25 Crazy Things Fans Didn’t Know Behind The Making Of The Original Star Wars Movies

This December, the Skywalker saga at the core of the Star Wars franchise will be coming to a definitive end. Fans have been following the story of Luke and Leia’s bloodline for over 40 years now, so a lot is riding on the big finale.

Long before J.J. Abrams rebooted the saga for Disney, and long before George Lucas divided his own fan base with a trio of prequel movies, we had the original trilogy. Lucas came to 20th Century Fox as a young man with an idea for a weird little space movie – the fourth part of a six-part epic – and somehow managed to get it funded. But he faced an uphill battle, as the studio had very little faith in the film and even tried desperately to bury it. It was all but guaranteed to be a failure.

And then something incredible happened: it struck a chord with audiences across the world. By the second or third week of its release, people were lining up around the block to watch it for the tenth time. Two highly anticipated sequels followed and the rest is history – the Star Wars phenomenon continues to this day. It’s stronger than ever, actually. Here are 25 Crazy Things Fans Didn’t Know Behind The Making Of The Original Star Wars Movies.

25 The Producers Wanted A Movie Star To Cameo As Darth Vader

At the end of Return of the Jedi, when Darth Vader is unmasked and we see his true face for the first time ever, he’s played by Sebastian Shaw. Who? Exactly. Originally, the producers wanted a huge star like Laurence Olivier to cameo as Vader in the unmasking scene.

However, during story discussions, they scrapped the idea as they realized it would lessen the impact of the scene. It was probably the right call. It would take us out of the scene to have to say, “Oh, look, it’s Laurence Olivier!” This is the moment in which Anakin Skywalker looks upon his son with his own eyes for the first time. That’s important enough without a big movie star.

24 Lucas Didn’t Know Leia Was Luke’s Sister At The Time Of Their Kiss Scene

Everyone likes to joke about the incestuous overtones of The Empire Strikes Back’s kiss between Luke and Leia, since they were revealed to be twins one movie later. However, while George Lucas had plotted out the rough outline for all six movies from the start, he hadn’t ironed out all the details and was still making some things up as he went along.

The exact plot points in each movie were still being decided in each subsequent writing process. When they shot the kiss scene, he still hadn’t figured out that Leia was Luke’s sister. Thus, it’s not totally weird.

23 Harrison Ford Wanted Han To Be Written Out Early In Return Of The Jedi

We finally saw Han Solo breathe his final breath after being slashed down by his own son in The Force Awakens, but Harrison Ford actually wanted the character to meet his end much earlier. During the production of the original trilogy, he never signed on for more than one movie at a time.

That’s why Han was frozen in carbonite at the end of The Empire Strikes Back – in case Ford didn’t sign back on for the third movie. He did, but he really pushed for a scene where Han is terminated early on in the story. Lucas refused, because Han needed to complete his character arc for the trilogy.

22 Emperor Palpatine Was Originally Played By A Woman With Superimposed Chimpanzee Eyes

In the prequel trilogy and the Special Editions of the original trilogy (and in the upcoming The Rise of Skywalker,) Emperor Palpatine is played by Ian McDiarmid. However, in the original cut of The Empire Strikes Back, Palpatine only appears in a hologram scene and his character wasn’t fully fleshed out yet.

Back then, he was played by a female actor named Marjorie Eaton with chimpanzee eyes imposed on her face to give her a creepier look. It did successfully create the iconic Palpatine look, but future movies would just use makeup effects.

21 Mark Hamill And Carrie Fisher Didn’t Use Stunt Doubles In The Swinging Scene

The latest Star Wars movies – especially the prequels – can get around dangerous stunt work with CGI. But back in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, every stunt had to be done practically (unless it involved miniatures). Most actors would just use a stunt double.

However, in A New Hope, during the Death Star escape, there’s a moment where Luke and Leia swing across a giant chasm. Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher didn’t use stunt doubles in this scene and actually performed the stunt themselves. In fact, they nailed it in one take.

20 Return Of The Jedi Was Filmed Under The Title Blue Harvest

Family Guy fans will be familiar with this fact, because Blue Harvest was used as the title of the show’s special episode parodying Star Wars. It’s a common practice now to use a fake title during the production of a much-anticipated blockbuster like The Avengers or The Dark Knight to avoid fans finding out where they’re shooting and leaking plot details from the set or interrupting filming.

But back then, it was a novel idea thought up by George Lucas to protect the set of Return of the Jedi. Blue Harvest is the most well-known fake working title used by a Hollywood production, because it started the trend.

19 Harrison Ford And Carrie Fisher Were Hungover While Shooting The Cloud City Scene

If you look closely at Han and Leia in the scene in The Empire Strikes Back where they arrive at Cloud City, you’ll notice that they look a little dazed and tired. That’s because they both had terrible hangovers from the night before.

Despite the fact they were in the middle of shooting a Star Wars movie, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher spent the night partying until six in the morning with the Rolling Stones and Monty Python’s Eric Idle – and then they had to shoot the Cloud City scene. It’s not like you’re going to turn down an invitation to party with Eric Idle and the Stones, even if you do have work in the morning.

18 George Lucas Wasn’t A Particularly Hands-On Director

A New Hope was the only movie in the original trilogy that George Lucas directed, and according to the actors, he wasn’t very attentive to their performances. Some directors, like Martin Scorsese, watch their actors intently and provide detailed feedback.

Scorsese reportedly even keeps an eye on all of his extras and gives them specific notes between takes. However, Lucas just said either “faster” or “more intense.” At one point during filming, Lucas lost his voice, so the cast gave him a board with just those two phrases on. It worked a charm!

17 Return Of The Jedi Originally Had A Much Darker Ending

After the downbeat cliffhanger ending of The Empire Strikes Back, it was a relief when Return of the Jedi ended the trilogy on a positive note – but it almost didn’t. In early story discussions, George Lucas suggested taking the plot in a much grimmer direction.

Lucas told his co-writer Lawrence Kasdan, “Luke takes [Vader’s] mask off. The mask is the very last thing – and then Luke puts it on and says, ‘Now, I am Vader.’” Kasdan replied, “That’s what I think should happen.” In the end, and probably for the best, this was scrapped in favor of the happier, more hopeful ending we got.

16 The Actors Only Stopped Goofing Around When Alec Guinness Was On-Set

According to Harrison Ford, he and Mark Hamill would goof around on the set of the original Star Wars movie, but only on the days when Alec Guinness wasn’t on the set. If Guinness, a behemoth in the acting community, was around, Ford and Hamill acted more professionally.

To be fair, back then, the Star Wars universe was completely unknown. It was up in the air if it was going to be a success or not, and the odds were against that. The actors were uttering words like “Jedi” and “lightsaber” and “Death Star,” which were nonsensical back then. They probably figured they might as well have fun while they were doing it.

15 The Lightsaber Sound Effect Was Achieved Creatively

Sound designer Ben Burtt is famous for using unusual items to create sound effects. For example, he got the sound of the lid being removed from the Ark of the Covenant from sliding the lid off the back of a toilet. In the Star Wars trilogy, he created the sound of a lightsaber by mixing the hum of an unused 35mm film projector and the feedback that comes from moving a stripped microphone cable past a TV set.

There are endless digital archives of the sound effect now that there are countless toys, video games, and TV shows it’s used in as well as the movies, but it all stems from that.

14 George Lucas Tried To Get Some Big-Name Directors To Helm Return Of The Jedi

While George Lucas directed every prequel movie from his own scripts, he only directed the first movie of the original trilogy. Irvin Kershner took on The Empire Strikes Back, while Richard Marquand handled directing duties on Return of the Jedi. But before Marquand was hired, Lucas tried to get some A-list directors on board.

He first asked his friend Steven Spielberg, who declined because Lucas was producing the movie outside the Directors Guild of America, before courting horror directors David Lynch and David Cronenberg, who both turned him down in favor of their own projects.

13 Harrison Ford Improvised The Intercom Exchange In A New Hope

Remember the scene in the original Star Wars movie in which Han Solo is on the Death Star, talking over an intercom system? He ends up shooting to intercom and saying, “Boring conversation anyway.” Apparently, Harrison Ford decided not to learn his lines for that scene and instead improvised it on the day, so that it would seem more spur-of-the-moment.

