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Indiana Jones 5 co-star Mads Mikkelsen has strong opinions about the script he read before signing onto the project, going so far as to tell Collider that it was “everything I wished it to be.”

Mads is excited. Now you’re excited. And most importantly, you know who to blame if this turns out to be one of those rare fifth installments that falls short of redefining the potential of the medium. The guy’s just implicitly accepted all responsibility for your expectations. Start getting pissed off now.

Comments: 2 / Source: Collider

This summer, Lucasfilm will improbably be going into production on two not Star Wars things. When has this last happened? Will it ever happen again? I would doubt it.

And thus our rebelliously compulsive coverage of the Willow show must proceed, with the latest casting news:

Mojo has not yet received an invitation for a set visit, but we figure they're just playing hard to get.

Each week brings a new casting announcement, it seems. The latest get is Thomas Kretschmann.

It's hard not to conclude from this that the franchise is crawling back to the Nazis as villains. We shall see!

After announcing Indy's sidekick last week, Deadline is ready to reveal his love interest:

So maybe we don't actually know anything about the character Mads will be playing, but he's good casting even if he's gonna be portraying the animated red line on the map.

Comments: 2 / Source: Deadline

During the four unproductive years that Spielberg was attached to the project as director, Indy 5 was being scripted by his tentpole go-to, David Koepp, with a break in the middle there during which Jonathan Kasdan and then allegedly Dan Fogelman took a stab at the intractable installment.

Mangold is an accomplished screenwriter himself, so when he took over directorial duties it seemed likely he would have a hand in the script that would ultimately be produced. Now we know:

That this is the same writing team that brought you Ford v Ferrari is probably a good thing, as good things have been said about that movie. Plus, if you’ve dealt with one Ford, you’ve dealt with them all, so Mangold probably knows what he’s doing here.

Hey, I wouldn't make this up:

The inevitable speculation: Is Waller-Bridge playing Indy's daughter? Well, maybe, but slow down. We need to drag this out. It's the Mojo way.

Cinematographer Phedon Papamichael, who will be serving as Director of Photography of Indiana Jones 5, has given Screen Daily the following update on the project's status:

Fast forward to 2021 and Papamichael is gearing up for the shoot of James Mangold's Indiana Jones 5 project for Walt Disney and Paramount and will shortly travel to the UK to begin work at Pinewood. "It's a great challenge. It's definitely the biggest budget movie I've ever done, by a lot," he said.

It marks Papamichael's sixth collaboration with Mangold following Identity, Walk The Line, 3:10 to Yuma, Knight And Day and Ford v Ferrari.

"I go in with a certain confidence because it's my sixth movie with James Mangold but of course, it is always a bit daunting because it [Indiana Jones] has affected generations. It comes with a certain responsibility."

Papamichael said that while his recent collaborations with Mangold like Knight And Day and Ford v Ferrari had become increasingly technical their approach even with action films was to remain focused on the character's point of view.

"All this action is really only effective when you feel for the characters when you care whether they're going to make it or not. We really try to focus on their faces, their expressions, their POV."

Papamichael worked recently with Indiana Jones lead Harrison Ford, doing some additional photography for last year's Jack London adaptation, The Call of the Wild, in which the actor starred.

"I personally found him super-fun to be around, very inspirational, [with] the enthusiasm and humour he brings. I'm just looking forward to [Indiana Jones]," Papamichael said, comparing himself to a kid "about to go to Disneyland to explore rides he maybe knows from the past."

Steven Spielberg, who co-created and directed the first four Indiana Jones films, has given his full backing to the new film, added Papamichael, although he could not say how involved he will be. "But I know he's definitely having conversations with Mangold. He is very supportive. He is very excited for us to be doing this," he said.

The project is currently in pre-production and expected to shoot in the summer. Locations are being scouted and production designer Adam Stockhausen is coming up with plans. "We get going in Pinewood and then we go to various locations which I cannot reveal to you."

Papamichael has worked in the UK before, on action-adventure The Huntsman: Winter's War. "I was very impressed by the technical crews, especially the art department, scenic painters and construction. They were very, very impressive. The camera crews were extremely experienced," he said.

