Star Wars Episode VIII: New Cast Members and Stuff

Disney announced Monday morning that filming has begun on Star Wars: Episode VIII a with quick clip to reawaken the force in fans.

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Episode 8!”

Rey holding out Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber seemed like a passing of the torch from JJ Abrams to Episode VIII director Rian Johnson. Johnson also directed Looper and episodes of Breaking Bad, including the highly acclaimed “Ozymandias” from the final season. Filming has started outside London at Pinewood Studio with principal photography.

The official Star Wars website also announced the additions of Oscar winner Benicio Del Toro and Oscar nominee Laura Dern to the cast, as well as Kelly Marie Tran.

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I’m still waiting patiently for the Billy Dee Williams announcement, but Benicio’s sly smirk will tide me over for now. Star Wars: Episode VIII hits theaters December 15th, 2017. Before then, the Star Wars spinoff “Rogue One” will be released this year December 16th. That young Han Solo casting should be announced any day now…

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Who Is the Best Fit on the ‘Han Solo Spinoff’ Shortlist?

Although shooting doesn’t even start for another year from now, Disney and Lucasfilm are close to naming their new Han Solo for the spinoff Star Wars film series. Similar to how Disney and Marvel plan to introduce their new Spider-Man, Tom Holland, with a small role in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War before his own feature film, a young Han Solo may appear in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story due out December 16th, 2016. The spinoff films take place between Episodes III and IV, so the target Solo actor is between the ages of 20 and 29.

Variety is reporting that “after seeing thousands of actors”, the list is down to Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Dave Franco, Jack Raynor, Scott Eastwood, Logan Lerman, Emory Cohen, and Blake Jenner. There may be more in consideration, but Variety knows the names have made the cut and that an announcement should be made within the next couple weeks.

The two names I don’t want to hear announced for the role are…

Solo Chicken

…Miles Teller and Dave Franco. The bad press around last summer’s Fantastic Four failure were as much Teller’s fault as anyone. He’s also just not that damn likable. Sure, it worked for Whiplash, but even then I found myself hoping every bad thing possible would happen to his character. And unless Franco has non-“Frat Guy Party”film on the horizon, I don’t need his smug grin flying the Millennium Falcon.

So who does fit, if the two more recognizable names don’t? Who pulls off the perfect combination of charm, cockiness, rough-around-the edges, and warmth that will make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs?

Rather than brainstorm actors that could be potentially better, let’s work with the 3 best names on the list.

1. Emory Cohen

Emory Cohen

When I first read the list, Emory Cohen stuck out the most to me. Maybe it’s because I just saw him in Brooklyn, but the heart and humor in his performance were convincing enough. He has the smirk, the charm, the mannerisms, and he’s coming off a very successful film with Oscars buzz.

(Also in The Gambler, Beneath the Harvest Sky, and The Place Beyond The Pines)

2. Scott Eastwood

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The son of Clint Eastwood is the oldest of the actors in the running at 29 years old. Scott Eastwood has the pedigree and yes, the looks. Eastwood is also setting himself up to breakout in action/adventure films with a mysterious role in the upcoming Suicide Squad film. Rumors have him pegged as either Deathstroke or Dick Grayson but nothing is confirmed. Eastwood will be starring alongside Walton Goggins (Hateful Eight, Justified) in the upcoming western, Diablo. Han Solo is the closest thing Star Wars has to a space cowboy, so…

(Also in Gran Torino, Fury, and The Longest Ride)

 

3. Blake Jenner

Blake Jenner

Blake Jenner is young and a Glee alum, and feels like a dark horse pick. Most of his short resume is TV related, but he has some projects on the way that could lead to bigger things. Growing with Star Wars in spinoff franchise could be cool to see. He’ll be appearing in upcoming Supergirl episodes and could breakout in Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some. It looks like what happens when Dazed and Confused goes to college.

 

4. Logan Lerman

Film Review The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Certainly not my favorite in the bunch, considering I like 3 more ahead of him, but Logan Lerman’s filmography section on his IMDB page is a bit more impressive than most on the shortlist. His starring role in Fury a year ago showed he’s matured from the Percy Jackson franchise. The babyface might hold him back from being the right fit, or maybe that’s exactly what Lucasfilm is looking for…I’ve also been rooting for him ever since Perks of Being a Wallflower. 

(Also in The Three Musketeers, 3:10 To Yuma, and The Patriot. 

Who would you like to see cast as young Han Solo? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter

Movie-Inspired Halloween Costumes 2015

Coming off of New York’s Comic Con Week, and with it being the middle of October already, there’s no better time than now to begin planning your Halloween costume. Although all ideas kinda suck now after seeing the guy who built his own 9.5 foot Iron Man “Hulkbuster” suit at NYCC…

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We’re not worthy.

My own personal Halloween costume history is exactly why I needed a list like this. I haven’t dressed up in 3 years. The last time I did, I was Deputy Marshall Raylan Givens from Justified on FX…and nobody got it. My attempt at Mad TV’sDrunk Kenny Rogers” in college was a valiant effort, but I could use something relevant and awesome this year for much needed ice-breakers.

For my own benefit, and likely yours, let’s take a look at the movies this year that offer the BEST costume ideas for October 31st.

Mad Max: Fury Road

If you follow this site, then you know that we’ve talked A LOT about Fury Road this year. One of the best films of 2015, a fun way to compare pro athletes, and an EASY resource for costume ideas. We thank the beautiful twisted mind of George Miller for making these possible.

