Do I Want The Obi-Wan Kenobi Movie To Be Logan on Tatooine or A Galaxy-Haunting Ghost Musical?

After The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Disney and Lucasfilm are in talks with director Stephen Daldry to helm an Obi-Wan Kenobi film, the speculation began. The project does not have a script or a star attached yet, and the negotiations with Daldry “are in the earliest stages,” so we honestly have no idea what’s in store at this point…which means we’re going to lean the hell into this speculation, everybody!

Now, pretty much everyone agrees that Lucasfilm and Disney have three main options for this movie:

  1. Young, pre-Jedi Obi-Wan
  2. Sad, middle-aged Obi-Wan in the span between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope
  3. Force Ghost Obi-Wan during the new trilogy

Given that, let’s examine the options.

Young Obi-Wan (Pre-Phantom Menace)

As Nerdist‘s Jessica Chobot observed, this isn’t the studio’s best bet. “We’ve already seen the Jedi Knight origin story from Anakin’s perspective,” she said, “and it might have been the dullest entry in the entire series…You probably want to set these spin-offs during the actual ‘star wars,’ not during all the trade negotiations and Senate hearings that led up to those wars.”

I also don’t think anyone’s really clamoring for a young Obi-Wan movie, especially given the fandom’s hope for Ewan McGregor to get a shot at a decent script, but there’s no denying that it would give Lucasfilm and Disney a familiar, easy, three-act structure and heroic arc. Hollywood loves an origin story.

However, Lucasfilm and Disney also have the option to hedge much closer to The Phantom Menace material, pulling us into some of the diplomatic and political machinations from the prequels. And the fact that they’ve reached out to Daldry as a potential director does suggest some talkier material. Daldry got his start in theater, the talkiest of visual mediums, winning two Olivier Awards and a Tony. He then received Oscar nominations for The Hours, a talky drama; The Reader, a talky drama; and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, a talky drama. (Also Billy Elliot, a dancy drama.) He received an Emmy nomination for The Crown, another talky drama.

Looking at that career, it seems like he’s the sort of director you’d contact for a Senate-hearings-heavy piece from just before The Phantom Menace. But I would hope, after the prequels’ rather disastrous reception, that Lucasfilm won’t go back down that road.

Middle-Aged Obi Wan (Between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope)

Most sites seem to agree that this nineteen-year time period is the most likely setting for Obi-Wan’s solo movie. First off, it allows them to use Ewan McGregor. And as Wired‘s Matt Kamen points out, this time period has already proven the richest well to mine for the comics and novels, so why not for a film? “Although this [Expanded Universe material] has all been deemed no longer in continuity,” he wrote, “there are lost riches in those stories. Disney has also proven it’s not above reclaiming Expanded Universe characters and concepts that could still work.”

The question, then, is which stories Disney and Lucasfilm might adapt. The Hollywood Reporter‘s Graeme McMillan believes “there’s a high probability that the stand-alone Obi-Wan Kenobi movie currently in development will feature the Jedi Knight taking on Tusken Raiders.”

Honestly, the dusty, vigilante justice of Obi-Wan Kenobi in exile basically sounds like Logan on Tatooine, which I would be 100% here for. Daldry also really knows how to use characters’ silence to create a moment, so he’d make excellent use of the barren, wind-wracked landscape and the nighttime quiet of a deeply underdeveloped planet.

Wired, on the other hand, is rooting for another expanded universe story from this time period: Obi-Wan’s adventures with Ferus Olin. This story would have a much more action-adventure, master-apprentice feel to it, as the two try to outwit the growing fascist Empire and help others to resist. (Wow, this story also sounds timely.)

Either of these seems like a bankable option for Disney and Lucasfilm, and I’m sure there are dozens more alternatives as well.

Galaxy-Haunting Ghost Obi-Wan (During New Trilogy)

As Nerdist’s Chobot pointed out, this is pretty seriously unlikely. “We already heard [Obi-Wan’s] voice in Rey’s Force Vision from The Force Awakens,” she observed, “so we know he’s probably still out there, somewhere, in shiny blue translucent form. But somehow we doubt Disney is going to be keen on dumping $200 million into a movie where the hero is a dead dude who just goes around telling other people to use the Force.”

