Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Watch: “Galactic Empire State of Mind”

I’m pretty sure there’s no reason for anyone to voluntarily listen to Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” since it was mercilessly played out following the Yankees World Series win last year. But a Star Wars-themed College Humor parody? Called “Galactic Empire State of Mind?” With Darth Vader rapping lyrics like, “Welcome to the planet Hoth/AT-ATs hit the spot/Walking tanks are too legit/But they fall down a lot”? That’s full of win.

I found this on Topless Robot, but you can watch it below.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hollywood to Resurrect Godzilla in 2012

Thanks to Netflix, I recently revisited Roland Emmerich’s 1998 Godzilla remake, and you know what? I didn’t completely hate it. But I did feel a pang of embarrassment for my 14-year-old self, who actually saw the thing more than once in theaters and later bought it on VHS. I even have a copy of Godzilla: The Album kicking around somewhere. Keep in mind, Godzilla was the movie of summer 1998, and many of us weren’t about to admit that the year’s most anticipated blockbuster was a huge letdown. Or maybe we were unknowingly preparing ourselves psychologically for the release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace the following year.

While Godzilla has since starred in a string of man-in-suit monster films in his native Japan—concluding with Godzilla: Final Wars on the King of the Monsters’ 50th anniversary in 2004—a lukewarm reception to the American reimagining of the iconic Toho monster has kept him from resurfacing in the United States. But, Variety reports, Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. are co-producing and co-financing a Godzilla film that will hit theaters in 2012.

“Godzilla is one of the world’s most powerful pop culture icons, and we at Legendary are thrilled to be able to create a modern epic based on this long-loved Toho franchise,” said Thomas Tull, chairman and CEO of Legendary. “Our plans are to produce the Godzilla that we, as fans, would want to see. We intend to do justice to those essential elements that have allowed this character to remain as pop-culturally relevant for as long as it has.”

This could be pretty cool, as long as Legendary and Warner Bros. deliver in terms of giant monsters (CGI or otherwise) and massive amounts of simulated property damage. I have many fond memories of spending Saturday afternoons with Godzilla movie marathons on New York’s WPIX (channel 11) when I was younger. And, as an adult (snicker), I still love IshirĊ Honda’s original 1954 Gojira, a post-World War II cautionary tale about the dangers of nuclear weapons that bears only slight resemblances to the cheesier 1956 American re-edit, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and its increasingly campy sequels (although many of those are fun too).

With Hollywood’s current obsession with reviving all things with built-in fanbases, I’m honestly surprised it took this long for producers to exploit Godzilla. Did I say exploit? I meant…exploit.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Movie Theater Chains Raise Prices This Weekend

Taking the kids to How to Train Your Dragon this weekend? Heading out with friends to see Hot Tub Time Machine? Well, you might be paying a little more than usual. The Wall Street Journal reports that movie theater chains such as Regal Entertainment Group, Cinemark Holdings Inc. and AMC Entertainment Inc. are jacking up ticket prices starting this weekend in response to last year’s 10 percent rise in domestic box-office sales.

According to a recent survey of 10 U.S. markets conducted by investment firm BTIG, ticket prices for 3D movies are rising 8 percent on average while adult tickets to conventional 2D films are rising 4 percent.

Much like the burgeoning 3D trend in cinema, the price increase is largely due to the commercial success of Avatar, which proved that audiences are willing to pay a premium price for a night at the movies.

“The exhibitors are trying to push the needle on ticket prices and see where it ends up,” said Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros. “So far, charging a $3 or $4 premium has had no effect on consumers whatsoever, so I’m in favor of this experiment to raise prices even more. There may be additional revenue to earn here.”

No effect? How about lighter wallets? Wow. He makes a great argument for a Netflix subscription. Screw this.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Marvel EIC Says Captain America “Will Have Everyone on Their Feet Cheering”

Now that Chris Evans has been cast as Steve Rogers/Captain America, we can all finally start getting excited about The First Avenger: Captain America in a very real way. That excitement, it seems, is quite palpable in the Marvel offices. In a series of tweets earlier today, Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada described the third day of a “super secret” trip to Los Angeles, during which he walked through the Captain America art department, saw the Captain America costume and met director Joe Johnston for the first time.

Quesada also seemed pretty stoked about a series of story meetings about “secret stuff.” Vague? Absolutely, but at least he admitted that he was giving his frothing-at-the-mouth fanboy followers absolutely nothing of substance. That didn’t stop us from geeking out and speculating.

