‘Rogue One’ Star Riz Ahmed in Talks for ‘Venom’ Spin-Off, May or May Not Be Carnage

Riz Ahmed - Carnage - Venom Cast

Sony Pictures is getting their Spider-Man franchise spin-off Venom ready to go. Tom Hardy has been attached to the project as the title character for some time now, and Gangster Squad director Ruben Fleischer will be behind the camera for the film that is said to have no ties to the Spider-Man played by Tom Holland in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now the supporting cast is starting to fill out.

Reports have indicated that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story actor Riz Ahmed is in talks to play a popular Marvel Comics character in Venom. While the character isn’t being disclosed at this time, there is word on which character it won’t be. Find out more about Venom cast addition below.

Variety was the first to report on the Venom cast looking to recruit Riz Ahmed. While their reports doesn’t mention which character he would play if a deal comes together, The Hollywood Reporter has heard from sources that it won’t be Carnage, even though that’s the role in the film that Sony Pictures has been looking to cast. Carnage was supposed to be the villain and Riz Ahmed is said to have been considered for the role, but the script has changed since then and now he’s reportedly up for a different role.

Meanwhile, Jeff Sneider from The Tracking Board says his sources are torn as to what role Riz Ahmed would play, with one trustworthy source saying it will be Carnage. So it sounds like it could go either way.

Reporter Justin Kroll at Variety indicated on Twitter that Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones) and Mathias Schoenarts (The Danish Girl) were also in the running for the role, so if Riz Ahmed somehow isn’t able to make it through negotiations, the studio does have other options at their disposal. Unfortunately, none of those options give us an idea as to who the character they could have played will be if it’s not actually Carnage.

Considering that Spider-Man: Homecoming has already used Vulture and Shocker, not to mention hinting at Scorpion, maybe Venom will venture into different villain territory by bringing someone like Kraven the Hunter or Mysterio into play (especially since there are spin-offs for those characters in the works). Or maybe they’ll dig deep into sci-fi Spider-Man territory by bringing Scarlet Spider into the mix, who is actually a clone of Spider-Man. That sounds pretty far fetched, but Venom is supposed to be a straight-up sci-fi movie, and potentially R-rated, so maybe it’s not too crazy.

Very little is known about Venom at this point, but the script is being written by Scott Rosenberg (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) and Jeff Pinkner (The Dark Tower), with Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach producing the movie along with Sony’s Amy Pascal.

As of now Venom is slated to arrive in theaters on October 5, 2018.

The post ‘Rogue One’ Star Riz Ahmed in Talks for ‘Venom’ Spin-Off, May or May Not Be Carnage appeared first on /Film.


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Watch: Teaser Trailer for Steven Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’ Movie

Ready Player One Teaser Trailer

«There’s nowhere left to go… Nowhere, except the Oasis.» Warner Bros has debuted the first teaser trailer for Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ready Player One, the geeky novel about a kid in the future who logs into a virtual reality world and plays games to win the ultimate prize. I’m so excited to finally see something from this, and I still can’t believe Spielberg is actually directing. Young actor Tye Sheridan stars as Wade Watts, known in the gaming world as Parzival. The cast includes Mark Rylance as the game’s creator, James Halliday, as well as T.J. Miller, Ben Mendelsohn, Simon Pegg, Olivia Cooke, Lena Waithe, Letitia Wright, and Kae Alexander. There’s some great references to The Iron Giant, Back to the Future, and E.T. of course, and this is only just the first tease. Dang I’m hyped for this!! Very excited to see more. ›››

Continue reading Watch: Teaser Trailer for Steven Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’ Movie


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First Trailer for ‘The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One’ Movie

The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One Trailer

An intriguing trailer has launched for a new sci-fi movie series titled The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One (or, vice versa, as Science Fiction Volume One: The Osiris Child) from Australian filmmaker Shane Abbess. Described as an «adrenaline-fueled sci fi adventure», the story takes place in the future in a time of interplanetary colonization, about a father who has to rescue a young woman amidst a global crisis. The full cast includes Kellan Lutz, Daniel MacPherson, Isabel Lucas, Luke Ford, Rachel Griffiths, Temuera Morrison, Bren Foster, Dwaine Stevenson, and Teagan Croft. As much as I was expecting this to look cheesy or too low budget, it actually looks pretty damn good, with some impressive visual effects and an interesting story. I don’t know if the movie is any good, but I’m very curious about checking this out. ›››