Mojo stopped getting invited to film sets after that unfortunate incident with the staple gun on Funeral Parade of Roses, but it will at any rate be fun to obsessively follow the production of an Indiana Jones movie one last time. Unless Craig Derrick is ready to revive The Lucasfilm Fan Club Magazine, we're all you got. Well, us and every other web site, but still!

It's official. Here's the tweet from Paramount:

And here's the full press release:

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (March 15, 2021) – Relive the unforgettable exploits of world-renowned, globetrotting hero Indiana Jones in spectacular 4K Ultra HD when the INDIANA JONES 4-MOVIE COLLECTION arrives in a new 4K Ultra HD set June 8, 2021 from Lucasfilm Ltd. and Paramount Home Entertainment.

The cinematic classic that started it all—Raiders of the Lost Ark—celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, having first introduced audiences to the man with the hat on June 12, 1981. Forty years later, the legendary hero continues to captivate new generations of fans.

Now, for the first time ever, all four films are available together in 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision® and HDR-10 for ultra-vivid picture quality and state-of-the-art Dolby Atmos® audio*. Each film has been meticulously remastered from 4K scans of the original negatives with extensive visual effects work done to ensure the most pristine and highest quality image. All picture work was approved by director Steven Spielberg.

In addition, all four films were remixed at Skywalker Sound under the supervision of legendary sound designer Ben Burtt to create the Dolby Atmos® soundtracks. All original sound elements were used to achieve the fully immersive Dolby Atmos® mixes while staying true to each film’s original creative intent.

The INDIANA JONES 4-MOVIE COLLECTION includes a collectible booklet with behind-the-scenes images from all four films. Each film is presented on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc with original theatrical trailers and access to digital copies. The set also includes a Blu-ray™ with seven hours of previously released bonus content as detailed below:

- On Set with Raiders of the Lost Ark

  • From Jungle to Desert
  • From Adventure to Legend

- Making the Films

  • The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981 documentary)
  • The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • The Making of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
  • The Making of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • The Making of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (HD)

- Behind the Scenes

  • The Stunts of Indiana Jones
  • The Sound of Indiana Jones
  • The Music of Indiana Jones
  • The Light and Magic of Indiana Jones
  • Raiders: The Melting Face!
  • Indiana Jones and the Creepy Crawlies (with optional pop-ups)
  • Travel with Indiana Jones: Locations (with optional pop-ups)
  • Indy’s Women: The American Film Institute Tribute
  • Indy’s Friends and Enemies
  • Iconic Props (Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) (HD)
  • The Effects of Indy (Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) (HD)
  • Adventures in Post Production (Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) (HD)

It's hard to complain about an extras list that wide without looking like an ass, but I was rather hoping the rumors about deleted scenes were true. Also, let's pray the "extensive visual effects work" undergone in the enhancement process doesn't mean the worst case scenario of how that can be interpreted.

We previously reported that the upcoming Willow series for Disney Plus had undergone a director swap, and it seems there’s been a cascading effect on its cast. Reports Deadline:

Ruby Cruz (Castle Rock) has landed the female co-lead opposite Ellie Bamber and Erin Kellyman in Willow, Disney+ and Lucasfilm’s upcoming TV series follow-up to the 1988 fantasy movie, with the film’s star Warwick Davis reprising his title role, I have learned. She replaced Cailee Spaeny, who had been originally tapped for the role, after an extensive recasting process. Lucasfilm declined comment.

Sure, my pop culture awareness was put out to pasture about twenty years ago and thus I have no idea who any of these actors are, but what am I suppose to do -- stop covering Willow? Fat chance.

Keep your eyes on Mojo as the series heads to production, where we hope to someday confirm that the character of Willow will play a meaningful role in Willow.

Comments: 3 / Source: Deadline

Legendary artist Drew Struzan is responsible for a large quantity of iconic movie posters, then abandoned us to the purgatory of studio-preferred Photoshop jobs when he retired from full-time commission work after the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull campaign in 2008. Nevertheless, Struzan has been known to do the occasional ad hoc illustration for friends, as he did for Frank Darabont with The Walking Dead and Mob City.