But, hold on just a second. While I touted Daldry’s talk-heavy movies above, it is also true that he’s got a great history with musicals. Directing Billy Elliot on both stage and screen, and the film adaptation of Wicked for 2019, Daldry clearly knows his way around a song-and-dance number. Obi-Wan ghost musical, anyone?

(Okay, in all seriousness, we’re getting the nineteen-year-gap story.)

What are you hoping for from the Obi-Wan movie, readers?

(Via Nerdist, The Hollywood Reporter, and Wired; image via Lucasfilm and Disney)

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Kingsman: The Golden Circle Takes Credit for the Solar Eclipse In This Spot-on Parody – Do NOT share with your conspiracy-theory uncle

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is taking credit for Monday’s total solar eclipse in this funny promotional video. “This will go down in history as the single-most important movie promo of all time,” says Director of Market Research Guy Miller. (Please read all of these titles and names with air quotes.) The video then walks through the genesis of the idea, which they adopted after rejecting other marketing ploys like “flash mob” and “millennials.”

(Obviously, please do not share this video with that one uncle who still unironically shares Onion articles with the caption, “Unbelievable! What is happening to our country?”)

Having worked in corporate marketing, I particularly enjoyed this video because it’s so spot-on with its mockery of advertising and marketing terms. “If you look at our target audience, it makes perfect sense,” says Research Assistant Brian Weigel. “I mean, we have people that know about the sun, and we have people that know about the moon. That’s where they overlap. That’s where the magic happens, right?” The silly PowerPoint graphics are so similar to real-life, why-did-anyone-pay-you-for-this “insights” that consulting firms offer up, and the can-do slogans sound just like actual outlandish marketing campaigns, such as KFC launching a chicken sandwich into the stratosphere.

“Of course it’s possible,” says aerospace engineer Dr. Clifford Johnson. “It’s potentially catastrophic, but it’s possible.”

“Is it legal?” asks Weigel. “I mean, I couldn’t find any laws against it. I don’t think you can get sued for moving the moon.”

The total solar eclipse will be visible in a diagonal band across the continental United States on Monday, August 21. However, even if you aren’t in one of the areas where the eclipse will be visible, you can still watch it online.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle will be rather more widely available than the eclipse itself. It lands in theaters around the globe on September 22.

(Via io9; featured image via screengrab)

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We Want More Sense8, But Does How We Get It Matter?

Many of us were distraught by the news that Netflix had cancelled Sense8. I have a very personal connection to that show, and I know that it provided some much-needed representation for a wide swath of people. There has been talk among fans about the hope that another network or platform will step up to the plate and save the show, as has happened for so many others. Now, one has: and it’s porn site, xHamster.

As reported by IndieWire, xHamster stepped up to the plate and offered to produce a new season of Sense8, seeing similarities in their sex-positivity and flouting of mainstream norms. In a statement, the site said:

“We’re huge admirers of the show, as are many of our fans. Obviously, for both us and the Wachowskis this would be a big move, and the logistics would need to be worked out. This isn’t just about switching a network, this is about switching the way a show is delivered, and thus how the show is produced and what is produced. Does it open up possibilities for the storyline if the show is moved away from a mainstream corporation and onto a platform that’s not sex-phobic? Does a mainstream audience feel comfortable moving to a platform known for adult? What we admire about the Wachowskis, and about the show itself is that it takes risks. I think that we’re a nascent network, and I’d love to hear what they would do with us.”

They also make the point that xHamster has more views than a lot of mainstream publications of any sort, and that the site would be a “natural fit.”

They’re not wrong about a lot of that. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that xHamster has more views than even Netflix (though we’ll never really know for sure, since Netflix is cagey about their numbers), so the show would likely get to more people as a result. They’re also not wrong about there being lines that even a streaming service like Netflix wouldn’t cross with regard to sexuality.

There’s a big part of me that would love for this to be how Sense8 gets another season: in a completely subversive way that goes around what has become mainstream television (streaming isn’t necessarily the adventurous place it was anymore).

However, a big part of what makes Sense8 so amazing is that it presents the sex and inclusion it presents as normal. It shows sex as it is between partners of all types. The orgies between the sensates, while hot, aren’t really done for titillation so much as they allow the characters to be vulnerable with each other in ways most people could never be.