It’s rare that actors get to ad-lib in a Star Wars movie, since each one goes through a rigorous story-breaking process that ends with a pretty rigid and air-tight script, but this resulted in a nice touch of authenticity, so maybe it should be more common.

12 The Dagobah Swamp Scenes Were Partly Shot In George Lucas’ Pool

The Dagobah sequence in The Empire Strikes Back is one of the most important in Star Wars history. It introduced audiences around the world to Yoda, and also resulted in Luke being trained once and for all as a genuine Jedi. Obi-Wan had given him some pointers, but this was where he truly grappled with his Force powers.

At one point during the Dagobah scene, R2-D2 is consumed by a monster and then spat out into the swamp. He splashes into the water and starts to sink. This might look like a genuine swamp on-screen, but it was actually filmed – at least partly – in the swimming pool in George Lucas’ backyard.

11 Han Solo Is Frozen In Carbonite With A Different Shirt

When Han Solo is frozen in carbonite in The Empire Strikes Back, we see him in a white shirt with folded-over collars like what a chef would wear. But in his frozen form, as we see him for the rest of that movie and the beginning of Return of the Jedi, he’s wearing a regular shirt with a narrow, low-hanging V-neck.

This was a result of a lack of communication between the people dressing Harrison Ford for the freezing scene and the people making the carbonite prop. An important lesson was learned.

10 The Jawas’ Sandcrawler Was Mistaken For A Military Vehicle

While the original Star Wars movie was shooting in Tunisia, the Jawas’ Sandcrawler was parked a little close to the Libyan border – close enough that the Libyan government feared it was a military vehicle, and that military action was imminent. After some wacky political misunderstandings, the Tunisian government had to politely ask Lucas to move the Sandcrawler.

While Lucas and his crew were shooting the scene where Luke and Uncle Owen buy Artoo and Threepio, and the Jawas try to rip them off with a droid that has a “bad motivator,” some politicians were in a frenzy as they prepared for what they thought meant a coming war.

9 Return Of The Jedi Was The First Movie To Be Given THX Certification

We all know the THX logo that appears at the beginning of some blockbusters and blows out your eardrums with a slowly rising instrumental sound. These movies have been awarded “THX Certification” by Lucasfilm, and they come with a set of instructions for theaters, claiming each screening room “must be acoustically neutral – on-reverberant – to prevent sonic reflections from muddying dialogue; and [their] sound systems must reproduce substantial deep bass throughout the hall.”

The very first one was Return of the Jedi, and the certification was born when Lucas couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the movie’s audio. He realized it wasn’t an issue with the print, but rather the theater he was screening it in.

8 The Alien Skeleton On Tatooine In A New Hope Is Still There

In one of the scenes set on Tatooine in A New Hope, C-3PO is walking through the desert and a giant alien skeleton can be seen behind him. This skeleton was later identified as belonging to a greater krayt dragon. After the crew finished shooting in Tunisia, no one removed the skeleton and it was just left there.

Years later, when the same crew returned to the same area of Tunisia to shoot Attack of the Clones, they found that the skeleton was still there – and it still is today. Go and check it out!

7 Steven Spielberg Was The Only One Of George Lucas’ Friends Who Thought Star Wars Was Any Good

Upon completing his final cut of the first Star Wars movie, George Lucas screened it for all his director friends, like Francis Ford Coppola and Brian De Palma. He’d faced a disturbing lack of faith from the studio, the crew, and even some of the cast at this point.

And then his friends tore the movie apart. De Palma called it the “worst movie ever.” It can’t have been great for Lucas’ spirit. Spielberg was the only one of the bunch who thought it was good and would be successful – a beacon of hope, kind of like Luke in the movie.

6 George Lucas Hated Han Solo’s “I Know” Line

Towards the end of The Empire Strikes Back, right before Han Solo is frozen in carbonite and taken to Jabba the Hutt’s palace, Leia tells him, “I love you,” and Han simply replies, “I know.” It’s one of the most iconic moments in Star Wars history. But George Lucas hated the “I know” line.

Harrison Ford came up with the line himself and kept pushing for it, but Lucas thought it would be unsuitable for the film’s audience. Of course, Ford was right – it’s totally in character for Han and is remembered by every one of the saga’s fans.

5 The Big Empire Strikes Back Twist Was Kept Under Wraps

With the internet spreading any and all plot details that leak from the production of upcoming blockbusters these days, it’s tougher than ever to keep surprises and twists under wraps. But even back in 1980, it was difficult. George Lucas took some crazy precautions to keep the “I am your father” twist from leaking to the public.

In the script, the line claimed Obi-Wan eliminated Luke’s father, and this was also the line that David Prowse read (his lines as Vader were always redubbed with James Earl Jones’ voice) on the set. Mark Hamill was told the real twist seconds before the scene was shot so that he would react to the real twist, but aside from Lucas, he was the only one who knew before post-production.

4 Return Of The Jedi Was Called Revenge Of The Jedi Until The Last Minute

For most of its production, Return of the Jedi went by the title Revenge of the Jedi. George Lucas later changed it to Return of the Jedi when he realized that the Jedi would not seek vengeance. However, by this time, thousands of Revenge posters had been printed up with artwork by Drew Struzan.

Those posters even had a red twinge to reflect the darker-sounding Revenge title, which just goes to show how much a title can impact the feel of a movie. It still had Ewoks in it, but it was going to be marketed as a dark, gritty finale.

3 The Original Cut Of The Empire Strikes Back Already Identified It As “Episode V”

We know The Empire Strikes Back as the fifth chapter in the Star Wars saga now that we have the prequels and a bunch of home media releases that label the movies with the right episode numbers. However, back in 1980, as far as anyone knew, The Empire Strikes Back was the second part of the story.

Still, George Lucas put “Episode V” at the top of the opening crawl, figuring that fans would be invested enough to look into it. That’s easier to do now that we have Google, but back then, figuring this out would take some serious research.

2 George Lucas Took A Pay Cut In Exchange For Merchandising Rights

This one is actually quite widely known. When he was struggling to get funding for the original Star Wars movie, George Lucas took a pay cut in exchange for full merchandising rights. At the time, Fox executives thought he was a chump for taking the deal, since they didn’t think kids would want to buy space toys and film merchandising wasn’t that lucrative a business back then anyway.

Within a few short years, Star Wars merchandise would be a multi-billion-dollar industry, so Lucas got the last laugh and Fox executives were kicking themselves.

1 Everyone Hated The Ewoks Except George Lucas

It’s fair to say that the adorable Ewoks are not the most popular part of the Star Wars original trilogy. Very few fans really love the Ewoks, and some even wonder why they ended up in the film in the first place. Well, as it turns out, everyone in the cast and crew of Return of the Jedi absolutely despised the Ewoks.

Conceptual artist Ralph McQuarrie even went as far as refusing to design them after George Lucas made it clear that he wanted them to look like teddy bears armed with primitive weapons. It’s a testament to Lucas’ resilience and commitment to his vision that he didn’t let this put him off and the Ewoks as he envisioned them made it to the final cut.

2019-04-25 05:04:52

Ben Sherlock

Exclusive Look At The Art and Making of Disney’s Aladdin

We have an exclusive look at photos and details for Aladdin thanks to Disney and Insight Editions’ The Art and Making of Aladdin. The soon to be released book provides a behind-the-scenes look at Disney’s upcoming live-action remake and star Mena Massoud who’s playing Aladdin. The film is currently in the midst of its marketing campaign as anticipation builds for the summer release.

Aladdin is the next live-action re-imagining of a classic animated movie to come from Disney, and fans of the original are hoping to see it do justice to the beloved 1992 film. The difficulty that can come with these remakes, though, is figuring out how much nostalgia to lean on to stay true to the previous versions of the film, while also adding to the story and characters when possible. For Aladdin, it is up to director Guy Ritchie to bring the popular characters and beautiful visuals to life once again. To do this, Ritchie and Disney brought Will Smith aboard as a rapping Genie and cast Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott as Aladdin and Jasmine, respectively.

Related: Why Aladdin’s Full Trailer Is So Much Better Than The Teaser

Screen Rant can now exclusively debut two pages from Disney and Insight Editions’ The Art and Making of Aladdin which highlight Massoud’s portrayal of the titular street rat and the immaculate set design for the Sultan’s palace. The book is written by Emily Zelmer and, as you’ll see, is filled with wonderful imagery and stories. The first image showcases Massoud’s Aladdin, but also includes quotes from him and producer Jonathan Eirich on the casting process and the updated version of the character. The second image shares several new looks at the set for Sultan’s palace. Check out the two spreads from The Art and Making of Aladdin below.

