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Rian Johnson

8-bit Last Jedi photo
8-bit Last Jedi

8-bit Trailer for The Last Jedi recreates the feel of SNES Star Wars games

16-bit trailer, but oh well
May 10
// Hubert Vigilla
The first trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi was pretty darn great. It teased some of the action to come, but thankfully didn't seem to give away any of the story. To put it another way, the trailer whet the appetite withou...
Last Jedi/Force Awakens photo
Last Jedi/Force Awakens

Watch the Last Jedi and Force Awakens trailers side by side for Star Wars teaser symmetry

It's like poetry, so that they rhyme
Apr 16
// Hubert Vigilla
The first trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi brought the hype. There's some beautiful imagery as Rey trains with Luke Skywalker; ditto when those landspeeders leave brilliant red smoke in their wake while racing across a de...
Star Wars: The Last Jedi photo
Kylo Ren = The Shogun of Space Harlem
It's official, ladies and gents. Star Wars Episode VIII from wirter/director Rian Johnson is titled The Last Jedi. One might have expected this to be the name of the the third film in the new trilogy, following the naming con...

Leia in Episode IX? photo
Leia in Episode IX?

Lucasfilm to discuss Star Wars and Leia plans following Carrie Fisher's death

How will the story change?
Jan 06
// Hubert Vigilla
While people continue to mourn Carrie Fisher's passing, Lucasfilm now has to address a major question about Star Wars moving forward. What happens to Leia in this franchise? How will they rework their original plans? Lucasfil...

Anticipated 2017 films photo
Anticipated 2017 films

Star Wars: Episode VIII is Fandango's most anticipated movie of 2017

Sequels, splosions, and dollar signs
Dec 30
// Hubert Vigilla
Fandango held a poll asking what are people's most anticipated movies of 2017. No surprises, Star Wars: Episode VIII topped the list. Rian Johnson is riding the wave of hype from The Force Awakens and Rogue One, and there wil...
Star Wars VIII photo
Star Wars VIII

Watch a few seconds of Star Wars Episode VIII in this official production announcement video

Laura Dern & Benicio Del Toro join cast
Feb 15
// Hubert Vigilla
Though the release date of Rian Johnson's Star Wars Episode VIII has been pushed back several months, Disney has announced that production is now under way. They did so with a brief video, which seems to pick up where Star Wars: The Force Awakens left off. Give the announcement video a look below.
Star Wars 8 pushed back photo
Star Wars 8 pushed back

Star Wars Episode VIII release date pushed back to December 2017, Rian Johnson doing rewrites

Star Wars may be a Christmas tradition
Jan 25
// Hubert Vigilla
Star Wars Episode VIII was originally going to be released on May 26, 2017, but now the film has been pushed back seven months. The new release date for Star Wars 8 is December 15, 2017. Rian Johnson is still set to begin pro...

Chris Nolan and Rian Johnson discuss Interstellar

Plus, Interstellar is coming back to IMAX
Feb 17
// Jackson Tyler
I wasn't a massive fan of Interstellar, with its insistence on hard sci-fi not meshing ultimately undermining the eventual shift to thematically resonant fantasy, but as a sci-fi film with ambition, I still care about it deep...
Star Wars Director photo
Will also write Episode IX
Some big news coming out of the Star Wars camp today as it has been announced that Looper director Rian Johnson will be writing and directing Star Wars: Episode VIII and writing Episode IX. Most likely Abrams will r...

