J.J. Abrams discusses The Last Jedi’s influence on the final chapter of the Skywalker Saga. Mike Flanagan is dying to pitch a new Nightmare on Elm Street. Scarlett Johansson appreciates how the new Black Widow movie will handle trauma. Plus, what’s to come on Supergirl’s midseason finale. To me, my spoilers!
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
A new behind-the-scenes feature that premiered during last night’s The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration on ABC included a bunch of new looks at the movie, including glimpses of what appeared to be a scene shared between Rey and Keri Russell’s mysterious smuggler Zorii Bliss—but most interestingly, what appears to be new footage of Warwick Davis suiting up as Wicket the Ewok, potentially hinting that the furball will lend his spear to the forces of good once more!
Meanwhile in conversation with Esquire, J.J. Abrams discussed how The Last Jedi “might have even helped strengthen” the themes and ideas behind The Rise of Skywalker.
There were some choices that made things a bit more fun for us, because, for example, Rian didn’t have the whole group collaborative adventure of it together, and that was really fun to get to tell the story of the group, the droids, out on one breakneck, crazy, desperate adventure. You know? The choices that he made for me were as a fan, as a reader of the script, a fan of his, a fan of Star Wars…it was just fun to read someone’s take that was so about surprising the viewer and it was just really entertaining, because it was, it got to surprise me nearly every time. So, I loved it for that.
As a filmmaker, working on episode IX, amazingly, nothing that he did in Last Jedi got in the way of things that we had talked about wanting to do down the line, ideas that I had about where things might go, so…it wasn’t like his story somehow derailed the things I wanted to pursue. In fact, strangely, they might have even helped strengthen them because we got to make some choices that sort of take advantage of the fact that Rian hadn’t done the things that we were thinking about doing.
Lastly in the galaxy far, far away, a new TV spot reprising “Duel of the Fates” sees Emperor Palpatine intone, “this will be the final word in the story of Skyyywalkaah!”
A Nightmare on Elm Street
I got a killer idea. [I’m] dying to get in there to pitch it. If I got to do this it would be so cool.
Variety has our first official look at Meander, Mathieu Turi’s sci-fi thriller starring Vikings’ Gaia Weiss. Essentially Cube in a tube, the film concerns a woman (Weiss) who “wakes up in a strange tube full of deadly traps. Her only option is to keep moving forward. But it is not clear how far she can get.”
In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Scarlett Johansson stated she did not want Black Widow to be either an origin story or an espionage story, but is glad the film explores themes of “self-doubt and insecurity and shame and disappointment and regret.”
I did not want it to be an origin story. I did not want it to be an espionage story. I didn’t want it to feel superficial at all. I only wanted to do it if it actually fit where I was with that character. I had spent such a long time peeling those layers away—I felt that unless we got to something deep, then there was no reason to make it. Because I did my job in Endgame, and actually felt satisfied with that. I would have been happy to let that be it. So there had to be a reason to do it other than just to milk something.
And so by elevating the genre I mean I hope that it can be both explosive and dynamic and have all that great fun stuff that goes with the genre, but I hope that we can also talk about, you know, self-doubt and insecurity and shame and disappointment and regret and all that stuff too. It has many different things, it’s not just that. But there’s a lot of deep stuff, I think, that drives it.
Director Sophia Takal discussed her take on the new Black Christmas in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly.
You know, this movie, even though it’s very, very loosely based on Black Christmas, I’d say the plot is extremely different. It’s more inspired by the feeling that Black Christmas made me feel watching it, this idea of misogyny always being out there and never totally eradicable. So that was the jumping-off point for how I came up with this plot.
The original Black Christmas feels so contemporary and modern for the time. Since then I feel like there have been so many movies about sorority sisters where the women have been portrayed as dumb, bimbo-y idiots. What I love was this was a group of women who, even though there was some conflict and strife — you know, Margot Kidder was a real spitfire [laughs] — they were all very much three-dimensional, strong female characters. I wanted to make something that reflected our time right now, drawing more from what the original evoked for me rather than great plot points. For me, it was about what does it feel like to be a woman in 2019?
[At] the beginning of the #MeToo Movement, it seemed like there was a really big reckoning, particularly in the film industry, but in lots of industries, where powerful men were being called out for their predatory behavior. And then, in early 2019, I sort of felt, and I know a lot of women who I know felt, the creeping back of these predatory men into positions of power and this feeling of like, “Oh, even when you’ve won the battle you still have to battle this patriarchal structure.” It seemed like everyone, the men and the women involved in the movie, on screen and off, were all really committed to exploring that feeling and were really interested in making a movie about that.
An IMAX-exclusive “prologue” for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet has been rated PG-13 my the MPAA for “violence and intense action.” [Vital Thrills]
Bill & Ted Face the Music
A since-deleted video from Bill & Ted Face the Music’s official Twitter page featured a neon sign toggling between “69, Dudes, Months” to “9 Months”, along with the caption “Strange things are afoot, 9 months from today.” [We Got This Covered]
Crisis on Infinite Earths
We Got This Covered reports early drafts of Crisis on Infinite Earths featured cameos from David Mazouz’s Bruce Wayne as well as the main casts of Doom Patrol and Titans, but the outlet is “unable to confirm whether it actually ended up happening.”
It’s finally Purge Night in the synopsis for “7:01"AM” airing December 17.
As Purge Night rages on, Esme, Ryan, Marcus and Ben fight for their lives and their loved ones.
Kara, Alex and Brainiac 5 rendezvous at the Fortress of Solitude in a clip from Supergirl’s mid-season finale, “The Wrath of Rama Khan”.
Rick & Morty
Finally, Rick slays a dragon in the trailer for “Claw and Hoarder: Special Ricktim’s Morty” airing December 8.
Banner art by Jim Cooke.