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Harrison Ford surprised a bunch of 'Star Wars' fans, and they totally freaked out


A charity called "Star Wars: Force For Change" is sending fans to the premiere of "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens."

A lucky few heard the announcement online, but it wasn't just anyone they got to hear it from. 

Harrison Ford popped up to greet fans. While fans freaked out at the chance to talk to Han Solo himself, Ford also seemed absolutely delighted. 

You can enter to win the contest at Omaze.

Even if you don't win, you'll be able to see "The Force Awakens" in theaters on December 18th.

Story by Ian Phillips and editing by Chelsea Pineda

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SEE ALSO: This JJ Abrams TED Talk explains why the new 'Star Wars' trailers are so mysterious

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Chiwetel Ejiofor explains the danger of going too deep 'down the rabbit hole' with an intense role


chiwetel ejiofor

Chiwetel Ejiofor is quickly becoming one of the most reliable actors in the movie business with a string of impressive roles, from his Oscar-nominated performance in 2013’s “12 Years A Slave,” to, earlier this year, playing the NASA mission director who has to get Matt Damon home in “The Martian.”

In theaters this weekend, we’ll see Ejiofor opposite Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman in the thriller “Secret in Their Eyes.” A remake of the 2009 Argentine movie that won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 2010, it stars Ejiofor as Ray, a former FBI investigator who returns to the Bureau after tracking down the man who killed the daughter of his partner (Roberts) 13 years earlier. Ejiofor and Roberts give intense performances playing two people who are obsessed with the past and go to extreme lengths to find “justice.”

Business Insider chatted with Ejiofor while he took a break from shooting the next Marvel movie, “Doctor Strange,” to talk about his role in “Secret in Their Eyes” and the challenge of staying away from the “rabbit hole” while acting in a movie like this.

BI: You’re in the midst of playing Baron Mordo, the villain in the upcoming “Doctor Strange,” right?

Ejiofor: We have begun, yeah. 

BI: Pictures of you in costume have hit the internet.

Ejiofor: Yeah, cool. 

BI: It looks like a comfortable costume. 

Ejiofor: Yeah. I think it's all right. [Laughs.]

BI: Well, “Secret In Their Eyes” is a very different project. What drew you to it?

Ejiofor: I had some initial conversations with [director] Billy Ray and I was just kind of fascinated by it. There's a lot of different things happening in the story and I just felt like the two time periods that it takes place in, 2001 and the present day, and seeing what happens to this guy in the time that we don't see him, having this obsessive quality, this intensity to his life, that was something that I was really engaged in. I was very excited when I spoke to Billy Ray about it. And an amazing cast, Julia and Nicole. 

secret in their eyes S 004_SITE_07318R_rgbBI: Were either of them attached when you were talking to Billy Ray?

Ejiofor: I don't think so. I think that all happened after that. Which was amazing. 

BI: Did you watch the original movie?

Ejiofor: I didn't when we were shooting or before, but I have since. I wanted to approach it cleanly, but I always felt there was room to do another version of it. Do a more American version of it. I think the original is great, bit it's a different kind of film. Definitely culturally.

BI: The way you play the Ray character, I saw a lot of Denzel Washington in it. You've worked with him in two films, “Inside Man” and “American Gangster." Did you think of him when doing this role?

Ejiofor: Interesting. I wasn't thinking of him actually. [Laughs.] I love Denzel. I loved working with him. 

Inside Man 2006 4BI: There are parts when you're controlled and then you explode with emotion and rage, which he tends to do in some roles.

Ejiofor: I suppose in some of the stuff he's done, there's an obsessional quality, and Ray definitely has that. His mind is always ticking, but it's cool that you thought that. 

BI: The subject matter is so dark. Did you have to think back to difficult moments in your life to play this role?

Ejiofor: No, not really. In a way you don't want to do personal math on stuff like this. You sort of engage in it, but at some distance, otherwise it renders it impossible to play. And I would feel that's the same for Julia with her role. You're trying to get as engaged with the emotions of it and the sense of it and the narrative of it. And the truth of it. Part of the skill of that is not necessarily having to fall down the rabbit hole yourself. 

secret in their eyes S 009_SITE_02143R_rgb

BI: That being said, you and Julia look ragged in the movie. Your character literally says to her, "You look like you're 100 years old." Are these roles fun to play even though the subject matter is so brutal?

Ejiofor: It was pretty serious by the time we got to the scenes at the end of the movie. There was some room to be slightly lighter earlier in the movie. But things take a turn. By the end these characters are so obsessed and beaten by the circumstance that being in that mindset, it was complex and engaging. In a way it's what you want to do as an actor. So in that sense it's enjoyable. But not in the sense of funny, ha-ha. 

BI: Were there things you used through costume, wardrobe, or makeup to put you in the mindset you needed?

Ejiofor: For me, I liked that he changes his watch. You can't really catch it in the movie, but I really enjoyed that. When he goes away and starts working for the private sector, he picks it up along the way. When he worked for the FBI in the earlier part of the movie, he has a very basic watch. And as we were changing over from different time spans the watch was always something that clicked me into the difference in Ray. 

BI: You’ve been very busy since “12 Years a Slave” came out. This is your third film released this year. Is that daunting or do you like the constant work?

Ejiofor: I like it either way. [Laughs.] But what has been enjoyable are the projects I've been working on I've loved. Film, and over the summer I did a play in London. So trying to find that balance of film and theater has been engaging and important to me and I want to continue that. But maybe have a little more time off. 

BI: We saw you last in “The Martian,” and after that movie was released, it was criticized by the Media Action Network for Asian Americans because your role, which was an Asian in the book, wasn't cast with an Asian. Did you catch wind of that, and do you have any thoughts on it?

The Martian Kristen WiigEjiofor: I did hear about it. I feel the film is a great example and a very successful example, I think, of diversity in cinema. And I think that really works. I suppose one isn’t going to please absolutely everyone, but I think in general the principal of having both racially and in terms of gender, a lot of diversity in the film which goes on to be that successful and has very strong themes about community, was something that I was personally very gratified with.

BI: In your view, has the diversity issue improved in Hollywood?

Ejiofor: I don't know. It's too early to tell. I feel these things will probably be judged generationally. When we look back at this time in cinema, we'll be able to understand a bit more whether diversity was addressed in any way or if things improved during the ‘90s and into the 2000s, so it's hard to say. But as I said about “The Martian,” I think it was great to have so much diversity in that film and that film being so successful, it is a prototype for how films can do that more. 

"Secret in Their Eyes" opens in theaters on Friday. Watch the trailer below.