Unlike porn, which is all about fantasy fulfillment and seeing who can do the most athletic and strenuous positions, the sex in Sense8 is grounded and real. The only thing that makes it “groundbreaking” or “shocking” is that we don’t usually see sex between certain types of people represented anywhere. It would be different if xHamster were starting its own streaming service for non-porn, sex-positive content. That could be interesting. But nothing like that was mentioned.

So, if I were Lana Wachowski, I’d be hesitant about accepting an offer from xHamster, not because porn is inherently disreputable, but because the fact that they both have open attitudes about sex doesn’t make them the same. Having a porn site present Sense8 would make it seem as though the sex on Sense8 were a fetish, or not real. Something to be consumed as a fantasy rather than a depiction and representation of something true.

This is likely all moot, as Netflix owns Sense8, and likely won’t give up the rights to it so easily. However, if anyone is going to deliver a new season of Sense8, I would hope that it is a platform or network that would seat Sense8 alongside other mainstream shows, because it deserves to be there.

What do you think? Does it matter how Sense8 S3 returns, or is it simply enough that it exist in the world? Let us know your thoughts below!

(via Indiewire, image: Netflix)

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Ai Weiwei’s Human Flow Is a Solemn Look at the Refugee Crisis Across 23 Countries

Artist Ai Weiwei is capturing the “staggering scale of the refugee crisis and its profoundly personal human impact” in his new film Human Flow, which looks all different stories and journeys from the 65 million people around the world who have “been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change and war in the greatest human displacement since World War II.”

Filmed across 23 countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, France, Greece, Germany, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, and Turkey, the documentary promises to be a powerful and heartbreaking look at ways in which refugees are made vulnerable in the cruelest way. As we can see from the trailer, Human Flow will go not only into the personal tragedies that happen as a result of that displacement, but also the ways it fosters exploitation and radicalization.

The documentary is clearly aware of its painful resonance with the current moment as places like the U.S., where many like Trump deny refugees opportunity by painting them as threatening and violent. It calls on countries to open their doors to refugees who denied everything from a legal identity to health care and even, as the UN Refugee Agency solemnly puts, “even the dignity of an official burial and a death certification when they die.”

The synopsis reads:

“Human Flow comes at a crucial time when tolerance, compassion and trust are needed more than ever. This visceral work of cinema is a testament to the unassailable human spirit and poses one of the questions that will define this century: Will our global society emerge from fear, isolation, and self-interest and choose a path of openness, freedom, and respect for humanity?”

The film opens in select theaters October 13th.

(via Indiewire, image: screencap)

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I Have No Idea What to Expect From Riverdale Season 2

Riverdale dropped a new promo yesterday titled “Desperate Times” that makes the next, 22-episode season look like an intense and bloody crime thriller. There’s blood, a declaration of war, a figure some are identifying as the comics character Black Hood, and Archie ominously carrying a gun. Varchie fans were thrilled to see the two in a steamy scene, with few other ships getting much attention in the clip. But how reflective is this going to be of the actual season?

Now, Riverdale’s always been an interesting mix of genres and tones. The mixture of teen drama, horror tropes, and seriousness makes it such an unpredictable show that’s confusing at times, but also builds an incredible amount of intrigue. In some ways, that combination makes it difficult to muster any real predictions based on a teaser. Remember the first trailer for Riverdale season 1? It was all mysterious murder sexiness that built on the “Twin Peaks meets Archie” comparisons, with almost none of the teen drama and humor that dominated the majority of the later episodes. That gross subplot with Grundy took up so much of the first trailer, but unless she reappears in season 2 (please, no), that was mostly the show giving us a false lead on what to expect.

Still, I had an immediately uncomfortable reaction to seeing Archie with a gun. Read the room, Riverdale.

Of course, we were told that Riverdale would go darker in the new season…and maybe even monstrous (see below)? Is the Sugar Man going to be a Scooby-Doo-type villain or are they finally going to go supernatural? Will Sabrina appear and finally make true all the devilish allusion of season 1? (Seriously, does everyone who moves to Riverdale have to read a Gothic literature syllabus to enter?)

