DWTS: Lando Calrissian Does The Cha Cha Cha With Princess Leia And Some Stormtroopers

“I had no choice. They arrived right before you did. I’m sorry.”

This deal is getting worse all the time  (Photo: ABC)
This deal is getting worse all the time (Photo: ABC)

Dancing With the StarWars kicked off Season 18 in spectacular fashion on St Patrick’s Day.

Billy Dee Williams vamped it up Cloud City style as he did the Cha Cha Cha with Princess Leia (Slave version, natch), R2D2 and some Stormtroopers.

Time to revive the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special?



Your Chance to be in Star Wars: Episode VII? Open Casting Call

Calling all aspiring, good-looking, young actors: your big break could be days away

Want to be the next Mark Hamill or Carrie Fisher? Then check out this open casting call.

star wars casting

Posted on Twitter by casting agent Claire Curry (a.k.a. @UKopencall), the flyer says the search is on for “lead roles for a Disney film.”

However, the rumour mill has gone into overdrive and decided that actually it’s an open casting call for Star Wars: Episode VII instead.

Location scouting, production design, casting and costume design are already underway on the new Star Wars film. Shooting is scheduled to begin Spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios for an expected 2015 release.

Casting calls will be taking place across the UK and Ireland in the next few weeks, with pit stops in a number of cities. First up is Bristol, then Glasgow, Manchester, London and Dublin.

Don’t waste your money on a train ticket if you’re not attractive though. Candidates for the lead roles “Must be beautiful/handsome, smart and athletic.”

Good luck!

Star Wars: Episode VII Script Update: Michael Arndt Is Out, Lawrence Kasdan And J.J. Abrams Are In

Star Wars Episode VII Script: Michael Arndt Is Out, Lawrence Kasdan And J.J. Abrams Are In

Alderaan, Schmalderaan: this guy blew up Vulcan!


News that control of the Star Wars franchise had been handed over to J.J. Abrams initially had die-hard fans weeping in the aisles. Many a night’s sleep has been lost to the fear that Abrams would do a Star Trek on them.

Forget George Lucas tinkering with Jabba the Hutt in Mos Eisley, Abrams is eminently capable of rewriting the entire mythology. Alderaan, Schmalderaan: this guy blew up Vulcan!

Imagine Star Wars: Episode VII as the opening of an new era. One in which Anakin Skywalker never turned to the Dark Side, instead living out his life fixing moisture vaporators on Tattoine. One in which Darth Vader is unmasked as the tormented Jar Jar Binks (played by a snarling Benedict Cumberbatch)…

A news update from Star Wars HQ may not have alleviated all of those fears just yet: Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has confirmed that after a year on the project Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3) is out as scriptwriter, and Abrams is in.

It’s not a huge surprise: Abrams told Collider in September that he’d ditched plans to direct Star Trek 3 in favour of spending more time with Star Wars VII. However, in news to gladden the most stalwart of Star Wars hearts, Abrams will be joined by veteran safe pair of hands, Lawrence Kasdan.

In genre circles, multiple Oscar nominee (and member of the George Lucas inner circle) Kasdan is best known for his work on The Empire Strikes Back (which has, let’s face it, the best script of any of the films to date) and Raiders of the Lost Ark. He also co-wrote The Return of the Jedi.

Kasdan made his name with sharp, witty scripts for landmark, star-making films bookending the eighties: Body HeatThe Big Chill and Grand Canyon. However, in the ’90s and early ’00s he had mixed fortunes with films ranging from Dreamcatcher to French Kiss. It will be interesting to see what he brings to the Star Wars table this time around.

“I am very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and J.J. working on the script,” said Kennedy. “There are very few people who fundamentally understand the way a Star Wars story works like Larry, and it is nothing short of incredible to have him even more deeply involved in its return to the big screen. J.J. of course is an incredible storyteller in his own right. Michael Arndt has done a terrific job bringing us to this point and we have an amazing filmmaking and design team in place already prepping for production.”

Location scouting, production design, casting, and costume design are already underway on Star Wars: Episode VII. Shooting is scheduled to begin Spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios for an expected 2015 release.

The production team assembled so far boasts an impressive string of credits and is chock full of veteran Lucas and Abrams collaborators.

Confirmed members include Blade Runner costume designer Michael Kaplan, director of photography Dan Mindel (Star Trek Into Darkness), production designers Rick Carter (Avatar) and Darren Gilford (TRON: Legacy), special effects supervisor Chris Corbould (Skyfall) and sound designer Ben Burtt (Star Wars: Episodes I-VI).

Oh, and John Williams is returning to score the new film. Wheeee!

Excited much? Stay tuned for updates. @TVClaw

Ten Films I Watch Every Year


Last night I watched Diva for the first time in years and I remembered just how much I love it.

Diva (1981, directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix) was one of the first films I recorded onto VHS from the television.

I watched it over and over again all through one spring and summer as preparation for my French ‘A’ Level.

I watched it so many times that the tape eventually wore out and the ‘A’ Level examiner complimented my French teacher on my accent and command of Parisian slang. Last night I realised I can still quote reams of it from memory. “J’aime pas Beethoven …” 

Based on a novella by Delacorta, Diva is a thriller and love story set in Paris. Full of morally ambiguous characters, it’s admittedly un peu pretentious — “he’s in his cool phase” — but it’s also gripping, moving and oh-so stylish. Who hasn’t watched it and dreamed of living in Gorodish’s loft?

Plus, it has a killer soundtrack, not least the overarching pieces from Catalani’s opera La Wally.

Falling in love with Diva again made me think about other films I rewatch regularly year-in, year-out. They may not be the best films ever made, and some have definitely aged better than others, but they each have a special place in my heart.

Here, in no particular order, are ten films I watch every year:

Mars Attacks! (1996, directed by Tim Burton) Why: The outrageous humour, the nods to classic sci-fi films, the cameos by Pierce Brosnan, SJP, Rod Steiger et al. Plus Tom Jones! In Vegas!

Excalibur (1981, directed by John Boorman) Why: Childhood holidays spent in County Wicklow.

Animal House (1978, directed by John Landis) Why: It’s why suburban English kids had toga parties when we were students.

The Princess Bride (1987, directed by Rob Reiner) Why: It’s the best film ever made about true love, fencing and magic.

Star Wars (1977, directed by George Lucas) Why: That first jump to hyperspace.

The Great Escape (1963, directed by John Sturges) Why: Memories of everyone gathered around the television set on Boxing Day.

Zulu (1964, directed by Cy Endfield) Why: Lush cinematography, “Men of Harlech”.

WALL-E (2008, directed by Andrew Stanton) Why: The astonishing animation, Hello, Dolly!, the raw emotions.

The Blues Brothers (1980, directed by John Landis) Why: Best. Soundtrack. Ever.

The Grass is Greener (1960, directed by Stanley Donen) Why: Great cast, great script, great costumes.

Twitter: @TVClaw

Doctor Who, Asylum Of The Daleks: New Trailer

As the Doctor Who Season 7 premiere fast approaches, the BBC has released another tantalising trailer.

This one’s for the opening episode, “Asylum of the Daleks.”

It looks like it pays more than a stylistic nod to Star Wars, particularly with the Dalek eye popping up through the snow just like an imperial probe on Hoth.


Doctor Who Season 7 premieres in the UK on Saturday 1 September, 7:35pm on BBC1.

Doctor Who Season 7 premieres in the US on Saturday 1 September, 9pm ET on BBC America.

Follow me on Twitter: @TVClaw