Film Bits: ‘Star Wars’ Taps Abrams to Direct ‘Episode 9’

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J.J. Abrams Replaces Colin Trevorrow on ‘Episode 9’

After the unceremonious ouster of Colin Trevorrow from the directorial duties of Star Wars Episode 9 kicked off a slew of rumors and conjecture last week, LucasFilm head Kathleen Kennedy confirmed the replacement earlier today. J.J. Abrams, who brought the saga back to form with 2015’s The Force Awakens, will return to complete the story he started in the yet-to-be-titled final entry in the main saga. Given how strong The Force Awakens was, and how well it did at the worldwide box office, Abrams is a solid, if safe, choice to close out the series. It would have been nice to have Ava DuVernay or Patty Jenkins step into the Star Wars cockpit, and hopefully Star Wars diversifies their directorial lineup soon, but having Abrams step in the close out the series will, no doubt, lead to more greatness in a galaxy far, far away.

(LucasFilm)

Patty Jenkins Officially Official for ‘Wonder Woman’ Sequel

Speaking of Jenkins, the Wonder Woman director has officially been given the job of returning to the director’s chair for Wonder Woman 2. In addition to her directing duties, Jenkins will also be writing the script and producing the sequel to this year’s most exciting superhero movie. The news is unsurprising considering the success of Wonder Woman, though speculation had been running rampant in recent weeks while negotiations were ongoing. Jenkins has more than proven herself, however, and her return should ensure that Wonder Woman 2 will be every bit as great and successful as the original.

(Variety)

Alexander Payne Returns with ‘Downsizing’

After earning mostly positive reviews from Toronto International Film Festival, Alexander Payne’s (Nebraska) latest film, Downsizing, has gotten its first full trailer. The star-studded cast explores a world where overpopulation and resource management has gotten to drastic points, leading to the invention of a new procedure that reduces the size of the human body to action figure proportions. The quirky narrative seems to belie something sinister going on, or at least existentially frightening. Whatever the case, Payne has certainly stretched the boundaries of his style with Downsizing, which looks to be one of the most interesting movies coming out this holiday season. Downsizing hits theaters on December 22.

(Paramount)

‘The Disaster Artist’ Trailer Hints at Potential

The Room may be considered one of the worst movies ever made, but the film that chronicles its making, The Disaster Artist, looks like it might be a genuine hit. The James Franco directed film earned solid buzz after this year’s SXSW, with many calling it one of the best films of 2017 all the way back in March. The first full trailer for the film gives a small taste of what the buzz is about, and from what we can see the buzz is real. Franco also stars as the, um, mastermind behind The Room, Tommy Wiseau, who became infamous for his performance and script when The Room was released back in 2003. Franco co-stars with Alison Brie, Zac Efron, and Seth Rogen. The Disaster Artist is set for release on December 8.

(A24)

Nothing Has Changed for Larry and ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’

Six years following the last episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David returns for more awkward moments and uncomfortable humor. The long awaited ninth season of HBO’s breakout comedy—which set the stage for so much of what came after it—returns to TV next month for more, well, Larry David. It’ll be interesting to see how they grow the character and premise after such a long absence from the air waves, and how they handle the time spent away. From all appearances, it looks to be more of the same which is no small blessing, considering how widely adored and influential the series is. We’ll find out for sure when season nine of Curb Your Enthusiasm premieres on October 1.

(HBO)

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