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MOVIE CHEAT SHEET: Leia's sweet goodbye

Brian Gasparek says Star Wars will send the late Carrie Fisher off in style. DISNEY

Brian Gasparek says Star Wars will send the late Carrie Fisher off in style. DISNEY


THE BIG STORY: Leia's sweet send-off

When Carrie Fisher suddenly passed away last Christmas, we were devastated. On top of the deep sadness we felt for the loss of a beloved, iconic actress, many of us were concerned about how Leia's absence would alter the final edit of The Last Jedi and the Star Wars narrative going forward. But according to John Boyega, we have no reason to fret. Without dishing any spoilers, Boyega revealed this week that The Last Jedi will make Carrie Fisher's last big screen appearance as Leia a special one. According to John, "This movie, it sends her off in a very amazing, amazing way. She's still kept alive in this franchise. You know, that's the beauty of it, she lives forever in a sense." Although we tragically lost Fisher, we can take great solace in knowing that she will continue to live on in her most popular role and that her legacy in the franchise will remain in tact.

FLICK HITS: Star Wars gets the Potter touch

Speaking of Star Wars, it was announced this week that the franchise is getting the wizard's touch, post The Last Jedi. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child writer Jack Thorne has been tasked with Episode IX rewriting duties, taking over from director Colin Trevorrow and his writing partner Derek Connolly. Instead of worrying that another Star Wars flick is receiving a major shake-up behind the scenes, I say we embrace the fact that LucasFilm has brought in a killer writer to finish the job. Everything will be fine ... right?

Where is Space Jam 2?

Last year, we were told that Space Jam 2 was on. We heard LeBron James is locked in to star and that Justin Lin is set to direct. So when does it start shooting? Up until this week, everything has been quiet on the Space Jam front, but Lin finally broke his silence about the film's status. According to Justin, "... the challenge is we have actors who are also professional athletes, so scheduling is something that is tough ... there's a logistical challenge but also creatively, to do a sequel 20 years later with a new cast and also to be able to - in a relevant way - bring the Looney Tunes back. That's very important to me to do it right. I feel I've done nine different iterations already and we're going to keep going, but we're getting closer every day." Fair enough. As much as we all want to see a '90s reboot that actually sounds awesome, we should all be happy that Lin is taking pride in doing it right.

Best Bond yet?

If the rumours are true, the 25th James Bond flick (potentially titled Shatterhand) has the potential to be groundbreaking. In addition to Daniel Craig's return as 007 (a.k.a. Hollywood's worst-kept secret), it sounds like the film is going to be based on Raymond Benson's 2001 Bond novel, Never Dream of Dying, and will feature 007 battling a blind super villain. If true, this would mark the first time a 007 flick has been adapted from a Bond book not written by creator Ian Fleming. Christoph Waltz (Blofeld) and Dave Bautista (Mr. Hinx) are both rumoured to be returning, as well. Awesome. Now let's make up for the trash-can flick that was Spectre.

DID YOU KNOW...? Tilda was almost Pennywise

We're still a month away from the release of It and Bill Skarsgård already has me terrified in his role as the sinister clown, Pennywise. He's going to nail the part. Just look at him ... so creepy. But it turns out that the film's producers originally had someone much different in mind to play the shape-shifting monster. They were first pondering Brit actress Tilda Swinton. This, of course, doesn't seem like a huge stretch, since Swinton has proven that she can literally do anything. But it turned out that the actress'schedule was far too slammed for It. According to a producer, "We had a slot to shoot the movie and she wasn't available so she didn't even audition.But of course, we all thought about it." As awesome as it would have been to see Tilda in the flick, don't sweat it. Skarsgård will amply haunt us all this fall.


Drab Tower: The Dark Tower

I remorsefully had The Dark Tower pegged as a stinker the second its cheesy trailer surfaced online a few months back. Unfortunately, it looks like I was correct. The sci-fi western's reviews were held back for most of the week and early rumblings have all been negative. How can you fit Stephen King's complex source material into just 90 minutes? This flick had the potential to be something really cool, but it looks like Idris Alba and Matthew McConaughey couldn't save it. Proceed with caution, it's going to be bad.

Must-See: Detroit

Rack up another gut-wrenching gem for Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal. Critics are lauding the director and screenwriter for delivering big on Detroit, their dramatization of Algiers Motel incident from 1967. The film is tense, heavy, and unsettlingly current. John Boyega's acting is being called stellar. If you feel like getting deep at the theatre this weekend, this is your flick.

Pass: Kidnap

I'll never say a bad thing about Halle Berry based on principle, but I wish that her first return flick since X-Men: Days of Future Past didn't look so aggressively terrible. Reviews have been held back all week on this soccer mom car chase thriller, which shouldn't surprise anyone who has seen the trailer. Take a hard pass on this flick and pray that Halle receives a much better homecoming in Kingsman: The Golden Circle.