“I suck, I know,” he wrote. “But think about how hard it is on my end to keep from bursting and telling you all the amazing stuff I’m seeing.”

He continued, “I soooo want to tell you about this thing that happens in the Cap movie that will have everyone on their feet cheering, but I can’t.”

Oh Quesada, you tease.

3D or Don’t?

Nintendo recently announced that a 3D version of the DS, predictably called the Nintendo 3DS, will hit shelves sometime in the next year. And while some gamers are no doubt rejoicing that they will be able to enjoy 3D graphics on the go—and without 3D glasses, no less—the news got me thinking about this whole 3D trend. We’ve already got 3D televisions. Just about every blockbuster movie going into production is getting the 3D treatment, while others released over the next few months—Clash of the Titans, for example—are getting a post-production 3D makeover. Even the iced coffee I’m sipping as I type this is in 3D! When will the madness end?

Look, I’m no Luddite. Clearly. I thought the 3D in Avatar was masterfully done, and I’m always supportive of new ways to play, watch and immerse ourselves in the things we love. But with studios, developers and consumer electronics manufacturers cramming this new technology down our throats following Avatar’s commercial success, I wonder whether this hurried, across-the-board 3D media upgrade will do more harm than good.

Since audiences have proven that they’re willing to pay more for content if it’s in 3D (3D Avatar tickets were about $5 more than standard ones), an increasing number of consumer electronics manufacturers, studios—and now game designers—are exploring the exploitative potential of 3D everything, which is very likely a move in the wrong direction for the entertainment industry as a whole. That extra dimension is expensive, but it won’t always be worth it.

I’ve yet to see Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, the first big post-Avatar 3D release (like Titans, the 3D was added in post), but most of my friends that have said the film itself wasn’t great but the 3D was “pretty cool,” almost apologetically. Interestingly enough, I remember the same reactions to the mind-numbing Transformers Revenge of the Fallen when it hit theaters; just replace “3D” with “CGI.” CGI (computer-generated imagery) is used masterfully by some (like Pixar), while an unfortunate majority use it as pretty packaging for a mediocre product. Can anyone argue that 3D will be any different?

Humorously enough, Avatar director James Cameron—lauded as the progenitor of this 3D revolution—is among its harshest critics.

“After Toy Story, there were 10 really bad CG movies because everybody thought the success of that film was CG and not great characters that were beautifully designed and heartwarming,” Cameron told Deadline Hollywood’s Mike Fleming. “Now, you’ve got people quickly converting movies from 2D to 3D, which is not what we did. They’re expecting the same result, when in fact they will probably work against the adoption of 3D because they’ll be putting out an inferior product.”

Cameron added that, as was the case with Avatar, the decision to release a film in 3D should be a creative one made by the director and not a cash grab by the studio.

“This is another example of Hollywood getting it wrong,” Cameron said. “Sony says, ‘We’re doing Spider-Man in 3D.’ The director doesn’t say, ‘Hey, I want to make the movie in 3D.’ The studio says, ‘You want to direct this movie? You’re doing it in 3D, motherfucker!’ That’s not how it should be.”

Nope, it’s not; not in film, not in television and, no, not even in video games. Although, I have to say, this 3D coffee is delicious.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Chris Evans Confirmed for Captain America

Actor Chris Evans—Johnny Storm from the Fantastic Four flicks—has accepted the role of Steve Rogers/Captain America in Marvel Studios’ The First Avenger: Captain America, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film, directed by Joe Johnston, is scheduled for release on July 22, 2011.

Evans was one of the few bright spots in Tim Story’s otherwise mediocre Fantastic Four movies, and his more serious work in films such as Danny Boyle’s Sunshine proves that he has the acting chops and screen presence for this presumably demanding role. Evans’ deal with the studio reportedly comes with an option for nine films, including two Captain America sequels, three Avengers ensemble films and as many as three appearances in other Marvel projects.

Click here for the full story.

Michael Bay Confirms New Cast Members, Locations and a New Autobot for Transformers 3

Director Michael Bay has confirmed on his website that pre-shooting on Transformers 3 will begin in about one month, and that locations in the film will include Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, DC, Florida, Texas, Africa, Moscow and China (wow). Bay also announced that Frances McDormand and John Malkovich will be joining the cast alongside Ken Jeong, whom audiences might recognize from Step Brothers, The Hangover and, most recently, NBC’s Community. Since Jeong is of Asian descent, and given the fact that Bay loves his broad, offensives ethnic stereotypes, I’m guessing he’ll play a Chinese delivery guy who can’t drive. Or he’ll own a nail salon. Laughing yet?

