TIME movies

This is Who Andy Serkis Will Play in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

andy serkis avengers london
Anthony Harvey—Getty Images Andy Serkis attends "The Avengers: Age Of Ultron" European premiere at Westfield London on April 21, 2015 in London.

But it opens up even more questions

Andy Serkis is finally connecting some dots for Star Wars fans.

Ever since he was announced as part of The Force Awakens cast, no one has been sure which character would be brought to life by the performance-capture trailblazer, who breathed humanity into inhuman characters such as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes among many others.

Would he be acting via remote control, as he has in his most famous performances, or turning up in the flesh as he did in Avengers: Age of Ultron as the arms dealer who loses an arm, Ulysses Klaue?

Now, by way of a StarWars.com interview with iconic photographer Annie Leibovitz about her recent Vanity Fair shoot for the film, we’ve learned Serkis will portray a being known as Supreme Leader Snoke.

This opens up even more questions. Who – or what – is Supreme Leader Snoke?

The interview offered nothing more beyond his name, alongside an image of Serkis in motion-capture gear.

The only Star Wars reference to anyone named “Snoke” is a background character named Snoke Loroan from the 1992 novel The Lost City of the Jedi, who was a Corellian pilot serving the Rebels. He also apparently died during Return of the Jedi’s Battle of Endor. So basically, not the same guy. (What kind of Supreme Leader would go by his first name anyway?)

Although we haven’t seen Snoke yet, we have heard him as the narrator of the first teaser trailer last November. “There has been an awakening … Have you felt it? The dark side. And the light…”

The voice is ragged and deep, leading some to speculate that it had been warped and altered. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in December, Serkis said this wasn’t the case. The voice of Supreme Leader Snoke is all organic. “That is the character,” Serkis says. “There’s no digital manipulation. That’s just me.”

Obviously, those few lines from the previous trailer suggest that Snoke is Force sensitive. If he picks up on a disturbance, an awakening, he has ties to a power that goes far beyond military strength. All Serkis could say in his earlier interview was that his character has witnessed and participated in some harsh things during his time in the galaxy. “He’s been through some stuff,” Serkis says.

Speculation time: Has there ever been a “Supreme Leader” who has been a good guy? Sounds like a tyrant, the kind of person whose hobbies include wearing shapeless suits and running North Korea. In the recent trailer, is this Snoke at center stage, off in the distance, surrounded by a battalion of stormtroopers?

Military entourage. Ominous banners. Flattering, loose-fitting attire …

We can’t know for sure just yet, but that’s how a Supreme Leader rolls.

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

TIME movies

Jaws Will Return to Theaters to Celebrate Turning 40

Jaws
Universal Pictures—Getty Images Crowds run out of the water in a scene from the film 'Jaws', 1975.

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Summer movies, as we know them, began 40 years ago. For decades, the warm-weather months had been a dumping ground for Hollywood’s genre fare and B-movies. But in 1975, a different kind of movie was unleashed in theaters. Jaws was like chum to the media and movie audiences, who couldn’t get enough of Steven Spielberg’s terrifying adaptation of Peter Benchley’s best-seller. It became an instant and defining blockbuster, with repeat customers who still jumped with fright at the scariest moments—even though John Williams’ score warned them that danger lurked beneath the waves.

On June 21, fans of Jaws will have another opportunity to see the classic on the big screen, as it was intended. Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies, and Universal Pictures will present special screenings in nearly 500 theaters around the country. TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz will provide a special introduction for an afternoon and evening showing, as well as an encore presentation on June 24. “Jaws is a classic thriller enjoyed by generations and it is ready for a comeback,” said Fathom Events vice president of programming Kymberli Frueh-Owens. “Movie buffs will love seeing their favorite killer shark larger than life on the big screen. No risk of shark bite!”

There’s the famous anecdote that Spielberg tells how he knew Jaws was going to be a huge hit only after a member of the audience rushed out of a preview screening in the middle of the movie, threw up in the lobby… and then hurried back in to watch the rest. For those types of Jaws nerds, fans who rightfully treat Quint’s Indianapolis soliloquoy with Shakespearean reverance and already know every behind-the-scenes story about the near-disastrous making of the film on and around Martha’s Vineyard, the June screenings will be a celebration of a movie that helped define their childhood. And for the younger generation, which may not have been introduced to Jaws yet despite frequent Blu-ray editions and constant cable showings, it’s about time to dip their toes in the water, and finally see why Williams’ simple score still has the power to get swimmers out of the water.

Tickets can be purchased at FathomEvents.com, or at participating theaters.

