STAR WARS – Attention, Star Wars fans: It’s time to make some room on your desk, toy shelf, bookshelf, and in your closet.
Disney and Lucasfilm today announced Star Wars Force Friday II, a global fan event celebrating the launch of Star Wars: The Last Jedi products. Toys, collectibles, books, apparel, and more will go on sale beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, September 1, 2017, with stores around the world opening for a weekend-long celebration of all things Star Wars. In addition, packaging for the new line, featuring striking images of a lightsaber-wielding Rey, Poe Dameron, and Finn, was also revealed today and can be seen below.
“The first Star Wars Force Friday event was truly unique, uniting fans across five continents in an unprecedented global live unboxing event ahead of thousands of midnight openings at retail,” said Jimmy Pitaro, chairman, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. “We’re excited to confirm that Star Wars Force Friday is back for The Last Jedi. Plans for this year’s worldwide event are top secret, but expect something befitting the excitement around the next episode of the Star Wars saga.”
Star Wars fans around the globe embraced Force Friday in 2015, with hundreds of thousands turning up to stores at midnight to be the first to get their hands on merchandise from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Toys from the new line were revealed via a global livestream unboxing event with top Maker Studios creators that unfolded over 18 hours, 15 different cities and 12 countries, attracting millions of views on YouTube. Fans took to social media to share their experiences with nearly 3 billion Twitter impressions about the events, using #ForceFriday.
Jill Wilfert, vice president of global licensing and entertainment from The LEGO Group commented, “It was so much fun to be a part of Star Wars Force Friday, and we can’t wait for fans to join this year’s celebration as we reveal new Star Wars: The Last Jedi products during Force Friday II — a global event that will connect fans and families, and allow them to build, create and share their experiences with others.”
Details of how fans can participate will be revealed closer to the event, but the worldwide launch will tap new technology and Star Wars mythology to create a unique experience for fans. Just like 2015, products for The Last Jedi will be kept under wraps until Force Friday II to preserve surprises for fans. As well as introducing new characters from the movie in toy form, the line will build on the success of products like Sphero’s BB-8, introducing more innovative technology to bring the characters and stories from the film to life in unique ways.
“Toys play a unique role in the Star Wars universe, and we’re proud to have been part of that incredible legacy for the past 40 years. The new line for The Last Jedi is our most innovative yet, and we’re excited to unveil it on Force Friday II,” said Samantha Lomow, senior vice president at Hasbro.
DEADLINE – Paramount Pictures has acquired the Sonia Purnell book A Woman Of No Importance, and has attached Star Wars‘ Daisy Ridley to star. The book by the author of Clementine is the biography of American heiress and super-spy Virginia Hall, who attempted to break into the ranks of the American Foreign Service in the years before World War II. Rejected because of gender and a disability — she lost part of her leg in a hunting accident — Hall worked during the war for the British intelligence unit SOE. She later joined the OSS, the forerunner of the CIA.
Ridley is currently shooting the Murder On The Orient Express at Fox, and will reprise in the just-named Star Wars: The Last Jedi. She is also attached to Chaos Walking at Lionsgate, Kolma at Paramount and the indie Ophelia.
STAR WARS – We have the greatest fans in this or any other galaxy. In appreciation of the fans, we wanted them to be the first to know the title of the next chapter in the Skywalker saga: STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI.
THE LAST JEDI is written and directed by Rian Johnson and produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman and executive produced by J.J. Abrams, Jason McGatlin, and Tom Karnowski.
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI is scheduled for release December 15, 2017.
StarWars.com. All Star Wars, all the time.
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Michael Pena and Judi Dench have a ticket on Fox’s Murder on the Orient Express.
The studio has enlisted a cavalcade of A-listers for its ensemble adaptation of Agatha Christie’s acclaimed mystery novel that is being directed by Kenneth Branagh.
The classic murder mystery centers around a murder onboard the famous train, and introduces Belgian detective Hercule Poirot who must solve the case while being surrounded by duplicitous passengers.
Branagh is doing double duty by also starring as detective Hercule Poirot and leads a cast that includes Johnny Depp, who will play Ratchett, the man who is murdered, Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr., who is playing Doctor Arbuthnot, and Tom Bateman, who will play the Frenchman Bouc. Also in the cast are Lucy Boynton and Derek Jacobi.