On the giant robot front, Bay wrote that one of the new Autobots in the film will be a Ferrari 458 Italia (pictured). We know nothing about the actual character, but something tells me that Bay won’t be able to resist going the Jersey Shore route with this guy. We know Autobots can probably pump their fists, but can they tan?

The film is scheduled to open on July 1, 2011.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Another Star Wars Cartoon?

To quote several Star Wars characters, “I have a bad feeling about this.”

IESB reported on March 17—citing an unnamed source—that Lucasfilm Animation is in pre-production on a Star Wars cartoon aimed at pre-school and kindergarten-aged children. The show, apparently, would be based on Hasbro’s Galactic Heroes line of kid-friendly Star Wars toys, which feature squat bodies and oversized hands, feet and heads. If you’ve seen The Superhero Squad Show on Cartoon Network—based on a similar line of Marvel Comics toys—this series would pretty much be exactly like that. Ugh.

The MTV Movies Blog reached out to Lucasfilm for comment and received confirmation that one of the projects Lucasfilm Animation is working on “is for a younger audience but it’s in very early development and too early for any details.” Hopefully the Lucasfilm rep is referring to that CGI fairy musical George Lucas is reportedly producing, which has absolutely nothing to do with Star Wars.

Since I consider Star Wars: The Clone Wars to be an excellent all-ages Star Wars cartoon series, with plenty of appeal for younger and older fans alike, I’m baffled as to why a series based on the Galactic Heroes toyline would be at all necessary. Sure, this would probably help Hasbro sell more product, but since when has Star Wars been motivated by merchandising? Wait, don’t answer that.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Columbia Pictures Doesn’t Want Ivan Reitman for Ghostbusters 3

Well, this is quite the bombshell. Just weeks after Bill Murray trashed the idea of a third Ghostbusters film on The Late Show with David Letterman, dismissing the long-awaited project as “crazy talk,” Vulture is reporting that Columbia Pictures is now trying to oust 63-year-old series director Ivan Reitman in favor of someone younger. However, in accordance with his old contract, Reitman has exceptional creative control over the franchise, which includes director approval. Therefore, Reitman can’t force the studio to keep him on as director, but he can pretty much ensure that Ghostbusters 3 won’t get made without him.

Reitman—along with principal ‘busters Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis—have a deal stipulating that if any one of them disapproves of any aspect of the third film, they can kill the project. If Reitman isn’t on board, there’s really no way this film can happen. If you’re in any way looking forward to Ghostbusters 3, this is very bad news.

The Office writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky are turning in a second draft of the script in May. The film—if it goes into production—will feature the four original Ghostbusters training a team of younger recruits. If it’s successful, Ghostbusters 3 could spawn more films starring the new team. If not, we’ll always have Ghostbusters: The Video Game, which is basically a continuation of the film series.

Vulture dug up a fascinating quote from a 1989 Los Angeles Times interview, in which Reitman explains why no Ghostbusters sequel will ever work as well as the 1984 original.

Ghostbusters 2 wasn’t as fun to make as the first one,” he said. “In comedy, the element of surprise is everything. And I think once that element of surprise is gone, once people know there’s going to be ghosts, there’s going to be big ghosts, and they’re expecting something big at the end, a lot of the tools that are at your disposal are gone.”

Monday, March 15, 2010

Will Avatar Hit Theaters Again This Year?

While Avatar is still doing strong business on regular-sized 3D digital screens after Alice in Wonderland forced it from IMAX theaters, Fox is already thinking ahead and planning for a re-release of the box office juggernaut later this year, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This extended cut of Avatar—which would be shown primarily on 3D screens—will likely be no more than 10 minutes longer, as films presented on analog IMAX screens cannot run longer than 170 minutes (the original theatrical cut of Avatar is just over 160 minutes). Not to spoil anything, but the new footage is expected to include nine-foot-tall blue people. And loincloths.

The trade notes that IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond recently said Cameron cut as many as 40 minutes from the film, but releasing all of that footage outside of a future DVD/Blu-ray release seems unlikely. As fun and awe-inspiring as Avatar is, I doubt people would be willing to sit through 200 minutes of it at a time in a theater. Well, the Na’vi cosplayers will be lining up regardless, but then again, blue body paint tends to get runny after about two and a half hours. Or so I’ve heard.

