A new hope
Fans felt a disturbance in the Force this week over news that December’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” was sent back for several weeks of reshoots. But fears that the Dark Side of Walt Disney Pictures will take over filmmaking are unfounded, says The Hollywood Reporter. The main issue is to “lighten the mood, bring some levity into the story and restore a sense of fun to the adventure,” said a studio insider. The new film needs to match the tone of the original “Star Wars” since “Rogue One” “takes place just before ‘A New Hope’ and leads up to the 10 minutes before that classic film begins” — when Princess Leia snatched the plans for the Imperial Death Star. And the reshoots will reportedly include a cameo from the recently cast young Han Solo, Alden Ehrenreich, who will get his own origin film in 2018. (Shooting for that one starts in January.)
Lin-Manuel Miranda has taken over Broadway with his musical “Hamilton,” which is up for a record 16 Tony nominations next weekend. And now he’s taking over Hollywood as well:
▪ Disney announced this week that the sequel “Mary Poppins Returns” will float into theaters for Christmas 2018, says Variety. Miranda will co-star as a new character named Jack, a lamplighter reminiscent of Dick Van Dyke’s Bert in the original. The new film will reunite director Rob Marshall with his “Into the Woods” star Emily Blunt, who will step into Julie Andrews’ toe-tapping shoes.
▪ Miranda’s earlier Tony winner, “In the Heights,” about a bodega owner in New York City, will be adapted for the big screen.
▪ Miranda is also the composer for “Moana,” Disney’s Polynesian-themed animated feature due for Thanksgiving.
Speaking of musicals, stage director Michael Grandage will take on a movie remake of “Guys and Dolls,” says Deadline Hollywood. Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt have been mentioned to fill the roles made famous by Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando in the 1955 original.