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Four key ways the science of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' is surprisingly sound


star wars last jedi

  • Scientists who love Star Wars say the movies are science fantasy, not science fiction.
  • That distinction means the audience is immersed in an alternate universe where not all forces act the way they do on Earth.
  • But there are a few very believable ways the franchise employs technology and physics to craft a credible story. 

You might assume that "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," which is still set in a “galaxy far, far away,” would have little to do with the physics life on Earth.

But a high-profile physicist disagrees. 

Kevin Grazier is a planetary physicist who designed the software NASA used to explore Saturn on its Cassini mission. Grazier, a computer science professor at West Point, also made sure the cinematic science was sound in films like "Gravity" and the TV series "Battlestar Galactica."

He acknowledges that you have to suspend a good deal of scientific disbelief to get on board with some parts of "The Last Jedi."

The idea that a lightsaber that can cut, melt, and burn through just about anything, and the notion that Jedis can use a force to project themselves into distant battlegrounds are both pretty far-fetched. For a devoted Star Wars fan like Grazier, that's okay.

“Does it matter if that science is inaccurate? No,” he told Business Insider.

But there are a few surprising ways that some of the franchise's boldest ideas are grounded in not-so-far-off scientific principles and technology.

Here are four of the coolest ways that the characters in Star Wars are (almost) like us. 

SEE ALSO: The wildest scientific discoveries of 2017

Robots like C-3PO and BB-8 are plausible future helpers.

The way the Star Wars crew employs artificial intelligence is not so far from reality.

“In the not too distant future we will probably have droids that are as smart as C-3PO and BB-8” Grazier said. 

Currently, Google’s AI is doing okay at a handful of languages — whereas C-3PO is fluent in over 6,000. But researchers are betting that Google’s AI is going to get much smarter in the coming years — in 2014, it was estimated to have an IQ around 26.5, but by 2016, Google AI had nearly doubled its smarts to an IQ of 47.3. That's still not as sharp as an average six-year-old, but it's an impressive leap.

Last week, scientists at NASA announced they’d successfully employed Google’s machine learning to track down two new planets. 

Meanwhile, a robot named Sophia managed to become the first AI of its kind granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia earlier this year. Sophia still sounds very robotic, but it can converse without pre-programmed responses — a potential first step towards more robot helpers for humans.

Moving at warp speed is a possibility that can't be ruled out.

Is it possible to travel faster than the speed of light like the valiant Rebellion fighters do?

Grazier said there’s scientific evidence that other dimensions could exist beyond our familiar four dimensions of space and time. That's a potential reality that quantum physicists wrestle with every day. If the multiverse does exist, it’s possible that alternate universes and dimensions don’t share the physical laws of our own.

That idea is ripe for exploration in a fictional series like "Star Wars," since we don’t have definitive answers to properly refute it. Grazier said the question marks about the laws of quantum physics are big enough that "you can sell this as a way to travel faster than light."

'The Force' may actually be with you.

The forces we experience on Earth may not operate like the powerful, people-projecting, weapon-deflecting one in "Star Wars"— but force fields do happen here. 

“If there’s a magnetic field and a charged particle passes through it, it will experience a force,” Grazier said. "That’s a real-life force field."

But channeling enough force to project a hologram to a distant battle is, of course, unrealistic. 

“It’s the degree, amount, rate, that makes it impossible,” Grazier said. 

Still, some force fields on Earth are nearly as mysterious as those in the movies.

A report in The New York Times about the US government's efforts to investigate potential UFO sightings described an incident in which pilots saw something bizarre on their screens in flight.

“They’re seeing an object that seems to have a force field — as they describe it — around it, that’s hovering before it suddenly disappears out of the sky as soon as they think they’re getting a radar lock on it,” Times Reporter Helene Cooper said on The Daily podcast.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

14 cameos you probably missed while watching 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'


finn rose the last jedi

Warning: There are spoilers ahead if you haven't seen "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" surprised fans with the return of an iconic character, but it also delivered a lot of unexpected cameos you may have missed from celebrities and actors.

2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" also had plenty of cameos ranging from superfan Simon Pegg to 007, Daniel Craig. So it should be of little surprise that more celebrities wanted in this time around. 

From princes to musicians and a second secret role for Mark Hamill, keep reading to see who popped up in "The Last Jedi."

We'll continue adding to this as more stars reveal their roles in the movie.

SEE ALSO: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' director Rian Johnson reacts to the backlash and addresses the movie's most shocking moments

"The Leftovers" actor Justin Theroux played an important minor role on Canto Bight.

Let's start with an easy one. Theroux played the master codebreaker Finn and Rose were searching for on Canto Bight. You may have been thrown off by the accent and graying hair.

Model and actress Lily Cole plays the woman on his arm, Lovey.

Did you spot the actress on the master codebreaker's arm?

Carrie Fisher's dog, Gary, inspired a space dog on Canto Bight.

His cameo was first noted on Twitter earlier in December. You can actually spot Gary in one of the film's official photos.

Director Rian Johnson confirmed the "space Gary" role on Twitter to an eagle-eyed viewer


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Why 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' didn't bring back a character fans thought they may see


luke skywalker tlj

Warning: There are spoilers ahead for "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" has plenty of big celebrity cameos and features the return of one iconic character.

While fans were happy to see a fan favorite, there's one character some fans were hoping to see in "The Last Jedi" who didn't get any screen time.

This is your last chance to head back before spoilers.

star wars last jedi luke

When Luke decides to burn down a sacred Jedi tree on Ahch-To, Master Jedi Yoda appears as a Force Ghost to his former student.

The two catch up and watch the tree burn to the ground as Yoda reassures Luke that Rey has all the tools she needs to move forward

Though fans were excited to see Yoda back on screen — there were numerous cheers elicited in theaters each time we've seen the movie, some were hoping we may see the return of another iconic character: Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Any "Star Wars" fan knows Ben Kenobi went to live on Tatooine to watch over the young Skywalker, even if it was from afar. Kenobi was the first Jedi Master to reveal himself to Luke and helped show him how to wield a lightsaber. 

luke skywalker obi wan kenobi

(Let's be honest, Kenobi probably felt he owed it to train Luke a bit in the Force since he screwed up with Anakin.)

Kenobi's voice — both young and old — can be heard in "The Force Awakens" as well. As of August, a standalone movie for the Jedi is in early stages, too. Ewan McGregor, who played a younger version of Kenobi in the prequel trilogy, told our sister site Business Insider "it would be fun" to reprise his character in a future movie. 