Roberto Aguirre Sacases has also been teasing episode titles on his Twitter, with titles like “Death Proof,” “When a Stranger Calls,” “A Kiss Before Dying,” and “The Town That Dreaded Sundown,” just to name a few. Those are some heavy allusions, but as we saw in season 1 which boasted titles like “Heart of Darkness” and “Faster Pussycats! Kill! Kill!” these seem to be fun references more often than promises.

Little of the promotional material so far is too telling, and I honestly don’t mind it at all. If anything, it just makes me more intrigued to see where the small glimpses we’re getting will fit into the full puzzle. What did you think about the promo?

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Oh, My: Lin-Manuel Miranda and James Corden Bare It All, Performing Hair for Strangers at a Crosswalk

You know those stop lights that honestly just last forever and a day? Like, you’re on your way to work (or worse, on your way home), and you’re sitting there and it just will not change? Everyone else has gone, but you and your poor lane? Stuck there, forever. I hate those. But I guess if you’re going to be stuck at a stop light, it may as well be one where you’re being entertained by James Corden, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and a wonderful musical cast as they perform Hair.

In case you weren’t aware, Hair is about the hippie countercultural movement that sprung up in the 1960s and 70s. What most people remember about it is the fact that its nude scene sparked a controversy that impacted theater going forward. So, you know, you can totally go from that to Corden and Miranda dancing around in hippie gear at a live Los Angeles intersection.

They performed just about all of the hits from the musical, singing, “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In,” “Hair,” and “Where Do I Go?” which is the song to which the nude scene is set. Their re-enactment of the scene is about as surreal as it gets for your every day driver, I suppose, as they come out in coats and strip down to show that they’re ostensibly wearing nothing at all (nothing at all). Obviously the important bits are blurred out, but everything else? Flying high and fancy free, my friend.

It’s especially funny when during this scene, Miranda jumps on the hood of a car at the stop light and just really … goes at it, you know what I mean? I have to wonder, like, did he know this person? Was this person really as frustrated as the video made him seem? I mean, I know I’d be very much in a “what the hell is going on here” mindset, but in the end, I can’t really fault the guy. Did they apologize afterwards? Did they have a plan if this guy might have had a problem with road rage?

Anyway, it’s a bit funny to me that just about everyone watching looked more confused or bored than anything. There were a few laughs, but nobody was dancing or getting into it. Folks just really wanted to get to where they’re going, I suppose. Maybe that’ll teach you to not drive past CBS’ lot ever again.

(via Vulture)

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Tina Fey Has Some Great Advice for People Who Don’t Actually Want to Do Anything About White Supremacy – Let them eat sheet cake.

While Saturday Night Live is still on hiatus, Weekend Update is back with special weekly installments, because what SNL apparently thinks we need to get us through the summer is news delivered as smugly as possible. Last night, Tina Fey dropped by, which I’m sure I wasn’t alone in hoping would balance out the Jost and Che. I was wrong.

A lot of the positive reactions to Fey’s segment have been along the lines of “It was hilarious! She spoke truth and ate cake!” Which … yes, she did both of those things. There were some really great classic Fey lines, going off on Nazis, the theft of this entire country from Native Americans, “Yard Sale Barbie” Ann Coulter, and the danger of independent militias. And the entire rant revolved around eating about half a sheet cake.

Talking of the upcoming planned white supremacist rallies, Fey said, “I would urge people this Saturday, instead of participating in these screaming matches and potential violence, find a local business that you support, maybe a Jewish-run bakery, or an African-American-run … bakery. Order a cake with the American flag on it like this one, and just eat it.” Which she proceeds to do. That part alone was at least physically impressive.

There’s a lot of debate of debate over whether it’s best to counter-protest Nazi rallies, or if they’re specifically trying to bait the left into violent photo ops. Either way, the idea of “sheet caking,” of staying home and yelling your fears and anger “into the cake,” is not a helpful suggestion. And sure, I know it’s “just a joke,” and that Fey is a comedian, not an activist. But that justification just feels lazy when the comedian in question is talking about actual Nazis on an ostensibly political show. And most definitely not when that comedian is someone a lot of women look up to–specifically a lot of white women, who, as a group, have consistently and historically been given endless permission for complacency.

