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J.J. Abrams will be replacing Colin Trevorrow as writer-director on ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’

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One week after Colin Trevorrow was ousted from his position as writer-director on Star Wars: Episode IX due to creative differences between the filmmaker and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, the studio has announced that J.J. Abrams will indeed be taking over the project, according to a press release issued this morning.

“With The Force Awakens, J.J. delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for, and I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy,” Kennedy said in a statement. Lucasfilm opting to take the safe route and select a director such as Abrams is a smart decision, I suppose, but the studio also missed the perfect opportunity to introduce the first female filmmaker to the Star Wars franchise, and it’s questionable as to whether or not they even considered one for the role.

The news of Trevorrow’s departure came not long after it was revealed that Jack Thorne, whose most recent work includes the soon to be released adaptation of R.J. Palacio’s acclaimed novel Wonder starring Julia Roberts and Jacob Tremblay, would be rewriting the first draft of the Episode IX script penned by Trevorrow and frequent collaborator Derek Connolly.

The Book of Henry director is the second filmmaker to leave a Star Wars film due to creative reasons. Over the summer, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller left the untitled Han Solo movie as it was nearing the end of principal photography, with just two more weeks left of shooting left to go. Shortly after the duo left, the studio subsequently enlisted the help of Ron Howard to oversee the remainder of the shoot and post-production.

Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled to hit theaters on May 24, 2019.

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‘Wonder Woman 2’ changes its release date to November 2019 to distance itself from ‘Star Wars’

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Wonder Woman 2

In an effort to distance Patty Jenkins’ highly anticipated Wonder Woman sequel from the Star Wars: Episode IX craze in December 2019, it appears Warner Bros. has opted to push the film forward by an entire month from December 13, 2019 to November 1, 2019.

The follow-up to Star Wars: The Last Jedi was originally expected to open in theaters in May 2019 but was delayed after Colin Trevorrow was fired by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and replaced with J.J. Abrams, who is currently re-writing the sequel.

The news of the Wonder Woman sequel’s release date shift comes on the heels of a Page Six report claiming that Gal Gadot, who plays the title character, will refuse to reprise her role as the iconic DC superhero unless Warner Bros. cuts ties with accused sexual harasser Brett Ratner, though the studio claims the story is “false.”

Earlier this month, Wonder Woman crossed the $821.74 million mark at the box office, becoming the highest-grossing superhero origin movie of all time—a record previously held by Sam Raimi’s critically acclaimed 2002 Spider-Man starring Toby Maguire.

Wonder Woman is expected to be submitted to the 90th Academy Awards in 15 categories later this year including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, and Best Original Score.

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Denis Villeneuve says he is too busy with his ‘Dune’ adaptation to direct ‘James Bond 25’

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Denis Villeneuve James Bond

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer announced this past summer that the world’s most favorite MI6 agent, James Bond, would be returning to the big screen in 2019 with Daniel Craig reprising his role one last time before officially calling it quits.

However, there has been plenty of speculation as to who will direct Craig in his final outing. Yann Demange, David Mackenzie, and Denis Villeneuve are said to be the top three frontrunners for the gig, but the latter doesn’t think the timing is quite right for him.

“The thing is, I don’t know about that,” Villeneuve said when asked if he is going to direct James Bond 25. “Daniel Craig is a very inspiring actor, and I had some contact, and the thing is that I’m busy right now doing Dune. But, I will say to have the privilege to work with him, would be a dream. I would love to work with Daniel and a Bond movie, for me, would be a treat. It’s a matter of timing I guess.”

Dune is, of course, a novel that Hollywood has had a tough time bringing to the big screen in the past, with the exception of David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation, so it would only make sense that Villeneuve, one of the busiest directors working today, would be devoting all of his time to making sure he gets his own adaptation done correctly.

As for Bond 25, which is being written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, it should be safe to say that we can cross Villeneuve off the list of frontrunners and expect either Demange or Mackenzie to take the directing gig. Either way, MGM will have to make a decision soon, as the film is scheduled to open in theaters on November 8, 2019.

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‘Justice League’ social media reactions call it a flawed, surprisingly fun superhero adventure

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Justice League Social Media Reactions Hit

The first reactions to Justice League have hit social media and they, largely, have rather positive things to say about the upcoming next installment in the DC Extended Universe starring Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, and Ray Fisher, though they do acknowledge that this surprisingly fun superhero adventure has some major flaws.

Justice League takes place just after the events of last year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and follows Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince as they work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against a newly awakened threat. Zack Snyder directed the majority of the film, while Joss Whedon oversaw reshoots and post-production.

With an all-star cast that also includes Amy Adams, J.K. Simmons, Amber Heard, Jesse Eisenberg, Robin Wright, Diane Lane, Kiersey Clemons, Jeremy Irons, and Ciaran Hinds, Justice League will open in theaters nationwide on November 17, 2017.

Check out some of the long-awaited first reactions to Justice League below:

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