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

TIME

Someone Asked Tom Hardy if He Ever Thought Mad Max Was ‘a Man’s Movie’

"No."

Mad Max: Fury Road has been hailed as the summer’s best feminist blockbuster (sorry, Pitch Perfect 2), and star Tom Hardy seems pretty pleased with that result. During a press conference for Fury Road at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this month, Hardy was asked by film critic Peter Howell if at any point while reading the script, he thought Mad Max “was supposed to be a man’s movie.”

“No,” Hardy said. “Not for one minute. It’s kind of obvious.”

After Hardy’s dismissal of the question went viral, Howell, who writes for the Toronto Star, issued a statement to BuzzFeed about the meaning behind his initial inquiry.

My question to Tom Hardy was intended as the opposite of sexism. I was congratulating him for his willingness to share the screen with so many strong women in a franchise and genre more inclined to celebrate the male over the female. He was also willing to be in a co-lead role with Charlize Theron, in a movie called MAD MAX, no less. I think a lot of male stars might have objected to this, but Hardy is of a special breed.

But I don’t think I worded my question very well. Hardy just shrugged it off, although I don’t think he was offended by it. I think this article I wrote gives you a better idea of what I was getting at, which was to celebrate the idea of women being cast in traditionally male roles, not to scorn it.

In his piece on Fury Road, Howell wrote that Charlize Theron’s character, Furiosa, could lead to a sea change in the way blockbusters are produced.

“Whatever the reason, the timing couldn’t be better. This may come to be known as the Summer of the Alpha Female at movie theatres, with Furiosa leading the charge,” Howell wrote. Furiosa would approve.

Watch the full interchange between Hardy and Howell at the 10-minute mark in the video below.

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

TIME Appreciation

Ron Howard: The Beauty of John Nash

The Academy Award-winning director of A Beautiful Mind reflects on genius, madness and profound courage

From the moment I heard about John and Alicia Nash’s tragic accident on the New Jersey Turnpike, I immediately flashed to that first remarkable day I met them. I had committed to directing A Beautiful Mind, which was based on Sylvia Nasar’s biography. My longtime partner at Imagine Entertainment, producer Brian Grazer, was already passionate about the project and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman had written a remarkable adaptation of Nasar’s book. Now it was time for me to begin my own research, with a morning meeting at Professor Nash’s office on the Princeton campus and then a lunch with him and his wife nearby.

My purpose that day was to learn—and learn I did. In fact, my entire approach to the project shifted radically in those few hours, all based on first impressions that proved accurate and will echo with me forever.

First, I was surprised and fascinated by John Forbes Nash and his enduring passion for his subject, theoretical math. I’d been told that math geniuses were assumed to be beyond their prime in their late twenties, but the 70-something year-old I was encountering, while willing to patiently explain the concepts behind his Nobel Prize-winning work to this math simpleton, was thrilled when he saw I was also willing to hear about the new challenge he was currently tackling.

I couldn’t understand much about the Nash Equilibrium or anything else he was explaining that day, but I could recognize a spark of creative energy and vision that I could recognize and relate to. That day I began to see John as an artist.

A couple of weeks later, mathematician Sylvain Cappell of New York University explained John to me in a way I’d like to share. He posited that each generation offers a small group of true geniuses who commit their lives to pushing the boundaries of what is illuminated by knowledge into the darkness of what is yet-be-known—and there are three types of people doing the toiling on that boundary.

One is the scientist who mines the edges, finding nuggets, polishing them into proofs with little care as to their application. They toss them over their shoulders to the next group of innovators who immediately take the breakthroughs and find ingenious ways to use them.

Nash, Cappell said, belongs to a third group.

“Think of them as paratroopers,” he said, “dropped behind the lines, into the darkness with orders to fight their way back into the light and share what they had learned. Not all of them could survive intact. Nash was one of these courageous geniuses. Fearless and willing to risk everything to hurl himself into the unknown in search of elegant new discoveries.”

At my lunch with John and Alicia, I came to understand another very important component of our screenplay of this story: their story. It was a love story about two extraordinary individuals. It was unique, with a history both idealistically romantic and painfully harsh—a love tested and forged by the hellish adversity that is acute mental illness, and a love story to be therefore respected.

Our movie, of course, could convey but a fraction of the events of their entire lives as individuals and as a couple, but it was that truly remarkable relationship that I will always remember them by above all.

TIME movies

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Reboot in Development by Fox

The 2003 film was a dud

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is getting another shot on the big screen.

