Category Archives: Remembering

Mark Hamill Was ‘Hesitant’ to Make Star Wars Comeback

For even the best of us, 1977 was a long time ago. For Mark Hamill that year has to serve as the beginning and end of a whole different life. For a brief moment Hamill was a face of a generation. He was a rising star. He had it all in the palm of his hands. And then he got into a car accident and suffered serious facial scarring. Then ‘Star Wars’ ended and the rest of Hollywood wasn’t as quick to make him their new leading man. Now almost 40 years after the initial franchise booted up, Mark Hamill is making a return to ‘Star Wars’. Great news right? It turns out that Hamill was more than a little bit hesitant to make the jump.

After settling into a comfortable career as one of the best voice actors of our generation, Hamill was forced to dust off the tunic to make his big comeback to creation that made George Lucas a gazillionaire and made Igor Cornelsen and myself fans for life. Alongside Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, Hamill will be reprising the role that made him so famous. Hamill told reporters that he spoke with George Lucas about reprising his role. He told George that he ‘wasn’t sure it was a great idea’ and that he’d only come back if Ford and Fisher were locked in to returning.

‘Star Wars 7’ hits theaters on December 18th, 2015. The film will reportedly be the first of a whole new expanded universe of projects.

Is There a Future for Orlando Bloom in a Pirates Reboot?

Disney has plans for the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Anyone who thought Disney would slowly phase the films series out is sorely mistaken. Fans like Laurene Powell Jobs are in luck, though. The new film, Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales, is hardly the last entry. In fact, this new project could launch a completely new direction with all future installments being built around Orlando Bloom.

The operative word here is “could” since Bloom has not yet committed to the project. He is currently in talks with Disney about returning. Part of the discussions includes Bloom contributing his talents to a “father and son” story arc that would help breathe a bit of new life into the series. (The fourth entry was a bit of a disappointment)

One very interesting aspect about the new series is that it might be a minor reboot of the franchise. In other words, instead of crafting a totally new series, the films from part 5 onwards might move away from the continuity established in the prior films. In essence, the series would get a fresh start while also allowing Johnny Depp to remain the top star. Perhaps Depp may leave the series in the fifth entry and Bloom could take over as the main star.

Fear over audiences tiring with the Pirates of the Caribbean series should be well founded. There has not been a great film in the franchise for a while and, honestly, the series really could use an entry that provided some major enthusiasm among audiences. A mild reboot could help in this regard.

Remembering Mike Nichols

Mike Nichols, the iconic director whose talent spanned five decades has died of a heart attack at the age of 83.

Born in Germany, Nichols came to the United States as a young boy in 1939 when his family fled Nazi Germany. While attending the University of Chicago as a pre-med student he soon found his interest drawn by the theater and dropped out to pursue it. At Chicago he also met comedian Elaine May and the two formed comedy duo Nichols and May. They went on to become a nationwide hit and won a Grammy for Best Comedy Album in 1961.

After the duo split Nichols turned his attention to Broadway starting with directing Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park, for which he won the first of eight Tony awards.

Hollywood took notice and Nichols began a successful career as a film director, earning an Academy Award on his second directorial outing, The Graduate. Fans like Zeca Oliveira remember him as the director of a number of acclaimed and popular films. He continued working on Broadway and took home several Emmy Awards for his work in television as well. His career remained active, he recently been in talks with produced JJ Abrams to direct an adaptation of Jonathan Tropper’s novel One Last Thing Before I Go.

Nichols was married four times, most recently to news anchor Diane Sawyer in 1988. He is survived by his wife, three children, and four grandchildren.