Continue reading First Trailer for ‘The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One’ Movie


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Watch Riz Ahmed’s ‘Rogue One’ Audition and Learn Which Planet Was Cut From the Movie

Rogue One Star Wars riz ahmed

One day, we will run out of news concerning what could have been in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. But that day is not today. Star Wars fans are as interested in the making of these movies as they are in the movies themselves, which makes the production of Rogue One so very fascinating – the first of the saga’s spin-off movies was massaged into many different positions during development and the alternate versions make for a great game of “What if?”.

That’s what makes actor Riz Ahmed‘s audition tape for the film especially interesting – he’s literally trying out several completely different characters for director Gareth Edwards.

You can see chunks of the audition tape in the video below, which also explains that Ahmed (who plays Imperial pilot Bodhi Rook in the film) sent in a number of tapes, each with a unique take on the character. Since we know Bodhi was in flux more than any other central character, this makes sense. As a bonus: Ahmed appears to be having a grand old time.

When I spoke to Ahmed last year, he described the audition process in detail, explaining that he sent in so many different takes that Edwards had to literally ask him to stop:

I don’t think you can plan to be in something like this. It always happens by accident. What happened is, [director] Gareth Edwards comes from a British indie movie background as well, so he knows my work from that circuit and I know Monsters and stuff like that, his work before Godzilla. He contacted me and said, “Look, come and audition for this role, I’m doing this Star Wars standalone movie.” I didn’t even know they were doing standalone movies. It wasn’t something I was tracking and following or knew existed. The role was very different from what it is now. It was a lot smaller. Different name, different guy, different relationship to the others. Once I came on board and we started working, it evolved a lot by the end of the shoot into what it is now.

But yeah, he knew my work from those indie movies and that’s why he asked me to audition. And I started spamming him with auditions. I went totally overboard. I sent him fourteen different takes in three days. He emailed me and said, “Please stop emailing me.” And I thought, okay, I’ve screwed this up. Then a month later he calls and says, “You’ve got the role. Stop emailing me auditions!”

Today’s other piece of trivia arrives on our doorstep courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, who discovered that the planet Dantooine was going to play a role in the movie at one point. However, cutting it out (and not building the set) meant saving some production money to spend elsewhere. As Edwards explains:

We did a few things to save money and one of them was they go to a Rebel base in the first half of the film, then go off on their adventure, and the second half of the film they return to a Rebel base. It used to be that the first half of the movie was not on Yavin it was Dantooine.

As you may remember, Dantooine is the name of the planet Princess Leia gives Grand Moff Tarkin when he demands to know the location of the rebel base in the original Star Wars. As you may also remember, the Imperials discover that there was a rebel base on Dantooine, a peaceful, rural planet, but it had been abandoned. In other words, Rogue One was going to actually feature the Rebellion pulling up stakes and moving from Dantooine to Yavin IV. While pretty cool, this is an easy cut – it’s not necessary at all to the plot!

Rogue One is out for digital download today and hits Blu-ray and DVD on April 4, 2017.

The post Watch Riz Ahmed’s ‘Rogue One’ Audition and Learn Which Planet Was Cut From the Movie appeared first on /Film.


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Riz Ahmed Signed on to ‘Rogue One’ to Play a Completely Different Character

Riz Ahmed's original rogue one character

With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story available for digital download, we have been learning a lot more about John Knoll‘s original pitch for the film, Gary Whitta‘s original screenplay, and the pre-reshoots cut of Gareth Edwards‘ movie. The latest bit of trivia gives us some insight on who Riz Ahmed‘s character, Imperial pilot Bodhi Rook, was in the original plans for the movie.

Let’s run down the details about Riz Ahmed’s original Rogue One character and how/why the story evolved to what we saw on the big screen.


EW has learned that Riz Ahmed’s original character was “a crazed, imprisoned engineer named Bokan.” When the actor signed on for the film, it was to play a much different character than we see in the final film. He says:

“His name was Bokan, and he was actually Saw Gerrera’s engineer, living on a planet with a strong electromagnetic field, which meant that electronics were never working. He was actually an Imperial engineer who had been kidnapped and kind of had Stockholm Syndrome. He had been living there for so long, he kind of lost it, like Dennis Hopper in Apocalypse Now.”

