Billy Dee Williams to reprise Lando Calrissian role in 'Star Wars: Episode IX' - Silver Screen Beat
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Billy Dee Williams is set to reprise his iconic role as Lando Calrissian in ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’

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Billy Dee Williams Lando Calrissian
LUCASFILM LTD.

Billy Dee Williams is poised to make a return to a galaxy far, far away and he’s bringing all of his colorful, stylish capes with him as the legendary actor is set to reprise his iconic role as Lando Calrissian in the upcoming next chapter in the Star Wars saga, Silver Screen Beat has learned.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, rumors about Williams joining Star Wars: Episode IX began to swirl after the actor had to cancel an appearance at an upcoming sci-fi and pop culture convention due to what was described as a “film schedule conflict.”

While Williams has voiced Lando in a number of cartoon series and video games over the years, it’s been 35 years since he’s played the notorious space smuggler on-screen. The character first appeared in 1980’s Empire Strikes Back and later returned in 1983’s Return of the Jedi.

Donald Glover most recently portrayed a younger iteration of Lando in this summer’s Solo: A Star Wars Story and it’s been rumored for months now that Lucasfilm has been putting the pieces together for a potential spinoff film revolving around Glover’s version of the character.

Williams joins an all-star cast that already includes Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, and Keri Russell, who has reportedly signed on for a mysterious, action-heavy role. Star Wars: Episode IX will open in theaters next year on December 20, 2019.

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Amid an intense wave of backlash, the Academy has decided to air all Oscar categories live

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MATT SAYLES/INVISION

In the wake of an intense wave of backlash, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Friday that they will be reversing their controversial decision to present four technical categories their awards during commercial breaks at the 91st Oscars ceremony next Sunday.

“The Academy has heard the feedback from its membership regarding the Oscar presentation of four awards – Cinematography, Film Editing, Live Action Short, and Makeup and Hairstyling,” the AMPAS board of governors said in a statement. “All Academy Awards will be presented without edits, in our traditional format.”

Sources familiar with the matter tell Silver Screen Beat that the Academy’s change of heart came after AMPAS president John Bailey and CEO Dawn Hudson met with members of the group’s cinematography branch Thursday evening to discuss the decision, which did not go over well with many Hollywood filmmakers and craftspeople.

“Relegating these essential cinematic crafts to lesser status in this 91st Academy Awards ceremony is nothing less than an insult to those of us who have devoted our lives and passions to our chosen profession,” read an open letter to the Academy signed by dozens of industry figures, including directors Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee and cinematographers Roger Deakins and Rachel Morrison.

The letter ends with a quote from Academy member Seth Rogen, who tweeted earlier this week, “What better way to celebrate achievements in film than to NOT publicly honour the people whose job it is to film things.”

The 91st Oscars will air live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 24 on ABC.

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‘Star Wars: Episode IX’ officially wraps principal photography with an emotional cast photo

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Star Wars: Episode IX
LUCASFILM LTD.

Star Wars: Episode IX director J.J. Abrams announced today via Twitter that the highly anticipated final chapter in the Skywalker saga has officially wrapped principal photography, leading us to believe that our first look at the film could be just around the corner.

“It feels impossible, but today wrapped photography on Episode IX. There is no adequate way to thank this truly magical crew and cast. I’m forever indebted to you all,” Abrams wrote in his tweet this afternoon.

Abrams’ tweet also includes an emotional set photo featuring cast members Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey, John Boyega, who plays Finn, and Oscar Isaac, who plays Poe Dameron, embracing on their final day of shooting.

“That’s a wrap on Star Wars episode 9 and the end to a chapter of my life that I couldn’t be more thankful for,” Boyega wrote in a tweet of is own. “What a process! It really has been a joy to be in these movies surrounded by amazing people. JJ, thank you for making my dreams come true.”

Abrams, who launched a new era of Star Wars with The Force Awakens in 2015, will now take Episode IX to the editing bay, where it will remain in post-production for the next 10 months or so until its December 20 release date.

You can check out the tweets from Abrams and Boyega below.

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Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron strike up a hilarious romance in the first ‘Long Shot’ trailer

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Long Shot
LIONSGATE

Ahead of the film’s world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival next month, Lionsgate has released the first trailer for Long Shot, the eagerly awaited romantic comedy starring Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen from The Night Before and 50/50 director Jonathan Levine.

Long Shot follows Fred Flarsky (Rogen), an unemployed journalist who reunites with his first crush (and former babysitter) Charlotte Field (Theron), one of the most influential women in the world. As she begins eyeing a run for the Presidency, she hires Fred as her speechwriter, making him a fish out of water on her elite team.

However, despite Fred’s unpreparedness for her glamorous lifestyle in the limelight, sparks begin to fly as their unmistakable chemistry leads to a round-the-world romance and a serious of unexpected (and somewhat dangerous) incidents.

In addition to the dynamic duo that is Rogen and Theron, Long Shot‘s incredible ensemble cast also includes the likes of O’Shea Jackson Jr., Alexander Skarsgård, Andy Serkis, Ravi Patel, Randall Park, and June Diane Raphael.

Long Shot will have its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 9 before opening in theaters nationwide on May 3.

You can check out the newly released trailer for the film below.

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