Top 3 Star Wars characters who deserve a solo outing

Feb 06 // Nathan Hardisty
3 - Bail Organa Yeah. Bet you didn't see that coming did you? Bail Organa, played by Jimmy Smits, is pretty much the definition of 'background' character. He has about ten lines in the entire prequel trilogy, disappears and then is seemingly exploded when Alderaan bites the Death Star's bullet... made of lasers... and death. Why Bail then? Why not Moff Tarkin or the obscure bounty hunters or any number of background figures? Why does Bail deserve a film more than any other 'background figure', including all those terribly designed CGI tentacle-not-hentai-faced Jedi? Is he even worthy of having four rhetorical questions in a row? Bail has, in my opinion, one of the most important roles in the entire saga. He practically adopts Princess Leia, taking her away from Luke, and thus sets in motion perhaps the entire original trilogy's struggle of Rebellion versus Empire. Leia grows and lives on Alderaan with Bail to learn about the greater world before the Empire and slowly grows into the rebellion that Bail is involved in. Bail teaches Leia everything about the Empire and is then blown in to smithereens too, making it a not so happy ending. How on Earth would this even be done, you ask. How could this even be entertaining? If we see Bail as one of the 'figures of glue' (the other being Obi-Wan) who take on new roles to facilitate the rebellion then we see them as forefathers to all of the action in the original trilogy. Bail's story could easily become one of trying to begin the Rebel Alliance while protecting the last grains of the 'new hope', building up the Rebel forces while raising Leia. Bail is arguably the true father of the rebellion and the film can see him perhaps having to pull a Walter White and shoot people in the face in breaking away from his stuffy political background into Rebellion mastermind. There's thousands of 'extended universe' material with this guy, including his manipulation of massacres and attempts to undermine the Empire, and seeing Bail build up the rebel forces would make for the perfect film to fill in the gaps. It could even end with him all aged on Alderaan saying goodbye to his adopted daughter and watching the Tantive IV (the ship at the beginning of A New Hope) fly off into the unknown with all of his new life's work and thousands of rebels disappearing off to go and claim back the Republic. Talent: Jimmy Smits might not be up for this endeavor given he's ageing on a bit now. I would have Leia played by Chloe Mortez and Bail played by Steven Michael or maybe Sacha Baron Cohen, who is well capable of delivering drama. For who to direct it, I'm not quite sure. The film is about Bail descending into this mad, mad world of a rebellion and building up a resistance to the empire; it's about a journey from being weakness to hopelessness to hope. I can see Rian Johnson, of Looper fame, having a swing at this.   2 - Chewbacca Chewbacca appearing in Episode III was... okay. It was a little bit weird to realize that both Luke Skywalker and Chewbacca have come into contact with Yoda and somehow Chewie doesn't seem to pass this information on to Luke. Not even saying "Hey. I met a lightsaber person once. He was pretty slick." We don't even have any indication through Han that Chewie knew Jedis and did the pew pew Clone Wars-ing. I could honestly see a film about Chewbacca becoming something of an Argo in which Kashyyyk (the Wookie homeplanet) is help captive by the Empire and the Wookies are forced in to slave labor. The entire film could be a prison breakout as Chewbacca attempts to unite the Wookies against the tyranny of the Empire's stranglehold. It'd be interesting to see Chewbacca begin as a rebel and perhaps he'd cross paths with Bail or a young Han Solo by the end, beginning their fruitful friendship. The film would likely mirror the exact same structure of The Great Escape in Chewbacca and friends trying to escape from, essentially, a Prison Planet. It would be incredibly interesting, in my opinion, to do a film like this without sub-titles. I honestly believe that obscuring the Wookie language keeps the comedic elements and preserves the Wookies as utterly unique. When Han talks about what Chewie is saying then we have to somehow think that if Han understands the Wookie language then he must've been around them for a long time. Han was a smuggler and perhaps there's some cargo around Kashyyyk that he is in need of. The entire film could end with Chewie banding up with him to break through the Empire's blockade aboard the Millennium Falcon, just like the finale to Argo with 20% less Iranians. Talent: Peter Mahyew is an absolute necessity. Getting Ben Burtt to do the sound design would be utterly essential as well. Whomever Disney picks for a young Han Solo would be nice for this piece too. I'm honest in saying I think Bradley Cooper or, don't slaughter me, Shia Lebouf could handle it. As for direction, I don't know if Ben Affleck would be up for something so 'out there'. I can see someone more affiliated with 'prison break' type stuff would be much more naturally suited; particularly Frank Darabont (who's worked on a few science-fiction projects himself). 1 - Qui-Gon Jinn One of the many things I shan't ever forgive Lucas for, with the prequel trilogy, is the absolute misuse of Liam Neeson. Neeson is an incredible talent and one who can command a presence so indistinguishable from any other actor. To use him in a film which doesn't even have a protagonist is shameful, to then give Neeson a soul-crushingly empty character is double-shameful. I argue that the entire prequel saga feels lost without Qui-Gon's character development given we don't understand his 'worth' to the Jedi world and particularly to Obi-Wan. We never see their relationship develop, it's just assumed that we care. Obi-Wan definitely changes across the series and Gon's death is instrumental to catalyzing this change, but the man behind Obi needs to be defined.  Gon's film could play out like Batman Begins or Spider-Man in showing his rise to power. Perhaps having him search out for the beginnings to the 'disturbance in the force' and showing Palpatine's rise in the background. Heck, even have Qui maybe even have a period of exile. The film could perhaps focus around a bounty hunter force that is slaying Jedis throughout the Republic and Qui-Gon has to figure out exactly who is picking off the first line of defenses, before culminating in a battle with a rogue Jedi or something? Anything could happen. Qui-Gon's story is one that needs to be told given it can not only build the character of Qui in time for Phantom but also put in place all of Obi-Wan's future lessons and indeed set the scene, in terms of the political situation, of the entire prequel trilogy. It all begins with Qui. Talent: Duncan Jones (of Source Code fame) to direct. No question. The man nails characterization. Christian Bale could pull off a young Liam Neeson quite well, but Josh Pence actually portrayed a younger version of Ra's in The Dark Knight Rises so casting him would be perfect. I wouldn't have Obi-Wan appear as a child, because child actors are child actors, but perhaps have him pass on to Qui-Gon's care as a teenager. Logan Lerman might be a good choice for a tweenaged Obi-Wan then.
Star Wars solo outings photo
Three Lucas kids who have earned a lone venture
With Yoda rumored for the (now confirmed) solo film Star Wars spin-offs I think it's incredibly fitting to start discussing who else deserves a solo venture. We've already got leaked information on Boba Fett and Han...


