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Here's your first look at the costumes from next year's 'Wonder Woman' movie


wonder woman bvs

Wonder Woman stole the show in "Batman v Superman," and next year she'll be getting her own movie.

Though we don't know too much about the film yet, Warner Bros. debuted a few of the costumes from the upcoming movie preview night at San Diego Comic-Con, the annual comic book and pop culture convention.

Four costumes were on display of the cast from the 2017 movie and Tech Insider was on hand to check them out.

Let's start off with Wonder Woman herself. She'll be played by Gal Gadot ("Fast and the Furious").

It looks like she has a different shield than the one seen in "Batman v Superman."

She also has a pretty cool looking fur.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A big spoiler involving The Joker in 'Suicide Squad' may have just been revealed by a toy company


joker suicide squad

Warning: Spoilers ahead for the upcoming "Suicide Squad" film.

Hot Toys, a Hong Kong-based toy company, may have just revealed a huge spoiler about the upcoming "Suicide Suicide" movie at their San Diego Comic-Con display. 

One of company's new toys based on the film features an odd-looking figure in a Batman suit, complete with green boots, gloves, and belt. But as Birth Death Movies points out, the toy seems to be a figure of The Joker dressed up as Batman, with the figure's exposed teeth matching the grill found on Jared Leto's Joker.

Several Comic Con-goers tweeted out close-up looks at the action figure, which reveal that the character does in fact have the word "Joker" written across his chest, seemingly in blood.

While we'll likely have to wait until the film premieres next month to see if this "spoiler" will pan out for Jared Leto's character, there is at least some precedent for The Joker dressing as Batman in the DC Comic universe. He once did so in a 2005 episode of the WB animated series "The Batman," as one Gizmodo commenter points out. 

"Suicide Squad" opens in theaters on August 5. 

Watch the trailer for the movie below:

SEE ALSO: Will Smith explains why his 'Suicide Squad' role is unlike anything else he's done

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The 'Divergent' franchise is scrapping its final movie and going straight to TV


insurgent shailene woodley theo james

“The Divergent Series: Ascendant” was slated to come out next year and be the final movie in the adaptation of the popular young-adult novel series about a futuristic world broken into factions. But in an unprecedented movie the studio behind the movies, Lionsgate, has decided to cancel the theatrical release of "Ascendant" and move the franchise over to TV.

According to Variety, Lionsgate is in the early stages of negotiations to make “Ascendant” a TV movie and also create a spinoff series for the small screen.

The franchise, led by actress Shailene Woodley as its star, came out of the gates hot when the first movie, 2014’s “Divergent,” earned over $288 million worldwide on an $85 million budget. A year later, “The Divergent Series: Insurgent” did even better with $297.2 million worldwide. 

But with the YA craze sputtering out around the same time the end of the popular “Hunger Games” franchise concluded late last year, the third “Divergent” movie, “Allegiant,” crashed with $179.2 million worldwide, with the film only earning $66.1 million domestically.

It seems Lionsgate hopes to save face and get as much as they can out of their investment of the franchise by turning to TV. However, according to Variety, there’s no word yet that Woodley or any of the other cast members from the movies will return for the “Ascendant” TV movie.

SEE ALSO: The 10 favorite TV shows of Democrats and Republicans

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NOW WATCH: Tom Hanks tries to land a plane on the Hudson River in the trailer for 'Sully'

The newest ‘Star Wars’ character shows just how gritty the movie will be


Edrio Two Tubes Star Wars Rogue One

The "Star Wars" booth at the San Diego Comic-Con has a new character on display: Edrio Two Tubes. Tubes is a mercenary pilot in the upcoming "Rogue One" spinoff movie.

According to the Star Wars Facebook page, Tubes is from the planet Yar Togna, which was conquered and occupied by the villainous Empire. He was forced to flee as a refugee, and he and his "eggmate" Benthic want revenge on the Empire. He's called "Two Tubes" because of the apparatus he uses to breathe oxygen.

"Rogue One" takes place before the events of 1977's "Star Wars: A New Hope" and is about a group of Rebel fighters trying to steal the plans for The Death Star From the Empire. Director Gareth Edwards has spoken about it as if it's a war movie. And, like all war movies, it looks complicated.

The introduction of a figure like Tubes indicates that "Rogue One" won't just be a "good guys versus bad guys" war movie. There are shades of gray here: he'll be against the Empire, but his motives aren't pure, and it's unclear if he'll be allied with the Rebellion at all.

We'll find out more about Edrio Two Tubes in "Rogue One," in theaters on December 16.

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JJ Abrams led a moving tribute to Anton Yelchin at the 'Star Trek' premiere


J.J. Abrams

"Star Trek Beyond" had its world premiere at the San Diego Comic-Con on Wednesday night. Before the movie screened at its outdoor venue, producer J.J. Abrams held a moment of silence for Anton Yelchin, who plays Pavel Chekov in the series and who died earlier this year at 27 in a car accident.

"As wonderful as this is to be here with all of you, and to be celebrating the 50th anniversary of 'Star Trek,' there is something wrong tonight,"Abrams said, according to Entertainment Weekly. "Anton Yelchin should be here."