SEE ALSO: 3 reasons Aziz Ansari took his critically acclaimed new show, "Master of None," to Netflix

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The latest 'Hunger Games' movie has 5th largest opening of 2015, but lowest in the franchise


The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 Murray Close Lionsgate

"The Hunger Games" movie franchise has now come to a close as the final chapter adapted from the popular novels by author Suzanne Collins hit the big screen this weekend. 

Like its predecessors, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" had a monster opening weekend at the box office with an estimated $101.03 million.

That's the fifth-highest opening of 2015, but the lowest in the franchise. 

However, as Deadline points out, that shouldn't be a knock on Katniss and her friends. The "Lord of the Rings" prequel franchise, "The Hobbit," for example, also had declining opening weekend numbers through its trilogy (and none of them ever opened at $100 million of more).

Coming in a distant second is the latest James Bond movie, "Spectre," with an estimated $14 million. In its third week in theaters, the 24th James Bond movie has surpassed $150 million at the domestic box office ("Skyfall" hit the milestone in week two).

The other big new release over the weekend was the holiday comedy "The Night Before," which came in fourth place with an estimated $10 million. A modest start for the drug-fueled comedy budgeted at $25 million. The Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anthony Mackie Christmas-cheer buddy flick should continue to do well going into the Thanksgiving holiday, as word-of-mouth builds. (Yes, I really like this movie.) 

SEE ALSO: "Mockingjay - Part 2" gives Jennifer Lawrence a triumphant end to the "Hunger Games" movies

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Why Luke Skywalker is actually illiterate

The fast-rising career of ‘Legend’ star Emily Browning


emily browning

Emily Browning holds her own next to Tom Hardy in "Legend," the biopic about the English gangsters the Kray twins, out this weekend.

Browning portrays the complex Frances Shea, Reggie Kray's first wife, showing the troubled relationship that led to Shea's death. She also serves as the film's narrator, depicting the twisted and violent lives of the Kray twins through her own eyes.  

The 26-year-old actress first made her debut back in her native Australia when she was 10, appearing in a Hallmark movie. 

You might recognize her as Violet Baudelaire in "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events." She was 14 when she nabbed that role. She briefly took a break from acting to finish school and returned in 2009. Since then, she's appeared in numerous films, including "Sucker Punch" and "Pompeii."

Browning is also a singer, lending her voice to three different film soundtracks.

Here's a look back on the rising actress' career:  

SEE ALSO: 8 reasons why Seth Rogen's 'The Night Before' is the year's new holiday comedy classic

Emily Browning was born December 7, 1988, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She has two younger brothers.


Her acting career began after a classmate's father saw her acting in a school play.


She made her acting debut in 1998 after landing a role in "The Echo of Thunder," a TV movie.

She followed this up with roles in a number of Australian TV shows, including "Thunderstone,""Something in the Air" and "Blue Heelers." 


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Chris Hemsworth lost an insane amount of weight for his new movie


In the Heart of the Sea Warner Bros

We know him best as Thor in the movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but for his next film, Chris Hemsworth abandoned his buff body to play a man lost at sea.

For the upcoming Ron Howard-directed adventure "In the Heart of the Sea," Hemsworth plays the first officer of a whaling ship that's sunk by a sperm whale. He and the survivors are then shipwrecked at sea for 90 days.

Yesterday, the actor showed just how far he went to play the role, tweeting this picture of his frail physique by the end of filming:

Talking to Entertainment Weekly over the summer, Hemsworth said that he had already slimmed down for the film "Blackhat," but then went down another 15 pounds before starting "In the Heart of the Sea."

He and other cast members ate only 500 calories a day leading up to filming the final scenes, when they are adrift at sea with no food or water.

"In the Heart of the Sea" opens in theaters December 11.

SEE ALSO: 6 things we just learned from 'Star Wars' from director J.J. Abrams

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Google has given its apps a 'Star Wars' makeover


star wars

To celebrate the upcoming "Star Wars" release, Google is allowing its users to change the appearance of their apps with a new tool that lets them join the light side or the dark side of the Force. After picking a side, Google starts reskinning its apps and services with the colors and symbols of the Empire or Rebel Alliance.

Here's what happens when you join a side:

  • Gmail gets new backgrounds
  • YouTube's progress bar and volume slider turn into red or blue lightsabers
  • The release date of the film (December 18) gets added to your Google Calendar
  • In Google Maps, your position marker becomes either a TIE fighter or an X-Wing

"It probably isn't a surprise that there are tons of 'Star Wars' fans like me here at Google," Google's Clay Bavor said on the company's blog.

"You can regularly spot Darth Vaders, dogs dressed like Yoda, and even the occasional stormtrooper, roaming the halls of our data centers (probably still looking for those droids).

"We reached out to our friends at Lucasfilm and Disney, and since then we’ve been working together on building google.com/starwars. It's a place for fans, by fans, and starting today you can choose the light or the dark side, and then watch your favorite Google apps like Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Chrome, and many more transform to reflect your path."

Note: The experience is not compatible with Google Apps for Work, Education accounts, or Government accounts.

Join the conversation about this story »

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The first full 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' clip shows an explosive escape


the force awakens disney

Another day, another tease of the next “Star Wars” movie, “The Force Awakens.”

In the latest clip, which aired on ABC’s American Music Awards telecast Sunday night, new heroes Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega), along with droid BB-8, race to a ship (a Quadjumper) while running from attacking TIE fighters.

The plan backfires at the end of the 15-second clip. It will be interesting to see how Rey and Finn get out of this pickle. A few sharp-eyed commenters believe they spotted a certain ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs (you know, the Millennium Falconat the beginning of the clip. Perhaps that’s Rey and Finn's next option for escape.

Watch the clip here. “The Force Awakens” opens in theaters on December 18.

SEE ALSO: Google has given its apps a "Star Wars" makeover

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'Beasts of No Nation' director Cary Fukunaga talks Netflix's mysterious streaming numbers


Cary Joji Fukunaga Kevin Winter Getty

Director Cary Joji Fukunaga is a little tired, and has reason to be. For the last two months, he and his cast have been traveling North America nonstop to promote the release of their film, the first original feature released by Netflix, "Beasts of No Nation."

Coming off his ambitious direction of all of "True Detective" season one for HBO (which earned him a Best Director Drama Emmy), Fukunaga filmed his adaptation of Uzodinma Iweala's 2005 novel set in a civil war-torn country in Africa. The story, following a young boy joining a ferocious group of guerrilla soldiers, was shot on location in Ghana.

Fukunaga produced, wrote, directed, and shot the movie, which is highlighted by powerful performances from his leads Idris Elba, as commander of the guerrillas, and newcomer Abraham Attah, who plays the teenager. "Beasts" has talk of potential Oscar nominations building around it.