All of the signs were there to have Kenobi pop up again. It would be a great way to set up a future spin-off movie.

Why Obi-Wan didn't appear in "The Last Jedi"

obi wan kenobi star wars revenge of the sith

During a post-screening Q&A of the movie Friday, director Rian Johnson summed up why Luke didn't see Kenobi pretty succinctly.

"If we had brought Ewan in, it would have been fun, but Mark as Luke has never had a relationship with the Ewan version of Obi-Wan," said Johnson, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Alec Guinness, who played Kenobi in the original trilogy, died in 2000. 

Since Kenobi's voice was heard several times over in "The Force Awakens" during Rey's Force vision, it probably would have made more sense for his spirit to communicate with Rey. Honestly, we're still waiting for that pay-off. 

Hopefully, we'll get some sort of answer and closure to that mystery in "Episode IX."

You can follow along with our "The Last Jedi" coverage here.

SEE ALSO: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' director Rian Johnson reacts to the backlash and addresses the movie's most shocking moments

Join the conversation about this story »

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Angry 'Star Wars' fans claim they maliciously drove down the audience score for 'The Last Jedi' on a major review site


rey last jedi

Warning: Minor spoilers ahead for "Star Wars: The Last Jedi." 

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" is shaping up to be one of the most divisive "Star Wars" movies of all time, but there might be more to the controversy than simple fandom disagreements.

"The Last Jedi" currently has a 93% favorable score on Rotten Tomatoes from critics — but sits with only 56% of the audience's approval. That gap is noticeably large, and could be due to an intentional trolling campaign.

Star Wars The Last Jedi Rotten Tomatoes

As Deadline noted on Sunday, "The Last Jedi" received an A from Cinema Score. Since CinemaScore tracks reviews from audiences as they literally exit the theaters, it's a much more scientific form of polling. But on Rotten Tomatoes, the system is much more vulnerable to troll campaigns.

"Anyone can log into these sites several times (anecdotally we played around with this last night) and weigh down the audience grades against a movie," Deadline's Anthony D'Alessandro reported. "The consensus from non-Disney sources this morning is that 'trolling' occurred here in regards to the online reaction to 'Last Jedi.'"

rey luke skywalker

One source of the "trolling" in question might have been from a Facebook page dedicated to taking down "Disney's Treatment of Franchises and Its Fanboys." The page has around 200 followers.

"Thanks to friends of mine who taught me a thing or two about Bot Accounts, I used them to create this audience score through Facebook accounts created that subsequently logged into Rotten Tomatoes who rigged this score and still keep it dropping," a Sunday morning post reads.

After Bleeding Cool and Vanity Fair reported on the claim made through this Facebook account, the user posted more assertions about the bot-use.

"I actually did use Bots,"one post said.

"Yes, it is that easy to manipulate Rotten Tomatoes and thus influence the mindless sheep out there,"another said. "Give me a holla if a big second week drop happens!"

Rotten Tomatoes didn't respond to INSIDER's request for comment. But we did some exploring on Rotten Tomatoes after Bleeding Cool reported seeing some "The Last Jedi" reviews cropping up under "The Shape of Water."

Not only did we also see negative reviews for "The Last Jedi" under "The Shape of Water," but there was one under "Downsizing" as well.

Rotten Tomatoes Downsizing

"The Last Jedi" reviews appearing under audience scores for other movies could be the sign of a bot gone wrong, though there's no current way of proving that this is the case. 

Regardless of the disparate score on Rotten Tomatoes, "The Last Jedi" will certainly remain a divisive movie. A tiny set of fans are even running a Change.org petition to remove the movie from the "Star Wars" canon.

Director Rian Johnson was deliberate in his scorched-earth approach to this "Star Wars" chapter. He helped reset many aspects of the universe and expanded others beyond what fans were expecting.

Several questions set up by "The Force Awakens" were discarded without a big reveal. Other reveals (like Rey's parentage) subverted expected tropes — a choice sure to leave many fans feeling underwhelmed.

For more on "The Last Jedi," read our breakdown of 21 major questions we have going into the final installment of this "Star Wars" trilogy.

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J.K. Rowling explains why she blocked a Twitter fan amid fallout over Johnny Depp's 'Fantastic Beasts' casting


jk rowling

  • J.K. Rowling said she blocked a fan on Twitter because the fan insulted someone she works with.
  • The fan told INSIDER she's "disappointed" by the way Rowling handled it: "That says more about her than me."
  • It comes amid a controversy where Rowling is at odds with her fans over Johnny Depp's casting in the "Fantastic Beasts" series.
  • Depp was accused of physically abusing his ex-wife, Amber Heard, according to charges that have been dropped.


J.K. Rowling released a statement explaining why she blocked one of her fans on Twitter. It's part of a controversy linked to her support of Johnny Depp being cast as the main villain of her "Fantastic Beasts" movie series.

"Contrary to the fan in question's assertion, they were not blocked because they asked a question about Johnny Depp playing Grindelwald,"Rowling said in her statement, posted to her site. "I have one simple rule when I block people on Twitter, which I do very rarely. I block when my personal line has been crossed in terms of aggressive or insulting language."

Rowling said that the fan — who goes by Lindsey on Twitter, but who Rowling didn't name — said something "that crossed the line of what I'm prepared to accept" about someone she works with.

Lindsey told INSIDER she thinks the tweet Rowling is referring to is one where she said "Fantastic Beasts" director David Yates "can choke." The tweet was a response to Yates saying Depp is a kind person.

Rowling's statement was published on December 7, but wasn't widely circulated until Friday, when a popular Rowling fan account tweeted it out. Rowling herself didn't share it on her own Twitter account, which has more than 13 million followers.

"I'm still very much disappointed," Lindsey told INSIDER. "She has fought god knows how many people on Twitter. She has challenged people to an argument who has said far worse things. But an actual fan who tagged her in one tweet [that] was quite polite, she blocks. That says more about her than me."

Rowling blocked Lindsey in late November, kicking up a controversy among her fans, who assumed she blocked her because Lindsey criticized Rowling's support of Depp.

Depp plays Gellert Grindelwald, the main villain in the "Fantastic Beasts" movie franchise. He's keeping his role even after amid allegations that he abused Amber Heard, his ex-wife. Heard dropped her charges against Depp during their divorce settlement process.