Yelchin's parents were at the screening, and Abrams asked the audience to hold a moment of silence in his honor.

For the next minute, the only thing you could hear were singing birds.

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The last VCR company is finally shutting down production


Tech Insider readers who were born before the late 1990s have plenty of memories, both positive and negative, of VHS tapes. The big, cumbersome plastic cases took up tons of shelf space and you always needed to be kind and rewind the tapes you rented from the local video store.

Also, it's still the best way to officially own the original theatrical cuts of the first three "Star Wars" movies!

Well, there's bad news for the few of you who still had any interest in buying a new VCR for some reason: Funai Electric, a Japanese company that was the last bastion of VCR production, is turning off the assembly line by the end of July


The decidedly not-shocking news comes after Funai reported sales of just 750,000 VCR units last year, after selling 15 million on an annual basis at its peak.

I know what you're thinking: Almost a million people bought VCRs in 2015? That's pretty surprising, but there is a collector's market for these things.

Aside from the low sales, Funai also cited difficulty in acquiring the right parts to produce VCRs in a profitable manner. This is normal with technology, as devices become obsolete, making the specific parts required for their production increasingly difficult and expensive to produce. 

In all likelihood, you probably didn't know anyone was still making VCRs, so Funai shutting down production isn't major news for most people. On the other hand, it more or less signals the death of a media format that dominated home entertainment for decades; as VHS dies, it takes VHS-exclusive versions of movies like "Star Wars" with it.

Whether it's "Star Wars" or obscure, schlocky horror movies that can't be found elsewhere, they're part of cinematic history and the death of VHS without proper archival is a bit sad.

SEE ALSO: Pandora rejected an offer to sell itself for over $3.4 billion, report says

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NOW WATCH: The 'water-resistant' Samsung S7 Active failed the Consumer Reports dunk test

Here's how they film the insane car chases in the new 'Jason Bourne' movie


Jason Bourne Car Case

The "Bourne" franchise has become one of the most wildly successful action movie franchises in recent years. It is known for its first class action sequences.

The upcoming installment, "Jason Bourne," is no exception. 

A GIF posted on Reddit, originally released by Universal, that's going viral shows behind-the-scenes filming of a car chase from the latest Bourne installment. 

In the clip, a black car races through the Vegas strip, winding around other cars. In order to properly capture the scene, the crew attached a camera to a crane, which was then attached to one car. This then allowed them to follow the chase down the street. This is the standard way most car chases are filmed in Hollywood. 

But a practical effect like this wasn't without risk: at one point, they had to dodge an overpass. They likely had this planned out as to avoid disaster. 

You can find out how the stunt turned out when the new Jason Bourne movie comes out on July 29.

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NOW WATCH: This video proves the US Navy and US Marine Corps have the best diving boards and swimming pools

Here's the one thing that stumped 'Harry Potter' filmmakers


Black Family Tapestry tree Harry Potter

J.K. Rowling mostly kept her hands off the "Harry Potter" movies. She already said everything in the books.

She played close attention to certain details, and the filmmakers sought her approval, but for the most part, she left the people in charge of translating her magical world to film alone. They had thousands of pages of source material to work from.

"She was really happy to let everyone interpret them in their own way, and for each department," Miraphora Mina told INSIDER. Mina co-founded MinaLima, the graphic design firm that designed everything in the "Harry Potter" movies from Harry's Hogwarts' envelope to Voldemort's Horcruxes.

There was one part where Mina needed J.K. Rowling's help: The Black family tree.

The tree is in 12 Grimmauld Place, a magically disguised hideout in London where Harry first stays at the beginning of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." It's also the ancestral home of the Black family, of which Sirius Black, Harry's godfather, was a member. Most of the family was obsessed with their pure-blooded status (meaning they didn't have many muggles in the family), and they had an elaborate family tree on a tapestry to celebrate it. Sirius was erased from the tree when he ran away from home as a child.

"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" doesn't say too much about what's on the tree itself, although it does describe the tapestry:

The tapestry looked immensely old; it was faded and looked as though doxies had gnawed it in places; nevertheless, the golden thread with which it was embroidered still glinted brightly enough to show them a sprawling family tree dating back (as far as Harry could tell) to the Middle Ages.

Instead of appearing as a tapestry taking up a single wall, it appears in the movie as a wallpaper occupying an entire room. But Mina and her work partner, Eduardo Lima, didn't know what to put on it. Neither the book or script had the details.

Sirius Black Harry Potter

"It says 'there is a family tree,'" Mina said. "But our job as graphic designers is to present the whole thing, and we didn’t know who was related to who."

So they asked Rowling for help, and she provided an elaborate diagram of everyone's relationship with each other. Black Family tapestry Harry PotterAnd just like that, new information entered the "Harry Potter" canon. It not only accurately included the minute details of the tree from the books (like of Alphard Black being blacked out for taking Sirius in), it also added several generations of previously unknown Black family members.

It isn't the only time Rowling weighed in on designs in the "Harry Potter" movies, but in general, Mina said she was "generous and approving" of her own designs.