Everything You Need to Know About Mena Massoud’s Aladdin

An Exclusive Look at Sultan’s Palace in Live-Action Aladdin

With the detailed looks that these two spreads provide, The Art and Making of Aladdin is going to be a must have for fans of the upcoming movie. The full book features more images straight from the magical movie and new details about the development and production. Special looks at Smith’s Genie and new characters like Nasim Pedrad’s Dalia are included too, along with more in-depth features on them.

The book also features exclusive interviews with Ritchie about his adaptation, as well as legendary composer Alan Menken and La La Land lyrcists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who wrote original songs for the live-action movie. Interested parties can pre-order the book now for $45.00 and begin diving in to the content when it is released on April 30, 2019, or you can wait a few weeks and purchase it after seeing the new movie, which hits theaters on May 24, 2019. With the stunning visuals on display in these images though, The Art and Making of Aladdin should satisfy anyone looking for more Aladdin related content.

MORE: All the Live-Action Disney Remakes In Development

Source: Insight Editions

2019-04-15 03:04:31

Cooper Hood

GoT: All Characters Making An Appearance On The Final Season

The final season of Game of Thrones is less than a week away, and fans are spending time frantically catching up with what’s going on in Westeros ahead of the final season. With almost a two-year gap between season seven and season eight, it’s understandable that some fans might not quite remember what is happening with all three hundred characters… which isn’t actually that much of an exaggeration!

The final season is going to see all the major players return to our screens, as well as several new faces (yes, new characters are being introduced in the final season), but thankfully, at this point they are very clearly grouped into two sides: one headed up by Jon and Daenerys, and the other by Cersei and Jamie. However, there’s still a lot to catch up on – so here’s what’s happening with every main character who is going to appear in Game of Thrones season 8.

RELATED: Game Of Thrones: 8 Most Important Episodes To Watch Before Season 8

11 New Characters

A show like Game of Thrones needs to keep adding to its cast – to balance out all the characters that get killed off! Which means that there are some fresh faces joining the show for the final season. First among these is Harry Strickland, the leader of the Golden Company, a sellsword band that Euron has been sent to hire. In addition, there is speculation that we aren’t entirely done with the Freys, as a character named ‘Sarra’ has been cast, and the only Sarra in the books is a Frey. Given that Arya left the women alive, this may be an important plot point in the final season – especially as another character named ‘Willa’ has been cast. And Will sounds a lot like Walder, which means this may be another Frey joining the fray.

10 The Little Guys

There are several characters that we will probably see, but who don’t have a major part to play in the battle for the Iron Throne. Podrick Payne, Brienne’s squire (formerly Tyrion’s), will definitely be appearing in the final season. He was last seen at the parley in the ruins of the Dragonpit, and it can be assumed that he is now on his way back to Winterfell with Brienne. Hot Pie may also appear, and was last seen working as a baker’s apprentice and baking Arya some lovely direwolf shaped bread. Given that he is working at a major Inn between King’s Landing and Winterfell, it’s highly likely that he’ll pop up a final time.

Meera Reed is another character who may reappear, but this one is less likely. Ellie Kendrick, who plays Meera, has said that she does not think she will be back this season – and while it’s definitely possible that this is a lie created to avoid spoilers, Meera was last seen leaving Winterfell to return home, done with Bran (seemingly for good). The Sand Snakes may also reappear, but again, this is somewhat unlikely. Game of Thrones didn’t do the best job of handling these characters, and by the end of season 7, most were dead or dying, or chained to a dungeon wall to slowly die. We don’t expect much of a Sand Snake storyline for the final season.

9 The Warriors

These guys definitely have a bigger role to play, even if they don’t fit with any of the major houses in Westeros. Grey Worm, the leader of the Unsullied, is confirmed for the final season – although no one knows if he’ll survive it. At the start of the season, he’s headed back to Winterfell from King’s Landing, at the head of the army. Beric Dondarrion is another warrior type who has been confirmed to have survived the fall of the Wall, and has also been spotted in promos fighting – seemingly at Winterfell. Also seen in those promos is the Hound, and the Clegane brothers are also confirmed to be appearing in the finale season… with the possibility of still seeing the highly anticipated Cleganebowl. This was hinted at in the season 7 finale, when the Hound told the Mountain ‘you know who’s coming for you‘ – the assumption being that the Hound is referring to himself. Brienne is also headed back North, and will likely be fighting at Winterfell.

RELATED: Season 8 Is Too Late For A Proper Cleganebowl

Finally, Bronn of the Blackwater will also presumably reappear in the final season, although he hasn’t popped up in any advance footage yet. Bronn was last seen in King’s Landing, although he’s made it clear that he isn’t fighting for any kind of loyalty, but for gold. Because of this, he may change sides, or he may even just turn tail and head somewhere safe.

8 The Schemers

Not everyone who doesn’t fit in a specific house is a warrior – there are also some serious schemers in Westeros. Varys is definitely going to be back for the final season, along with Melisandre. However, these two have had a conversation recently about the fact that they will both ‘die in Westeros’ (according to Melisandre’s visions), which suggests that while they will appear, they won’t be making it through to the end.

Qyburn will also presumably reappear, as he is Cersei’s right-hand-not-maester, and his dealings with the Mountain may not be done. Fans still don’t know what happened to turn the Mountain into the zombie-kingsguard he is now, and that’s a question that needs to be answered. A final schemer who may pop up again is (believe it or not), Littlefinger. It may have appeared as though he got his throat cut at the end of season seven, but there are theories that he faked his own death, and he’ll be back for one last play…

7 Wildlings/Crows

In the North, there are some wildlings and crows that have been confirmed to be appearing for the final season. Tormund Giantsbane has definitely survived the fall of the Wall, so he’ll be back for season 8 (and hopefully get a chance to reunite with Brienne!). Alongside him will be Eddison Tollett, now acting Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Dolorous Edd will also be making an appearance in the final season, but as he is on the frontlines of the fight against the White Walkers, he may not last long.

6 House Greyjoy

Onto the major houses of Westeros! House Greyjoy is in turmoil at the start of season eight, with the Iron Islands split into two factions – those for Euron, and those for Yara. At the end of season 7, there are four members of House Greyjoy left alive: Yara, Theon, Euron, and Aeron. Aeron, a priest of the Drowned God, appeared briefly in season 6, and hasn’t been back since. It’s highly unlikely he’ll appear in season 8.

Yara, Theon, and Euron are confirmed for the final season, though. At the end of season 7, Yara was a captive of Euron, who has now gone to hire the Golden Company for Cersei. Meanwhile, Theon has left Jon and Daenerys and gone to try and rescue Yara.

5 House Baratheon

Once one of the most important houses in the series, House Baratheon has been whittled down to a single person: Gendry. This bastard son of Robert has managed to stay alive for seven seasons, and he and his hammer were a vital part of Daenerys’ rescue mission beyond the Wall.

RELATED: Game of Thrones: Why Arya & Gendry Should End Up Together

He was last seen at Eastwatch, delivering his vital message, but will persumably be back in season 8, using his blacksmithing skills to forge weapons for the battles to come.

4 Houses Tarly & Mormont

Two houses that are still fairly important are Tarly and Mormont, but we’re wrapping them into a single entry because there are only a few important characters guaranteed to show up in the final season. Of the Tarlys, although several are left alive, the only one confirmed for the final season is Sam, who was last seen at Winterfell, and who needs to tell Jon that he is actually a Targaryen. Gilly and little Sam are with him, of course, and will also be showing up in season 8, but it’s unlikely that the rest of his family will be making an appearance.

Of the Mormonts, Lyanna will be reappearing, and presumably fighting at Winterfell. Jorah, now cured of his Greyscale by Sam, will also be around for the final season. He was last seen in King’s Landing at the parley, and is now headed North for the big fight. Davos Seaworth is also going to be at Winterfell in the final season, another who was present at King’s Landing and is now on the way North.

3 House Lannister

On to the big guns. Three Lannisters are going to appear in season 8: Cersei, Jaime, and Tyrion. All three have been seen in promo footage, and are major players in the battle for the throne.