Gelfond said a 2D version of Avatar will be available on DVD and Blu-ray no later than May, while the re-release would probably happen in the fall.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hugo Weaving in Talks to Play Red Skull in The First Avenger: Captain America

I’m pretty much avoiding any and all casting rumors swirling around Marvel Studios’ upcoming Captain America film—which is apparently titled The First Avenger: Captain America—but I’m having a hard time ignoring news that Hugo Weaving is in talks to play Cap’s Nazi arch-nemesis Red Skull. The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision Blog broke the story on March 11.

Weaving has already earned his geek stripes several times over, playing Agent Smith in the Matrix trilogy, Elrond in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and even V in V for Vendetta. Heck, regardless of how you feel about Michael Bay’s Transformers films, you’ve gotta admit that Weaving rocked as the voice of Megatron. But, frankly, he rocks in pretty much everything.

The Nigeria-born Australian actor recently worked with Captain America director Joe Johnston on The Wolfman, so this news makes a whole lot of sense. But keep in mind that the deal has yet to be finalized. Expect an official casting announcement—which will hopefully reveal who will be playing Cap himself—in the very near future.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Christopher Nolan Discusses Superman, Third Batman Film

In a Los Angeles Times piece, director Christopher Nolan confirmed earlier reports that Warner Bros. has enlisted him to oversee production on a Superman reboot, acting as a producer and a mentor to the film’s as-yet-unnamed director. The film, which might or might not be called The Man of Steel, will be based on a story by Nolan and his frequent writing collaborator David S. Goyer.

“It’s very exciting; we have a fantastic story,” Nolan said. “And we feel we can do it right. We know the milieu, if you will, we know the genre and how to get it done right.”

While we probably shouldn’t expect Nolan to take the “dark and gritty” route with the Man of Steel, as he did when he successfully revived the Batman film franchise with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, he will likely keep the film relatively grounded, even if the title character tends to shoot lasers from his eyes and leap tall buildings in a single bound.

“We’re approaching it in a not dissimilar way in terms of trying to find an incredible story in a way that audiences can engage with it the way they engage with contemporary action films,” Nolan told the LA Times. “I think David’s approach is a very good way of doing just that.”

As for the Dark Knight sequel, Nolan has yet to confirm whether or not he’s directing, but he said his brother Jonathan is “now doing the hard work” in writing a script based on Goyer’s story idea. Nolan’s still tight-lipped about story details, but he did reveal who the villain won’t be.

“It won’t be Mr. Freeze,” he said. A shocker, I know.

After the critical and commercial success of The Dark Knight, it’s likely that Warner Bros. will want to keep churning out sequels (at least until the franchise is rebooted yet again). But as far as Nolan is concerned, this story is a trilogy.

“Unlike the comics, these things don’t go on forever in film and viewing it as a story with an end is useful,” Nolan explained. “Viewing it as an ending, that sets you very much on the right track about the appropriate conclusion and the essence of what tale we’re telling. And it harkens back to that priority of trying to find the reality in these fantastic stories. That’s what we do.”

And they certainly do it well.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Tron Legacy Trailer Is Here!

As I mentioned in a post last week, the whole Tron thing is pretty new to me. I don’t have any deep-seeded childhood memories about the quirky 1982 Disney flick about cyberspace, nor did I have any concrete expectations for its until-recently mysterious sequel, Tron Legacy. But I’ve seen Tron, I liked it for what it is, and I’m definitely on board for the next one when it hits theaters on December 17, especially after seeing the trailer.

A Tron Legacy trailer you ask? Yep. Newly-crowned Oscar winner Jeff Bridges returns as computer whiz Kevin Flynn, but the real star this time around is Garrett Hedlund, who plays his son Sam. Judging by the trailer, the film revolves around Sam’s search for his father, who has been missing for two decades. Evidently, Sam discovers that his dad’s been sucked back into cyberspace and he goes in after him. Light cycles, glowing costumes, eye-popping digital effects and the relentlessly sexy Olivia Wilde await!

Watch the trailer below (via Wired).

Monday, March 8, 2010

The New Iron Man 2 Trailer Drove Me Stark Raving Mad!

Yes, yes, the Academy Awards took place last night and we’re all very happy for the winners. But I think the real highlight of the night came long after Kathryn Bigelow was named best director for The Hurt Locker, beating her one-time hubby James Cameron and yet somehow resisting the urge to exclaim, “I’m the Queen of the World!” For geeks, the night’s big movie moment had nothing to do with red carpets or acceptance speeches.