"I think she loved it all. It must have been strange for her to see it realized in material form," she said. "She even took a couple of books away, that we’ve made ... It’s the ultimate compliment."

In the forthcoming "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" movies, Rowling will have more involvement than she did in the "Harry Potter" ones. For one, Rowling wrote the script herself this time. She'll have control over every detail of the magical universe from the start.

Join the conversation about this story »

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The 15-year-old actress in Disney's next animated movie never had to officially audition for the role


moana aulii actress 0069

I'm standing at the back of a very long line for a San Diego Comic-Con panel on "Moana," Disney's newest animated feature, when I spot a young woman with long silky hair and a yellow flower tucked behind her ear. Her pastel-colored, Polynesian-inspired dress sweeps the floor, and pops among the dozen publicists and security guards around her.

It's 15-year-old Hollywood newcomer Auli'i Cravalho, who voices the lead character in "Moana."

She may not realize it yet, but this Thanksgiving, Cravalho will become the next role model for young girls everywhere in the form of a pint-sized, Pacific Islander teen. Surprisingly enough, Cravalho landed the role without even a formal audition — a testament to how well suited she is to become Disney's most fearless princess yet.


"I didn't officially try out," Cravalho tells Tech Insider, when I ditch the line for her panel to talk to her. She auditioned instead for a local nonprofit event at the time. "The casting woman who was going through those auditions was the same casting director for Disney's ["Moana"]. She looked at my audition and the rest is history."

It's not hard to see how Cravalho, who was the last actress that casting director Rachel Sutton saw, blew away the House of Mouse.

First, she's unbearably cute. When I ask Cravalho how she pronounces her first name, Auli'i (which means dainty or cute in Hawaiian), she says, "It's 'ow,' like you stubbed your toe, 'lee,' like Bruce Lee, and then another 'ee.'" She throws in a karate kick for good measure.

More importantly, the young actress has the heart to match her character, Moana, a Polynesian girl around the same age.


The movie follows Moana on an epic oceanic journey 2,000 years ago. Her ancestors once traveled the world by a system of navigation called wayfinding, where voyagers look to the ocean currents and stars for guidance. But their way of life mysteriously ended — a plotline based on real Polynesian history.

Moana shares her ancestors' draw to the water and sets out to restore this integral part of their culture. In order to do so, she must find a demigod, played by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and deliver him across the ocean.

"Throughout her journey and the movie, she further realizes she's an amazing individual and she doesn't have to be anybody else," Cravalho says. It's a story the young actress finds relatable.

moana panel sdcc

"I personally feel like I've kind of blossomed into who I'm meant to be, and I love this journey that I'm on," she says. "Each Disney princess is unique in their own way, but Moana is especially close to my heart because she's Polynesian."

Cravalho, a high school sophomore, was born and raised on the Hawaiian Islands. She's performed in backyard plays, but "Moana" marks her first major film role.

"Moana" hits theaters November 23, which Cravalho proudly announces is the day after her 16th birthday.

"How sweet is my birthday going to be?" she squeals. Pretty sweet indeed.

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NOW WATCH: Lin-Manuel Miranda and The Rock team up in the trailer for Disney's 'Moana'

The new James Bond movie might not hit theaters until 2018


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All the talk about James Bond recently has revolved around who is going to replace current 007 Daniel Craig, though there has been no official word that he's leaving the franchise just yet (despite his comments). 

Now it sounds like everyone involved in the franchise is hitting the pause button, as it seems the twenty-fifth Bond movie won't hit screens until 2018. 

Longtime producer of the franchise, Barbara Broccoli, is currently in production on the movie "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," starring Jamie Bell and Annette Bening, and according to The Sun, a source close to Broccoli said the producer is planning on producing two other projects before jumping back into Bond.

"It will give her time to work out a script and try to convince Daniel [Craig] to maybe return," the source told The Sun.

Craig will next be seen in the TV series, "Purity," in 2017 and is attached to the movie, "Logan Lucky," which is supposedly being directed by Steven Soderbergh and would mark his return to feature film directing after a now four-year retirement.  

If we take all this at face value, late 2018 sounds about right for a Bond movie to come out if all these plans happen. 

But Broccoli could postpone one of the films she wants to make next year, and Soderbergh likely isn't on a strict timetable to make another feature (if he is at all). What's certain is that neither Broccoli nor Craig are itching to get back at making a Bond movie in the immediate future. 

The most recent 007 movie, "Spectre," grossed $880.6 million worldwide at the box office.

Sony, the studio behind the Bond franchise, did not return Business Insider's request to comment.

SEE ALSO: Season 3 of "Silicon Valley" was almost completely different

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The hidden lines behind 10 masterfully composed cinematic shots


kill bill composition cam

The composition of your favorite scene from a show or movie may have more to do with the placement of the objects on screen than we realize.

Raymond Thi, the founder of the app "Composition Cam" that helps people plan symmetrical or proportioned shots, created an equally interesting Instagram account and Twitter account dedicated to revealing the hidden lines in some classic movies.