Business Insider recently talked with Fukuanaga as he was location-scouting for his new TNT series, "The Alienist," about the "Beasts" release (shown simultaneously in limited theaters and streaming on Netflix), whether he's seen the second season of "True Detective" yet, and why his movie shouldn't be considered an "issue" film.

beasts of no nation netflix focus featuresBI: Have you asked Netflix recently about the amount of people who are streaming "Beasts of No Nation"?

Fukunaga: Yeah, I finally accosted [Netflix head of content acquisitions] Ted Sarandos recently to try to give me the numbers. They are not allowed to give the numbers, but I was throwing numbers and it was like this [nods].

BI: "Stop me when I get to the right number."

Fukunaga: Yeah. I obviously can't tell you what he told me, but there's a part of you that wants to know because you don't have box-office numbers, other than the box office we do have. And those streaming numbers do mean something — just because you get good reviews doesn't mean you know people are watching it. And you work so hard to get people to come to see it on the big screen. It's reassuring to know the numbers.

BI: You've received reassurances that the film is playing around the world wherever Netflix is available?

Fukunaga: Yes. And it is, I have friends writing me [from other parts of the world] who have seen it. 

BI: Would you be okay with Netflix publicly releasing streaming numbers of your film again?

Fukunaga: I don't think they need to. That's their MO, to not release numbers, so why would they do it again? Then that sets a precedent. I think because this was a hybrid release that [after the first weekend it was out] they felt they had to prove that people are seeking out the movie and watching it. 

BI: Do you feel, with the amount of big-name talent making movies for companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, these companies sooner or later will have to release the streaming numbers for their original content to the public on a regular basis?

Fukunaga: I think they should. Why not? Though this gets confusing because even with Nielsen readings they don't know how many people are in the home. It's all very complex to me.

BI: Well, you've had some time to absorb this release platform you did with Netflix. Would you work with them again?

Fukunaga:Yes. And here's why: Of course I would want the film to be seen in cinemas, I will always want my films that are intended to be seen in cinemas to be seen in cinemas. But — and I've said this before and I stand by it — honestly, if I had done a regular platform release it would have been in maybe 40 screens at the most. [Fukunaga's debut feature] "Sin Nombre" was released very similarly. These are dramas, they aren't going to break $10 million. Hard films rarely do.

BI: Have you watched "Beasts of No Nation" via streaming?

Fukunaga: I only streamed the beginning of it to see the quality. I wanted to see, more than anything, the timing of the subtitles. [Laughs.] That's the s--t I look at.
BI: That makes sense, though. 

Fukunaga: Because with the DCPs [Digital Cinema Packages] they screen, if the software's not up to date, certain files aren't going through. So some subtitles won't show up [on screen] and you see the audience scratching their heads. And this is the issue with technology. I mean if it was a f---ing regular film print you could put it right on. 

I still have no faith in technology in that sense. I really don't. And that's reinforced every time technology f---s up. I mean, what I'm really pushing Netflix hard for right now is to archive the film on a three-strip film process. Because I don't want some f----d-up DCP along the way that doesn't have the right patch of software and the version they archive won't be able to decode it in the future. 

BI: Are they into doing that?

Fukunaga: Focus has done it with my films. HBO does a digital archive and I'm sure Netflix does the same, but I want it for the film. It's contained, it's not a 10-hour thing, like a series. They can do it, and in regards to cost, I think it's worth it. 

beasts of no nationBI: I was at your talk at the Tribeca Film Festival with James Schamus and you brought up how you've provided schooling for Abraham since filming wrapped. How is he doing?

Fukunaga: Well, his English has gotten a hell of a lot better. That's one. Schooling, he's in home schooling because he's on our press tour, friends of my parents' friends are his guardians right now. And I should mention that Ted Sarandos has said that he would pay for his private education through senior year of high school. Then we went to work trying to find a school that would start at his level. Because technically he's in 7th grade, but I think there's a lot to be caught up on including reading comprehension, and that's essential to his script reading if he wants to do more acting in the future. 

BI: And he wants to?

Fukunaga: Yeah, he wants to. In fact, he's already been cast in something. So we found a private school that starts in the 7th grade, a lot of the private schools don't start until 8th or 9th grade. And it's a school that can cater to his specific needs and help him get caught up. And there are kids from Nigeria and Ghana and kids from Europe, so he won't feel isolated. And his parents are all for it. They want him to take advantage of it and get an education and see what can happen from there. He got hit with the golden goose in a way. 

BI: But it has to be jarring for him, not just the elevation of life, but the celebrity of it. How is he dealing with that aspect?

Fukunaga: He's starting to be recognized. 

BI: Have you talked to him about that?

Fukunaga: I've talked to him about it a little bit. He's 15 years old. What's important to him on the surface level and what's happening deep down are sometimes hard to connect, or at least to do verbally. I think he's handling it but he's a little tired. He's had a lot of time off, actually, because of that. 

BI: From doing press?

Fukunaga: Yeah. He's just been hanging out and skateboarding, doing go-karts.

BI: So he's being a kid.

Fukunaga: He's being a kid. And the celebrity aspect of it, I think it's a bit hard for him, but we did an interview together two weeks ago and he said something along the lines of he doesn't feel it but his friends in Ghana say he's famous. But I think if someone is famous, do they ever really know they are famous?

BI: Well, let me ask you, do you feel you're famous?

Fukunaga: I don't feel I'm famous. No. And I don't get recognized on the street. [Laughs.]

BI: But you have to know it's close. You go on the Emmys stage and you have your hair a certain way and the Internet goes wild.

Fukunaga: But people don't know who I am. I feel that's niche to some degree. Of course my friends know about it, but my friend group has stayed the same for a very long time so that's something that keeps you insulated. They are never going to say, "You're famous."

BI: Filming in the jungle has been a curse for filmmakers. From Francis Ford Coppola ("Apocalypse Now") to Werner Herzog ("Aguirre, the Wrath of God,""Fitzcarraldo"). You contracted malaria, almost fell off a cliff with Elba. Would you do this again?

Fukunaga: I don't think I'd rush to do it again. When you're in the middle of it, it's like the most miserable thing you could possibly imagine doing. As soon you are through and on the other side of it, not only with perspective but with the comfort of home, you're happy you did it. You're bonded with all the people you're with but I mean I don't know if you could be more prepared for these kinds of productions. The productions that have the money and the creature comforts to make it easier typically don't go to the places we shot. So it's already just a different scenario.