I’m referring, of course, to the brand-spanking new Iron Man 2 trailer that premiered following the Oscar telecast on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Tony Stark himself, Robert Downey Jr., appeared on the show to debut the never-before-seen footage, and, well, wow. This movie is clearly going to be very hard to beat this summer in terms of sheer spectacle and narrative swagger.

What do we see? We see Iron Man and War Machine (Don Cheadle) tear into an army of mechanical drones. We also see more of Mickey Rourke as the villainous Whiplash. But perhaps most importantly, we see Tony armor up in his portable suit, which, like in the comics, folds out of a briefcase. It’s definitely an “oh snap” moment that I almost wish director Jon Favreau had kept under his hat until Iron Man 2 hits theaters on May 7, but it’s really hard for me to complain about something so trivial at at the moment. I’m smiling too hard.

Watch the trailer below (via MTV's Splash Page).

Friday, March 5, 2010

NBC: Heroes’ Future Remains Unclear

If you follow my film/television coverage over at Broken Frontier, you know I have some pretty mixed feelings about Heroes, NBC’s floundering superhero series that, for the past three years, simply hasn’t been as satisfying as its stellar first season.

While Heroesseason four finale left things pretty open-ended should the struggling show return, most fans believed the February 8 episode, titled “Brave New World,” to be the show’s final bow. And while that might very well be the case, Angela Bromstad, NBC’s president of prime-time entertainment, recently told The Hollywood Reporter that the network has yet to make any final decisions regarding the fate of the series. It’s not necessarily over just yet.

“It’s a wait-and-see for us,” Bromstad said. When asked if a possible fifth season of Heroes would be the last, she added, “We’re going to cross that bridge when we come to it.”

NPH Suits Up for The Smurfs

I really don’t have any interest in Sony Pictures’ The Smurfs, which starts shooting next month, but after learning that Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog) is going to star in the CGI/live-action adaptation of the Saturday morning cartoon, it’s at least on my radar. This probably won’t be a legen…wait for it…dary role for Harris, but he seems to have a good time in everything he does—the Harold and Kumar movies, for example—and he’s always fun to watch.

“I’ll do my smurfiest to represent well,” he tweeted. “Why? Smurfs are rad.”

Harris is set to appear on Fox’s musical comedy series Glee later this year.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Next Wolverine Flick Shoots in 2011

If you saw X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I’m pretty sure you were disappointed by it. If you weren’t, you really need to stop lying to yourself.

But even if you loathed the film for its poor handling of fan-favorite comic book characters (Deadpool and Gambit, for example) or its vehement disinterest in movie series continuity (that’s Sabretooth?), you should probably be at least a little excited that a sequel is on the way. Hey, at least these movies can’t get any worse. Filmmakers, please don’t mistake that for a challenge.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Christopher McQuarrie (X-Men, Valkyrie) has finished a script based on Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s phenomenal 1982 Wolverine mini-series, which chronicled the clawed Canuck’s adventures in Japan. Hugh Jackman will once again play the title role, and the film is scheduled to begin shooting in January of next year. No director has signed on to the project.

“It’s a beautiful story,” an unnamed source told THR, “and will be very different than the first film.”

Different? It’s already headed in the right direction.

Tron Legacy Could Lead to More Films, a TV Show and Theme Park Attractions

Can I confess something? I grew up having little to no interest in Tron, Disney’s groundbreaking 1982 film combining flesh-and-blood actors and computer-generated imagery. I was familiar with the premise (Jeff Bridges plays a computer programmer who’s sucked into the digital world), but by the time I actually sat down to watch it—I might have been 12 or 13 at the time—I couldn’t get over the relatively primitive special effects and the bizarre blacklight aesthetic. Not for me, I thought.

But my somewhat negative past experience with the film didn’t stop me from adding Tron to my Netflix queue in January. With Tron Legacy generating impossible-to-ignore buzz in various pockets of the geek community, I knew I must be missing out on something big. So I revisited the film as an adult (snicker) and, since I’m now able to better appreciate films as products of their respective time periods, I loved it. Also, since Jeff Bridges has emerged as somewhat of a cult icon since The Big Lebowski, I got a kick out of watching a young Jeff Bridges play DayGlo Jai Alai. As the Dude abides, so does the Wort.