At the end of season 7, the three came together at King’s Landing, but are now going in very different directions. Cersei remains in King’s Landing, plotting away on the Iron Throne. Jaime has left her, to try and join Jon and Dany to save Westeros from the Night King. Tyrion, meanwhile, is with Jon and Dany – and doesn’t appear too happy about the fact that things are getting romantic between them.

2 House Stark

House Stark is certainly a lot smaller than it was at the start of the show, but there are still a few Starks around that are playing to win. Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, and Bran Stark are all going to be part of season 8, with Sansa and Arya prominently featured in the promos. At the end of the last season, Sansa is acting as Lady of Winterfell, with Faceless Arya by her side. The two sisters, along with Bran/The Three-Eyed Raven managed to kill Littlefinger (probably – as we mentioned earlier, there are theories that he is still alive), and are plotting to protect their pack as Winter comes.

1 House Targaryen

Finally, we have House Targaryen. While on the surface, this only means Daenerys, there are a few more people who matter to this house who are confirmed for season 8. Daenerys herself, obviously, is going to be a part of the final season, as is Jon Snow – who finds himself with this House, not the Starks, because it was revealed that he is actually the trueborn son of Rhaegar and Lyanna.

In addition, Missandei, Dany’s most trusted ex-slave advisor, is going to be appearing this season (presumably at Dany’s side, where she has been from the start), and the dragons are going to be a big part of it as well. Daario Naharis has not been confirmed for the final season, although he may appear – and was last seen being left in charge of Meereen for his Queen.

Who do you think is going to make it through the final season? Comment and let us know.

NEXT: Every Game of Thrones Character Death Teased In The New Trailer

2019-04-11 01:04:51

Rose Moore

10 Behind The Scenes Facts About The Making of Us

Jordan Peele’s Us has received over $100 million at the box office, making it a huge hit. The director already had a brilliant level of success for his movie, Get Out in 2017. Us kept the theme of socio-political lessons and symbolism, but Peele still managed to surprise and wow his audience by making the takeaway more broad and challenging to unpack.

RELATED: SNL Parodies Jordan Peele’s Us With Fake Discover Card Commercial

So what kind of work went behind this movie anyway? What inspired such a wonderfully unsettling thriller? While many movie-goers are looking up what to make of the ending, some of you should definitely be curious as to how the movie was made in the first place. So here is a list of behind-the-scenes facts.

10 Peele Had A List Of Movies For Nyong’o To Watch Before Shooting The Film

According to actress Lupita Nyong’o, Jordan Peele gave her a list of horror movies to watch before they began filming. These horror films included famous classics such as Stephen King’s The Shining and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. 

It is easy to see why those movies were in a list for Nyong’o to see before filming. Us did feature creepy twins similar to the ones in The Shining.  The ending of Us also had a similar mood to the ending of Hitchcok’s The Birds, where the main characters drive away with a sense of dread in the wake of a massive attack.

9 Red’s Voice Was Inspired By Spasmodic Dysphonia

The character simply known as Red was a mysterious figure in Us. A trait that set her apart from all else was her voice. In an interview with NME, Lupita Nyong’o said that Red’s voice was inspired by a disorder called spasmodic dysphonia.

RELATED: Us Director Jordan Peele Unlikely to Cast White Male Leads in Future Films

“It’s a condition that is brought about by a trauma, sometimes emotional, sometimes physical, sometimes just inexplicable where your vocal chord folds start to spasm and they create this kind of irregular pattern of air,” explained Nyong’o. “It’s an interesting modulation of the voice. I built off of that from something in the script that said that she hadn’t used her voice for a long time. I worked very diligently to be able to do it without hurting myself.

8 Jordan Peele Finds Rabbits Scary

Rabbits played a certain role in the film, primarily as a source of food for the tethered in the underpass. When questioned about the rabbits role, Jordan Peele admitted that he found rabbits to be unsettling.

“I’m not afraid of them but I do find them scary,” he said. “They’re very cuddly but they also have a sociopathic expression, and they kind of look past you in a creepy kind of way.”

In a way, Peele shared his unsettling feeling of rabbits at the beginning of the movie when the camera slowly zoom out from a rabbits face in a cage. You don’t know what happening at that moment, but whatever it is, it’s definitely ominous. Is it also a coincidence that the movie came out near Easter?

7 The Ballet Scene Was Originally To Traditional Classical Music

One of the most memorable scenes in the film is definitely the duality between Red and Adelaide’s ballet dances as children. One was wide and out in the open with the freedom to move while the other was deep underground and crashing into walls as she tried to match the other.

RELATED: Every Song On The Us Movie Soundtrack

The dancing was to an orchestral arrangement of Luniz’s “I Got 5 On It,” however that wasn’t always the plan in the film. In fact, it was originally going to be to Tchaikovsky’s “Pas De Deux” from The Nutcracker. When Peele tried it with the first cut, he changed his mind. He said he found the piece to be too “old-school” for the movie.

6 The Thriller T-Shirt Was Significant

There was more than one piece of imagery that was Michael Jackson related in Us. The most recognizable one is the thriller t-shirt from the 1980s flashback scenes. However, some fans may have also noticed an eerie resemblance to the red jumpsuits the doppelgängers wear and the “Thriller” red jumpsuits. Also like Michael Jackson, the doppelgangers wear a single glove.

“Michael Jackson is probably the patron saint of duality,” said Jordan Peele. “The movie starts in the ’80s — the duality with which I experienced him [Jackson] in that time was both as the guy that presented this outward positivity, but also the ‘Thriller’ video which scared me to death.”

5 Was Inspired By The Twilight Zone Episode “Mirror Image”

Jordan Peele has connections with the Twilight Zone, and it’s not just about him being in charge of the show’s reboot. He has said that a certain episode from season one of the show strongly inspired Us. The episode was called “Mirror Image.” In it, a woman finds a doppelgänger of herself at a bus station and becomes convinced that the double intends on replacing her.

“It’s beautiful, really elegant storytelling,” Jordan Peele said, “and it opens up a world. It opens up your imagination.”

4 Peele Wanted “Us” To Not Be Like “Get Out” In Terms Of Genre And Meaning

Get Out was a major hit in 2017, being a horror comedy about a black man meeting his white girlfriend’s family. However with Us, Peele wanted to be able to have black characters without the message being about black identity and racism. Get Out also had genre confusion since comedy and horror are a unique mix, so Peele wanted Us to be purely horror.

“As much as the point of [Us] is setting out to make a movie where it’s not about race, America is about race,” said Peele. “It’s always about race. So you can’t really get away from that and people’s experience of the film. I think it only highlights how important it is that we try and forge into the territory where a black family is just a black family and that’s it.”

3 The Costumes Were All Symbolic

Besides the “Thriller” t-shirt and red jumpsuits, many other outfit choices in the film were made to hint at character identity.  Kym Barrett was the costume designer and she decided it was important for the protagonist to wear white through the film. “I wanted her to be the lantern that led her family,” Barrett said. “Along the way, that light is continually flickering … She’s getting more and more and more covered in blood. The idea was that [by the film’s end], she’s almost as red as Red.”

The husband on the other hand, Gabe, picks outfits to communicate where he belongs and who he is. The son, Jason, has clothes that reflect he’s a trickster from his white-tuxedo t-shirt to his JAWS shirt. Zora wears a lot of rabbit-themed shirts. As for the shade of red the tethered wear, Barrett said, “It’s half the color of wet blood; it’s half the color of dried blood. It’s like an old wound.”

2 Peele Was A Stand-In For The Actors

In a movie about doppelgängers, the actors had the challenge of acting with key characters missing. Nyong’o had to act as Red without Adelaide and act as Adelaide without Red. However, Jordan Peele decided to help the actors by making himself a stand-in for the missing character. Actor Winston Duke even said that Peele had a talent for mimicking their lines and mannerisms from the day before.

RELATED: What Jeremiah 11:11 Means In Us

This way, the actors had another character to bounce off of and communicate with. So many could not picture the movie until they saw it for themselves since they played two individual parts that had to interact with each other!

1 Nyong’o’s Acting Scared Her Co-Stars

Actress Shahadi Wright Joseph shared with Buzzfeed that Nyong’o’s portrayal of Red on film set was a scary experience. She said that Nyong’o was so dedicated, that she would often stay in character even when they were not filming.

“She really kinda spooked me out a little bit,” Joseph said. “She would really get into character and wouldn’t talk. It was kind of creepy.”