I still love going to locations. I think that will still be my thing in the future. It's one of the most fun things about making movies. Despite all the difficulties in Ghana, when else do you have an opportunity to do something like that? So many years go by and we think our lives are going to begin and we're going to this country we've always wanted to go to and check it off our bucket list and yet they just don't happen. And that even happens for me. Though I've accomplished a lot of things within my career, I still have these lists of things that have been pushed off and shooting locations around the world. I can rattle off a number of places I want to shoot. I want to shoot in Antarctica, India, somewhere in the South Pacific, back to Africa, but different parts of Africa, the Middle East definitely. 

Beasts Of No Nation 5 Idris Elba and Cary FukunagaBI: Does the story dictate the location, or if you have the opportunity to get a location, do you make a story work for that location?

Fukunaga: Huh. [Laughs.] I don't know. I don't know the answer to that, actually. Because I think quite possibly your general interest in a place could lead to you finding stories in that place as well. For me, you can't make a movie based off a location, you have to feel it. But sometimes I push back. "Beasts," by the third year [of preparing the movie], I could have shot it in West Africa but at the time I didn't want to go. I just didn't want to go yet. I knew how the shoot was going to be, to some extent, and I just wanted to be in the States for a while. 

BI: So you could have shot "Beasts" earlier, but for personal reasons you didn't want to make the movie yet?

Fukunaga: Personal reasons. Knowing how difficult it was going to be not only psychologically but physically to shoot anywhere in West Africa. At that point we hadn't honed in on Ghana. At that point I was still thinking Liberia or Sierra Leone. And Uzo was still pushing for Nigeria. But either one, I knew it was going to be hard shoots. I just didn't know how hard it would turn out. 

BI: Has it been frustrating that some critics of the movie knock it because there isn't enough message in it? You have said that you didn't go out to make an issue-heavy film.

Fukunaga: I think I get more annoyed when it gets pushed into a category of "Oh, another child-solider film." Like there's a huge amount of child-solider films, like there are too many. Of course people talk about too many comic-book movies but nobody talks about too many personal dramas. Why does one type of story get so ghettoized? You can't lump all these stories together. If you look at the child-solider movies of the last 10 years, they are all different. You can't say "War Witch" is like "Johnny Mad Dog" is like "Beasts of No Nation." They aren't the same. And the people that lump them together have a very limited perspective of the world. In my mind. Because genre-wise, they are different, content-wise and structurally. They just happen to have kids with guns and black skin and that's all people think about in terms of categorizing things. And that bothers me. I think the world should be a lot more discerning than that. Now it's a topical film, you can't deny it. But I don't want it to be seen as the issue being the forefront. It's not waving a flag, it's about this kid and this kid's experience. For me "Empire of the Sun" and this film have more in common than this film and "War Witch" or "Johnny Mad Dog."

war witchBI: And was this the kind of conversation you had with the book's author, Uzodinma, on how you would adapt it?

Fukunaga: Maybe this is why I feel this way. I come from a history and political-science background, so when I was entering into the subject of a civil war in Sierra Leone and Liberia, I was looking at it more from a historian's perspective and a political and economic context. And of course getting into human stories through that. But I was looking at very broad strokes here. That makes it an issue film. So when I read Uzo's novel, I got rid of all of that. I placed some of the issues back in small pieces, but really it's about this kid's experience. That's why for me it's not different than any story anywhere in the world — it's about a kid who has to figure out how to function on his own when everything is taken away from him. That's not an issue film, that's a survival film. 

BI: Tired of the "True Detective" questions yet?

Fukunaga: [Chuckles.] Depends on what they are.

BI: You said when you watch it, you'll binge it. So have you binged season two?

Fukunaga: I have not. The only thing I've binged recently is Aziz Ansari's Netflix show "Master of None." It's great, I watched the whole thing.

BI: Are you curious at all about the episode in "True Detective" season two with a character supposedly based on you

Fukunaga: No. Not really. I just want to watch it all. And I definitely will. And me not watching it is not a statement. I haven't had the time. 

BI: Can you talk a bit about your new serial killer-focused TV series, "The Alienist"?

Fukunaga: I'm not going to direct the whole thing. It's a very, very big, ambitious project, and Paramount is establishing itself, TNT is rebranding itself. It will be some kind of flagship for them. I don't know if it's their first project out of the gate. It's going to be pretty complicated, how to recreate these things, so that's what we're trying to figure out right now. ["The Alienist" author] Caleb Carr's descriptions [of 1800s New York City] are so intricate that you want to honor them, but you're scratching your head on how to do this on a television budget. The thing I love about television long-form is the length you can run things, but most often the budget of what you have to do 10 hours of TV is what on a feature film is like two hours. So that's the tricky part.

BI: Have you watched anything that's been in the awards conversation?

Fukunaga: I don't think I've seen anything yet really. I have a bunch of screeners and have some time off come Thanksgiving so I'm going to plow through a bunch of movies, that's my plan. I really want to watch "Straight Outta Compton." That's one I'm mad I didn't get to watch on the big screen. 

Watch the trailer for "Beasts of No Nation" (currently in theaters and streaming on Netflix).

SEE ALSO: Believe the hype — Netflix's "Beasts of No Nation" is incredible

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Why this scene in 'Return of the Jedi' is the most disappointing from all of the 'Star Wars' special editions



By the time "Return of the Jedi" was released in 1983, George Lucas had already shepherded through a massively successful franchise that was part of the popular vernacular. That achievement was thanks in large part to the groundbreaking visual and practical effects seen throughout the films.

In "Jedi," the ante was raised again. Lucas and company had to unveil one of the galaxy's most notorious gangsters, Jabba the Hut. It would take four puppeteers inside the large Jabba to bring him to life in the movie. But that was far from the only challenge in the opening sequence of "Jedi," set in Jabba's palace.

There were dozens of puppets and costumed actors making up the audience in the palace, but which would be Jabba's main source of entertainment?

Lucas and his team chose Sy Snootles, a lanky female singer with wicked pipes and pouty lips. Her appearance in the movie comes while singing with the Max Rebo Band during the dance by Oola in front of Jabba. Sy's performance is interrupted when Oola begins to argue with Jabba, and he opens his hidden floor, sending Oola down to be a snack for the Rancor.

Sy and GeorgeSy's appearance is brief, but once more proves the masterful talents of Lucas' animatronic department.

In the behind-the-scenes documentary for "Jedi," we see the months of work that went into Sy's less-than-a-minute of screen time.


Sy 2

Sy 3

Sy 5
And then there was creating the song Sy would sing in the scene.

"There were lyrics written for the original release by one of our engineers," said sound designer Ben Burtt in the Blu-ray commentary of "Jedi.""She did the original voice [of Sy]. I helped convert into Huttese [the language Jabba speaks]."

The final version was top-notch for practical effects at that time, though it seems pretty pedestrian by today's standards.

Watch the sequence here:

Lucas was never satisfied.