Now, like many of my fellow geeks out there, I’m actually very excited about Tron Legacy. And if the long-awaited sequel is successful, Disney could have another mega-franchise on its hands. According to a Blue Sky Disney blog post, which I came across via io9, Tron Legacy could be the first film in a new Tron trilogy. Additionally, a computer-animated television series could be in the works as well as a “Tron Experience” at Disney theme parks. This all depends on whether the new film is successful, but I can’t imagine any film featuring the gorgeous Olivia Wilde in skintight clothing (pictured) having a hard time getting asses in the seats. Ahem.

Tron Legacy hits theaters December 17.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Avatar Spoof Pulled from the Oscars

It’s pretty safe to say at this point that James Cameron’s Avatar is a cultural touchstone. It’s the highest-grossing film of all time, it’s up for nine Oscars, it’s inspired a heap of merchandise there’s already talk of sequels. Like any phenomenon, it’s ripe for parody, right? Well, apparently not at the Academy Awards, which air March 7 on ABC.

Vulture reports that Ben Stiller and Sacha Baron Cohen were planning a skit lampooning the blockbuster film and its “King of the World” director, but the send-up was canceled yesterday. While Baron Cohen was announced as a presenter last week, his name has been removed from the list. Why? An insider said that one of the telecast producers was worried that Cameron would be offended.

According to the article, Baron Cohen was to appear as a female Na’vi (Pandora’s nine-foot-tall blue inhabitants), with Stiller acting as her interpreter. She would reveal that she’s pregnant with Cameron’s love child and confront the director. The skit sounds pretty lame, and not quite as clever as Baron Cohen’s usual stunts, but I guess it’s something we would have to actually see to judge properly.

An Oscars insider told Vulture that Cameron doesn’t really have a sense of humor about things like this. “Let’s just say that Cameron isn’t known to be, shall we say, ‘self-deprecating,’” they explained.

Oh really? Then why did Cameron appear in a Saturday Night Live skit in January that essentially spoofed all of his films, including Avatar, in one fell swoop? Did a producer got skittish for absolutely no reason?

Watch the skit, “Laser Cats 5,” below.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bill Murray Calls Ghostbusters 3 His “Nightmare”

While nursing a leg injury, comedy legend Bill Murray made a hilarious appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman last night, wearing a shiny purple shirt, gigantic snow boots and a furry hat. On him, the outfit made sense somehow.

Naturally, Letterman brought up Ghostbusters 3, which Murray referred to as his “nightmare.” Reaffirming what he’s said in previous interviews, Murray explained that the only way he’ll return as Dr. Peter Venkman in a third Ghostbusters movie is if the character dies in the first reel. “So now they’ve figured out a way to kill me off,” he said. By the way, his leg was in a sling for pretty much the entire interview. Like his outfit, the absurdity of the situation seemed natural.

Series veteran Ivan Reitman has already confirmed that he’s returning for Ghostbusters 3, while Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (The Office) are working on a script. Original cast members Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson have also confirmed their involvement.

Murray admitted that he had a great time doing voiceover work for Ghostbusters: The Video Game, which hit shelves last summer, but he didn’t seem crazy last night about the idea of another Ghostbusters sequel and seemed doubtful whether the long-awaited project would ever get off the ground. “It’s just crazy talk,” he said dismissively.

Watch a portion of the interview below.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lucasfilm Responds to Admiral Ackbar College Mascot Campaign

“It’s a trap!” Or is it?

Last week, students at the University of Mississippi voted on a new mascot to replace Colonel Reb, a borderline offensive caricature of an old Southern gentlemen. The early winner? Admiral Ackbar from Return of the Jedi. Students have rallied behind the Mon Calamari Rebel Alliance leader, launching websites such as notatrap.org, which asks, “Who wants a Colonel when you can have an Admiral?”

Clearly appreciating this humor in this situation, Lucasfilm issued a tongue-in-cheek statement on the matter to The New York Times. “Lucasfilm is flattered that our Star Wars fans at the University of Mississippi are considering electing Admiral Ackbar as their mascot,” the studio said. “The last time we checked in with Admiral Ackbar he was leading the Rebel Alliance Fleet on a critical mission so it will be difficult for him to show up for the games!”

And it seems some hardcore Ole Miss fans and discontented students would prefer it that way. TMZ reports that angry students have threatened to transfer if Ackbar becomes the new mascot. Angry parents have even vowed to “never send their kids to Ole Miss” if the character wins. They must be Trekkies.