As initially reported by the Tracking Board, 20th Century Fox will revisit Alan Moore’s 1999 comic-book series that was infamously adapted into the 2003 dud that starred Sean Connery as Alan Quatermain. The books combined the characters from several classic Victorian Age works of fiction into a tale of a group of, well, extraordinary literary figures—including Quatermain, Capt. Nemo, Mina Murray, Dr. Jekyll, and “The Invisible Man” Hawley Griffin.

The 2003 big-budget adaptation, which stands as the retired Connery’s last on-screen role, was conceived as a potential franchise, but it was panned by both critics and audiences, grossing just $66.5 million. Fox later planned a TV series, but the pilot was never ordered to series.

John Davis will produce the reboot through his Davis Entertainment banner.

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

TIME movies

San Andreas Was Reviewed By An Earthquake Expert

She reported some factual inaccuracies

The trailer for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s new action flick may be literally groundbreaking, but it turns out that San Andreas isn’t entirely realistic. Dr. Lucy Jones, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, known in some circles as the Earthquake Lady for her expertise in the field, went to the premiere and live-tweeted the entire movie — for science.

Jones used her scientific knowledge to fact-check the movie’s portrayal of The Big One and it appears that Hollywood has taken some liberties with the truth:

You can read all her tweets here, but the overall takeaway of Jones’s tweets is that while San Andreas is not exactly realistic, it is important to prepare for disasters. If you have an emergency plan, take a disaster training course, get a landline, learn to drop, cover and hold on, and create a post-disaster family communication strategy, you can be your own competent, sexy hero, and, hopefully, you won’t need The Rock to save you from an earthquake.

[H/T LAist]

TIME movies

Watch Jason Segel as David Foster Wallace in the Trailer for The End of the Tour

"I treasure my regular guy-ness"

In the new trailer for James Ponsoldt’s film The End of the Tour, Jason Segel plays David Foster Wallace discussing topics ranging from Die Hard to sadness to why he wears that bandana: “I know that it’s a security blanket for me whenever I’m kind of afraid my head is going to explode.”

There’s already talk of awards for Segel’s portrayal of Wallace. After the film premiered at Sundance, The Huffington Post wrote, “it’s early, but let’s prep Jason Segel’s Oscar campaign just to be safe.”

The film, which was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Margulies, follows Wallace on a road trip as he’s promoting Infinite Jest. He’s traveling with David Lipsky, played here by Jesse Eisenberg, who was reporting for Rolling Stone and would go on to publish his and Wallace’s conversations in the book Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself.

Speaking to TIME about why the book was framed as a “straight transcript,” Lipsky said in 2010: “It seemed like the best thing was to say, Here’s what he was like to be with. Here’s what he was like to be with in a car and on an airplane. It seemed like the only way to write about him.”

The movie is due out July 31.

TIME

See Jeff Goldblum on the Independence Day Sequel Set

Producer Dean Devlin shared a photo of the actor

David Levinson is back, and we hope he’s spent the last 19 years brushing up on his coding skills (because alien invaders have probably upgraded their technology since 1996).

Producer Dean Devlin posted a photo of himself and Jeff Goldblum on the set of the Independence Day sequel, revealing… well, not much other than that blue screen will be involved.

Even still, it’s great to see Goldblum – who played such an integral role in the original film – back on set in what likely is not the last of Devlin’s peeks behind the scenes as production continues.

The Independence Day sequel is set for release on June 24, 2016 and includes other returning cast members Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner and Bill Pullman.

Hanging with David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) 20 years later is a dream come true! #IndependenceDay

A photo posted by Dean Devlin (@officialdeandevlin) on

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

TIME movies

Azealia Banks to Make Film Debut as Star of Coco

Azealia Banks performs in concert at Irving Plaza on May 11, 2015, in New York.
Robert Altman—Invision/AP Azealia Banks performs in concert at Irving Plaza on May 11, 2015, in New York.

The movie will be directed by RZA

Azealia Banks is ready for her first, non-black-and-white-YouTube close-up. The hip-hop artist has been cast as the titular lead character in Coco, an upcoming film directed by Renaissance man and Wu-Tang Clan mastermind RZA, EW confirmed. The Lionsgate project also added Common, Jill Scott, Lucien Laviscount, and Hana Mae Lee to the movie.

Coco (Banks) is an up-and-coming artist whose imminent record deal falls apart. Upon heading back to college, she digs into a previously undiscovered love: slam poetry. Maybe it’ll align with the release of Banks’ second major-label record, slated for a 2016 release.

RZA has one directorial credit to date: The Man with the Iron Fists. He directs Nicole Asher’s screenplay for Coco. Paul Hall will serve as producer.

This article originally appeared on EW.com

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