This does tie in to Red’s special voice, which the actress said she had to practice and find a way to use it without hurting her vocal chords.

NEXT: 10 Movies To Watch If You Liked Us

2019-04-08 09:04:16

Allison Stalberg

Division 2 Patch Making Big Changes To Skill And Weapon Mods

The Division 2 has been out for some time now, and the state of the title’s endgame has been a delight to experience. Now, the first upcoming patch for Ubisoft’s looter shooter is going to drop on April 5. Alongside a new stronghold and the latest endgame difficulty, the Division 2 patch changes are also going to tweak how skill and weapon mods work.

There’s been no shortage of endgame content for players to enjoy in Division 2, ranging from taking down elite NPCs to skirmishing with other players in the title’s variety of multiplayer-focused modes. That being said, hardcore fans have been waiting eagerly for this patch and for the Division 2 patch changes that have been mentioned previously by the development team.

Related: The Division 2 Review: Technically Brilliant

It was announced in the studio’s State of the Game stream on Twitch that the upcoming Division 2 patch changes were going to specifically target skills and weapons for players. The stream mentions a full rework of those two areas of combat customization, stating that scaling is going to work in a totally different way after feedback from players indicated that meeting skill power thresholds was potentially too daunting. Weapon mods are also going to be given a bit of a facelift as part of this new patch, and it looks like the negative and positive effects of mods are going to be more balanced this time; every weapon slot is going to have at least one corresponding mod with solely positive effects.

Outside of the changes described above and the introduction of the latest endgame difficulty tier (World Tier 5), it doesn’t look like the Division 2 patch changes being made will fundamentally alter the game experience at this stage. Ubisoft will most likely be waiting until its fans have cracked into the latest content and strongholds before substantive changes are considered by the team. While the change to weapon mods has the potential currently to affect play the most significantly, it’s not a blanket removal of all negative stats on weapon slots so it shouldn’t be rocking the boat too much in terms of what players can bring to bear against others in PvP.

The patch drops tomorrow according to Ubisoft’s State of the Game stream, so players wanting to get the last bit of skill power farming done in-game don’t have long to do it before the system gets retooled. Time to suit up, agent!

More: The Division 2: Hunter Boss Fight Guide & Hunter Mask Locations

Source: The Division 2/Twitch

2019-04-04 08:04:13

Ginny Woo

Law & Order: SVU Renewed For Season 21 At NBC, Making TV History

NBC renews Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for season 21, making TV history in the process. Created by Dick Wolf, the NBC crime drama stars Mariska Hargitay as Lieutenant Olivia Benson. To date, Hargitay has won both a Primetime Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award for her lead performance. 

In 1990, Wolf debuted the NBC series Law & Order, which ultimately aired for 20 seasons through May 2010. Based on the series’ success, NBC ordered a spin-off, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which premiered in 1999. The series follows detectives from New York City’s 16th precinct who investigate sexually-based offenses. For the first 12 seasons, Christopher Meloni co-starred as Detective Elliot Stabler, but left the show in 2011. Since then, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has continued its “ripped from the headlines” approach, with Hargitay staying on board for the entire run. In September 2018, NBC premiered Law & Order: Special Victims Unit season 20, and the latest 22-episode installment is scheduled to conclude in May. 

Related: Should Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Change Its Name?

Per Deadline, NBC has renewed Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for season 21, marking a significant moment in television history. Not only has Law & Order: Special Victims Unit surpassed Gunsmoke and Law & Order as the longest-running live-action primetime series, but Hargitay’s Olivia Benson is now the longest-running character for the same category. Previously, Kelsey Grammer’s titular Frasier character survived 20 seasons, along with the characters portrayed by Gunsmoke’s Milburn Stone and James Arness. Currently, Hargitay has starred in 458 episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. 

Hargitay is the daughter of actress and model Jayne Mansfield. In 1967, the blossoming American icon was killed in a car accident at age 34. Hargitay’s father is actor Mickey Hargitay, who made four movies with his late wife and later made a cameo as “Grandfather” in a 2013 episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit entitled “Control.” Before landing her famous role, Mariska Hargitay starred on the CBS soap opera Falcon Crest in 1988, and also had a main role in the network’s short-lived series Tequila and Bonetti. Hargitay returned to CBS again for a lead role in the sitcom Can’t Hurry Love, and ultimately landed a career-changing role on NBC’s medical drama ER. In the series’ fourth season, she portrayed desk clerk Cynthia Cooper in 13 episodes. 

Given how much the world has changed since the original Law & Order premiered, the franchise has become especially relevant given its willingness to address current news stories. Furthermore, Hargitay’s Olivia Benson is one of primetime television’s most endearing yet tough characters, and fans can easily identify with her journey and conflict. Plus, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit isn’t merely a nostalgic show for NBC to keep around, as the series has reportedly won its new Thursday 10pm time slot among regular dramas in the key 18-49 demo.

More: Ranked: Every Law & Order Series

Source: Deadline

2019-03-29 12:03:36

Q.V. Hough

Jack Is Too OP – Is Supernatural Making Him A Villain?

Supernatural seems to have found a way around the problem of Jack’s overpowered nephilim abilities – by turning him into a villain. The addition of Alexander Calvert to the Supernatural family as Jack, the half-human son of Lucifer, has been integral to the show’s recent storylines. Well-received by Supernatural‘s passionate fan base, the introduction of Jack has allowed the leading trio of Sam, Dean, and Castiel to exhibit their parental qualities for the first time adding touches of humor, youth and innocence to the more jaded and scarred residents of the Bunker. Jack’s gradual evolution from a potential bringer of the apocalypse to a genuine member of the Winchester clan over the past two seasons has been both compelling and emotional.

There’s only one problem: Jack’s immense power. As the nephilim offspring of an archangel, Jack’s potential has been touted as near-limitless and, like any overpowered protagonist, Supernatural has been forced to find ways around Jack becoming the unbeatable solution to every episode’s problem. Initially, Jack’s inexperience and youth kept him from becoming a true powerhouse, while season 13’s finale went so far as to have Lucifer temporarily strip his son of angelic grace, demoting him to the level of a mere human.

Related: Ranked: The Strongest Angels In Supernatural

Such excuses will, however, only hold up for so long and last week’s episode (“Ouroboros”) saw Jack burn through his own soul in order to defeat the archangel Michael, before going on to absorb the villain’s grace and restoring his own power as a result. This huge resurgence meant that Jack had to be relegated to the bench once again in this week’s offering (“Peace of Mind”), tending to his pet snake instead of joining Sam and Castiel on a hunt. Clearly, this is only a temporary solution to navigate around Jack’s extreme power, but Supernatural appears to have a more permanent fix for the problem already in progress. Late last year, Supernatural‘s showrunner confirmed that Michael would not be season 14’s final villain and it appears that Jack could now be in line to take up that vacancy.

Jack’s descent into evil arguably began as soon as his power was restored, as, immediately after Michael’s defeat, Sam, Dean, and Castiel looked noticeably frightened at the youngster’s ominous power. There was no cheering, no sighs of relief and no one even bothered to ask if Jack was okay. The two men and an angel simply looked on with concern as Jack stretched his imposing wings.

From a writing perspective, the scene was quite telling in that viewers were evidently supposed to feel a certain sense of unease regarding Jack’s power-up, and that theme continued into this week’s episode. With Sam and Castiel otherwise occupied tackling a maniacal psychic, it fell to Dean to check in on Jack’s well-being and find out how the young nephilim was coping with the return of his abilities. Dean’s main concern was that, in order to defeat Michael, Jack had sacrificed an unknown percentage of his soul. As Supernatural fans will remember from Sam’s soulless stint in season 6, lacking this spiritual component can result in a lack of empathy, emotion and compassion and lead to some heartlessly cold decision-making.

To allay his fears, Dean takes Jack to visit Donatello, another soulless character, but one that has learned to live with the condition. Their conversation confirms that Jack’s soul hasn’t disappeared completely but there has certainly been a shift in his mentality.