If you are asking the question Fey starts with–”What can I do? I’m just one person. What can I do?”–there are a lot of answers. Here are just a few of the many available out there on the internet (add your own below if you’d like!): Here’s a good list for how to help those in Charlottesville. Here’s another. Here’s a really fantastic crowdsourced syllabus for white people (and non-black POC) who strive to be real allies. And here’s an idea for fighting racism with comedy that doesn’t involve staying home and doing nothing.

(image: YouTube)

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Things We Saw Today: Stan Lee Gives Chadwick Boseman His Seal of Approval to Play Black Panther

Something we definitely have to look forward to is the premiere of Marvel’s Black Panther, which is set to arrive in theaters in February of next year. Yesterday, Black Panther co-creator and Marvel legend, Stan Lee, gave the actor playing the iconic character, Chadwick Boseman, his blessing. Lee said, “In 1966 we brought Black Panther to the pages of Marvel … Now this talented young man brings him to the silver screen! You have my respect!” Not a bad day for Boseman, huh? (via CBR.com)

  • Does tenure in universities allow professors to get away with sexual harassment? Buzzfeed has a piece examining the issues.
  • Lady Gaga is being roped into Dr. Luke’s suit against Kesha. She was subpoenaed earlier this year, and will be deposed sometime in September. When initially subpoenaed, she said, that Dr. Luke was “attempting to manipulate the truth and draw press attention to their case by exaggerating Lady Gaga’s role and falsely accusing her of dodging reasonable requests.” UGH. (via The A.V. Club)
  • N.K. Jemisin’s novel, The Fifth Season, is being developed for television over at TNT! (via Twitter)
  • Elle Magazine observes that there are no women of color in Forbes’ Top 10 Highest Paid Actresses list.
  • Check out this interview with B.D. Wong about the role of Whiterose on Mr. Robot. Yes, he knows his having been cast is a problem. (via The Hollywood Reporter)
  • Bonnie Tyler is going to be singing her classic, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” during the upcoming solar eclipse. How perfect is that? (via Buzzfeed)

That’s it from us? What have you seen out there today?

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Gravity Falls Creator Asks for Drawings of Character Punching Nazis; Internet Delivers

There’s been a lot of Nazi news this week—in fact, the only reason I hesitate to say there’s been too much is that if there are Nazis, ignoring them is not the way to make them go away. There’s also been a lot of talk lately over the relative morality of punching them, and it looks like Gravity Falls creator Alex Hirsch is coming down firmly on the pro-punching side.

As Cartoon Brew reported, Hirsch isn’t the first person involved with a Disney property to use it to weigh in on current events, but Hirsch’s method is a bit more indirect, probably to avoid the kind of trouble it seems like We Bare Bears artist Louie Zong got into. On Tuesday, Hirsch tweeted a non-request request: “If anyone felt so inclined to do a drawing of Grunkle Stan punching a Nazi I’d be very cool with that.”

Unsurprisingly, the talented Gravity Falls fans/Nazi opponents on the internet were more than happy to comply:

And of course, a classic:

Hirsch liked and replied accordingly in approval, and … well, we can only imagine Stan himself would approve.

(via Cartoon Brew, image: )

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Holy Crap, an Obi-Wan Kenobi Movie Really Is in Development! – It’s as if millions of voices suddenly cried out.

SOMEONE GET EWAN ON THE PHONE.

We finally know what the next Star Wars anthology movie will be after Han Solo gets his turn, and it turns out that Disney has been listening to all of our/Ewan McGregor’s pleas; they’re making an Obi-Wan Kenobi movie.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news today that the project is still early in the works, with Stephen Daldry in talks to head up the project. At such an early stage, there’s not really a lot of solid information to go on, including whether or not McGregor will reprise the role that was one of the bright spots of the prequel trilogy. He’s certainly said he’s open to it enough in the past, though, so we can only hope Disney wouldn’t miss out on the opportunity.

The only way it’d make sense to pass that up would be if the movie focuses on a younger Obi-Wan, but count me among the fans who are more interested in seeing what life was like for the Jedi master in the years between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. He’s already popped up in Star Wars Rebels during that time period, which is considered canon due to Disney’s approach to the franchise, so there’s at least a bit of groundwork there, as well as in the comics.

THR also reports that there are still Yoda and Boba Fett movies under consideration, but I’d take this one over Boba Fett any day.

(via THR, image: Disney/Lucasfilm)

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