Earlier this month, Rowling and Warner Bros., the company producing the "Fantastic Beasts" movies, doubled down on their support of Depp.

"Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies," Rowling said in a statement.

It didn't go over well for the fans, like Lindsey, who wanted Depp to be booted from the series.

Here's Rowling's full statement about Twitter blocking, from her website:

I have one simple rule when I block people on Twitter, which I do very rarely. I block when my personal line has been crossed in terms of aggressive or insulting language.

Some recent publicity was given to the fact that I blocked a fan on Twitter. Contrary to the fan in question's assertion, they were not blocked because they asked a question about Johnny Depp playing Grindelwald.

I saw several of this particular individual's tweets by chance, and they were saying things to and about me, and about somebody with whom I work closely, that crossed the line of what I'm prepared to accept. The question about Grindelwald was not one of those tweets and I didn't see it until the person in question began claiming that that was why they had been blocked.

Twitter has given me back a way of talking to readers directly and allows me a profound connection with a fandom that is, in the main, kind, tolerant and friendly. However, I have a duty towards my own mental health and happiness, too. The block button, is a useful last resort at times when somebody either forgets, or perhaps doesn't care, that they are talking to a fellow human being.

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The 19 best movies of 2017 that you absolutely need to see


wonder woman

As 2017 comes to a close, a few movie trends are clear.

It was a banner year for superhero movies. "Justice League" aside, "Logan,""Thor: Ragnarok,""Spider-Man: Homecoming," and "Wonder Woman" were all excellent.

It was a great year for horror movies, too. "It" and "Get Out" both terrified audiences this year and became critically beloved.

The year had some disappointments, like "Beauty and the Beast" and "I, Tonya." But there were also a bunch of other great movies that came out of nowhere— from critical darlings like "Lady Bird" to rom-coms like "The Big Sick."

Here are the 19 best movies of the year.

Gritty superhero movies are nothing new, but "Logan" steps it up.

The X-Men spin-off movie about Wolverine in his twilight years was both intensely violent and deeply moving, providing a satisfying end to Hugh Jackman's portrayal of the character.

"Get Out" hit a nerve.

No movie captured 2017 like "Get Out," a racially conscious horror film by comedian-slash-genius Jordan Peele. It came out all the way back in February, shortly after the presidential inauguration, but we haven't stopped thinking about it since.

They don't make movies like "The Lost City of Z" anymore.

Grand, epic adventure movies are seldom made without superheroes or spaceships anymore. But "The Lost City of Z" is based on the incredible true story of Percy Fawcett, a British explorer who went searching for an ancient lost city in the Amazon before disappearing in 1925. It's a story about obsession that you'll never forget and the period details are perfect.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

THEN AND NOW: The cast of Titanic 20 years after it premiered


leonardo dicaprio titanic

We'll never let go.

It's been 20 years since one of Hollywood's most doomed love stories hit the screen and audiences fell in love with Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On."

To celebrate the momentous anniversary, "Titanic" is returning to theaters. Beginning on December 1, the film will be re-released at AMC theaters. The 20th anniversary re-release celebration will take place for one week.

The nearly 3.5-hour movie is one of the highest-grossing movies of all time, dominated the 1998 award season, and continues to make lists of top movies to see in your lifetime.

Since its premiere in December 1997, the cast of "Titanic" has taken on several more award-winning roles, and Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio have maintained their friendship. 

Keep reading for a look at how the star-studded cast looked then, what they look like now, and what they've been up to in between.

SEE ALSO: THEN AND NOW: The cast of 'Love Actually' 14 years later

Leonardo DiCaprio played the adventurous vagabond artist, Jack Dawson.

Jack falls in love with Rose and eventually meets his demise in the chilly waters of the Atlantic floating on a door. 

Director James Cameron recently defended his movie ending saying Jack had to die despite years of fans insisting he and Rose both could have fit on the door.

Since "Titanic," Leonardo DiCaprio has starred in several critically acclaimed films including "The Departed,""Inception,""The Wolf of Wall Street," and "Revolutionary Road," which he played alongside Kate Winslet. He also finally won his first Oscar in 2016 for his work in "The Revenant" after years of jokes and memes.

DiCaprio is also active in education about climate change and most recently attended the 2017 People's Climate March in protest of President Trump.

Kate Winslet played the rebellious upper-class 17 year old, Rose DeWitt Bukater.

Rose falls in love with Jack despite her engagement to the arrogant Cal Hockley. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here are the top 50 movies of the year, according to Google


Rogue One Lucasfilm finalSci-fi movies and action films ruled in 2017. 

That's according to Google's ranking of the top 50 movies of the year. The annual list highlights the top 50 movies of 2017 based on the most popular content worldwide on the Google Play store. It's important to note that Google's list is not a critical ranking, but is based entirely on top sellers.

The year's hottest films included action-adventure films like "Wonder Woman,""Rogue One," and "Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2," and also left room for sci-fi movies like "Arrival" and "Life." Animated movies were popular too, scoring three of the top 10 spots. 

While almost every film came out in 2017, a few were released at the end of last year. 

Here are the 50 films that dominated our screens this year:

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50. "The Dark Tower" (2017)

49. "Baywatch" (2017)

48. "Patriots Day" (2016)

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The 10 highest-grossing movies of 2017 that ruled the box office


the fate of the furious 2017 Universal

It may come down to the wire, but with a couple more big releases on the horizon (“Jumanji” and “The Greatest Showman”) and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” now in theaters, the movie industry might cross the $11 billion mark for the end of the year. That would be three straight years the biz has hit that milestone.

Regardless, though, there were some major performers, including three very different kinds of movies crossing the $1 billion worldwide mark — and a Stephen King adaptation performing beyond anyone’s expectations.

Thanks to Marvel hits (“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Thor: Ragnarok”) and a live-action “Beauty and the Beast,” Disney passed the $5 billion total ticket sale mark for the third year in a row. Warner Bros. with “Justice League,” “It,” and “Wonder Woman” also hit the mark for the second time in its history.

Below are the 10 biggest worldwide box office earners of 2017.

Note: All figures are from Box Office Mojo

SEE ALSO: Matt Damon says we aren't talking enough about all the men in Hollywood who aren't sexual predators

10. “Justice League” — $635.9 million

Domestic: $219.4 million

For all the bashing the movie took from critics and the fans, this latest DC Comics movie was able to crack the top 10 (let’s check in a couple of weeks to see if “The Last Jedi” ruins the party). It’s the worst performer of any of the DC releases to date, but on the bright side, it likely won’t lose $100 million for Warner Bros. 