Close the loop with this deleted scene from Looper

Featuring Emily Blunt and Garret Dillahunt
Jan 02
// Thor Latham
One of the many deleted scenes from the video release of Rian Johnson's Looper has made its way online today, and features the lovely Emily Blunt alongside the ever versatile Garret Dillahunt. The scene is meant to...

It's the return of the Flixist Movie Club, this time dissecting Rian Johnson's Looper! Surprisingly, this is a very coherent, not-disturbing show, so if you're looking for someone to get raped, it's sadly not going to happen....

Review: Looper

Sep 28 // Matthew Razak
[embed]213026:38906[/embed] LooperDirector: Rian JohnsonRelease Date: September 28, 2012Rated: R  About 20 minutes into Looper old Joe (Bruce Willis) sits down with his past self, young Joe (Joseph Gordon Levitt) for a chat. Young Joe basically tosses all the questions about time travel that the audience is thinking at the same time at old Joe. Old Joe sits there for a few seconds while young Joe rattles off questions until old Joe gets so annoyed he finally slams the table and yells that none of it matters. Young Joe listens and shuts up, and so does the audience. I tell this little tidbit because it's indicative of what Looper does so wonderfully throughout the film: developing a strong story and characters so that the hiccups in the plot either don’t matter or aren’t thought about. It’s nearly impossible to write a flawless time travel film, so instead of attempting to make everything fit together logically (which, for the most part, it does anyway) director Rian Johnson makes it all fit together emotionally, beautifully constructing a story that keeps you guessing while setting its conclusion up perfectly. It’s a movie you walk out of discussing why the story worked instead of picking apart its flaws. What makes it work is that the ideas are just so much bigger than the minutia, provoking thought about what is going on with the characters and not the story itself. It also helps that in a sea of remakes, sequels and adaptations this is one of the few original sci-fi/action films we’re seeing this year. And it is almost entirely original. Veering in and out of as many genres as it possibly can (gangster, chase, horror, sci-fi, action, drama, family) Looper tells an intense story that you haven’t seen before. In the near future time travel hasn’t been invented yet, but it will be in the further future. It’s illegal, however, and the only people who use it are crime syndicates. They use it to send people back in time to the near future in order to kill them since it’s become nearly impossible to murder someone in the far future and get away with it. You’re mind is probably already racing with questions about how things work, but remember to listen to Bruce Willis and just go with it. Young Joe is a Looper in the past (our near future). Loopers are the people who do the killing for the crime syndicates in the far future. The syndicate sends someone back in time and the Looper shoots them and dumps their body after removing their pay. It’s a very wealthy life, but there’s one catch. If the Looper is still alive in 30 years they get sent back to be killed by themselves, thus closing their loop. Old Joe gets sent back, but Young Joe doesn’t kill him and things just start going downhill for Young Joe from there. The intricate and quite delicately balanced story is both too complicated warrant explaining and far too good to spoil so I won’t go any further here. Needless to say this movie will surprise you in many ways. What isn’t surprising is that Joseph Gordon Levitt is amazing and Bruce Willis is a bad ass. With the aid of some impressive prosthetics Levitt channels Willis with a disturbing amount of accuracy. Levitt nails Willis’ facial mannerisms, especially his smirk, and scenes with the two of them together are almost eerily creepy. Willis on the other hand delivers one of those performances where it only sinks in later how truly nuanced it was. Few men can take a character who eventually mows down a small army with machine guns and turn him into an actual person. There are, of course, other actors in this film who do a great job, but it’s definitely the Willis/Levitt show until right up to the very end when a surprise level of bad-assnes erupts from an unlikely source. I have specifically not gone too in depth about Looper because it’s one of those movies that just needs to unfold in front of you. Talking about how well the story is constructed, the full plot, the detailed world and the major philosophical questions raised would simply make the film less enjoyable and interesting for anyone watching. This is a movie to walk into blind and then come out with your head spinning with questions. This is what happens when original ideas are allowed to grow to fruition in Hollywood, and it’s pretty much some of the best moviemaking of the year.
Time travel has never been this original
Time travel is a sticky wicket for movies, and really all stories in general. There’s just so many contradictions, loopholes and moving parts that things get complicated. By the end of a time travel movie you’re u...