Or perhaps like Samuel L Jackson’s character in the Apocalypse Now-inspired Kong: Skull Island.

In the earlier screenplays, Jyn Erso and her rebel team initially wrecked their U-Wing while trying to track down Bokan, who had knowledge about a Death Star exploit and was wanted by both sides of the war. Luckily, the ship crash-landed on the same moon that Gerrera was using as a hideout, where they had been trying to extract the desired information from the former Imperial engineer. This probably explains why Saw Gerrera’s alien Interrogation creature Bor Gullet had a bigger role before the reshoots.

Originally Gerrera operated out of a ship graveyard, which is part of the reason the Empire never found him. In this early version of the film, the rebel crew took an Imperial shuttle from the wreckage and used it through the end of the film. In the final version, you see this scene happen on Eadu.  Director Gareth Edwards explains how the character evolved through the process:

“With Riz, we needed a person that was stuck in this life with the bad guys. He had gotten there by accident and the only way he could survive was to play along. Deep down he had guilt. He was going to be one of those characters that was going to help turn this around. He wasn’t brave at the start but found bravery in the end. Even though we changed the literal character, that underlining concept stayed intact. We thought it would be stronger if he wasn’t Saw Gerrera’s guy, but instead he knew Galen. Those sorts of things changed, but the desire for them feels similar.”

And we know that the ending of the film was dramatically reworked by extensive reshoots that changed the geography and even deaths of the Rebel crew.

Bodhi originally died during the sequence where the former Imperial runs around with the plug (if you’ve seen the movie, you know the one). Apparently, there is even a one-minute long, one-shot take that was left on the editing room floor featuring “Bodhi ducking and diving from Stormtroopers” as he tried to “get the plug to where he wanted it to go while Chirrut and Baze were kind of flanking him.” Sounds like a cool sequence that, sadly, we’ll probably never see. At the end of it, Bodhi was shot and severely injured, forced to crawl his way back onto the ship before his triumphant final moment.

This all makes sense. In the final film, I do feel like Saw Gerrera and Bodhi Rook both feel like the remnants of previous drafts and ideas and never quite realized to their fullest. At least now I know why.

The post Riz Ahmed Signed on to ‘Rogue One’ to Play a Completely Different Character appeared first on /Film.


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VOTD: Watch the ‘Rogue One’ Ending Lead into ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’ Uninterrupted

Rogue One Ending

One of the most thrilling moments in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is when you realize the ending of the movie is leading right up to the opening of Star Wars: A New Hope. There was something very exciting about seeing the moments that led to the chase that opened the movie which started it all, helped immensely by that added Darth Vader sequence.

The only problem with the Rogue One ending is that the credits roll, and if you felt the urge to watch A New Hope immediately, you had to wait until you got home. But now you can experience the seamless transition between the ending of Rogue One and the beginning of A New Hope thanks to an easy but inevitable mash-up of the two movies.

Watch the Rogue One ending lead into the opening of A New Hope below.

This is perhaps one of the easiest edits someone could have made, but even so, the transition between the two movies could maybe be a little smoother. The fade to black between the films feels a little clunky, though it’s just cool to see how perfectly these movies fit together. Even those who were lukewarm on Rogue One as a whole found the climax to be truly riveting, and this sequence leading up to the opening moments of A New Hope were a big part of that.

Fans won’t have to wait much longer to relive Rogue One in its entirety with the film available on digital download this Friday, March 24 (followed by a Blu-Ray/DVD release on April 4). We have some more stuff from our recent visit to Industrial Light & Magic coming later this week to coincide with the release of the movie, so stay tuned.

The post VOTD: Watch the ‘Rogue One’ Ending Lead into ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’ Uninterrupted appeared first on /Film.


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New Details on ‘Rogue One’ Opening Crawl Emerge Even Though Gary Whitta Forgot About It

Rogue One Opening Crawl

One of the biggest departures from Star Wars tradition that was taken by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was the lack of an opening crawl to set the stage for the movie to come. However, even though we didn’t see one in the final movie, we did find out that there was once an opening crawl that was part of the original draft of the script.

