Best … early … Christmas present … EVER … (hopefully): Star Wars: Episode VII, December 18, 2015. (Sorry I called you all Jawas back there, too. Maybe you’re protocol droids. Shouldn’t have assumed.) A new Disney press release says pre-production is in “full-swing.” The recent exit of Oscar-winning screenwriter Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, Little Miss Sunshine) had plenty of us wondering if the summer 2015 release date would stick, and now J.J. Abrams and Empire Strikes Back scribe Lawrence Kasdan have a little longer to make everything nice and memorable and non-prequels-y.
The Shining, Up, Avatar, and more movies have been condensed into single GIFs. R.I.P., human attention span.
No turning back from this Rocketman biopic now: Tom Hardy and Elton John have begun hanging out.
Akiva Goldsman wrote A Beautiful Mind, The Client, I Am Legend, and, um, Batman & Robin (among many others) before getting a crack at directing. Now we’ve got the trailer for Winter’s Tale, featuring Colin Farrell, Downton’s Jessica Brown Findlay, and a little Russell Crowe. Not sure what it’s about, exactly, but happy for Akiva.
Emma Stone looks cool as hell on the set of Cameron Crowe’s new movie; Bradley Cooper makes a “hang 10, bro” sign on the set of Cameron Crowe’s new movie.
Jim O’Heir, better known as (Dammit!!) Jerry from Parks and Rec, played crack-smoking Toronto mayor Rob Ford for Jimmy Kimmel.
Disney princesses with beards. (SPOILER ALERT: The post peaks both imagewise and punwise at the very top, with The Bearded Mermaid. Good Jeeeebus, is that great!)
Aziz Ansari and some puppies were so close to being part of the Gravity hoopla:
“… i’m going to wrap up warm and walk around the city listening to stevie nicks and broken social scene, feeling all seventeen, hugging myself against the cold. if you see me, and i’m whispering to myself all crazy, don’t worry. it’s just a happy mantra of thanks for the way things are.” —Lorde on turning 17
Because R.I.P.D. wasn’t bad enough, Rock “The Dwayne” Johnson will do Seal Team 666.
During the Arrested Development edition of Inside the Actors Studio, James Lipton kindly requested to speak directly with GOB Bluth for a moment.
National consensus pegs The Raid: Redemption as one of the craziest things put to film. Do you need any more reason to watch the brief, artful The Raid 2: Berandal trailer? OK, how about this: If the guy’s beating up a wall this hard, what’s he going to do to the bad guys??
Headline of the day: “J.J. Abrams Mystery Book ‘S.’ Enrages Librarians.” I happen to be in a library as I type this and am going to see how many librarians I can rile up with the news momentarily.
Zombies pianist and vocalist Rod Argent weighs in on Eminem’s “Time of the Season” sample on MMLP2: “I loved the way he takes words and phrases from the original record and then spins off of the particular phrases. It kicks him off onto an avalanche of funny wordplay and invention. It’s very amusing. It’s a waterfall of words, and the associations just keep coming.”
And a new life goal: Collect the Kathy Bates American Horror Story: Coven tarot card.