Pfeiffer will ply Mrs. Hubbard, a glamorous and opinionated passenger with a secret.
Ridley will play Mary Debenham, a working class woman in love with Arbuthnot.
Dench will play Princess Dragomiroff, who hails from Russian royalty while Pena plays a Cuban passenger named Marquez.
“Christie’s Murder is mysterious, compelling and unsettling,” said Branagh. “I’m honored to have this fantastic group of actors bring these dark materials to life for a new audience.”
Ridley Scott, Simon Kinberg, Mark Gordon and Branagh are producing the movie, which begins production in London in November. Michael Schaefer, Aditya Sood and Judy Hofflund will also produce.
Michael Green (Blade Runner sequel) wrote the script. Steve Asbell is overseeing for Fox.
“It is always thrilling for us to see the stellar casting that Agatha Christie film adaptations attract,” said James Prichard of Agatha Christie Ltd., who is executive producing with Hilary Strong.Continue Reading (…)
VARIETY – Daisy Ridley and Elizabeth Debicki have joined the cast of Sony’s live-action/animated hybrid “Peter Rabbit,” starring Rose Byrne and James Corden.
The film will be directed by Will Gluck from a screenplay by Rob Lieber with revisions by Gluck. The adaptation will be made at Animal Logic, the Sydney-based animation and visual effects production studio behind the global blockbuster “The Lego Movie.”
Gluck and Zareh Nalbandian are both attached to produce the feature, with Doug Belgrad serving as executive producer. Jodi Hildebrand of Olive Bridge and Jason Lust will also serve as executive producers.
Corden will voice Peter and Byrne will star in the live-action female lead role of Bea.
With this film, Columbia and Frederick Warne will bring Beatrix Potter’s beloved character Peter Rabbit to a new family audience. Warne has been Beatrix Potter’s publisher since its publication of “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” in 1902, and is home to the Peter Rabbit and Beatrix Potter brands.
“We at Penguin Random House UK are delighted to be working with Columbia Pictures,” said Tom Weldon, CEO of Penguin Random House UK. “As custodians of Beatrix Potter’s brand and legacy, we are excited about the opportunity this production will bring to engage a whole new audience with the world of Beatrix Potter and one of her best-loved characters, the mischievous Peter Rabbit.”
Sony Pictures Entertainment will create and execute a worldwide licensing and merchandising program for the new “Peter Rabbit,” in association with Warne.
Production on “Peter Rabbit” is due to commence in January 2017, and is set for worldwide release in April 2018. The film will be made with the support of the Australian Government through Screen Australia and Screen NSW, and in collaboration with Sony Pictures Animation. Lauren Abrahams will oversee the project for the studio.
After breaking out in “Star Wars: the Force Awakens,” Ridley has quickly begun building her resume. Besides the upcoming “Star Wars: Episode VIII,” she’s also attached to star in the YA adaptation “Chaos Walking” at Lionsgate and the supernatural drama “Kolma” at Paramount, which reteams her with J.J. Abrams. She is also set to topline “The Lost Wife” for producer Robbie Brenner.
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – Star Wars: The Force Awaken star Daisy Ridley has signed on to star in Lionsgate’s YA adaptation Chaos Walking.
Doug Liman is directing the post-apocalyptic thriller, which takes place in a world where there are no women and all living creatures can hear one another’s thoughts in a stream of images, words and sounds called Noise.
Lionsgate picked up the rights to Patrick Ness’ best-selling young-adult trilogy in 2011. Oscar-winning screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) adapted the book, and Jamie Linden (Money Monster) penned a draft.
Doug Davison, who produced the Liman-directed Tom Cruise starrer Mena, is producing alongside Allison Shearmur (Rogue One, Cinderella).
Before Star Wars, Ridley was a relative unknown. Since starring in the Lucasfilm and Disney project, she’s booked several other films, including Ophelia with Naomi Watts and drama The Lost Wife. She also recently shot Star Wars: Episode VIII. She’s repped by CAA and Sloane, Offer.
J.J. Abrams shares more The Force Awakens screen tests for Daisy Ridley and Jennifer Lawrence (Vanessa Bayer), Shia LaBeouf (Kyle Mooney), Matthew McConaughey, John Boyega, Emma Stone, Janelle Monae (Sasheer Zamata), Jon Hamm and more.