9. “It” — $697.5 million

Domestic: $327.4 million

WB couldn’t be more happy with how this adaptation of Stephen King’s book, made on a $35 million budget, performed at the box office. And it was a hit internationally, where horrors usually don’t do as strong.

8. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” — $794.8 million

Domestic: $172.5 million

People in the US may have had enough of the “Pirates” franchise, but it’s still working overseas. So expect more.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Watch Daisy Ridley's intense audition that landed her the now-iconic role of Rey in 'Star Wars'


rey star wars

  • Daisy Ridley plays Rey in the new "Star Wars" trilogy.
  • Disney/Lucasfilm released the video of her first audition for the role.
  • She's acting out the intense scene from "The Force Awakens" where Kylo Ren is trying to extract information from her mind using the Force.
  • Ridley was impressively emotional on cue, with tears streaming down her face.
  • Watch the full clip below.


When Disney released the Blu-ray edition of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in 2016, fans were treated to behind-the-scenes footage. One bonus feature was a clip of Daisy Ridley's impressive first audition for Rey.

The clip shows Ridley acting out one of the film's emotional confrontations: A battle of mental agility between Kylo Ren and Rey as he tries to break into her mind using the Force. "The Force Awakens" director J.J. Abrams describes watching Ridley's audition in the clip. 

"She just blew my mind," Abrams says. "She's reaching this depth of struggle and tears are streaming down her face."

In the scene, Rey is working hard to resist Kylo's intrusion into her psyche and eventually turns the power back on her new enemy.

"I thought, 'This is unbelievable,'" Abrams remembers. He had her stop and gave her a few notes before running through the scene again. "She just did it again, and I thought, 'Oh my god.'"

Ridley reprised her role as Rey for the latest "Star Wars" movie, "The Last Jedi," which has been met with divisive reviews among diehard fans. 

For more on "The Last Jedi,"follow along with our coverage here.

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Rian Johnson describes how Mark Hamill reacted to the Luke Skywalker storyline in 'The Last Jedi' — 'It wasn't the thing he wanted to necessarily hear'


the last jedi lucasfilm

  • "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" director Rian Johnson said the first big challenge of writing the movie was figuring out what Luke Skywalker was doing on that island.
  • That led to him realizing that Skywalker's fate would have to be explored in the movie as well.

Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

There’s a lot to digest after watching the latest “Star Wars” movie, “The Last Jedi,” but perhaps the biggest is Luke Skywalker's return to the franchise.

Following “The Force Awakens,” where the Jedi master shows up in the last shot of the movie and doesn’t utter a single word, “The Last Jedi” picks up right at that moment. For a lot of the story, we stay with Luke (Mark Hamill) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) on his secluded island.

Luke Last Jedi Falcon“The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson said that was the first big hurdle of writing the script — why was Luke on that island and why won’t he leave?

“I had to figure out something that made sense, and you don't know much about where's Luke's head is at coming out of ‘The Force Awakens,’ Johnson told Business Insider. “For me growing up, I know Luke as a hero. I know that he must think he's doing the right thing by taking himself out of the equation, and that means he thinks the best thing for the galaxy is that he's not a part of this and, by extension, that the Jedi are not a part of this. So that leads you down a certain path.”

The path Johnson took was exploring Skywalker as he’s riddled with guilt for believing he failed as a master Jedi by trying to show Ben Solo (aka, Kylo Ren) the ways of the force, only to realize his nephew is drawn to the dark side. Skywalker is even more frighted when he finally gives in to Rey's request for training and realizes her enormous raw power in the force.


Eventually Luke does leave the island — not physically, but through a force projection — and comes to the rescue of the Resistance. In doing so, he goes up against Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) using the force in an extremely clever way. However, the power exerted by Skywalker leads to his death as he fades away with his cloak flying off into the breeze.

“As I worked out that his arc was going to be coming to a place where he does this big heroic act that is going to be spread throughout the galaxy — basically taking back the mantle of Luke Skywalker, a Jedi master, a legend — it just slowly became clear to me that it would be this big grand act,” Johnson said of writing Skywalker’s final scene. “It would be an act of mythmaking. And if there was ever going to be a place in this entire trilogy to give him this emotional moment of a goodbye, this was probably going to be the most emotionally potent place to do it.”

But, how did Hamill take the news?

Rian Johnson Mark Hamill Charley Gallay Getty final“It wasn't the thing he wanted to necessarily hear,” Johnson said with a laugh. “Understandably so. Mark had all these years to think what Luke's triumphant return would be. Luke's the hero coming back into this story, and the fact that this character and this movie could not be that — this character in this movie was by necessity what he had to be, and also in relation to Rey, that brought its own necessity.”

Johnson said that if Skywalker just came back like he did in the original trilogy, an optimistic fighter, he’s just an older version of Rey. And Johnson needed someone to bounce up against Rey.

“It’s not what Mark had in his head initially, and that's why he's spoken very openly about his being caught off guard by the script and where the character ends up,” Johnson said. “But I knew this is where it had to be. We got into the conversations, and we got into the work, and we talked, and we argued, and we discussed, and that process ended up being very good for the character and also for our working relationship. It was a very good one.”

However, anyone who knows the “Star Wars” saga is aware that the Jedi always come back to give guidance to their pupils. What Johnson did in “The Last Jedi” sets up that possibility for “Episode IX,” which will be directed by J.J. Abrams.

“I’m not sure what J.J. and [screenwriter] Chris Terrio are going to do in the next one with Luke,” Johnson said, “but setting up possibilities for the next one, honestly, it seems much like Obi-Wan going where he did after 'New Hope.' The possibilities seemed even more exciting in terms of what Luke's place could be in the next chapter with him entering into this other realm as opposed to him having a lightsaber and being with our heroes. It opened more possibilities as opposed to fewer.”

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is currently playing in theaters.

SEE ALSO: "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" director Rian Johnson reacts to the backlash and addresses the movie's most shocking moments

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REVIEW: The new 'Jumanji' is surprisingly good — but you may need to check your feminism at the door


Bethany Marth Fridge Spencer Alex Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle

Warning: Minor spoilers ahead for "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle."

"Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle," one more reboot/sequel in a string of movies being remade for a 2017 audience, but this time around we actually don't mind.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson stars in the film along with Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, and Nick Jonas. These stars play video-game-avatar versions of high school teens who managed to get trapped inside the Jumanji jungle. The movie has virtually nothing to do with the 1995 original, aside from the elements of Jumanji — a dangerous and sentient game that's been stalking teenagers since at least the 1800s.

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"Welcome to the Jungle" establishes its plot as a rehash of 1995's "Jumanji" (which was based on a children's book) in the opening sequence. We won't spoil the way the movie makes the leap from board game to video game, but we will say that it sets the tone of goofy reboot fun from the get-go.

The Rock Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle reboot

You can tell throughout this movie that The Rock and his co-stars had a blast filming it. There's decent action, some funny gags, and a surprising amount of heart at the story's core. "Welcome to the Jungle" is ultimately a testament to friendship, support, and finding confidence in your own strengths and weaknesses. 

The movie cleverly uses video game terminology and tropes to guide its characters through the jungle. There are NPCs (non-player characters) who stick to a sometimes-annoying script, and fun action sequences resembling in-game combat.

The film's villain is also well conceived for a family-friendly movie. His ability to control the animals of Jumanji's jungle leads to several scenes with spiders, scorpions, and other creepy-crawly critters that will leave you shuddering. 

jumanji 2

Another bonus? "Welcome to the Jungle" doesn't actually use the Guns 'n Roses song "Welcome to the Jungle" tune within the movie (something we worried would be an inevitable eye-roll moment).

To our delight, Nick Jonas is in the movie more than the initial trailers let on. He's a fun addition to the crew and provides the story line's deepest emotional points. Don't get us wrong — even these deepest points are a bit shallow, but it's still good work from Jonas in his first major feature film.

What's not

"Welcome to the Jungle" toes the line of misogyny with one of its female leads (played by Jack Black) and the second woman, Martha, relegated to wearing short-shorts and using sexy "dance fighting" as a skill. Black's "Valley Girl" voice isn't nearly as offensive to young women as it might have been, though. Bethany winds up being a supportive and understanding character instead of a female burden on the team.

Bethany Marth Fridge Spencer Alex Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle wide shot outside

But we hoped the movie would do more than just be sightly self-aware of the trope of using impractically clothed, attractive women to fight the bad guys. And the Bechdel test scarcely gets passed, considering one of the women leads is turned into Jack Black within the first 15 minutes of the movie.

Then there's the fact that "Welcome to the Jungle" contains a few too many jokes centered around male genitalia. One or two are pretty good, but it becomes a bit much after awhile. The penis jokes and Kevin Hart's predictable comedy stylings make a lot of the movies gags feel like low-hanging fruit. 

Jumanji original Robin Williams Kirsten Dunst

The movie also makes almost no connection to its 1995 prequel. While the first "Jumanji" had a lot of heart and bigger stakes, "Welcome to the Jungle" feels like a hollow shell of what it could have been. There's nothing akin to Robin Williams' character Alan Parrish confronting his childhood demons and helping mentor a new generation of children being tormented by Jumanji.

But then again, maybe it's best that the reboot/sequel chose to leave the elements of "Jumanji" unblemished. While we still enjoy re-watching the original, the sequel will be relegated to a "one viewing is good enough" rating. 

The bottom line

If you want a dumb escape into an action movie this holiday season, "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" is serving just that on a silver platter. The movie is chuckle-worthy with beautiful jungle scenery and fun special effects. And Nick Jonas is in it! Really, there are far worse things you can do with your time. 

Grade: B

"Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" arrives in theaters on December 20. Watch the trailer below.

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REVIEW: 'The Post' shows what great journalism looks like — and Meryl Streep's performance is stellar


the post ben bradlee office tom hanks

Steven Spielberg's newest movie, "The Post," was made quickly after President Donald Trump's inauguration.

It's about The Washington Post struggling with how to publish the Pentagon Papers, which revealed that four consecutive presidential administrations knew the war in Vietnam was failing — and systematically lied to everyone about it anyway.

The Pentagon Papers were famously first covered by the New York Times, so "The Post," in a way, is about the drama of aggregation journalism. In the movie, the Washington Post has to decide if it wants to remain an also-ran local paper or became a national rival to the Times by doing their own reporting and running afoul of the Nixon administration.

The decision is in the hands of publisher Kay Graham, played by Meryl Streep, and Ben Bradlee, played by Tom Hanks. Should they push the story forward, despite the threats of the Justice Department, or back down?

Why should you care: It's a rousing champion of journalism in a time where people are attempting to discredit the institution.

Let's get this out of the way: "The Post" is about The Washington Post reporting on the Pentagon Papers, but it's also about journalism and Trump. There are a handful of winking moments about it in the movie itself and the subtext of this whole film's existence is unmistakable. It's a timely movie about the past.

What's hot: It works on every level.

Spielberg is a prolific director, but he made this movie really fast. It was announced in March and finished in November of this year.

Given the rush, it's easy to imagine it'd turn out a shambling mess — an angry, unfocused, and embarrassing tweetstorm of a movie about government secrecy.

Fear not. We're in the hands of masters. Spielberg's sure hand and usual collaborators — musician John Williams, cinematographer Janusz Kamiński, and editor Michael Kahn (Sarah Broshar is also credited as an editor — make the movie impeccable. The costumes and production design look great, too. I could have sworn it was on the same set as "All the President's Men," which is also a movie set in the Washington Post offices in the 1970s.

meryl streep tom hanks the post

And, of course, there's Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.

Streep gives one of her best-ever performances in "The Post." As Washington Post publisher Kay Graham, given the job after her husband died, she isn't taken seriously by the men on her paper's board or very well-respected in the newsroom. The genius of first-time screenwriter Liz Hannah's script is that she makes the story about Graham's evolution as much as it is about the Pentagon Papers.

"The Post" shows Graham herself evolve from a meek manager who enjoys the luxuries of power to one who finds her footing and thumbs her nose at it. By doing that, she turns the paper from one that squabbles in the shadow of the New York Times — which originally broke the Pentagon Papers story — to a national publication that eventually reported out the Watergate stories and is the powerhouse it is today.

It's rare to see an older female character transforming and demonstrating leadership like that. We're lucky to have Streep's performance and the role Hannah and Spielberg gave her.

meryl streep the post wide

Hanks embraces his role as the legendary editor Ben Bradlee. His old-timey newspaper-man accent is worth the price of admission alone. His character could have easily been a sneering, sexist buffoon who clashes with his female publisher, but Hanks applies a smart, dignified restraint.

