that George Lucas was done with Star Wars films. Back in high school, I would talk with friends about how there would eventually be nine films. Now it’s happening, and there is more planned after that.
There has been a lot announced since Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm was announced on October 30, 2012. Nothing specific about the stories yet, but I’ll write more about what the stories mean for the expanded universe in another entry in this series.
Who is writing Star Wars: Episodes 7, 8 and 9?
It’s been called the biggest twist in motion picture history. It was known by no one on the set when they filmed the scene, except for Mark Hamill, who was told by George Lucas only moments before they filmed. The true fate of the father of Luke Skywalker.
This is something that I think could be retained if the prequels were ever rebooted. As one person recently said at Comic-Con, how could anyone take that twist away from future audiences? With the creation of Episodes I-III, it was very clear that the secret wouldn’t be able to be maintained. Especially with the obvious nature of the direction of the story.
My thoughts on possible solutions?