When he released a special edition of the original "Star Wars" trilogy in the late 1990s with added and enhanced scenes, the Sy sequence was completely revamped with a new song and Sy remade from computer graphics.

"The singer was originally a marionette that could barely move and couldn't do what some of the other characters who were more static were able to come off pretty well," said Lucas in the "Jedi" commentary. "As you're able to push the technology forward, you're able to get the creatures to suddenly walk or raise their arms or have expressions on their faces and all of that took years and years and a lot of experimentation and technical advances to be able to make an alien look real."

In the special-edition version, along with the song being much longer, and the band including backup singers and a creature doing some kind of rap, Sy is flamboyant and less stiff.

Take a look:

But if you grew up when "Jedi" was first released, or before the special editions, it's hard to forget the stiff marionette version of Sy. Perhaps it has to do with being entertained by puppets masterfully created by Jim Henson and his team (who were involved in the "Star Wars" films), but there's just a different life a puppeteer can bring to a character that computer graphics can't.

This was clearly a comment Lucas had gotten a lot after releasing the special edition, because he addressed it in the commentary:

"I'm so amused by people who somehow think when you use cyber technology or digital technology in movies it's fake. But when you look at a scene here in Jabba's palace now there are some digital characters in here, but they are no more or less fake than all the other characters that are in here. Is a digital character more fake than a big fat rubber character? [Laughs.] I mean there's nothing real here at all. It's hard to say a rubber character has more integrity than a digital character. What I try to do is make the characters become believable so that they are realistic enough to have a suspension of disbelief in accepting them as characters instead of tricks, which is what they all are."

All that is true. But what about the sense of respect for the crew that created the original work? I mean, George, someone had to do this to bring Sy to life:

Sy 4
Maybe it wasn't possible to enhance Sy's original performance with just a few CGI tweaks (what was done with Jabba for the special edition) so Lucas just decided redo her in computer graphics. But the end result has basically erased the efforts by the people responsible for Sy 1.0.

In no way are computer graphics going anywhere, but it seems J.J. Abrams — the director of the next "Star Wars" movie, "The Force Awakens"— also misses the puppets and practical effects from the original trilogy. He's said numerous times that there will be a return to that in his film (mixed with some CGI).

Just another reason to be excited for the latest episode from a galaxy far, far, away.

"Star Wars" Rewind is an ongoing series of posts that looks back on the saga leading up to "Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens" (in theaters December 18).

SEE ALSO: See the amazing tech behind the original Jabba the Hut puppet

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NOW WATCH: Why Luke Skywalker is actually illiterate

A perfect moment of J.J. Abrams watching the 'Star Wars' trailer for the first time with a group of fans


Saturday evening I headed over to Newark, New Jersey for, what was described as, a "nerd-off" between Stephen Colbert and "Star Wars" director J.J. Abrams. The event was part of the Montclair Film Festival's annual events.

During the conversation, the latest trailer for "The Force Awakens" was played for a crowd of over 2,000. As the trailer began to roll audience members could see Abrams, not as a director, but as a spectator to the anticipated film.

It's a moment any "Star Wars" fan will appreciate. 

jj abrams star wars

Here's a closer look:

jj abrams star wars

After the trailer played, Colbert turned to Abrams and asked, "Was this the first time you've watched that trailer with an audience of people?"

"It actually is," Abrams said to a stunned and excited crowd.

However, other than that initial moment, as Colbert's eyes were glued to the monitor above him, I was surprised to find Abrams avoided watching the trailer all together. 

Instead, his eyes darted anywhere but back up to the screen playing the trailer. He calmly took out a tiny water bottle and refilled his Stormtrooper mug on the side table next to him. At moments, he looked out toward the crowd, perhaps watching our reactions to the film which he has worked on for much of the past three years.

I wish I had a photo of it to share, but we were explicitly told to refrain from taking photos during the event. 

Later during the talk, Abrams admitted he's partially terrified, though excited, to see how fans react to the new film. But overall, he's ready for the movie to be out in the world already. 

"The truth is, working on this movie for the past nearly three years, it's been like living with the greatest roommate in history for too long," said Abrams. "Meaning, it's time for him to get his own place. It's been the greatest, and I can't tell you how much I want him to get out into the world and meet other people because we know each other really well."

"'Star Wars' is bigger than any of us," he added. "And to get to be involved in this in any way is a true honor and it needs to be out there for the people. Of course, at turns, I'm thrilled beyond words and I'm terrified more than I can say."

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is in theaters December 18, 2015.

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The Bill Murray movie 'Rock the Kasbah' is the biggest flop of the year


rock the kasbahNot even Bill Murray could save this film from tanking.

Forbes named "Rock the Kasbah," which also features Kate Hudson, Bruce Willis, and Zooey Deschanel, the biggest flop of 2015. 

In the film, Murray portrays a washed-up rock-music manager who finds a talented girl in Kabul and attempts to help her win a singing competition similar to "American Idol." The film received mostly negative reviews and only holds an 8% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The site's consensus reads: "The Shareef don't like 'Rock the Kasbah,' and neither will viewers hoping for a film that manages to make effective use of Bill Murray's knack for playing lovably anarchic losers."

The film brought in $2.9 million and the estimated production budget was $15 million, leaving the film with only a 19% return on its cost. 

The film also holds the No. 5 spot for the worst wide opening (2,000-2,499 theaters) since 1982 on Box Office Mojo

Forbes looked at films' box-office returns and production budgets to determine which of this year's films were the least profitable as of November 18. They also only looked at films that opened in more than 2,000 theaters.  

Other films that made the list include "The Gunman,""Jupiter Ascending,""Aloha," and "Tomorrowland." 

Watch the trailer for "Rock the Kasbah" below:

SEE ALSO: Bill Murray parties with George Clooney and Miley Cyrus in new Netflix Christmas special trailer

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'Creed' is the perfect 'Rocky' sequel, because it's totally different



The best sequels consist of two things: You never asked for them, and they don't feel like a sequel in the slightest.

You can call "Creed," the latest installment of the eternal "Rocky" franchise, whatever you want. It's a sequel; it's a spinoff; it's a reboot. It's also undeniably one of the most masterful blockbusters of the year.

The "Rocky" universe is a small place, mostly set in Philadelphia with the occasional trip to Siberia. "Creed" adds a lot of new characters within a mostly familiar setting. Adonis Johnson Creed (Michael B. Jordan) is the son of the late Apollo Creed, the legendary boxer who took on Rocky Balboa several times in the previous films. 

Adonis never met his father, but takes after him in many ways. Adonis lives a pampered Los Angeles lifestyle and is about to get a big promotion, but he has the instinct to fight — which, in the end, is what wins out. He abandons all his possessions and moves to Philadelphia where he asks Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) to train him.

