BUZZ News Shorts: Avatar Sequels, Star Wars Pressure, Deadpool & More

james_cameron_avatar-••• James Cameron tells Entertainment Weekly that one of the main reasons the Avatar sequels are taking so long to reach the screen is because, “expectations are going to be very high on these films, especially on Avatar 2, to make sure it wasn’t just some big fluke the first time. So we’ve got to deliver. I’ve created a nice rod for my own back, so they say.” He adds, “I’m in the process of doing another pass through all three scripts right now. Just refining. That’s in parallel with the design process. The design process is very mature at this point. We’ve been designing for about a year and a half. All the characters, settings and creatures are all pretty much set.”

star-wars-jj-abrams••• Another director feeling the pressure, apparently, is JJ Abrams, who – despite industry predictions that Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens will topple Avatar as the biggest grossing movie of all time – is well aware that Disney is expecting big, big returns on its investment. “You just know that there will be people, no matter what you do, that will have issues with some aspect,” he told the US news show 60 Minutes. “You just know there is some number that is being thrown out there that will not be hit. You just know.” Stephen Spielberg concurred on the same show: “Oh JJ is terrified. There’s a lot of pressure on JJ to start paying Disney back for, you know, the franchise they bought from from George Lucas.” [via The Hollywood Reporter]

••• Musician and ’80s pop star Herbie Hancock (most famous for “Rockit” – the first US hit single to include scratching – and its multi-award-winning accompanying video) has joined the cast of Luc (The Fifth Element) Besson’s space opera Valerian. Besson announced the news via Instagram: “Herbie Hancock is a legend. His music was my only friend at 14… I learn so much listening this genius… I’m proud to have him for a role in #Valerian.” [via The Hollywood Reporter]

deadpool_christmas••• If you can find the time on Christmas Day to go online you’ll discover that 20th Century Fox has released the new trailer for Deadpool. Let’s hope that doesn’t mean they think they’ve got a turkey on their hands… [via Coming Soon]

••• Mystery Science Theater 3000 has raised enough money – including $5.76 million through Kickstarter (beating the $5.7 million raised for the Veronica Mars movie] – to make 14 news episodes of the show. [via Deadline]

••• Gollum, Caesar (Planet Of The Apes version) and King Kong actor Andy Serkis is set to direct and star in a new dark version of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale called Steelskin for Fox. [via Nerdist]




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