Broken down like this, it becomes obvious why these movies are so visually pleasing. Keep reading to see some examples from the designer of the app:

The still from season five of "Game of Thrones" shows simple symmetry.

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Harry Potter and Snape both frame this still from "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" movie.

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The mid-sink Titanic creates a line right across the screen for this shot from the '90s film.

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See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A new poster for the upcoming 'Harry Potter' spinoff gives a glimpse of the movie’s bad guys


fantastic beasts poster

The upcoming "Harry Potter" film "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" keeps looking better and better.

Ahead of the panel at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Warner Bros. released a new poster for the film on the "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" Twitter account.

It stars Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne as magizoologist Newt Scamander. In the background, 1920s New York City rises around him and the emblem for the Magical Congress of the United States sits above his head. There’s even a little animal trying to get out of his magical suitcase.

What’s even more interesting are the snapshots of his fellow stars on the side. On the left hand column are Katherine Waterston as a MACUSA employee (and potential love interest) named Porpentina "Tina" Goldstein, Dan Fogler as the bumbling No-Maj Jacob Kowalski, and Samantha Morton as the scary Mary Lou, who we know is the leader of a group called the Second Salemers.

On the right hand side is Colin Farrell as the auror Graves, Alison Sudol as Tina's sister Queenie Goldstein, and finally Ezra Miller as Credence, Mary Lou’s adopted son.

As Entertainment Weekly points out, this is the first time fans are seeing Mary Lou and her mysterious son Credence in the movie. Previously, we’ve only known about the Second Salemers, a dangerous No-Maj group who want to destroy magic, witches, and wizards at all costs. This is our first glimpse of the likely antagonists of the film in character (as well as their straight-edge bangs).

fantastic beasts

Samantha Morton


Apart from the Second Salemers, the movie will follow Newt Scamander (the author behind one of Harry's textbooks), as he visits New York City in 1926. He comes to NYC from London with a briefcase full of magical creatures.

The problem? Some of the creatures wind up getting loose and biting a No-Maj, and it's up to Scamander to get them back.

"Fantastic Beasts" will be in theaters in November, and Warner Bros. will be taking over Hall H this Saturday at San Diego's Comic-Con at 11:30 a.m. PT.

Keep up with Tech Insider on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest from Comic-Con.

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Fans are going crazy for this 'Star Wars' toy that is selling out at Comic-Con


San Diego Comic-Con 2016 officially kicked off Thursday, and while attendees are lining up to get into the coveted Hall H for some of the show's biggest panels, others are going after the convention exclusives. 

Among the most popular are the "Star Wars" Black Series figurines at Hasbro's toy booth. The big ticket items are an unmasked Kylo Ren action figure, Obi-Wan Kenobi complete with a princess Leia hologram, and the first "Rogue One" toy, Jyn Erso.

kylo ren star wars celebration 2016star wars obi wan kenobi sdcc 2016jyn erso rogue one.JPG

Erso was first introduced at "Star Wars Celebration" earlier this month and is selling for $24.95 at SDCC. Tech Insider was told that all three toys were sold out by early Thursday afternoon for the day.

If you're not able to snag one at the Con, we were able to get our hands on the first "Rogue One" toy to unbox and show you what's inside.

Here's the elaborate box Jyn comes inside.

Disney and Hasbro don't mess around with the packaging.

The other side gives us a little more info about Sergeant Jyn Erso.

Here's what that text on the side says:

"A highly skilled soldier in the rebel alliance, Sergeant Jyn Erso is an impetuous, defiant warrior eagerto bring the battle to the empire. Jyn has little patience for debate within alliance high command, enough so that she takes matters into her own hands."

It sounds like Erso's a little hot-headed. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Why even people who don’t like 'Star Trek' will love the new 'Beyond' movie


Star Trek Beyond

"Star Trek" had the lofty task of winning back the hearts of its loyal fans this year. 

"Star Trek Into Darkness," the last entrance in the "Star Trek" franchise, divided just about everybody by trying to hide a twist that any person could see from a mile away.

Now, the Enterprise crew has earned back a lot of goodwill with "Star Trek Beyond," a fine sequel and an excellent adventure into deep space. In "Beyond," Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), and the rest of the USS Enterprise crew face a new enemy named Krall (Idris Elba), who wants to destroy everything that the Federation stands for. 

But here's the thing: "Star Trek" didn't just have to win back their die hard fans, they also had to win back the millions of other people who go to the movies and just want to watch a motorcycle chase in outer space.

I consider myself in the latter category.

I can't call myself a Trekkie. I consider this no fault of the series itself. It's just that if I had to choose what science fiction I consume, I always found myself leaning towards "Star Wars" and "The Twilight Zone." Perhaps the biggest achievement of "Star Trek Beyond" is that it makes non-fans feel like they've been a part of the universe from the beginning.

It adds an awesome new character.


"Beyond" adds a brand new character to the world with Jaylah (Sofia Boutella). She manages to steal the spotlight even from some of the most established and legendary characters, offering both heart and kick ass fight scenes. 