Creed Warner Bros

For die-hard movie fans, "Creed" is full of payoffs (and training montages). It plays predictability perfectly to its favor. It also succeeds at the smart self-awareness that "Jurassic World" attempted this past summer.

In "Creed," characters grapple with the idea of legacy and trying to create something new when people expect something old from you. This is the story of a man who denies his lineage so much that he won't even go by his real last name.

"Creed" clearly wants to take the 39-year-old franchise in a new direction.

It is the first film not written by Stallone and also not containing the word "Rocky" in the title. Yet it's a paradise of references. It lingers on one shot of a turtle, and then another of eggs, but they come with a wink. The beauty of "Creed" is that you can walk into it with little knowledge of the Italian Stallion and still leave with tears in your eyes.

Creed Movie

Director and co-writer Ryan Coogler gives "Creed" the fresh pair of eyes it needed. This is only Coogler's second feature following "Fruitvale Station."

Unlike many other young directors, Coogler doesn't surrender control in the leap from indie to a studio feature. In fact, he has the confidence of a pro. The scenes out on the street and in the gym are shot with grit, but the film contains so much humor and humanity. Meanwhile, all of the boxing scenes are shot like an HBO fight. If this is a re-launch of an Adonis Creed-led franchise (and I believe it will be), then Coogler has flawlessly given it a voice.

Creed Movie

"Creed" grapples with its legacy and predecessors in such a fascinating way. Adonis only knows his father through YouTube clips of his fights with Rocky. This might also be the way that a lot of people are familiar with the original films. The references aren't just there for cheap nostalgia; they show how "Rocky" has become part of the cultural consciousness. In "Creed," Balboa's best days are now folklore. The original "Rocky" feels that way, too. "Creed" is here to prove that the movies can still bring force (pun intended).

Stallone gives a heartfelt and passionate performance as a man trying to make the best of his circumstances. Meanwhile, Michael B. Jordan gives the second-generation Creed so many layers. He is tough yet vulnerable enough to show how hurt he is deep down.

"Creed" is a perfect sequel because it doesn't feel like one. Between the training montages and the return of some very well-known music, "Creed" is great for "Rocky" fans. But it's even better for people who are about to become "Rocky" fans.

"Creed" is in theaters on November 25.

SEE ALSO: 'Mockingjay — Part 2' gives Jennifer Lawrence a triumphant end to the 'Hunger Games' movies

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Here's everything leaving Netflix in December that you need to watch


batman begins 2005 62 g

The holiday season is a time to spread love to all, but sadly, in December, you'll have to do it without the help of these movies.

The latest batch leaving Netflix includes “Batman Begins,” “The Great Escape,” “Labyrinth,” and "Silence of the Lambs."

Below are the rest. We’ve bolded some we think you should watch one more time.

Leaving 12/1/15

“All About Eve”
“Batman Begins”
“Beverly Hills Cop III”
“Brian's Song” (1971)
“Brian's Song” (2001)
“The Brothers Grimm” (2005)
“The Burbs”
“Cop Land”
“Damien: Omen II”
“The Dark Crystal”
“Employee of the Month”
“Forces of Nature”
“Get Low”
“The Great Escape”
“The High and the Mighty”
“The Hustler”
“K-19: The Widowmaker”

labyrinth“Last Night”
“Left Behind II: Tribulation Force”
“Modern Problems”
“My Best Friend's Wedding”
“Necessary Roughness”
“The Omen”
“Omen III: The Final Conflict”
“The Paw Project”
“The Pink Panther 2”
“R.L. Stine's Mostly Ghostly”
“R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour: Don't Think About It”
“Silence of the Lambs”
“Trek Nation”
“Two Can Play That Game”

Leaving 12/4/15

“Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Road Rally”

Leaving 12/6/15

“The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure”

Leaving 12/9/15


Leaving 12/10/15

“Ultimate Spider-Man: Season 2”

Leaving 12/11/15

“The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes: Season 2”
“Rescue Me” (Seasons 1-7)

Leaving 12/12/15

“Why Did I Get Married?”

Leaving 12/13/15

“How to Build a Better Boy”)
“Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers”

Leaving 12/15/15

“Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason”

Leaving 12/17/15


Leaving 12/21/15

“Red Hook Summer”

Leaving 12/24/15

“Una Noche”

Leaving 12/30/15

“Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony”

SEE ALSO: 27 gifts for the "Harry Potter" fan in your life

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'Guardians of the Galaxy 2' director slams people trying to divulge spoilers


chris pratt guardians of the galaxy

Earlier today Heroic Hollywood posted a video in which its founder Umberto Gonzales (who is notorious for scoring scoops in the fanboy world — he was the first to report "Jurassic World" director Colin Trevorrow would helm "Star Wars: Episode IX") seemed to break some huge "Guardians of the Galaxy" news. Gonzales claimed to reveal the identity of Peter Quill's father, a question raised in "Guardians" that could be a major plot point in the sequel, "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2."

That has now been countered by a Facebook post by the franchise's director James Gunn.

"The rumors surrounding Quill’s parentage at the present moment are completely false, and aren’t even close to the truth," Gunn wrote.

Gunn also said in the post that he's going to "stop commenting on any rumors surrounding Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" until the movie opens in May 2017.

In the past, Gunn has taken to social media to debunk rumors that hit the internet. But it looks like this is the last straw.

"I got in this business because I love movies, and I think most film journalists are the same way. And spoiling plot details doesn’t add to the enjoyment of the film-going experience," Gunn wrote.

Read his complete post below.


SEE ALSO: "Guardians of the Galaxy" director pleads with Joss Whedon's internet trolls in an epic Facebook post

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Iron Man and Captain America battle each other in first 'Captain America: Civil War' trailer


captain america: civil war

Has it already been seven months since "Avengers: Age of Ultron"? Well don't worry, because there's always another movie with one of the Avengers around the corner, and this one's major.

Chris Evans returns as the shield-wielding hero in "Captain America: Civil War," but he's no longer beloved by the American public. In the first trailer for the film that aired on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" on Tuesday night, he's been tagged as a "vigilante," apparently for helping his friend (and wanted man) Bucky.

All of this results in a major disagreement among the Avengers (that's what the "Civil War" is there for).

"Sometimes I want to punch you in your perfect teeth," Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man tells Captain America before they come to actual blows.

captain america: civil war

The movie also stars Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Jeremy Renner, and more, and it's out May 6, 2016.

Watch the trailer below:

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Why 'Creed' is a strong contender for this year's Oscar race



The “Rocky” franchise has received a major shot in the arm with today's release of “Creed," an extension of the Balboa universe. This time the story focuses on Adonis Creed, the son of Rocky’s former nemesis-turned-friend Apollo Creed.