Other great performances dot the movie's landscape. Bob Odenkirk deserves a best supporting actor Oscar nomination for his role as Ben Bagdikian, the reporter who pushes the Pentagon Papers story forward at the Post.

And it's fun to watch a host of great, familiar actors playing historical figures — like Bruce Greenwood as Robert McNamara, Carrie Coon as Meg Greenfield, Matthew Rhys as Daniel Ellsberg, Michael Stuhlbarg as Abe Rosenthal, and Zach Woods at one of the Washington Post's lawyers.

the post movie crowding around

One of the movie's best innovations is using actual snippets from the Nixon tapes to show us Richard Nixon's perspective while the whole story went down.

In presumed secret, he fumes and raves about getting reporters off his back, promising never to allow Washington Post reporters into the White House again.

As he learned in 1974, the Post's reporters didn't need any kind of privileged access to do honest reporting about him.

What's not: Not much.

Like a lot of Spielberg's most recent work, the movie doesn't care a lot for subtlety. There are a few obvious critical jabs to Trump and Nixon, and a final scene that underlines the message of the film in red. I personally don't really care for subtlety, but moviegoers who do will probably have problems with "The Post."

The bottom-line: Watch it if you care about the future of our country.

"The Post" is a smart, fleet-footed message movie about the importance of journalism and speaking truth to power. It's got great performances and a tidy ending that's too often missing from real life.



"The Post" will be in select theaters on Friday.

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MoviePass boasts it reached 1 million paid subscribers faster than Netflix and Hulu (HMNY)



  • Movie theater subscription service MoviePass said it's passed one million paid subscribers.
  • The company said it hit the milestone faster than Netflix and Hulu.

The movie theater subscription service MoviePass has hit a major milestone. 

The company announced on Wednesday that its surpassed one million paid subscribers. In August, the company changed to a $9.95 per month pricing model, and according to the company, its subscription base since then has increased over 6,500%.

MoviePass boasts that after shifting its price on August 15, the company reached one million subscribers in less time than paid subscription services Spotify, Hulu, and Netflix.

MoviePass has disrupted the movie theater business since it dropped its price. Shortly after the news, AMC attempted to try and block the use of the service in its theaters, though that would be impossible unless the theater chain stopped accepting MasterCard, which is the credit card service MoviePass uses.

Earlier this month, Cinemark introduced an $8.99 monthly membership program for its customers that offers one ticket per month to a non-3D movie anytime, 20% discount on concessions, and the option to buy additional tickets at $8.99.  

SEE ALSO: The 10 highest-grossing movies of 2017 that ruled the box office

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How the new 'Jumanji' sequel pays homage to Robin Williams' character


jumanji 2

Warning: Spoilers ahead for "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle."

"Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" (starring Dwayne "The Rock Johnson," Kevin Hart, and Nick Jonas) is a wild and surprisingly not terrible sequel to Robin Williams' 1995 movie about a sentient board game.

"Welcome to the Jungle" pays tribute to Williams, who committed suicide in 2014, by mentioning his original "Jumanji" character Alan Parrish.

In case you've forgotten, the original "Jumanji" opens by showing a pair of kids in the 1800s burying a mysterious chest in the forest of Brantford, New Hampshire. Then we jump to 1969, where the young Alan Parrish finds the chest and opens it to reveal a board game called Jumanji.

Jumanji board game 1995 movie

Alan and his friend Sarah play the game together, and Alan is literally sucked inside the game after he rolls a five. The game says, "In the jungle you must wait until the dice read five or eight." 

Sarah is rightfully terrified after witnessing this supernatural phenomenon (and being attacked by bats immediately afterwards), so she runs away and never attempts to keep playing the game. The meant Alan was trapped inside Jumanji for 26 years, until a new pair of kids find the game and begin playing in 1995.

Alan Parrish Jumanji 1995 Robin Williams

When one of them rolls a five or eight, Alan returns to the real world and we realize he's been living in the Jumanji jungle the whole time. After he and the kids (and adult-Sarah) finally finish their game of Jumanji, Alan is transported back to 1969 and becomes a kid again. 

How the "Jumanji" sequel nods to Alan Parrish

So, cut to "Welcome to the Jungle." The new sequel opens with a man finding the Jumanji board game washed up on a beach in 1996. Apparently this beach is also near Brantford, New Hampshire, because the house the man lives in is near a Brantford High School. 

The man gives the board game to his teenage son Alex — a metalhead kid who loves video games. Alex dismisses the game, saying "Who plays board games anymore?"

Alex Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle

Jumanji, being the sentient device that it is, apparently hears Alex's scoff and decides it needs to adapt. Overnight, the board game magically produces a video game console and cartridge. Using the telltale drum sounds, the game wakes up Alex. 

He finds the cartridge and decides to play. Upon choosing his avatar, Alex gets sucked into the game — just like Alan Parrish all those years ago.

"Welcome to the Jungle" then jumps to 2017, where a group of high schoolers in detention find the Jumanji console and plug it in. They all get sucked into the game too, and eventually run into Alex. 

Alex is unrecognizable, because the game transformed him into the avatar he chose — Jefferson Seaplane McDonough. He looks like Nick Jonas instead of the metalhead teen we saw in the '90s. 

Nick Jonas Alex Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle

Unlike Robin Williams' Alan Parrish, Alex seems unaware that a significant amount of time has passed. He thinks he's been in Jumanji for several weeks, when really it's been about 20 years. 

Alex takes the rest of the characters to the treehouse where he's been staying. Scratched onto a wooden post is the simple note: "Alan Parrish was here." 

When asked about the name, Alex says it must be the name of the person who built his hideout. Alan's handiwork keps Alex alive by providing shelter. 

Alan Parrish's hideout Nick Jonas Alex Jumanji sequel

This small mention of the name Alan Parrish is the only connection "Welcome to the Jungle" makes to the original "Jumanji." Virtually everything else about the movie stands on its own with no context needed from the 1995 movie. 

Alex/Jefferson Seaplane helps the rest of the teens (disguised as their own avatars) navigate the jungle of Jumanji. We won't spoil all the fun for you, though. You'll have to see "Welcome to the Jungle" to learn how their story ends.

"Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" is in theaters now. For our spoiler-free thoughts on the movie, read our full review here

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'The Greatest Showman' reviews are in — and critics say Hugh Jackman's awful musical whitewashes the terrible history of 'circus freaks'


hugh jackman greatest showman

  • Reviews for "The Greatest Showman," a circus musical about P.T. Barnum starring Hugh Jackman, are out.
  • While Jackman puts a lot of passion into his role, the movie is glitzy but weightless.
  • The movie also whitewashes Barnum's exploitation of the "freaks" he hired for his circus.


The review embargo for "The Greatest Showman" was lifted at 3 a.m. EST on Wednesday, and the critics have weighed in.

They don't like it.

For the most part, Hugh Jackman's long-gestating musical about circus man P.T. Barnum is hollow, barely comprehensible, and whitewashes the uglier parts of his life. And while the movie has an excellent supporting cast — Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya — they don't have much to do except for sing and dance.

If you like loud, bombastic, inspirational musical numbers, then you might have fun at "The Greatest Showman," even if your enjoyment might be empty. But if you prefer a passionate portrayal of a Victorian Era "freak" to society, stick with "The Elephant Man."

Here's what critics are saying about "The Greatest Showman."

It's all style and no substance.

"This ersatz portrait of American big-top tent impresario P.T. Barnum is all smoke and mirrors, no substance. It hammers pedestrian themes of family, friendship and inclusivity while neglecting the fundaments of character and story."

The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney

The songs aren't even fun.

"'The Greatest Showman,' a montage sequence that occasionally turns into a movie musical, steers clear of any contemporary resonance and ignores meaty themes. The first-time director Michael Gracey achieves an aggressively synthetic style through kinetic editing and tidy underdog stories, but none of the true joy of pulling a fast one. It’s a standard-issue holiday biopic, one that tells a story about a populist entertainer hungry for highbrow respect, the joys of showbiz and the price of ambition. An amusement park version of P.T. Barnum is fine, as far as that goes, but if you are going to aim for family-friendly fun, you need to get the fun part right."

The New York Times's Jason Zinoman

It's not a biopic, but a sinister fantasy.

"Because 'The Greatest Showman' is not, in any traditional sense of the phrase, a biographical motion picture about P.T. Barnum. It is a high-energy, breathless fantasy. Employing sleight of hand, some fast talking, and a lot of tall tales, it exaggerates the legend until the illusion takes on a life of its own, turning into the promised 'fever dream' that, while admittedly stuffed with some truly excellent musical setpieces, has something sinister at its core.

Vox's Alissa Wilkinson

The movie tries to be inclusive — but ignores that P.T. Barnum exploited people. 

"In the 19th century, P.T. Barnum made his name as a freak show peddler; a simple Google search will surface the reports of the abuse and the fetishizing of minorities, the disabled, and the ostracized, all in the name of impressing looky-loos with “oddities.” In the grand, uplifting musical extravaganza 'The Greatest Showman,' Barnum is these outsiders’ song-and-dance savior, with Hugh Jackman starring as a gumptious street urchin who becomes three-ring Jesus."

The Daily Beast's Kevin Fallon

Seriously, though.

"As Barnum himself notes at one point, 'No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.' Admittedly, that maxim rings a bit hollow coming from a character whose real-life counterpart shamelessly exploited his performers’ differences, inflaming the public’s racism as well as its hunger for spectacle and grotesquerie. Curiously absent from the movie’s relentless feel-good offensive are any references to, say, the blackface minstrel acts that Barnum produced. Nor is there any mention of Joice Heth, a slave whom Barnum paraded before his customers, falsely claiming that she was George Washington’s 161-year-old former 'mammy.'

The Los Angeles Times's Justin Chang

At least Hugh Jackman is good in the role.

"Jackman made an indelible Wolverine, but Barnum is the role he was born to play. A stage veteran with such refined charm that it can’t help but invite a certain degree of suspicion, Jackman has already proven that he can sell audiences on a lovable flimflam man (he does it twice over in 'The Prestige' alone), but here he gets to combine his strengths with a part that allows him to hoodwink us and act the hero at the same time. In a movie where virtually nothing is believable, or even tries to be, Jackman manages to sell every note and adjust for inflation."

Indiewire's David Ehrlich

OK, it isn't that bad if you like the bombastic musical setpieces.

"First-time director Michael Gracey, working from a script by Jenny Bicks ('Sex & the City') and Bill Condon ('Chicago,' 'Gods and Monsters,' 'Dreamgirls'), plunges ahead in a giddy rush, carving out ample opportunities for his stars to sing the soaring rock-opera compositions penned by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the gifted musical duo behind 'La La Land' and 'Dear Evan Hansen.' What he doesn’t make much room for is subtlety; every emotion is signaled to the peanut gallery, every story beat landed with a foot stomp and a handclap.

Entertainment Weekly's Leah Greenblatt

In any case, "The Greatest Showman" wants you to ignore the critics.

"In a weaselly little move, the film, written by Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon, also attempts to inoculate itself against any criticism by putting a critic (Paul Sparks) right into the story, framing him as a scold and a jerk who fails to see the majesty of what Barnum and his ragtag circus folk are doing."

Vanity Fair's Richard Lawson

"The Greatest Showman" is out Wednesday.

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Christopher Plummer replaced Kevin Spacey to deliver an Oscar-worthy performance in the thrilling 'All the Money in the World'


All The Money In The World 3 Sony final

  • Christopher Plummer is great in "All the Money in the World"— like, Oscar-great.
  • Kevin Spacey originally played the role, but after sexual-misconduct allegations emerged against him, the film's director, Ridley Scott, reshot all the scenes with Plummer instead.
  • The movie is your typical ransom movie, but GOD, Christopher Plummer!

Kevin Spacey has lost many things in the wake of numerous sexual-misconduct allegations against him, and one more you can add is a potential Oscar nomination.

Spacey originally played the billionaire J. Paul Getty in the Ridley Scott movie "All the Money in the World" (in theaters Monday), but following the allegations against the actor, Scott reshot all of Spacey's scenes with Christopher Plummer just a few weeks ago. In doing so, he's given Plummer a shot at Oscar glory.

Honestly, that's how great Plummer's real-life Scrooge McDuck portrayal of Getty is in the movie.

It just shows the talent that Plummer has. One day he's sitting comfortably at home, and the next he's jetted off to a film set and gives this kind of performance with minimal prep.