The fact that there's a new character walking around that fits perfectly into this world allows anyone watching to feel like they can fit right in as well. It also doesn't hurt that "Star Trek Beyond" has the kind of richly diverse cast that Hollywood has been looking for. 

The characters feels like they are part of a family.

Star Trek Beyond

The two most recent "Star Trek" installments were directed by J.J. Abrams. "Beyond" was helmed by Justin Lin, who has worked on multiple Fast & Furious movies. As Matt Singer pointed out in ScreenCrush, Lin has a talent for making his cast of characters feel like "a real family."

And family transcends franchise. 

Just watching these characters interact is a joy. One of the best moments in the film comes when Kirk and McCoy (Karl Urban) bond over a bottle of bourbon they stole from Chekhov (Anton Yelchin). Kirk jokes that he assumed that Chekhov would've been a "clear liquor" kind of guy. It gives the sense that these people know each other beyond the plot. This isn't just something a decades old series should be doing; this is just good writing and filmmaking right there. 

It builds awe-inspiring new worlds.

Star Trek Beyond

I found myself slack-jawed at a few parts of "Star Trek Beyond." There's one planet they visit that is basically a revolving space station covered in skyscrapers. It's the best kind of sci-fi: something that should exist in the future, and something that you only could have imagined in your wildest dreams. 

You don't have to be a "Star Trek" fan to appreciate this; you just have to be a fan of movies and big, bold ideas. 

The movie wraps up with a declaration of the "Star Trek" mission:

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

After watching "Beyond," this mission becomes an exciting promise. 

As great as, say, the Marvel Cinematic Universe can be (and it did reach new highs this year with "Captain America: Civil War"), the reason it is so alienating is that it often doesn't feel welcoming to non-comic book fans. Marvel seems more committed to bringing moments from the comics to life, rather than creating something new. "Star Trek," meanwhile, promises to take us to brand new places we've never been before. 

Begging for completely original, big summer blockbusters at this point feels pointless. Perhaps one day, studios will again take more risks on new ideas. But for now, we are in the middle of a tentpole-focused era. The best thing you can do is what "Star Trek Beyond" achieved: making every casual fan feel like a Trekkie for two hours.  

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Idris Elba says there have been 'no talks' about him playing James Bond


idris elba

Another actor whom fans what to see be the next James Bond has said a familiar line — "there have been no talks."

When asked about the possibility of being the next Bond, Idris Elba told Michael Strahan on "Good Morning America" on Thursday that there have been "no talks" between him and the famous franchise's producers.

"It's the wildest rumor in the world," said Elba, who was on the show to promote his new movie, "Star Trek Beyond."

"If I'm really honest, man, I think I'm too old for that," said Elba, 43. "I can't be running around in cars, and ladies and martinis — who wants to do that?"

Well, that last part might have been Elba having a little fun. Daniel Craig, the current Bond, is 48, and unless he decides to hang it up, the producers still want him to do another movie.

When asked in June about the chance of being the next Bond, Tom Hiddleston, another supposed 007 front-runner, had a similar tone, telling an audience that "your guess is as good as mine."

But don't worry, Elba fans, you'll be getting a lot of him in the coming year. Elba is shooting the adaptation of the Stephen King novel "The Dark Tower," and he will star opposite Hiddleston in "Thor: Ragnarok." Both are coming out in 2017.

Here's Elba talking about Bond on "GMA."

SEE ALSO: The new James Bond movie might not hit theaters until 2018

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These 'Star Wars' experts gave an incredibly simple explanation on how lightsabers work


star wars the force awakens sith lightsaber

For over 40 years, "Star Wars" fans have marveled at the lightsaber. It's a weapon that seems to defy science, with a blade of lasers shooting out, but not infinitely, from a hilt.

At San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, a group of scientists, writers, and "Star Wars" experts offered an incredibly simple definition of how the lightsaber works.

"It's a laser that shoots out from something and is pulled back in, so it's like a ... a doughnut that's stretched out," explains Eliot Sirota, a digital artist with over 20 years of 3D modeling experience.

The laser is contained in a force field of sorts, possibly by opposing magnetic fields on each end of the lightsaber.   

While using a lightsaber may be as easy as turning it on, fight choreographer Steve Huff says it takes a lot more to wield a lightsaber with the skill of a Jedi.

finn luke lightsaber

"The thing about the Force is, you don't have to have the Force to be able to use it," Huff says. "You have to master the Force in order to be able to use it to its full ability."

That's why in "Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace" Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn can cut through a blast door aboard a Trade Federation Ship without generating so much heat that he burns himself, Huff explains.

The group joked that, with such a sound understanding of how lightsabers work, we should expect to see them on Kickstarter soon.

Keep up with Tech Insider on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest from Comic-Con.

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‘Harry Potter’ filmmakers reveal the most complicated thing in the movies


Harry Potter Marauder's Map

When designing the "Harry Potter" universe on screen, everything had to be consistent. It's an elaborate world, and just one slip could ruin the magic.

But there was one major problem the filmmakers faced over and over again: the series wasn't finished.