Related: Supernatural: 20 Little Details Fans Completely Missed In The Pilot

In order to give Jack a renewed sense of ethics, Donatello teaches him a motto to cling on to in times of uncertainty: “what would the Winchesters do?” As anyone who has been watching Supernatural for any length of time can attest, this is a terrible piece of advice. The Winchester brothers are heroes, certainly. They have saved the world countless times, spared hundreds of lives and have been given the seal of approval by God himself. However, as the show has previously explored, Sam and Dean aren’t exactly shining examples of morality. The brothers have risked the end of the world to save each other, have unleashed almost as many villains as they’ve defeated and most allies who work alongside the duo ultimately wind up dead. Following the Winchesters’ example is an awful idea, but in the hands of a young boy with endless power and half a soul, it could prove cataclysmic.

This point was hammered home in no uncertain terms during the closing scene of this week’s episode. Jack decides that his pet snake (acquired from a victim during a previous hunt) is “sad” after losing his original owner so, keeping Donatello’s advice in mind, the nephilim effortlessly reduces the animal to dust, sending it to heaven with the intention of giving the creature a happier life. Since Jack first met his own mother during a trip to heaven, this line of thinking is perhaps understandable, but what if the nephilim applied that same logic to humans, believing that they would be happier in heaven with their deceased loved ones, and thus began sending them there personally? Jack certainly has the power to carry out that plan and lacks the soul that might have otherwise stopped him from committing such atrocities, however well-intentioned they may be.

Next: Supernatural: A Complete List Of All The Ways Sam And Dean Have Died

Supernatural season 14 continues with “Don’t Go Into The Woods” March 21st on The CW.

2019-03-16 10:03:33

Craig Elvy

Fear The Walking Dead: All The Characters Making An Appearance In Season 5

With the wild success of The Walking Dead, creators followed up the series’ fifth season with Fear The Walking Dead, a spin-off series following the Clark family and other survivors in Texas. FTWD has received fairly positive reviews, but it struggled in the shadow of TWD. Recently, though, it’s moved out from that shadow and become its own, strong journey. Oddly enough, it only took getting rid of most everyone it started with and adding a fan-favorite from TWD: Morgan.

RELATED: Third Walking Dead TV Show in ‘Active Development’ At AMC

Changing the series has thus far pleased fans, but next season will see if the improvements stick. In season 5, the group will be heading out on a hero’s journey to try to save other survivors. Only time will tell what they find along the way. While a lot of characters have been lost along the way, there are still quite a few left around.

Here are All The Characters Making An Appearance In Season 5.


After having a pretty rough time on The Walking Dead, Morgan Jones transferred over to FTWD to pull his life back together. By now, he’s lost his wife, son, and almost lost his humanity. What else does he have to lose? Though he leans into violence in the face of the zombie apocalypse, Morgan shows time and time again that he can be a good person, underneath it all.

RELATED: How Morgan Ends Up In FTWD

When fans last left him, he chose to cuff the mad Martha instead of lose his life or end hers. Ultimately, he just focuses on just trying to save his new family, with Al and the other survivors. Furthermore, he’s decided he doesn’t just want to survive, he wants to help save people, too.


As the only main character left by season 5, Alicia Clark has a lot of emotional baggage on her. She started out the series as a young volunteer nurse and now is a vital member of the survivors. Not only does she help heal, but she’s tough and worn. This whole zombie situation has changed her, and time will only tell how much more she changes.

When the finale happened, Alicia just joined back up with the survivors and saved Al from some walkers. After learning she’s the last member of her family alive, she had to face mortality and what this meant for her. Season 5 will see Alicia as the only living Clark using her skills to help heal others on the road.


Between several aliases and nurse skills that haunt her, June has always been a complex, tortured character. Fans meet when she holds a gun to Maddie Clark’s head in season 4. Since then, June has found a way to integrate into the group and find her own way. She’s even started a romance with fellow survivor John.

In season 5, viewers will find June working with the others to help other survivors. As a nurse, she’ll be a vital part of the team. however, she’ll probably have to see even more grief and loss. Will she stay reformed or go back to her secretive, evasive ways?


Before the apocalypse, John was a cop and a great shot. While his actions helped protect the town, eventually a fatal event leaves him feeling guilty and he secluded himself. Once the zombies started, he stayed a recluse until a woman named “Laura” came to his door. They fell in love, but she ditched him out of fear, and John finally left his sanctuary to find her.

RELATED: 5 Characters Who Will Survive Season 9 Of The Walking Dead (And 5 Who Won’t)

Then he meets the core cast of survivors and finds her, really named June, all over again. Where fans last left him, he was reaffirming his feelings for June and surviving the anti-freeze scare. Though he’s given up his gun aversion, Season 5 will tell if picking up a rifle again was worth it.


In season 4, Althea joins the cast of survivors as an ex-journalist seeking the truth. She specialized in taped interviews, trying to get stories from people. However, it’s revealed her tapes aren’t just of strangers, but also people she loved and lost, making them all the more important to her. When her life was in danger, she even made a tape to ask whoever found them to keep them safe.

Though Althea has several close brushes with peril in the last season, she’s made it to season 5 and is en route to help others on the road. Her compassion, friendliness, and survivalist instincts make her a fan favorite.


Selfish and strong, Victor was once a wealthy man with some knowledge on how the zombies came to be. When he’s first introduced, he’s a ruthless man who believes in survival of the fittest. His own worth comes before others, and he thinks that makes him strong. However, after time with the core survivors, he wants to make a change for the better.

Though Strand questions Morgan’s season 4 finale plan to help survivors on the road, he still sticks with the group and supports them. Season 5 will likely see more of his growing compassion. That is, unless so much risk to help others slides him back into his old ways.


Ex-girlfriend of complicated Clark son, Nick, Luciana joined the group in season 3 when they escaped the depot of armed soldiers. In her time with the survivors, she grew close to Nick’s family, Maddie and Alicia. Despite losing Nick, she stayed with them. Brave and resourceful, Luciana has become a vital member of the group. Ultimately, her chat with dying survivor Clayton, about getting him a beer, saves everyone from anti-freeze poisoning.

RELATED: Ranked: The Longest Surviving Characters On The Walking Dead

In season 5, Luciana’s street-wise skills will become even more important, rustling up supplies and keeping out of sight from walkers. However, she still needs to find belonging in this world without Nick.


Though initially appearing charismatic and helpful, Troy has a dark streak to him that always posed danger to his fellow survivors. He embraced the new life among zombies, an unsettling but useful trait. Unfortunately, Troy’s cruel streak catches up to him and he turns into the bad guy by the end of season 3. After all, leading a zombie horde to your home isn’t something you can spin to sound good.

While Maddie bludgeoned the guy, apparently it didn’t end his life. Troy will be back in season 5. Only time will tell if it’s for redemption or vengeance.


When it comes to characters, Grace is the ultimate mystery. Unlike all other confirmed cast for season 5, Grace is going to be a newcomer that fans know nothing about. Played by Karen David of Once Upon a Time and Galavant fame, this role will likely be much more serious than her most famous fare.

At best, fans can presume she’ll likely be a survivor the group meets on the road that they help. As she’s to become a season regular, she’ll probably stay after they’ve assisted her. But will she be a new good guy or a bad guy with a sweet face?


Coming from The Walking Dead, Dwight was a Saviors underling who helped Rick dethrone Negan. After all, he took his wife for himself. When Negan is downed, Sherry has run away and Dwight heads out on a new journey to find her. Somehow, that lands him in Texas with the FTWD folks. Unfortunately, he doesn’t look very happy at all. Does this mean Sherry didn’t make it?

RELATED: The Walking Dead’s Hinting At Daryl’s Exit – But It Won’t Happen

Dwight is a good man with a cruel bone in him, one that lets him be a vicious Savior for the sake of his wife. However, has that cruel bone infected the rest of his body without Sherry to protect?


As an ex-CIA agent, Daniel Salazar knows how to take down an enemy. Though that can make him intimidating, he also can be a caring man who regrets all the terrible truths of his past. After losing his wife and daughter, he becomes more hardened and cautious of others. Last fans saw him was in season 3 at the dam, facing off against Nick, his fate left ambiguous.

RELATED: FTWD Showrunner Confirms Daniel Salazar Is Alive

With two seasons of time missing, Daniel is supposed to be coming back for season 5. It will reveal what he’s been up to and why he’s met up with the main cast of survivors again.


A child warped by The Vultures, Charlie was sent to Morgan’s group as a spy. Since her parent’s turning in front of her eyes, she just focused on survival. Though she started off helping the enemy and sending information, she bonded with the main cast and turned on her original party. Finding a father figure in John and growing to care for the others, she has a home again. Even though she ended Nick’s life, they ultimately accept her.