Michael B. Jordan (“Fantastic Four”) plays the young Creed, who as a troubled child bounced around from foster home to foster home until Apollo’s wife learned about Adonis and took him in.

Knowing his father was the former champion of the world, a now grown Creed sets out to follow in his father’s footsteps. And to do that he travels to Philadelphia to seek out Balboa (played once more by Sylvester Stallone) as his boxing manager.

Directed by Ryan Coogler, who cast Jordan in his debut breakout feature “Fruitvale Station,” “Creed” has quickly become a favorite among critics (it currently has a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes) who are comparing it to the early “Rocky” movies.

But will it come out of nowhere, like “Rocky” did when it won Best Picture at the 1977 Oscars, and make noise at this year’s Oscars?

“I definitely think it’s going to slip into the Best Picture race,” said Erik Davis, managing editor of Fandango. “It's really a wild-card year at this point, with no solid frontrunner and a strong desire from a lot of people to see more variety in the Oscar contenders.”

But the film’s main chance may come in the Best Supporting Actor category. Stallone’s Rocky performance, which gradually slips into the Mickey role from the original movies, could tap the nostalgia of Oscar voters. (Burgess Meredith as the stubborn manager received a Best Supporting Actor nomination.) 

“I would go so far as calling him the frontrunner for Best Supporting Actor,” Davis said of Stallone. “This is Rocky at his weakest. He’s in a different fight this time around, much more dramatic and emotional.”

Stallone is currently ranked 7th in this year's Supporting Actor race, according to the awards-season site Gold Derby

Stallone has never won an Oscar, but was nominated for Best Actor and Best Screenplay for “Rocky” in 1977.

“Creed” opens in theaters on Wednesday.


SEE ALSO: "Creed" is the perfect "Rocky" sequel, because it's totally different

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Jennifer Lawrence's next goal is directing, and she already has a movie lined up


jennifer lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence has an Oscar on the mantel and just wrapped being the face of the successful “Hunger Games” franchise. So what’s next?

“I’ve wanted to direct as long as I’ve wanted to act,” Lawrence told Entertainment Weekly for a new cover story.

That’s right, the 25-year-old is ready to go behind the camera, and the goal-driven superstar has been thinking about being a director since her teens.

“I’ve wanted to direct since I was 16 and always thought I should start making steps towards that,” she said. “If I had tried to do it earlier, I wouldn’t have been ready. Now I actually feel ready.”

And she already has a project lined up.

It’s a dark comedy called “Project Delirium,” which is based on an article about "mental warfare" in the 1960s.

“Like an acid experiment gone terribly wrong,” Lawrence said. “It’s funny.”

This isn't the first time Lawrence has had a hand in shaping material for development. Over the summer, news broke that she and new pal Amy Schumer are writing a screenplay together in which they play sisters.

SEE ALSO: The Bill Murray movie "Rock the Kasbah" is the biggest flop of the year

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How a then-24-year-old filmmaker exposed the Taser industry in a bombshell new documentary


tom swift cop 1

Nick Berardini was in his senior year at the University of Missouri in 2008 and working the late shift at the local TV station when a call on the police scanner changed his life.

Berardini got word of an in-custody death by the Moberly Police Department and was one of the first reporters on the scene.

Witnesses told him 23-year-old Stanley Harlan had been pulled over by the Moberly police in front of his house. Harlan got out of his car, had a conversation with the officer who pulled him over for speeding or drunken driving (it's still not clear why he was pulled over), and was allowed to call his mother. But when other officers arrived all hell broke loose.

"The second officer on the scene didn't understand [Harlan] was allowed to use his phone," Berardini told Business Insider of what witnesses told him that night. "He tried to take it from [Harlan], and Harlan backed up with his hands in the air and said something like, 'Why are you going to tase me?'"

The officer used a Taser stun gun on Harlan's chest three times for a total of 31 seconds, according to Berardini's reporting. Harlan went into cardiac arrest and died on the scene in front of his mother and stepfather.

stanley3"That seemed so aggressive to me and such an obvious misuse of force that I became really sympathetic towards the family," said Berardini, who at the time of Harlan's death was 24 years old and aspiring to be a filmmaker.

Six months after Harlan's death, Berardini got the dash-cam video of the incident and saw the entire altercation. It not only verified what the witnesses told him that evening, but it also motivated him to make a film that would show how an event like this could fracture a small community.

The journey in telling that story led him to the doors of Taser International, the multimillion-dollar company that manufactures Tasers for law enforcement in the US.

Suddenly, the film became much bigger.

Berardini's documentary, "Killing Them Safely" (previously titled "Tom Swift and his Electric Rifle," opens in select theaters on Friday), premiered at this year's Tribeca Film Festival and is the first of its kind. Never before had a film looked in great detail at the stun-gun industry, which is dominated by Taser International, and given an objective view of its effect on society and law enforcement.

The film heavily uses archival footage to explore how Taser International founders Tom and Rick Smith created the Taser, which they then sold to police departments across the country with the promise that it was a safer alternative to firearms. (According to Taser International, "suspect injuries have been shown to be reduced by as much as 60% when alternative means of force are deployed.")

In 2012, Taser International said the risk of death from the electrical effects of devices like Tasers had not been "conclusively demonstrated" by a reputable scientific study. (In the US, 17,800 police departments currently carry Tasers.) But with hundreds of apparent Taser-related deaths in the country since Taster International's Taser was created in 1993, criticism of the weapon has grown stronger, and some departments have even decided to stop using Tasers. In 2009, Taser International updated its training guides by stating that officers should not aim for the chest.

"'Killing Them Safely' highlights the ineptitude not only of Taser International but also of the governing bodies and police departments that have allowed this organization to essentially have a monopoly over the training and safety of the device," wrote BI's Brett Arnold and Amanda Macias in their review of the film.

Rick and Tom Smith Tom SwiftHere's a portion of the statement Taser International sent to Business Insider in regard to the risk of death by being stunned by a Taser (see full statement at the bottom of this story):

TASER® technology is the most extensively researched less-lethal weapon with more than 500 related reports and medical studies. These studies consistently have found that the TASER is generally safe and effective as a response to resistance option ... However, it is still a 'weapon' and it is not risk free and TASER provides in depth warnings to law enforcement to that effect; including that the weapon may cause death or serious injury.

But it took years for Berardini to realize the story he was telling was not about the awful death of Harlan but about the weapon that killed him.

In fall 2009, Berardini began having a conversation with Taser International about filming one of its executives for his film.

"I was 24, impressionable, didn't know a lot, and potentially had a platform of a 90-minute film," Berardini said of why he thought the company would agree to talk to him.