The existence of a Rogue One opening crawl was further confirmed just a few days ago when director Gareth Edwards confirmed in a Reddit AMA that Gary Whitta wrote one in the first draft of the script. But he said that we would have to bug him to find out what it entailed. Thankfully, someone was able to follow up with the writer, and now we have some clarification on the matter.

UPDATE: Apparently writer Gary Whitta’s memory isn’t what it used to be. It turns out the Rogue One opening crawl did exist in the first draft of the script, but was removed when he did revisions. He reached out to us on Twitter to clarify his previous comments. In addition, we got some brief details about what that opening crawl entailed. Our original story follows, and you can find the update with details on the opening crawl after the jump.

io9 spoke to Gary Whitta not long after Gareth Edwards gave everyone that trailer to follow, and Whitta clarified, “It was never actually in a draft of the script. It’s just in a document, like a story document that I wrote.” Then he went on to explain how the discussion about the opening crawl (and some of the other traditional elements of Star Wars) went behind the scenes

“Literally in the very first days working on the film we were asking ourselves those questions. Like ‘What makes these :standalones different? Do they have opening crawls? Do they have John Williams music? Do they have all the same furniture and trappings? Do you do the Kurosawa wipes? Or do find your own language?’

Initially Gareth, a hardcore Star Wars fan, was like ‘You’ve gotta have an opening crawl.’ We wanted to have all the things we grew up with. And so as an experiment, purely because it was fun to try and write one, I wrote one. But it was never in a script. It was never actually in a draft.”

It’s likely we’ll never see that opening crawl, but even if we did, it would only offer insight into an entirely different version of the movie. There were some drastic changes made to the story that Gary Whitta wrote, as well as the first draft of the script, when Chris Weitz was brought in to write a second draft. There were characters in the final movie that weren’t even part of Whitta’s original draft, including the favorite duo Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus.

In the end, Whitta thnks that Rogue One is better without an opening crawl anyway:

As we started to embrace the idea more and more that these films were going to be different, and they didn’t have to be beholden to all the same laws as the original films, we were like, ‘You know? We’re better off without it.’ And I understand there are some people out there that really want things the way they want them, and they’re upset there isn’t an crawl. But I feel like it was a really great way to make the bold statement at the very beginning, literally the very first frame of the film: this is not like the Star Wars films you’ve seen before.

As we’ve mentioned before, the opening crawl would have had a somewhat difficult time setting the stage when you consider the fact that the first sequence takes place roughly 15 years before the events that follow in the rest of the film. So much time passes between the opening scene and the rest of the movie that the opening crawl wouldn’t really be able to tell us anything that helps set up the movie like the rest of the Star Wars saga installments.

UPDATE: For those curious, a reader reached out to us with details from an appearance Gary Whitta made at the Salt Lake City Comic Con FanX this past weekend. Whitta wouldn’t give any specific details about the content of the opening crawl, but he did reveal that in addition to having three paragraphs that end with ellipses as you would expect, it did have the exact same word count as the opening crawl from A New Hope.

We’ll have more on Rogue One soon as the press heats up for the film’s digital release on March 24 followed by the Blu-ray and DVD release on April 4.

The post New Details on ‘Rogue One’ Opening Crawl Emerge Even Though Gary Whitta Forgot About It appeared first on /Film.


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How Gareth Edwards Beat the System to Land ‘Godzilla’ and ‘Rogue One’

They thought a VFX designer could never be a director, but Gareth Edwards proved everybody wrong.

As a teenager, Gareth Edwards had a very specific plan on how he’d make it big. It was pretty simple. He’d just do what his idol, Steven Spielberg, did. He recapped this list in the beginning of his SXSW keynote earlier this week: «I made cheap films with my father’s camera, check. I went to university, check. I made a professional short film, check.» The overwhelming difference in the two directors’ paths really came in the final step. «I sent it to Hollywood producers and got given a very polite rejection letter.»

The road to Rogue One did not start off easy for Edwards. «I was twenty-one years old, just finished film school and felt like I sort of had just wasted my life,» he remembered. «But one of the things that happens at film school, is of course, that you meet other film students. One of the guys that I was living with studied this brand new thing called ‘computer animation.’ It was very clear back then, Jurassic Park had just come out in cinemas, that this was going to be the future of filmmaking.»

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