With the others, Charlie will be back for season 5. As the youngest member of the group and an ex-villain, her growth in the coming season will be complex.

NEXT: What To Expect From FTWD Season 5

2019-03-12 01:03:18

Stephanie Marceau

20 Wild Details Behind The Making Of Independence Day

The possibility of extraterrestrial life is a tantalizing one; however, it carries with it the chance that creatures from another world might not be friendly. Authors from Lucian to H. G. Wells have written about the fascinating concept of hostile aliens. The alien invasion movie was a staple of American cinema in the 1950’s, but largely fell out of favor in the following few decades. During that time, Hollywood sci-fi films like Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T. tended to depict aliens in a more positive light. The alien invasion genre was practically gone in 1996, when filmmaker Roland Emmerich’s spectacle Independence Day was released.

While it lacked established movie stars and wasn’t a part of a pre-existing franchise, the film still became a staggering box office success. Finally, there was a movie to accompany Fourth of July celebrations. While the film itself remains popular, the story of its creation is still fairly obscure. While behind the scenes stories about other blockbusters like Jaws, The Lion King, and Titanic are commonplace knowledge for movie buffs, facts about Emmerich’s most famous film to date seem to be about as well known as the true nature of Area 51. Rather than having Christmas in July, let us discuss Independence Day in December and look back at some of the interesting facts surrounding this landmark special effects movie.

From a one-sided feud with a Tim Burton movie to a scene based on a Shakespeare speech, we are looking at 20 Wild Details Behind The Making Of Independence Day.

20 Ethan Hawke Was The First Choice For Will Smith’s Role

Following the modest success of the cult comedy-drama Reality Bites, Ethan Hawke became very selective about what roles he would take. During this time, Hawke was offered the part of Captain Steve Hiller in Independence Day. When he read the film’s script to a friend, Hawke thought that a joke in the film referencing E.T. was bad. In fact, he hated the film’s script so much that he threw his copy of it out of the window of his car onto a Texas highway.

After seeing the film in theaters, Hawke immediately regretted his decision. To be honest, we couldn’t imagine anyone besides Smith in the role.

19 Independence Day Did Not Inspire Mars Attacks!

When Tim Burton’s zany sci-fi comedy Mars Attacks! was released, numerous critics and viewers thought it was a satire of Independence Day, which beat it to theaters by less than six months. The parallels between the two films are obvious – they are both alien invasion movies which focus on dozens of characters from different walks of life. In actuality, Mars Attacks! went into production first and was designed as an homage to 1950s science-fiction films like It Came from Outer Space and Plan 9 from Outer Space, rather than Roland Emmerich’s star-spangled opus.

Emmerich and company were worried that they would look like plagiarists, and pushed for their film to be released to theaters first. Sadly for Burton, Emmerich’s film quenched the public thirst for aliens that year, and Mars Attacks! was a tremendous flop.

18 The Title Was Chosen To Force its release date

Emmerich knew that Mars Attacks! was slated for a release late in the year and was determined to beat it to the market. He decided to call his film Independence Day to encourage 20th Century Fox to give it a summertime release date. Emmerich and his co-writer Dean Devlin came up with the film’s title long before they completed its script and “wrote the concept around the release date.” After all, who wouldn’t want to see a film called Independence Day on Independence Day?

Apparently 1990s ironic detachment did not apply in this situation, but what did you expect from a film this sincere and straightforward? Once Emmerich named his film, it was sure to be everyone’s Fourth of July film of choice for 1996– unless, of course, another studio released a film starring Julia Roberts as Martha Washington.

17 It Was Almost Called Doomsday

In spite of what Emmerich and company wanted, 20th Century Fox considered changing the film’s title to Doomsday. Bill Pullman thought that the new title was bad, and it’s not hard to see why. The film wasn’t bleak and apocalyptic. It actually takes a very hopeful view of human nature, positing that times of great distress can bring out the best in people and that even people society has written off, like Randy Quaid’s character, can become heroes.

The film, in its own way, does embody some of the humanistic ideals that led to the revolution in the first place. The studio’s marketing department was apparently not thinking in such philosophical terms.

16 The Studio Didn’t Cast Any “Movie Stars”

When looking for ways to describe the cast of Independence Day, the term “star-studded” comes to mind. Between Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldman, Vivica A. Fox, Randy Quaid, and The Fresh Prince himself, Will Smith, the film’s cast is full of familiar faces. However, 20th Century Fox refused to cast anyone in the film considered to be “movie stars.”

Emmerich did not believe that the film’s supposed lack of star power would hurt its chances at finding an audience. As Emmerich’s agent noted in a New York Times article, many of the most lucrative films ever made, from E.T. to Star Wars, did not star anyone who was well known when the film first appeared in theaters.

15 Doubts about Will Smith

Early into the film’s conception, Emmerich decided that he wanted Will Smith to play Captain Steven Hiller. The director believed that no one embodied the film’s core values like Smith. Initially, the studio was not on the same page. It was felt that Smith was so identified with his role in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air that audiences might have a difficult time accepting him in a new role.

In the studio’s defense, Smith had never carried a major studio film before, and well-known sitcom actors don’t always have prominent film careers. Eventually, studio heads were convinced that Smith was right for the part. This gamble paid off, and Smith became one of the most bankable stars of the late 1990s and 2000s.

14 It Sparked A Craze For Dolphin-Themed Jewelry

Film and television have a major influence on what we do and buy. The Hunger Games repopularized archery. Lisa Simpson inspired kids to learn to play the saxophone, and Walt Disney’s 101 Dalmatians convinced numerous people to buy Dalmatian puppies. Independence Day inspired a craze for dolphin jewelry.

If it’s been a while since you’ve caught the film on cable, you might not remember that Smith’s character gives his fiancée, played by Vivica A. Fox,  a wedding ring with bottlenose dolphins on it. This inspired a brief craze for similar rings. Sadly, the company that created the rings was not licensed to produce replicas of it; if they were, they might have made a ton of money. On a happier note, Fox was kindly allowed to keep the ring by the film’s producers.

13 Emmerich Doesn’t Believe In Aliens

Just because a director depicts an entity in their films does not mean that they believe in said entity. Stanley Kubrick didn’t believe in ghosts despite making The Shining, Steven Spielberg isn’t Christian even though he directed Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and George Lucas (probably) doesn’t believe in the Force. What is somewhat surprising, however, is that Roland Emmerich doesn’t believe in aliens.

Polls suggest that a majority of citizens from US and Germany do not think that we are alone in the universe, and a plethora of scientists have said that the existence of extraterrestrial life is highly likely given the vastness of outer space. Thus, it’s surprising to know that a director whose made several films about aliens does not think that they exist.

12 Will Smith Turned Down A Role In the sequel

Fans of Independence Day were surprised to hear that the film’s long-awaited sequel would not feature so much as a cameo from Will Smith. Instead, the actor chose to play Deadshot in the comic book blockbuster, Suicide Squad. When asked why he declined to appear in Resurgence, Smith replied that he would rather move forward in his career than nostalgically reprise an old role.

He also told Roland Emmerich that he was worried that he had been making too many science fiction films as of late, due to his back-to-back appearances in Men In Black 3 and After Earth. Perhaps if Smith had been in the film, it would have had a fighting chance at the box office.

11 Emmerich Has criticized the movie

Usually, when a filmmaker admits that one of their films has flaws, it’s because that film was lambasted by critics and rejected by the public. Examples of this would be Joel Schumacher apologizing for the shortcomings of Batman & Robin, and Will Smith saying that he should not have made Wild Wild West. Emmerich, however, had admitted that there are flaws in Independence Day, a film that was immensely popular with moviegoers and received a mostly positive response from critics.

He has said that the film’s plot relies on massive coincidences where characters just happen to bump into each other. However, Emmerich also feels that the film’s contrivances aren’t too significant, as the film is, in his words, “a fable.”

10 It Broke A Record Held By Jurassic Park

Like some of the Spielberg films that inspired it, Independence Day managed to break a box office record. Specifically, it broke the record for the shortest amount of time for a film to gross $100 million, accomplishing the feat in a mere six days. Previously, that record was held by Jurassic Park, which grossed $100 million in nine days.

As impressive as that was in 1990s, both of these accomplishments seem a little quaint today, when the latest superhero releases seem able to gross $100 million in their opening weekends. It also feels quaint that once a film could be a blockbuster spectacle and only feature special effects during its set pieces, unlike modern blockbusters, which are often shot primarily in front of a green screen.