He also got to Taser International at an interesting time in the company's history.

"They were starting to lose lawsuits for the first time," Berardini said. "And internally, they felt the weight of that and wanted to speak from their own perspective."

Tuttle_Ethan Miller_GettySix months of talks with Taser International finally led the company to allow Berardini to come to its headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona, in March 2010 and film an interview with the company's vice president of strategic communications, Steve Tuttle. Berardini was also invited to record footage of the factory where Tasers are assembled.

At the time, Berardini was working alone on the project. So he got a cameraman from the Missouri TV station he worked at to come along to shoot and a friend to be his production assistant.

"I think they expected me to come there and be converted by this Orwellian headquarters they have," Berardini said. "Because that is what works for police officers."

Berardini said he didn't have any "gotcha" questions for Tuttle. "I expected them to not play a big role" in the film, he acknowledged. But he was hoping that at least Tuttle would acknowledge that Tasers could be dangerous if used excessively.

That didn't happen.

In the film, Tuttle seems unsympathetic to any of the Taser-related deaths and stays on message with the company motto, "Protecting life. Protecting truth."

Taser company_Jeff Topping_GettyTuttle's firm stance during the interview that Tasers could never cause deaths "honestly blew me away," Berardini said.

Berardini left the Taser headquarters three hours later having grown more suspicious of Taser International. He began to research the company, talking to reporters who had covered it and speaking to lawyers who had taken it to court.

He also brought on producers Jamie Goncalves and Brock Williams. They found that Berardini was essentially editing two films, one on Taser and one on Harlan.

"He was still really focused on telling this story on Stanley Harlan," Williams said. "But the thing that I immediately was drawn to was this bigger [Taser International] story and this great [Tuttle] interview."

Around Christmas 2011, Berardini finally came to terms that the Harlan story could not be the main focus of the movie.

"I met Brock for lunch and we were exhausted, and I said, 'We have to start over,'" Berardini said.

What put him over the edge was all the material he got from his research, including Taser International training DVDs, manuals, and over 120 hours of deposition footage. It all gave Berardini a clearer picture of what he viewed as negligence by Taser International in how it made its device attractive to police departments. He had to make that the focus.

The Harlan story would now be in the film as one of the chilling examples of the excessive use of Tasers by police.

Nick Berardini_Andrew Toth_GettyBy the time Berardini had a rough cut of "Killing Them Safely" last October, he said, Taser International was already trying to stop the film from being released.

Berardini said the company attempted to subpoena the film after the Harlans' lawsuit against Taser International. The filmmakers caught a break, however, because the "discovery period" of the lawsuit had passed, meaning Taser International could not subpoena them. The Harlans' suit against Taser International was dismissed by an appeals court in 2014. The officers on the scene of Harlan's death were not criminally liable because, according to Berardini, there was nothing in the Taser International manual used by the police department that would suggest the use of the Taser could cause a fatality. But the Harlans did get a $2.4 million settlement from the city of Moberly.

All the people involved with the film were convinced Taser International would continue to come after them. But according to Berardini, the company has been quiet since the film was announced to play at the Tribeca Film Festival. And to Berardini's knowledge, no one at the company has seen the film yet.

Tuttle issued this statement to Business Insider, which we have included below in full, regarding the risk of death to those stunned by a Taser:

TASER® technology is the most extensively researched less-lethal weapon with more than 500 related reports and medical studies. These studies consistently have found that the TASER is generally safe and effective as a response to resistance option. In a 5-year TASER safety study by the US Department of Justice 'an expert panel of medical professionals concludes that the use of conducted energy devices by police officers on healthy adults does not present a high risk of death or serious injury.' A US DOJ funded study by the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center found that in 1201 randomly selected incidents, 99.75 percent of individuals subjected to a TASER device as part of an arrest procedure received no significant injury. The American Medical Association assessed that TASER devices are a 'safe and effective tool' and 'can save lives during interventions' when used appropriately. However, it is still a 'weapon' and it is not risk free and TASER provides in depth warnings to law enforcement to that effect; including that the weapon may cause death or serious injury.

Tuttle told Business Insider he had not seen the film.

But screenings of the film at Tribeca may have affected Taser International's bottom line. After the world premiere of the film, the company's stock began to fall. (Though, recently the stock has surged.)

Berardini and his team are shopping offers for distribution of the film. One of their hopes — especially with the influx of recent stories of officers using excessive force— is that they will get the film shown at police departments that use Tasers.

"The police still get the message from one source, Taser International," he said. "Police need to see this film so when they go out on the street they will think about what the consequences are of using the device."

"Killing Them Safely" opens in select theaters on Friday.


SEE ALSO: Why police sometimes shoot people instead of stunning them

MORE: The director of Netflix's next movie plucked his lead actor from the streets of Ghana

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NOW WATCH: Disney just released a new 'Star Wars: Episode VII' trailer and it's incredible

'Sharknado 3' originally had an even more bizarre ending


ian ziering sharknado 3

Warning: spoilers ahead

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” screenwriter Thunder Levin has been taking about having a sequence where sharks are in space since the end of the first film.

In the third edition of this unlikely franchise, he finally got his wish.

For the conclusion of “Sharknado 3,” the franchise hero Fin (Ian Ziering), his pregnant wife April (Tara Reid), and his father (David Hasselhoff) rocket off to space to stop the latest sharknado. But of course, sharks are up there too.

While Fin fights off sharks, one swallows April. Fin is also swallowed by a shark.

Sharknado 3 sharks in spaceWe follow Fin while he’s inside the shark as it reenters the Earth’s atmosphere.

Sharknado 3 shark reentryFin punches a hole in the shark and deploys his parachute out of the hole so he can safely land back on Earth.

Sharknado 3 shark chute

Sharknado 3 shark landingWhile he searches for the shark April is in...

Sharknado 3 land sharkHe see her chainsaw hand (long story if you've never seen the previous films) opening the shark she’s in. Then a newborn baby come out of the shark.

Sharknado 3 babyYes, April gave birth in a shark on reentry (only in "Sharknado").

Sharknado 3 familyBut according to Levin, the original ending was a little different.

“Fin and April are trapped in space and April gives birth,” Levin said. “The baby shoots out and a shark comes along and swallows it. April dives in after it, and Fin is swallowed by another shark. They then plummet to Earth.”

The birth idea was devised by Levin and “Sharknado” franchise director Anthony C. Ferrante backstage at Comic-Con last year.

Both scenarios were shot, but in post production the April-giving-birth-inside-shark version was chosen.

“That sequence of the baby being born in space you’ll see in the DVD version,” said Levin.

SEE ALSO: Mark Cuban is actually amazing in 'Sharknado 3' as the US president

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