‘Mad’ Max Rockatansky

Tom Hardy Mad Max

Mad Max Mask

Very obvious choice and not a shabby one at that. You could go with the updated Tom Hardy uniform featuring the classic football right shoulder pad, a sweet military-esque jacket with a dirtied up thermal. Or you can go “Blood Bag Max” with his prisoner mask and chain trailing behind you.

Furiosa

Furiosa

Charlize Theron rocked it as Furiosa and so can you if you’re willing to buzz your hair. If you choose to, you get my full support and can blame me for it if you get any flack.

Warboys & Immortan Joe

Warboys

You can either assemble your super pale crew, take your shirts off, and CHROME UP

…or be the scariest looking person at your party. I doubt you’ll regret either choice.

Bonus points if you can pull this off, flames and all.

Mad Max Guitarist

Ex Machina

Ava

Ava Ex Machina

This costume would take some creativity, but I would dub you the winner of your costume party if you could pull it off. Ex Machina was an early candidate for one of the best films of the year, incredibly suspenseful, and Alicia Vikander became my newest Hollywood crush thanks to her performance as Ava and again in Man From UNCLE. 

Avengers: Age of Ultron

The Avengers

MARVEL'S AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

Dressing up as any of the Avengers (Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye) will be relevant every year, especially going forward as the heroes continue to mesh in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You’ll be getting ahead of game if you can dress as Cap or Tony Stark facing off for Civil War. Highly recommended for any “group” costume.

Ultron

Ultron AOU

If the “Hulkbuster” costume is possible (from the top of the post), then so is Ultron. Bonus points if you can pull off the red lights for eyes and James Spader voice of evil.

The Vision

The Vision

Wanna steal the show this Halloween? Do like Paul Bettany and be The Vision. Is it me, or was Vision the ultimate one-upper in Age of Ultron?

Ant-Man

Scott Lang / Ant-Man

Ant-Man

Marvel surprised several doubters who didn’t think Ant-Man would work in a stand alone film. Paul Rudd, Michael Pena and some hilarious writing set the film apart from the other Marvel installments. Commemorate their achievement and throw on the Ant-Man suit, while also preparing for his appearance in the upcoming Civil War. 

(Pym Particle Shrinking Capabilities Not Included)

Inside Out

Inside Out characters

Need a group costume? Boom! You can get out the body paint, wigs, and FEELINGS dressed as Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), and Anger (Lewis Black).

Jurassic World

JW Raptors

I’ve been very vocal with my disappointment in Jurassic World, HOWEVER…

Imagine someone dressed as Chris Pratt’s character with a whole gang of stuffed raptors attached to them. Or you can dress as raptors with the rest of your friends. Simply…raptor squad!!!

Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton

90’s hip hop seems to be making a huge comeback with today’s culture, and I love it. Any group willing to rock the chains, flat billed hats, white sneakers and curls at a Halloween party would be on a different level of badassery.

The Martian

The Martian astronauts

My biggest takeaway after seeing The Martian was “Damn, Astronauts are cool again!” The suit may get warm, the helmet could be a little bit of a nuisance, but your space related pick-up lines would be EPIC!

Note: All the ones I found on Google had to do with Uranus. So please Tweet me some better ones.

Spectre

Spectre Bond

I think it’s ALWAYS acceptable to SUIT UP like James Bond, but if you’re someone who needs an excuse…SPECTRE HITS THEATERS IN A FEW WEEKS! If you couldn’t tell, I’m a little excited.

The End of the Tour

David Foster Wallace

Jason Segel

Perhaps not something that many would get if you felt compelled to throw on a bandana, a pair of glasses, avoid shaving for a few days, and go 90’s grunge with your getup. I, however, would greatly appreciate anyone who enjoyed Jason Segel’s performance as David Foster Wallace as much as I did and decided to go out as the excellent writer on Halloween.

The Peanuts Movie

Peanuts Movie

If there was ever a time for you and your friends to dress up as Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Snoopy and company, this Halloween would be as good as any. The Peanuts Movie will be out the next weekend and you’ll probably have The Great Pumpkin special on ABC recording on your DVR anyway.

Star Wars Episode VII: 

The Force Awakens

Clearly the most anticipated film in years is around the corner, and we’re all dusting off our lightsabers from our formative years. I can’t wait to see this year’s crop of costumes representing both older characters and new!

Han Solo & Chewbacca

Han and Chewie

Amazing how Chewie hasn’t aged a day, isn’t it? If you plan on going out as this dynamic duo, please have a decent Wookie call. If you don’t, then don’t bother.

Rylo Ken

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Just like you and I, Rylo Ken is a HUGE Fanboy/Fangirl for Darth Vader. Who doesn’t want to see a broadsword lightsaber fight in the middle of their Halloween party?

Captain Phasma

Captain Phasma

Get ahead of the game and get well acquainted with the next “Boba Fett” type character for the Star Wars franchise. Captain Phasma, played by Gwendoline Christie (aka Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thrones), only gets glimpses during in the trailers we’ve seen, but JJ Abrams can’t help but rave about the new Star Wars baddie.

Rey & Finn

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Meet “The Resistance”. It’s not totally clear what their backgrounds are, but Rey and Finn will likely be getting lightsabers and possibly their own “couple” hashtag after the first screening of Episode VII. Be careful with that “couple talk” though…You never know where story arcs will go with Star Wars characters.

Poe Dameron

Poe Dameron

Oscar Isaac’s new character has a Han Solo shine to him but more importantly, YOU GET TO DRESS UP AS AN X-WING FIGHTER!

Did you get some ideas for Halloween from this post? Do you have some better ones? Let me know on Twitter or Facebook