See how 'Rogue One' VFX artists recreated Peter Cushing, Carrie Fisher - Silver Screen Beat
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See how ‘Rogue One’ VFX artists recreated Peter Cushing, Carrie Fisher

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While some of the main talking points of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story have been about Alan Tudyk’s hilariously sassy droid K-2SO and the chemistry between Felicity Jones’ Jyn Erso and Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor, the biggest highlight seems to be how the film’s visual effects team were able to recreate Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher using both live actors and digital animation.

Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin plays a significant role in Rogue One as he oversees the creation of the Death Star and enjoys bossing Ben Mendelsohn’s Orson Krennic around. Here’s the thing, though: Cushing died in 1994. However, thanks to the constantly evolving technology available to Industrial Light & Magic, they were able to resurrect Cushing from the dead using a mix of CGI and live actors paired with performance capture technology. The result? It’s actually quite impressive despite the noticeable fact that this isn’t necessarily a real actor give a genuine performance.

The process of recreating a 19-year-old Fisher as Princess Leia in Rogue One was fairly similar to what the visual effects team did for Cushing—the only thing to note is that Fisher was still very much alive and well during the production of the film and was able to see it for herself and give it a “thumbs up,” as executive producer John Knoll said.

If you’re one of the few that haven’t experienced the epicness that is Rogue One, it is the first of the standalone Star Wars movies and follows a group of unlikely heroes who join forces together on a mission to steal top-secret plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. The film has grossed over $800 million worldwide.

Rogue One, which has grossed a whopping $800 million worldwide since its debut on December 16, was written by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy and also stars Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen, and Forest Whitaker.

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Matt Damon is reteaming with his ‘Ford v Ferrari’ director James Mangold for ‘The Force’

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Matt Damon The Force
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Nearly 14 years after starring in Martin Scorsese‘s brilliant Infernal Affairs remake The Departed, Matt Damon is set to head back into crooked cop movie territory with his Ford v Ferrari director James Mangold.

According to Deadline, Damon is attached to play the lead role of Denny Malone in Mangold’s adaptation of Don Winslow’s 2017 best-selling novel The Force, which is a pretty damn good read if you haven’t gotten around to it yet.

In the book, Malone — a highly decorated NYPD detective sergeant — is the dirtiest of dirty cops, having stolen millions of dollars worth of cash and narcotics in the wake of one of the biggest heroin busts in the history of New York City.

Little does Malone know, though, that the feds are hot on his tail “and he must walk the thin line between betraying his brothers and partners, the job, his family and the woman he loves, trying to survive, body and soul, while the city teeters on the brink of a racial conflagration that could destroy them all,” as the book’s official synopsis puts it.

David Mamet wrote and turned in the first draft of the script for The Force in 2017, but Mangold is currently in the middle of a rewrite with his Logan collaborator Scott Frank, so I suppose we’ll see how that turns out.

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Production begins on Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Nightmare Alley’ starring Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett

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Guillermo del Toro Nightmare Alley Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
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Production is officially underway on Guillermo del Toro’s star-studded new project Nightmare Alley, which features one hell of an ensemble cast that includes the likes of Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett in the leading roles.

An adaptation of William Lindsay Gresham’s novel of the same name, Nightmare Alley follows Stanton “Stan” Carlisle (Cooper), a young and ambitious con man who teams up with a female psychiatrist (Blanchett) for a mentalist act, only to realize that she’s even more corrupt than he is.

Rooney Mara, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, David Strathairn, Jim Beaver, and Mark Povinelli round out the film’s cast, with del Toro alumni such as Ron Perlman and Richard Jenkins also said to be in talks to join.

Leonardo DiCaprio was initially supposed to play Cooper’s role but was forced to bow out earlier this year as production on Nightmare Alley would’ve conflicted with that of Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, which stars DiCaprio alongside Robert De Niro and is expected to begin shooting in the spring.

No word yet on when Searchlight Pictures plans on releasing Nightmare Alley, but stay tuned for more info on that.

Excited to start shooting today on our new adventure NIGHTMARE ALLEY with @RealGDT and many of our regular gang. pic.twitter.com/lzPHhXpppI

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Phoenix: Warner Bros. invites you to an advance screening of Cathy Yan’s ‘Birds of Prey’

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Birds of Prey screening
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Warner Bros. will release Birds of Prey on February 7 and it’s giving Silver Screen Beat readers in Phoenix a chance to attend an advance screening of the film before it officially opens in theaters.

Our readers in Phoenix can click on this link right now to enter to free passes — good for you and one guest — to attend an advance screening of Birds of Prey happening at Harkins Arizona Mills IMAX on Wednesday, February 5 at 7:00 p.m.

Winners for this contest will be selected and notified on Monday, February 3 via email. Good luck! Below is the official trailer for Birds of Prey as well as some additional details about the film.

Directed by: Cathy Yan

Cast: Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez, and Ewan McGregor

Opens: Friday, February 7

Rating: R for strong violence and language throughout, and some sexual and drug material

Synopsis: Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is a twisted tale told by Harley herself, as only Harley can tell it. When Gotham’s most nefariously narcissistic villain, Roman Sionis, and his zealous right-hand, Zsasz, put a target on a young girl named Cass, the city is turned upside down looking for her. Harley, Huntress, Black Canary, and Renee Montoya’s paths collide, and the unlikely foursome have no choice but to team up to take Roman down.

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