Outside Plummer's acting ability, it's a testament to Scott's direction and the screenplay by David Scarpa, who adapted the John Pearson book.

"All the Money in the World" looks at the 1973 kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, the grandson of the billionaire Jean Paul Getty (Plummer). The movie unfolds like a usual ransom movie — the kidnappers tell the family how much it will cost to get the boy back, and the family frantically tries to oblige before anything happens to him. But in this one, the major roadblock is the person you'd think could end it all: J. Paul Getty himself. The man with all the money in the world is also the stingiest man in the world.

All The Money In The World 2 Sony final

What we quickly learn in brief flashbacks is that Getty isn't just insanely wealthy as the founder of Getty Oil; he also won't give up his money for anything, except for the priceless art that's inside his home(s). In one scene, his laundry is hanging in the bathroom because he can't bear to waste money on the hotel doing it. In another scene, young Paul III reads a letter to his grandfather of someone begging for money to help with an illness. Getty has him dictate a stern response refusing to help. He even has a pay phone on his estate for guests to use if they want to make outside calls.

The entertainingly awful behavior and actions of Getty are really the highlight of the movie. And Plummer seems to enjoy every moment of it.

There is also a strong story among all the Getty antics.

Paul III's mother, Gail Harris (Michelle Williams), is frantic trying to persuade Getty to give a damn and fork over some money for the ransom. Getty looks to have a soft spot for Paul when he calls on his fixer Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg) to work alongside Gail in getting Paul back. Things get complicated when Chase believes Paul III devised a plot to kidnap himself only to eventually realize that is not the case and Paul III is in great danger (amplified when the kidnappers mail a newspaper a piece of Paul's ear).

By this point, Getty won't budge unless Gail agrees to something the billionaire has proposed. And in that we're given the greatest example of just how spineless Getty really is.

The movie is a strong drama with some thrills mixed with a surprising amount of humor. But its highlight is Plummer's performance.

It's quite remarkable that it took only nine days or so to take Spacey out and plug Plummer in (though there's one shot with Getty in the distance getting off a train that looks to be a Spacey-as-Getty shot). If Plummer can make a run for a best supporting actor Oscar, it will cement his performance as one of the most distinctive ever on-screen.

SEE ALSO: The 10 highest-grossing movies of 2017 that ruled the box office

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Netflix ordered a sequel to its Will Smith fantasy film 'Bright' — making it the first movie franchise in streaming-only history



  • Netflix is making a sequel to its upcoming, Will Smith movie, "Bright," Bloomberg reports.
  • Production of a sequel makes "Bright" the first movie franchise in the history of streaming-only films.
  • A fantasy-action film with a reported budget of $90 million, "Bright" premieres on Netflix on December 22.


Netflix has ordered a sequel to its upcoming, Will Smith-led original movie, "Bright," making it the first movie franchise in the history of streaming-only films, Bloomberg's Lucas Shaw reports.

A fantasy-action film starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton as LAPD cops in a world where humans, orcs, and elves coexist, "Bright" was made for a reported budget of over $90 million. It premieres on Netflix on December 22.

Just last week, at the film's Los Angeles premiere, "Bright" director David Ayer ("Suicide Squad") sounded unsure about the possibility of making a sequel to "Bright" when speaking with The Hollywood Reporter

"Let's see what the audience says after it opens," Ayer told THR. "If the audience wants another one who knows."

Netflix has put a significant marketing campaign behind "Bright" in recent weeks, including putting up billboard ads in major cities. It represents the company's strongest push yet into the world of big-budget films — an effort that will see the company release 80 original movies in 2018. 

At a UBS media conference earlier this month, Netflix's content boss, Ted Sarandos, listed "Bright" as one of five upcoming, large-scale projects that Netflix subscribers should be excited for.

Watch the trailer for "Bright" below:

SEE ALSO: Netflix's content boss listed 5 big upcoming Netflix originals you should be excited for

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Rian Johnson reveals the 1 shot in 'The Last Jedi' he's wanted to do since starting on the movie


the last jedi disney lucasfilm

  • Rian Johnson has been thinking about a particular shot since he started work on "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."
  • He said it's the rare time when an early idea makes it to the big screen.

Warning: Spoilers coming if you haven’t seen “The Last Jedi.”

Rian Johnson spent four years getting “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” onto the screen. And when he sees the final version, there’s one shot he says that makes him the happiest.

In the early days of writing the script, Johnson said he had a particular image in his head that shockingly brought the light and dark side of the force together for a fleeting moment. And that image survived years of moviemaking to make it into the final version of the movie.

“I really love that slow-motion shot of Kylo and Rey back-to-back with the guards from all the sides in Snoke’s chambers,” Johnson told Business Insider in a recent interview.

scary snoke star warsThe shot is part of a plot twist that you would traditionally find in the third movie of a trilogy. The evil Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) brings Rey (Daisy Ridley) to Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis). Suddenly Ren turns on Snoke, and he and Rey then team up for an incredible lightsaber battle scene where the pair faces off against the guards closing in.

Audiences have been going nuts on social media reacting to the sight of Ren and Rey battling on the same side and what the connection they share means for the next movie.

Johnson doesn’t have to worry about that. He’s off to develop a whole new “Star Wars” trilogy for Disney. He’s just happy the shot made it in the movie.

“That was a moment that I had just always held dear to me, “ Johnson said. “It’s one of those very rare things where the realization of it on screen I just feel like, ‘Ah, we got it!’”

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is currently playing in theaters.

SEE ALSO: "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" director Rian Johnson reacts to the backlash and addresses the movie's most shocking moments

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Watch Kelly Marie Tran's chemistry audition for her role as newcomer Rose in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'


finn and rose rogue one

  • Warning: Spoilers ahead for "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."
  • Director Rian Johnson introduced a new character in the latest "Star Wars" film.
  • Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) is a Resistance fighter who meets Finn (John Boyega).
  • Together they go on a covert mission and, despite failing, bond over their commitment to helping the rebellion stay alive. 
  • Disney/Lucasfilm released footage of Tran's first chemistry-test audition for her role.
  • In the clip, Johnson explains why he liked her after seeing "hundreds" of other actors.
  • "I really, really, really, really like Kelly," Johns says. "The character I had in my head when I was writing … it's like she showed up to read."
  • Johnson has also said Rose was introduced as a way to bring more conflict to the Canto Bight sequence with Finn's character.
  • Watch the full video below to see Tran's audition and other behind-the-scenes footage.


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