Our coverage of Star Wars: The Force Awakens has centered on questions:
“Who is Luke Skywalker?”
“Who is Kylo Ren?”
But when asked about another contributor to the movie, director J.J. Abrams raised a question of his own: “Who is Simon Pegg?”
No, really. Who??
“You know, I’ve never met Simon Pegg,” said Abrams. But when reminded, it gradually rings a bell: You know … Pegg played Scotty in Abrams’ Star Trekreboots… He was Shaun in Shaun of the Dead… The tech-savvy agent Benji in Abrams’ Mission: Impossible III… Hot Fuzz. The World’s End. He played uber-geeks in Spaced and the alien-road-trip comedy Paul … He’s the guy who rattles off his ranking of Star Wars movies in under a minute (like that’s really hard.)
Then it dawned on Abrams: oh, Simon Pegg! Right.
“I will say that Simon Pegg is a genius,” Abrams acknowledges. “Because he told me to say that.”
Rumors had abounded that Pegg had a secret cameo in The Force Awakens. Pegg himself, meanwhile, started further gossip about 007 actor Daniel Craig – who was shooting Spectre at the same studio and at the same time Episode VII – turning up in the movie incognito as a stormtrooper extra.
At San Diego’s Comic-Con, we saw that indeed Pegg was on set for The Force Awakens, and is even spotted with his unmasked head sticking out of some large alien-looking body (with a wet washcloth on his head to ease the heat of what looks like Abu Dhabi). So now that we’re clear on who Pegg is … who is Pegg in this movie?
Unfortunately, Abrams isn’t yet willing to identify that creature. But it turns out that wasn’t Pegg’s only contribution.
“I will say this in terms of Simon: while he won’t be recognizable in the movie, in all honesty, his role in this – not the performance or the character – but his support and friendship has been massively important and helpful in the process,” Abrams says, shifting from deadpan to sincere. “He was a wonderful partner in crime to kick the story around and ask questions and come up with ideas, and he was an incredibly helpful part of the process for all of us. I’m very grateful.”
But that’s new. It turns out Pegg was a part of the brain trust shaping these new stories.
“He was a sounding board,” Abrams says. “He would drop by the set because he wanted to, and when he could, he would help… We could talk about things, and he was a perfect combination of incredibly smart screenwriter, fan of the series, critical fan of the series, and friend of mine – but not just blindly supportive. He was an honest, critical friend. And he wasn’t so close to it that he became immune to things. He would come in with fresh eyes and very smart ideas. He’s one of a handful of people along the way that has been really priceless.”
But what about Pegg’s claim that James Bond will be one of The Force Awakens’ anonymous stormtroopers?
Abrams shifts back into hyper-snark.
“I’ve been asked to say nothing by Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” he says.
Blade Runner Star Rutger Hauer Has Died Aged 75
Hollywood star Rutger Hauer has died aged 75.
The actor was best known for playing Roy Batty in the 1982 movie Blade Runner and also Sin City, Batman Begins and TV show True Blood.
His agent Steve Kenis confirmed Hauer died on Friday following a short illness. His funeral was held on Wednesday.
Tributes have begun pouring in for the star, with Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro tweeting to say: “RIP the great Rutger Hauer: an intense, deep, genuine and magnetic actor that brought truth, power and beauty to his films.”
KISS musician Gene Simmons wrote: “Sad to hear Rutger Hauer has passed away. He was always a gentleman, kind and compassionate. Sending our condolences and prayers to his family, friends and fans.”
Hauer was born in Breukelen in the Netherlands and did stints in both the merchant navy and army before he became an actor.
He got his big break in 1969, when he became the lead in TV series Floris.
Away from acting, Hauer launched The Rutger Hauer Starfish Foundation, which aimed to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS, especially within children and pregnant women.
Issuing a statement following his death, the foundation said: “The Rutger Hauer Starfish Association announces with infinite sadness that after a very short illness, on Friday, July 19, 2019, Rutger passed away peacefully at his Dutch home.
“He leaves his beloved wife Ineke, after they have been together for fifty years.
“We at Starfish will always cherish the many unforgettable memories we have of Rutger and his dedication to the Rutger Hauer Starfish Association.
“One of Rutger’s last wishes was that Starfish should continue its charity activity and its fight against the AIDS disease, and with Ineke’s precious help, involvement and direction we will follow Rutger’s wish and will do our best to carry on Rutger’s inestimable legacy.”
Beyoncé is the New Nala! The Lion King Fans Are Not so Impressed!
Are you as much of a fan of both Beyonce and The Lion King as I am? I mean, Beyonce could sing the phone book and I would still think she sounds angelic! And as an African, I am bound to love The Lion King!
If you are at least a fan of either, Beyonce or The Lion King, I’m sure you already know that Beyonce stars as Nala in the latest Lion King movie. Now its trailer is already out, and it is set to hit the cinemas soon! There are also beautiful photos of the “Lion King” cast all over the internet. Have I already told you just how beautiful the photos are? If you would like to see them, check them out here!
Now the problem is that some Twitter users are not so happy with “Queen Bey” as Nala! Honestly, I personally wouldn’t find fault in anything that Beyonce does, but clearly, not everyone shares the same sentiments as myself! One critic claimed that Beyonce is being “too Beyonce”, I don’t even know what that means.
The critic tweeted, “It’s like something is off here, maybe the lions look too real for voice-overs. And I know Nala is Beyonce but it sounds very Beyonce. It’s so distracting…”! Another also posted, “Okay I’m going to be brave and say this but I don’t think I like Beyonce as Nala. I wish she had just done the soundtrack but her voice doesn’t suit Nala. Hope I’m wrong…”!
Another Twitter user suggested that Queen Bey should have tried to change her voice to suit the character, saying her voice is “too distinct for this. It doesn’t even sound like she attempted to change the sound of her voice for the character”.
Robert Pattinson is Officially The New Batman, Film Releases in 2021
After weeks of speculation, Robert Pattinson has officially inherited the keys to the Batmobile from Ben Affleck. The actor who shot to fame as a vampire in the Twilight films will take on another nocturnal hero: Batman. Pattinson, 33, inherits the role from Ben Affleck, whose tenure came to an end after the critical and commercial disappointments of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League.
After weeks of speculation, Robert Pattinson has officially inherited the keys to the Batmobile from Ben Affleck
The actor who shot to fame as a vampire in the Twilight films will take on another nocturnal hero: Batman. Pattinson, 33, inherits the role from Ben Affleck, whose tenure came to an end after the critical and commercial disappointments of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League.
Pattinson’s first film as the billionaire crime fighter Bruce Wayne, who assumes a full-body black costume to battle baddies in Gotham City, will be titled The Batman, directed by Matt Reeves, and set for release in June 2021. Originally scheduled to start shooting in 2017, The Batman will be the first solo Caped Crusader film to form part of the DC Extended Universe.
The Warner Bros studio confirmed to Variety on Friday that Pattinson had beaten the other names on the shortlist – which included Nicholas Hoult – to the role. Following breakthrough performances in the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises, Pattinson has spent some years steering clear of the mainstream, instead working with directors such as David Cronenberg, David Michôd, the Safdie brothers and James Gray.
His recent collaboration with the French director Claire Denis, erotic sci-fi mystery High Life, won Pattinson considerable acclaim. He also stars in one of the best-reviewed films from this year’s Cannes festival: Robert Eggers’s The Lighthouse, an intense psychodrama set in 19th-century Maine.
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