9 A Second Sequel Probably Won’t Get Made

After the success of the first film, plans for a trilogy were quickly made. The second film in the franchise was not released until 2016 because Emmerich kept getting involved in other projects. Twenty years was apparently too long of a wait, as Independence Day: Resurgence was a box office disappointment, making 53% less money than the original film. With a domestic pull of just $103 million, it did not even make back its production budget.

This disappointment raised the question: would Emmerich’s planned third film ever get made? Devlin recently said that there are no current plans to complete the trilogy. Given Fox’s deal wiith Disney, we can only hope that the House of Mouse decides to keep the franchise going.

8 The hidden reference

When you think of Independence Day, one of the first things that comes to mind is images of massive spaceships destroying American landmarks. That idea was not born directly out of Emmerich and Devlin’s heads; instead, it was inspired by the beloved 1950’s sci-fi extravaganza Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, a film mostly remembered for its scene of a stop-motion flying saucer crashing into the Washington Monument.

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers was having a bit of a pop culture renaissance in 1996, as it was also a primary inspiration for Mars Attacks! Ray Harryhausen, the late special effects genius who created the spaceships for Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, would certainly be glad to know that his work has influenced generations of filmmakers.

7 Steven Spielberg Feels That Independence Day Changed The Course of Cinema

In crafting the film, Emmerich drew inspiration from Steven Spielberg projects like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Back to the Future. With that in mind, it must have been amazing when Emmerich met Spielberg who told him that Independence Day had changed the course of cinema through its combination of genres. Part of why Independence Day has such mass appeal was that it’s a little bit of everything. It’s part war film, part 1950s sci-fi flick, and part 1970s disaster film, with a sprinkling of romance and a heavy dose of patriotism.

Spielberg felt that the film’s genre fusion was enormously influential on subsequent Hollywood features and Emmerich himself sees the film as a template for many of the recent Marvel movies.

6 Emmerich’s secret message

During the final assault on the mothership near the end of the film, characters of different ethnicities are seen teaming up to defeat the alien menace. This was not an accident. Emmerich wanted to show that people from different backgrounds could all work together in times of great conflict.

In that way, Independence Day embodies an optimism that is sorely lacking in more recent Hollywood blockbusters like Batman v Superman, which has a darker understanding of human nature. No wonder Independence Day managed to stick with people. It depicts an ideal of teamwork and inclusion. Or maybe it’s just because it’s entertaining to watch Will Smith punch an alien in the face and say “Welcome to earth!

5 A Key Scene Was Inspired By William Shakespeare

Faced with a possible title change that could have resulted in the film being released after Mars Attacks!, Roland Emmerich needed to find a way to keep the film’s original title. His solution was to work the phrase “Independence Day” into Bill Pulllman’s iconic speech in the film. The speech was modeled on the famous St. Crispin’s Day speech from William Shakespeare’s Henry V, one of the Bard’s most oft-quoted passages. The filmmakers simply replaced Shakespeare’s references to St. Crispin’s Day with references to the Fourth of July.

According to Emmerich, he was comfortable doing this because he didn’t think that Shakespeare was going to sue him anytime soon. Emmerich’s plan worked, and after seeing footage of the speech, Fox executives decided that the film should be released on Fourth of July weekend.

4 The Filmmakers Were In Awe Of Pullman’s Delivery

Bill Pullman may have appeared in a lot of silly comedies like SpaceballsScary Movie 4, and Lake Placid, but that does not mean that he does not take the art of acting very seriously. Before performing his rousing speech for the cameras, he spent time listening to recordings of some of the most well-known speeches from the 20th century to help him perfect his line delivery. When he gave the speech, he channeled those speeches and the performances of John Wayne and the rest of the film’s cast and crew were completely blown away.

Emmerich requested that almost no changes be made to the raw footage of Pullman in the editing room, as he wanted the organic energy of Pullman’s delivery to remain in the final cut.

3 State-of-the-art effects

Independence Day was produced just before a total reliance on CGI became the norm for Hollywood special effect bonanzas. Therefore, the film relied heavily on state-of-the-art miniatures to bring its most important moments to life. Members of the press were invited to watch one of the film’s models get destroyed as part of a scene of destruction and mayhem.

This stands in stark contrast to modern movie productions, which usually want to keep major effects from being seen before the film is released. The film won an Academy Award for its special effects; one of the four effects artists who got to share the award, Volker Engel, even got the chance to return to work on Independence Day: Resurgence, though the later film made no use of models.

2 It came out When Scientists Thought They Discovered Life On Mars

Roland Emmerich might know something that we don’t. Independence Day is fun popcorn entertainment to be sure, but for a second it looked like it could be prophetic. In 1996, scientists briefly believed that they had discovered evidence of bacterial life on Mars. The supposed evidence turned out to be nothing, but it would probably have increased public interest in the film and Mars Attacks! if actual aliens had been discovered.

Perhaps the discovery of extraterrestrials could have been an interesting counterpoint to the film if the extraterrestrials found turned out to be harmless. In that situation, we earthlings would have looked paranoid, but at least we would have two cool movies on our hands.

1 The Film Has Become Standard Fourth Of July Fare On Cable

Christmas has numerous specials. Halloween has the entire horror genre. Groundhog Day has Groundhog Day, and Independence Day has Independence Day. It’s rather surprising that cinema has been around for over a century, yet there still isn’t a popular film about the Founding Fathers that can be used as a Fourth of July movie. The few films which do portray the revolution, like 1776 and Emmerich’s The Patriot, are all but forgotten.

On that front, we will probably have to wait until the long awaited film adaptation of Hamilton makes it to the screen. Until then, we have Independence Day to serve as the viewing experience nearly as intertwined with our national holiday as barbecues and fireworks.

Do you have any trivia to share about Independence Day? Let us know in the comments!

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2018-12-16 01:12:09

Command & Conquer Veterans Are Making a Conan the Barbarian Strategy Game

Conan the Barbarian fans are in for a treat as the muscular hero is set to return to PC for his first ever strategy game, dubbed Conan Unconquered. If the news wasn’t enough to get players reaching for their swords in excitement, the game is coming from the acclaimed studio behind the likes of Star Wars: Empire at War and 2019’s Command & Conquer: Remasters.

Although Conan the Barbarian has had a troubled history when it comes to movies (although, a TV series is now in development), his video came credentials stretch back to 1984’s Conan: Hall of Volta. Elsewhere, there was the Ron Perlman-led Conan from 2007 for the Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3, as well as Funcom titles like Age of Conan: Unchiained and Conan Exiles. Now, Funcom is back to publish Conan Unconquered

Related: Conan Exiles Review: Potential Trapped Behind Technical Issues

Conan Unconquered will release on PC in 2019 and will be developed by Petroglyph. Alongside an action-packed trailer, a release for Conan Unconquered describes it as a “high-pace strategy game where players face wave after wave of enemies in ever-increasing numbers and difficulty.” Coming to Steam between April and June, Conan Unconquered will be set in the Hyborian Age and is based on Robert E. Howard’s “Black Colossus” short story that was first published in 1933.

Playing solo or with a partner, Conan Unconquered tasks players with building the ultimate stronghold as they play in real-time. Note that gameplay can be paused to issue demands as waves of enemies add problems like mounting piles of corpses, fires, and ravaging disease to deal with. Players will start with only light foot soldiers before moving onto cavalry and heavily-armored units. The progression system will unlock famous Conan characters along the way — including the man himself — while these hero units will have special abilities and prove to be crucial in battle.

Sharing a stronghold with another player is an interesting feature as players work together to stop the hordes of giant scorpions and necromancers heading their way. It sounds like a suitably brutal Conan game that will live up to the ‘Barbarian’ part of his name. Considering Conan Exiles became the fastest-selling game in Funcom’s 25-year history, there’s still a strong market out there for Conan games.

While Arnold Schwarzenegger’s The Legend of Conan was shelved last year, at least the character’s legacy lives on (in sorts) for Conan Unconquered. Funcom is also working on a single-player Conan game, but gamers will have to wait a little longer for more details on the project. In the meantime, look out for Conan Unconquered in 2019.

More: Conan The Barbarian TV Series In Development At Amazon

Source: Funcom

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2018-12-10 01:12:50