Half of the "Harry Potter" movies were made before J.K. Rowling finished the books. So when some things were introduced early in the story, it wasn't clear how they'd be important later on.

One complicated prop in particular needed to reveal a lot more: The Marauder's Map. It's a magical map of Hogwarts' grounds that reveals the location of everyone on it.

Marauders map harry potter

The Map first appears in Harry's third year at Hogwarts. In "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," Harry uses it to discover Peter Pettigrew, the man who betrayed the location of his parents to Lord Voldemort. But it's useful, and Harry ends up using it in his later years at Hogwarts.

Miraphora Mina, co-founder of the graphic design firm MinaLima, was one of the three people who designed everything in the "Harry Potter" movies. She didn't anticipate the scope of the map's importance after "Prisoner of Azkaban," or how to show parts of Hogwarts that weren't known be known in earlier films.

She solved the problem by making it a little more magical.

"The thing is, it’s designed in such a way where when you unfold it, it’s a mystery," Lina said. "You don’t quite know what layer you’re on. It’s like a scroll. And so we were able to keep adding new layers of map, and layers of school, into the design of it."

As the films progressed, she added new things to different layers of the map. The map was based on the architectural drawings of Hogwarts made by Stuart Craig. Because it's it's enormous, it's folded up to become portable.

Here's what the map looked like in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," at the 47 second mark:

With each subsequent movie, different parts of the folded map were revealed, with previously unknown parts of Hogwarts added on. In "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," for example, MinaLima added a corridor on the seventh floor.

It was also tricky because the map itself had such a complicated design. It was made by Harry's father, James Potter, and his friends Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew, and Remus Lupin while they were themselves students at Hogwarts a couple of decades earlier. Mina dug into their characters to design the map, rather than making it look like a treasure map or something more generic. Having flickering, animated, and handwritten lettering helped. 

 "We knew they were smart kids with a lot of cunning and craftiness, and with very good imaginations," she said. "So we came up with something that was sort of whimsical, but it also had a sort of intelligence, which is why we wanted to have all the words."

There are other objects throughout the "Harry Potter" series that turn out to have later significance. The most prominent example is Tom Riddle's diary in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets." In the sixth book, we learn it turned out by the to be a horcrux, an object housing a fragment of Voldemort's soul.

But there are few objects as complicated as the Marauder's Map that had to appear so much onscreen. And every movie revealed a new layer of its design.

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The crazy, drug-fueled story behind one of Hollywood's most notorious lost movies


BI_Graphic_Dennis Hopper The Last Movie_2x1

High above the busy streets of Hollywood, Universal head Lew Wasserman is puzzled. His research team has come back to him with data telling the sad truth about the current movie business. Young people no longer want the flashy musicals, Westerns, and gangster movies that ruled the 1950s and early '60s, and they especially don’t want movie stars. They want reality.
It’s 1969 and “Easy Rider” is the latest counterculture movie to be a hit (it was made for $500,000 and grossed $60 million). Kids are flocking to see movies that are different and more relatable to them, like “Bonnie and Clyde” and “The Graduate” in 1967. In this case, the movie is about a pair of long-haired hippies on motorcycles who get high and spout about how the country is going to hell.

Wasserman can no longer ignore it. If the elderly studio head doesn’t act fast, Universal is going to be in worse shape than it is right now.

With the “can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” attitude that’s a Hollywood hallmark, Universal quickly creates a division dedicated to the youth market. It green-lights movies with a max budget of $1 million each, with the cast paid scale and the director getting final cut. 

But the new division needs stories. It so happens that Dennis Hopper, the director, star, and cowriter of “Easy Rider,” has an idea for a movie he’s been trying to make for the last decade called “The Last Movie.”

Easy Rider Movie

It's been 45 years since "The Last Movie" had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the festival’s Critics Prize. It was the only highlight for the film, which by the time of its theatrical release a month later in New York City became an infamous box-office bomb.

To this day, “The Last Movie” has never been available to audiences beyond its initial run and a VHS release in 1993. Instead, following Hopper's death in 2010, it's best known for the tales of drug use and partying that went on throughout the creation of it.

Business Insider recently talked to some of the people who were around Hopper during the making of “The Last Movie,” as well as Marin Hopper, daughter of the legendary actor/filmmaker, who is one of the trustees of the Hopper estate and current rights holder of “The Last Movie.” We wanted to uncover what really led to the demise of this lost classic and if it will ever see the light of day again.

A risky bet on New Hollywood's rebel

Dennis Hopper, 34, was struggling with his ultimate personal vision, “The Last Movie,” when Universal came calling. 

Though Hopper was suddenly a player in Hollywood thanks to “Easy Rider” tapping into the counterculture, he couldn’t get the production company behind the movie to green-light his passion project. A big reason: Hopper had decided not just to direct but also to play the lead in the movie after he couldn’t find the right actor during a series of auditions.  

Universal had heard all the stories of Hopper’s erratic behavior over the years, first as an up-and-coming actor who had small parts in the James Dean movies “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Giant” (he admired Dean immensely), then as a bit player on a slew of TV shows, where he got little respect and gave even less back. And then there were his off-set antics involving drugs, fights, and firearms.