James Mangold, the director of the upcoming Indiana Jones 5, is obviously hoping his next film will be a similar exception, as he is actively courting Struzan on Twitter:

Here’s hoping Mangold can seal the deal (aka: convince Disney to cut the check), but if he strikes out, William Eaken ought to be the next phone call. Plan C: Chris Miles.

So, we all know about the Monkey Island movie that ILM was puttering around with twenty years ago from its concept art and bizarre plot synopsis, all of which was eventually collected as bonus features in the Special Edition compilation LucasArts put out in 2011.

But what about the real behind-the-scenes dirt on this legendary project’s origin and demise? What about that rumor that Steven Spielberg threw a spanner into everything by suggesting that the main character be replaced by a monkey because he has lousy story instincts?

Wait, that was never a rumor. But it is nevertheless one of the several new tidbits unveiled by Polygon’s sordid tell-all about the Monkey Island movie, which offers hitherto unavailable insight into the abandoned project with the aid of its director, visual effects supervisor David Carson. Read all about the various permutations of the story - each pass of which took it further and further from its initial form as a loose adaption of the first game - and feel elTee's shame when the stubborn rumor that the screenwriters of Pirates of the Caribbean had any meaningful involvement is forcefully refuted. Then there’s this:

Beyond the problems of adaptation, there were also more troubling concerns. This included a second meeting with Spielberg. Jim Morris, Patty Blau, Rosen, and Tom Bertino (who was going to act as animation supervisor) were all present at this meeting.

“The first meeting was just this little table, but now Steven wanted to make the project the table … [imagine] this cartoonishly long conference room where Steven is sitting at one end, Tom Bertino is sitting at the other,” Rosen recalls. “The funny thing about Hollywood meetings and creative projects when you come up with ideas is, you’re like, ‘Oh, I have this great idea,’ and then the committee assembles. All of a sudden, this story that everyone was shaking hands on becomes, ‘What if we change the main character to a monkey?’”

“We gathered in Steven’s office, and the first thing he said was that we shouldn’t have the main characters be human,” Carson says. “Instead, he suggested we should make the movie be about the monkeys on Monkey Island. Everyone just nodded, but my heart stopped. What the heck? We had worked for several weeks on a story that was based on the charm and humor of the games, and Steven wanted to throw all that out and make some new story about monkeys? I was completely confused.

Share in the confusion and add to your knowledge by reading the full article.

Comments: 9 / Source: Polygon

Says The Hollywood Reporter:

Willow, the Disney+ fantasy series based on the 1988 movie, has found a new director for its pilot.

Jonathan Entwistle, known for the well-regarded series The End of the F***ing World and I Am Not Okay With This, has been tapped to direct the pilot for the show that is set after the events of the film.

Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) was due to direct the pilot and executive produce but announced Jan. 11 that he was stepping away due to scheduling concerns and an upcoming baby due in the summer.

Entwistle is also exec producing and now joins executive producers and co-showrunners Jonathan Kasdan (Solo: A Star Wars Story) and Wendy Mericle (Arrow). Kasdan wrote the pilot.

“With its epic world of swords, sorcery and adventure, Willow captivated and influenced so many,” said Entwistle in a statement. “I’m excited to be going on this journey and working with Jon and Wendy to create something that is both deeply rooted in that original film and also a fresh, funny and charming addition to the beloved story. To be able to play within the world so painstakingly crafted by Ron back in '88 is a dream come true for me."

The series returns Warwick Davis to the title role of Willow Ufgood, the heroic apprentice Nelwyn sorcerer of the original film. Ellie Bamber and Cailee Spaeny are among the new additions.

The production begins shooting this spring in Wales.

So all of you can stop freaking out now.

It was reported last year that the first four Indiana Jones movies would debut on 4K Blu-ray this year, tying in with the fortieth anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark. New rumors have narrowed that down to a June 14th release date. And here's some bad box art that may or may not be legit:

The details I am eager for are with regard to the extra features, as it had previously been suggested that Paramount was given access to the Lucasfilm archives to create new supplements, which may possibly, finally, include deleted scenes.