Trailer: Looper

Why isn't this out already?!?
Sep 25
// Nick Valdez
If you had any lingering doubts about how awesome Looper is going to be, I don't know how that would happen given all the positive buzz going around, here's the last nail in that coffin. Seriously, I'm probably going to see ...

New pics and soundtrack info for Rian Johnson's Looper

Sep 19
// Hubert Vigilla
Rian Johnson's Looper will be in theaters on September 28th, and a whole bunch of images from the film surfaced online the other day. This includes two pics of Emily Blunt with a shotgun, two pics of Bruce Willis doing a driv...

Flix For Short: The Psychology of Dream Analysis

A throwback from Looper director Rian Johnson
Sep 14
// Thor Latham
With Looper only a couple weeks from release, and it's anticipation reaching fever pitch, now seems as good a time as any other to take a look back on some of director Rian Johnson's earlier work. Thus we are presented ...

Mondo posters for Rian Johnson's Looper are boss

Sep 14
// Hubert Vigilla
Rian Johnson's Looper is one of our most anticipated movies of the fall. It's been getting good reviews out of the Toronto International Film Festival and will be out in theaters by the end of September. Look for Flixist's re...

Looper would probably make an awesome video game

Aug 27
// Alex Katz
Back in the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis days, it was actually surprisingly easy to find good videogames based on moves (look at any of the Super Star Wars games, most of the Disney movie platformers, and tons more)....

New Looper poster, details on the film's unique score

Aug 23
// Hubert Vigilla
A new poster has dropped for Rian Johnson's Looper, one of the 2012 movies we've been looking forward to since last year. It's pretty keen, though the tagline could be better. ("Yippee ki yay, Gordon-Levitt" has a better rin...

Trailer: Looper

Aug 14
// Matthew Razak
It's time to get international with Looper. You know, in that this is the trailer for Looper that gets released internationally. It's like the other trailers we've seen, but with a bit more plot to it and a bunch more Bruce ...

I really hope writer/director Rian Johnson becomes a big name. His film debut, Brick, is one of my favorite films ever and what established my fascination in Joseph Gordon-Levitt's career. With the upcoming Looper starri...


Trailer: Looper

Jun 28
// Maxwell Roahrig
Yesterday, Alex brought you the latest international trailer for my most anticipated film of the year, Looper. While I haven't been able to see it yet thanks to MSN's awful video player, I was able to see the latest dom...

International Trailer: Looper

Jun 27
// Alex Katz
We've got a domestic trailer for Looper hitting at the end of the day tomorrow, so for now, the new international trailer will have to do for you. Man, I'm feeling a lot better about this movie now. The last trailer was...

Rian Johnson talks 3D filmmaking

Jun 15
// Maxwell Roahrig
Rian Johnson, director of such modern classics as Brick and The Brothers Bloom, wrote a pretty great essay about stereoscopic filmmaking. In it, Johnson discusses his personal views on the medium, and how (in theory...

UK Looper poster is very, very, very blue

Jun 04
// Xander Markham
Rian Johnson's time-travel thriller Looper has a new poster for the UK, and it's the bluest thing you'll ever see, as though cunningly designed to excite British eyes by reminding them of the CHAMPIONS OF FRICKIN' EUROPE. Yes...

New Looper pics show Emily Blunt in a vest, with shotgun

Apr 30
// Xander Markham
Emily Blunt's charismatic turn in the otherwise disappointing Five Year Engagement is sure to propel her to superstardom, and an appearance in Rian Johnson's anticipated thriller Looper will surely add to that buzz. The first...

Trailer: Looper

Apr 12 // Maxwell Roahrig

It's here. After years of teases, Rian Johnson's next film has a trailer. Looper looks like a hell of a movie, even if it's not exactly all I was expecting. Not that I'm less excited for the movie (It's a new movie from...


Joseph Gordon-Levitt (as young Bruce Willis) in Looper

Mar 19
// Hubert Vigilla
If you're like us Flixist folks, you're probably eagerly anticipating Looper, the new film by Brick and Brothers Bloom director Rian Johnson. If you haven't heard of it, it's about the mob in the future sending people back in...

Looper is one of the many movies we're eager to see in 2012. To ring in the new year, writer-director Rian Johnson posted a picture of himself in what may be the Looper time machine. If it's not that, he may have purchased th...


So first off, an apology. We totally meant to have this ready for just after Noir Week. Then, as it happened, things went pear shaped. I moved, Bob moved, Pixar Week happened, and that all compounds with the fact that we...

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