But the studio was willing to gamble and agreed to make the picture on an $850,000 budget. Hopper got paid just $500 a week, according to the book about '70s Hollywood “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls,” but he retained complete control of the making of "The Last Movie."

Hopper lost 30 pounds and cleaned up his look for “The Last Movie” by shaving his mustache and cutting his long hair, the memorable traits from his “Easy Rider” role. 

The Last Movie still1In the movie, written by Stewart Stern, Hopper plays Kansas, a stuntman from the Midwest working on a Billy the Kid Western shot in Peru. But after a tragedy on the set, Kansas decides to give up on movies and stays behind in the foreign country. With dreams of finding gold in the mountains, his life becomes complicated when he’s told by the village priest that natives are “filming” a movie with a camera made of sticks and causing violence because they aren’t aware that movies are fake. Eventually Kansas becomes their next victim.

The baby-faced Hopper informed Universal that he would be making the movie in Peru. What that studio didn't know was the region had become the cocaine capital of the world.

“Every coke head in LA wanted to work on the picture in order to smuggle drugs back up north,” author Peter Biskind wrote in “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls.” 

'It was one long sex-and-drugs orgy'

The cast touched down in the small Peruvian town of Chinchero in January of 1970, and needless to say, none of the locals knew what they were about to witness.

Suddenly the town was crawling with stars like Peter Fonda, Dean Stockwell, Michele Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas (who was briefly married to Hopper), legendary director Samuel Fuller, and Kris Kristofferson, many of whom were indulging in the region’s healthy supply of cocaine.

“Of course there was plenty of good cocaine,” Dean Stockwell, who played Billy the Kid in "Last Movie's" film-within-a-film, told Uncut. “The natives there would happily give you leaves to chew on, and there was this little type of rock that’s got certain minerals in it, that precipitates the effect out of the leaves, and they all chew it. There was what you’d call processed coke as well. Was I aware of the amount of drugs being consumed out there? Yeah, oh yeah. But we kept it to ourselves, apart from the leaves, which everyone was doing. We weren’t stupid, we were just stoned.”

But reporting from the set for Life magazine, Brad Darrach described a more raucous environment:

“Somebody made a cocaine connection and a number of actors laid in a large supply at bargain prices — $7 for a packet that costs $70 in the States. By 10 p.m. almost 30 members of the company were sniffing coke or had turned on with grass, acid, or speed. By midnight, much of the cast had drifted off to bed by twos and threes. At 2 a.m. I was awakened by screams. A young actress had taken LSD and was ‘having a bummer.’ At 3 a.m.,  I heard a rapping on the window beside my bed. A young woman I hadn’t met was standing on a wide ledge that ran along the side of the hotel just below the windowsill. It was raining and her nightgown was drenched. ‘Do you mind if I come in?’ she asked vaguely.”

And things only got crazier as the production went on. 

Darrach wrote that one night a group threw a “whipping party” in which an actor chained a girl to a porch post and thinking she looked like Joan of Arc, lit a fire at her feet. Another actor swallowed five peyote buds too quickly and almost died.

“It was one long sex-and-drugs orgy,” Hopper admitted to Uncut about the production of "The Last Movie."“Wherever you looked there were naked people out of their f---ing minds. But I wouldn’t say it got in the way. It helped us get the movie done. We might have been drug addicts but we were drug addicts with a work ethic... The drugs, the drink, the insane sex, they all fueled our creativity.”

The Last Movie still3According to Darrach’s reporting, most of the shooting was improvised. Hopper’s drive to tell something real and un-Hollywood led to little structure. Hopper and other key crew members would talk out scenes on-set and then shoot them immediately.

But Hopper also showed his genuine talents as a director — albeit not always responsibly. When he wasn’t getting the performances that he wanted, Darrach wrote that Hopper would halt production and put on a performance of his own to evoke the emotion he sought. In one instance, he got an actress worked up to the point of hysterics and then put the camera right on her as she cried uncontrollably.

“If I foul up now, they’ll say ‘Easy Rider’ was a fluke,” Hopper said on the set of the movie. “But I’ve got to take chances to do what I want.”

After production wrapped in Peru, Hopper notified Universal executives that he was headed to Taos, New Mexico, to edit the movie. He told them it would take a year to complete. 

The moment that 'destroyed the film'

If “Easy Rider” was any indication, the editing of “The Last Movie” would not be a smooth experience. And to distract Hopper even more from the task at hand, he agreed to be the subject of a faux-documentary about himself.

For "The American Dreamer," directors Lawrence Schiller and L.M. Kit Carson filmed Hopper in Taos while he was in postproduction on "The Last Movie," though this was hardly a nonfiction work.

"This is an actor playing an actor in a film that's supposed to be a documentary," Schiller told Business Insider.

According to the codirector, the idea was to make something that could play on the college circuit leading up to the release of "The Last Movie," further building up Hopper as an icon for a new generation.