Comments: 4 / Source: Twitter

The Willow series for Disney Plus was meant to start shooting in March, but it seems the latest lockdown in the UK has forced a move of the production schedule. This has created an availability issue for director Jon M. Chu, originally attached to helm the pilot episode, and he has announced his departure from the project:

Ron?

That's soon. But it kind of has to be, doesn't it? The announcement was made by Kathleen Kennedy during today's Disney investor conference whatsit.

Join me in hoping that Lucasfilm has made its first accurate projection for this project, and that Harrison Ford's saga can go out on a high note.

From Twitter:

Derrick's "Uh..." should strike fear into the heart of Netflix. For if we know one thing about The Dig, it's that it is Lucasfilm's most jealously protected trademark. Or are you forgetting a certain precedent in which Digg.com, the briefly relevant news aggregator, was accused of trademark infringement for sounding too close to the name of an old adventure game? A reminder of the legal argument:

"THE DIGG mark is confusingly similar in sound, meaning, and appearance to the Opposer's THE DIG mark," reads the LucasFilm Notice of Opposition document filed last month in San Francisco. "The Applicant's registration and use of the DIGG Mark would likely create confusion, mistake, or deception in the minds of prospective purchasers as to the origin or source of the Opposer's Goods associated with THE DIG Mark."

There's a deadly asteroid on the way all right -- it's called the Business and Legal Affairs team. Heck, those guys wield such power, you could hardly be blamed for wanting to join their ranks yourself. Someday you could be the one issuing takedowns of Fate of Atlantis fan sequels!

Comments: 7 / Source: Twitter

Deadline reports that casting for the upcoming Willow series is well underway, with talks taking place with Ellie Bamber (Nocturnal Animals), Cailee Spaeny (The Craft: Legacy) and Erin Kellyman (Solo: A Star Wars Story) to play female leads on the entertainment programme. There's also this:

According to circulated casting information for the series, it revolves around a group on a mission to save a kidnapped prince. The members of the team include Dove (Bamber), whose backstory resembles that of Willow from the movie. Dove is an unassuming kitchen maid who proves she is the “chosen one” as she embarks on the journey. She is joined by Kit (Spaeny), the princess whose twin brother was abducted. She is destined to be a leader and ultimately the queen. Kellyman plays Jade, a servant who is Kit’s best friend and moral compass. She is on her way to becoming the best young warrior in the kingdom. Also part of the group is a guy who echoes Val Kilmer’s character in the movie. A thief and liar, he joins the quest in exchange for getting out of prison.

It sounds as derivative as one would hope from this brand! Hopefully they don't blow the opportunity to make another NES game.

Comments: 1 / Source: Deadline

It has been a long, bumpy road to the realization of a fifth Indiana Jones movie, to the point where I wouldn't be so confident that road leads anywhere but over a sheer cliff. Still, anything on Lucasfilm's slate that isn't Star Wars is enjoyable to cover, so I'm always game to pounce on the latest rumors.

Those come from The DisInsider, who claim that Disney has booked Pinewood Studios for an August 2021 production start date. Even if this is legit, it proves little, as soundstage bookings can easily change, but the timetable does shake hands with precedent: Crystal Skull began shooting in June 2007 for a May 2008 release. The new film is slated for July 2022.

It's probably as late a start date as the project could get away with given that release date, though I'm sure that's by design. Optimistically, the worst of COVID-19 will be behind us next summer, and that's no minor concern when you've got an ambitious, globe-trotting shoot* carried on the shoulders of a 79-year old.

Speaking of optimism, it has recently been confirmed that James Mangold's regular DP Phedon Papamichael will be shooting the film. This is perhaps the one silver lining of Spielberg stepping down as director, as it permits one to hope that the movie won't be patterning its visual identity after Sky Captain this time out.

*At least, if they're making the movie correctly it will be. No more Indy installments shot on Los Angeles soundstages, thank you kindly.

