REBELS Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) is easily one of the strongest heroines in fiction, a woman who doesn't quake in the presence of the dreaded Darth Vader or crumble when her entire planet is destroyed right before her eyes. Unfortunately, she's also one of the only female characters with a substantive role in George Lucas' six-movie epic.
Now that Disney owns Lucasfilm, the strong female character drought in the Star Wars universe appears to be at an end. Lucasfilm Animation recently released a short video via THR that features the first new female character in the post-George Lucas universe: Sabine (voiced by Tiya Sircar), a spunky, "feisty" tomboy from the same planet as Boba Fett who will be a major character in the new series Star Wars: Rebels. Shortly after THR's scoop, THR revealed the second new female character: Hera (voiced by Vanessa Marshall), a Twi'lek pilot and rebel. May the Force be with them!#AlwaysTrending
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GOTHAM Fox's Batman prequel series, Gotham, just got its first crime boss and it's surprisingly not a recognizable character, even to die-hard comic book fans. According to EW, Jada Pinkett Smith has joined the cast as 'Fish Mooney,' an original character described as "a sadistic gangster boss and nightclub owner [with] street smarts and almost extra-sensory abilities to read people like an open book. Imposing and hotheaded, she's not one to be crossed." At the start of the series, Mooney is the boss of Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor), a "psycho" who will eventually evolve into the Penguin.
FANTASTIC CAST After a couple false starts, it appears as if Fox is finally ready to forge ahead with its Fantastic Four franchise reboot. According to THR, the fabulous family of superheroes will be played by Miles Teller (Mr. Fantastic), Kate Mara (Invisible Woman), Michael B. Jordan (Human Torch) and Jamie Bell (the Thing). The movie already has a release date of June 19, 2015, so casting is expected to be finalized imminently. Josh Trank (Chronicle) will direct.
ACTOR2ACTOR We've all been scratching our heads at the erratic behavior of actor Shia LaBeouf in recent months. Following his plagiarism scandal, the 27-year-old actor got into a social media war with Jim Carrey, announced that he was "not famous anymore," headbutted a pub patron, showed up to the premiere of Nymphomiac Part One with a paper bag over his head, and then held an art exhibit titled "#IAmSorry" in which he reportedly did a lot of apologizing and a little crying. So, what's the deal with LaBeouf? According to James Franco in a recent op-ed piece in the NYTimes, Labeouf's behavior could be the result of "a nervous breakdown" or an artistic "rebellion" against fame.
Any artist, regardless of his field, can experience distance between his true self and his public persona. But because film actors typically experience fame in greater measure, our personas can feel at the mercy of forces far beyond our control. Our rebellion against the hand that feeds us can instigate a frenzy of commentary that sets in motion a feedback loop: acting out, followed by negative publicity, followed by acting out in response to that publicity, followed by more publicity, and so on.
Franco closed by saying that he hopes LaBeouf "is careful not to use up all the good will he has gained as an actor in order to show us that he is an artist.
"I'LL BE BACK" The last Terminator movie, Terminator Salvation, took the franchise into the far future, but Paramount and Skydance Productions are going back to 1984 in the two-movie prequel/reboot Terminator: Genesis. Arnold Schwarzenegger is back as the title cyborg, with Emilia Clarke as Sara Connor and Jason Clarke as John Connor. The only missing piece of the puzzle is Kyle Reese, the human warrior from the future originally played by Michael Biehn. According to Deadline, the coveted role has been offered to Aussie actor Jai Courney (A Good Day to Die Hard). Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World) is attached to direct.
ROWLBRAITH With the lawsuit against the lawyer who blew the lid off of her pseudonym behind her, J.K. Rowling is planning to bring back P.I. Cormoran Strike in a new mystery novel titled The Silkworm. TheWrap reports that the novel "centers on a novelist who is brutally murdered after writing a manuscript featuring poison pen depictions of almost everyone he knows." Little, Brown, will publish the novel on June 24, 2014.