News Bites: Rian Johnson Talks 'Star Wars: Episode VIII'

News Bites: Rian Johnson Talks 'Star Wars: Episode VIII'

Filmspotting: Rian Johnson

Star Wars: Episode VIII: Rian Johnson (Looper), who was recently confirmed as the writer and director of Star Wars: Episode VIII, is already working on the film, which is set for release in December 2016. "I wanted to to play in this world, literally the first movie my dad put me in the car to see," he said on the Chicago podcast Filmspotting. The filmmaker joked about how he got the job: "I can only assume it was a clerical error, like in the movie Brazil. There’s a Brian Johnson out there who is really mad.” To prepare, he said he and his crew are watching movies nightly. [Chicago Sun-Times]



Trainwreck: A new photo from Judd Apatow's comedy Trainwreck, starring Amy Schumer and Bill Hader, has unexpectedly emerged care of an NBA superstar. LeBron James, who recently announced he would be returning to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers next season, filmed a scene with Hader and then shared a behind-the-scenes photo. The movie is due on July 24, 2015. [Facebook via The Hollywood Reporter]


Dragonflight by Michael Whelan

c. Ballantine

Dragonriders of Pern: Warner Bros. has optioned the book series Dragonriders of Pern by the late Anne McCaffrey. The series, which began in 1968 and includes 22 books, follows a group of warriors who control telepathic, fire-breathing dragons. Warner Bros. is seeking a new franchise to follow in the footsteps of The Hobbit, the trilogy of which wraps up later this year. [Deadline]


The Longest Week

The Longest Week Trailer: Cut off from his source of income, Jason Bateman moves in with best friend Billy Crudup and promptly begins dating his best friend's love interest, Olivia Wilde. That's the setting for The Longest Week, also starring Jenny Slate; it's heading for theatrical release on September 5. [JoBlo]


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