Even though George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, the actual offices have remained at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in The Presidio -- a park in San Francisco. As Lucas owns those facilities, Disney has actually been paying George rent for that space despite owning the assets held there.

With the conglomerate undergoing a period of COVID related belt-tightening, rumor has it that Disney is finally ready to relocate all those assets to their home turf in Burbank.

The move down south for Lucasfilm apparently has been the plan for years. It is unknown what has been the delay in getting them down to Burbank. The goal was to have all of their divisions at convenient proximity to Disney headquarters. With that, they cut down distance and they no longer have to pay Lucas rent.

Why do we care? Well, presumably this means that the Lucasfilm archives are destined to make a six hour road trip, and as elTee's illuminating interview with Limited Run Games revealed, the original assets related to the old adventure games have not necessarily been digitized. And I'm not making judgments, mind you. It's hard to ask a supposedly state-of-the-art studio to make time over a thirty year period to digitally bank Monkey Island key art when there's a hundred other things to do. Those Baby Yodas aren't going to stack themselves.

I'm just asking everyone to join me in a collective prayer that they, you know, have the straps on the flat bed fastened tight as they load it up with irreplaceable diskettes of source code or Ken Macklin artwork for The Dig. And you know, that they throw a tarp over it if the weather forecast looks dicey. Things like that.

Those maniacs actually did it! A Willow series is headed for Disney Plus. Here's the press release:

The enchanting world of “Willow,” created by George Lucas, is officially coming to the small screen.

Disney Plus has confirmed a sequel series taking place years after the events of the original Ron Howard-directed pic is heading into production next year. Howard is returning to the project as executive producer alongside original star Warwick Davis, who will once again play the titular hero Willow Ufgood.

The series has also tapped “Crazy Rich Asians” and “In the Heights” director Jon M. Chu to helm the pilot and exec produce. Jonathan Kasdan (“Solo”) and Wendy Mericle (“Arrow”) will serve as showrunners.

“Willow” the series hails from Lucasfilm and represents the company’s first non-“Star Wars” venture since 2015. The show will introduce all-new characters to the magical realm of fairy queens and two-headed Eborsisk monsters. News of the official greenlight from Disney Plus comes over a year after the project was first reported as coming down the pipeline.

The original film centered on Davis’ Willow, who reluctantly forced into playing a critical role in protecting a special infant named Elora Danan from an evil queen (Jean Marsh). A prophecy told that Elora would bring the queen’s downfall. Willow was helped along the way by a mercenary swordsman, played by Val Kilmer. It also starred Joanne Whalley, Billy Barty and Kevin Pollak.

“Growing up in the’80s, ‘Willow’ has had a profound effect on me,” said Chu in a statement. “The story of the bravest heroes in the least likely places allowed me, an Asian-American kid growing up in a Chinese restaurant looking to go to Hollywood, to believe in the power of our own will, determination and of course, inner magic. So the fact that I get to work with my heroes from Kathleen Kennedy to Ron Howard is bigger than a dream come-true. It’s a bucket-list moment for me. Jon Kasdan and Wendy Mericle have added such groundbreaking new characters and delightful surprises to this timeless story that I can’t wait for the world to come along on this epic journey with us.”

Bob Dolman, writer of the original film, serves as consulting producer, with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy on board as an EP alongside Michelle Rejwan. Howard’s Imagine Television is producnig, with the company’s Roopesh Parekh and Hannah Friedman in place as co-executive producers. Julia Cooperman will produce.

“It’s creatively exciting to not only revisit the world and characters first conceived by George Lucas, Bob Dolman and myself but to see it take flight in such fresh, fun and cinematic ways through the imagination of Jon Kasdan and Team Willow,” added Howard. “This isn’t a nostalgic throw-back, it’s a creative lean-forward and it’s a blast to be a part of it all.”

As I've said before: why the hell not? If Star Wars nerds can get three trillion hours worth of movies and television shows per year, we might as well give the pecks a ten episode pick-up. What a world.

Comments: 6 / Source: Variety
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