Now with a beard and long hair, Hopper seemed more interested in living the life of a vagabond than finishing a major movie.

american dreamer bond360 final“The thing I remember most is the strong smell Dennis had,” filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky told Business Insider via email when asked about his memories of visiting Hopper at that time. "He was drugged up, as he always was, and he slept fully clothed. Ugh, the smell!"

Though Hopper put on a face of control and confidence among his hangers-on in Taos, internally he was struggling to find “The Last Movie” in the editing room. Hopper asked Jodorowsky, among many others, to see a cut of the movie. The Chilean director, known for cult surrealist classics "El Topo" and "The Holy Mountain," did and gave Hopper a harsh criticism. 

Legend has it that after watching "The Last Movie," Jodorowsky told Hopper that he had failed and only made a conventional Hollywood movie. This motivated Hopper to destroy that cut of the movie and completely redo it with a more experimental eye.

But Jodorowsky told Business Insider that isn't the whole story. He didn't just give advice to Hopper — he got involved in the cutting, too.

"With the help of an assistant, I sat in font of an editing machine and in two days edited the entire movie," Jodorowsky said. "What was left was a magnificent version."

Hopper didn't settle on Jodorowsky's version. He continued to tinker with the edit, which is what Schiller and Carson found themselves walking into when they began filming Hopper for "The American Dreamer."

"I have great regard for Jodorowsky," Schiller said. "Don't get me wrong, he does incredible experimental films, but I think that f---ed around with Dennis' head. He felt all of a sudden here's somebody I respect and he's telling me I got to do it entirely different. I think that's what destroyed the film."

"A samurai never repents," Jodorowsky said of his version of "The Last Movie. "This truth can hide but cannot ever hurt. One of these days someone will find my version, which I feel would have saved the movie."

the last movie.still 089Though "The American Dreamer" isn't a straight-up documentary, it's honest when Hopper talks about how audiences will react to "The Last Movie."

"If it's nothing more than 'The Magnificent Ambersons,' Orson Welles' second film that made no money, I'll be a very happy man," Hopper said in the movie. "If the audience doesn't accept it then it will be a long, long, long time before we can dream about that audience that I thought was there."

"In that scene he's already telling us that he's going to fail," Schiller said, looking back on it now.

Following the award-winning Venice premiere in August of 1971, the movie played in New York City, and no one showed up. (Universal executives insisted on Hopper recutting the movie, but with his full control, he refused.) Hopper had made a film that even baffled his core hippie audience. In two weeks, it was gone from theaters.

A year after gracing the cover of Life magazine, Dennis Hopper was now an outcast in Hollywood. Though he'd find acting work, he wouldn't direct another movie for close to a decade.

The rebirth of 'The Last Movie'

“I think my movie, personally, is one of the most important films that have ever been made in America... I don’t know if anyone is going to see it, but I feel the film is going to take care of itself in time and be around as long as there are films.” —Dennis Hopper talking about “The Last Movie” on “The Merv Griffin Show” in 1971

The failure of "The Last Movie" served as a lesson in what became known as "The New Hollywood" of the 1970s. Studios were willing to give control to bright filmmakers eager to tell new stories, but they also wanted to make a profit.

Wasserman's strategy turned out to be flawed. Yes, young audiences rejected conventional stars and Westerns, but they also weren't keen on movies that were too real and obtuse. Later, as the decade and "The New Hollywood" waned, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas would pave the way for the new model that sustains the business to this day: the summer blockbuster.

TheLastMovie11But thanks to Hopper's iconic career, "The Last Movie" has grown more fascinating to audiences who never got a chance to see it.

The movie is far from terrible. Though its jump cutting makes story structure a challenge, in the numerous times I've watched it (if you dig deep on the internet, you can find a bootleg copy), I see a powerful story about the death of the American Dream, though Hopper delivered that message better in "Easy Rider."

The breaking of the fourth wall and improvisation (there are a few scenes that really shine) have a mix of comedy and pathos. And the beautiful cinematography of the Peruvian landscape by "Easy Rider" DP László Kovács and Kris Kristofferson's original songs give off that unmistakable '60s feel.

Hopper saw that the film could have a second life, so in the early 2000s he bought the rights to "The Last Movie" from Universal. For years he held private screenings of the movie (it's also been shown at a few film festivals), and there was even a moment when he and Stern thought of remaking it with Hopper directing once more and a younger actor in the lead. But that idea never materialized into anything serious.

The Last Movie still8Marin Hopper told Business Insider there is currently no set plan to re-release "The Last Movie," though she's been working to get it off the ground. She said it was something her father was still striving for before dying of prostate cancer at the age of 74.

"It was an exciting time when he got the rights back," Marin said. She recalls her father sending her a pouch of Peruvian blue opals while he was filming the movie when she was a young girl. "He thought it was such an important work."

Hopper hopes to not just resurrect the movie, but also create something that crosses over into other mediums.

"It's our desire to release it in a luxurious way, with an art book, as there are a lot of beautiful set photos, and then there's Kris Kristofferson's songs," she said. "We want to celebrate all of that."

It's still in the "idea stage," but there's hope for this sex-and-drugs-fueled vision yet.

"We're moving along," she adds. "It's all coming soon."


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