The New Zealand-born actor is most known for another role in the Star Wars universe: Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones. Jango is the ostensible “father” of Boba, an identical genetic clone that he raised as his own son. So if you were wondering how one actor can play both father and son, that’s how they’re going to pull it off. This won’t be Morrison’s first go round as Han Solo’s arch nemesis—or one of them anyway, the guy has made some enemies. Morrison also voiced Boba Fett in a 2004 special edition of The Empire Strikes Back.
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It’s a general rule of thumb that anytime anyone makes a lot of money doing something, there’s someone else out there scheming on how to get some of that money. James Cameron’s Avatar alone has been hit with multiple lawsuits over the past few years claiming he stole this or that notion for his science fiction epic, but they typically wind up dismissed. Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity is in the middle of a high-profile lawsuit right now, with acclaimed author Tess Gerritsen claiming the lucrative Warner Bros. release ripped off portions of her 1999 novel of the same name. As you would expect, Warner Bros. is calling bullshit on the whole thing and trying to get the entire case dismissed, and has filed the motion to do so.
Some background info: Gerritsen’s novel was acquired by New Line subsidiary Katja (both of which are now owned by Warner Bros.) around the time it was published, and the author received a $1 million payday, along with $500,000 production bonus and a planned 2.5% of the project’s net earnings, had it ever gotten made. She was also brought in to write some additional script-specific material. Her current stance is that portions of her work were lifted and used in last year’s Gravity, such as the whole “female doctor dealing with space accidents, forced to survive on her own.” Granted, there are other aspects of the novel’s plot that have nothing to do with the movie, and Warner’s lawyers point out the film is free from “aliens, government conspiracy theories, gory medical scenes or tales of lovers reconciling.” But a spade with a different handle is still a spade.
There are times when speaking quickly is a good thing, such to stop the execution of an innocent man, or if you’re the Micro Machines guy. But I may have put my foot in my mouth the other day when reporting that Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction fell short of a $100 million weekend, as Paramount’s official numbers pushed the final total to $100,038,000. (Give or take several pennies.) That’s quite noticeably higher than the $97.5 million estimates that were reached on Sunday, and so there are some out there who think Paramount padded its earnings to officially stand alone as the only film this year with a $100 million opening.
As one studio head put it, “They’re lying,” before questioning the number jump. Do audiences actually care if this (or any other movie) reaches a $100 million weekend for the first time in 2014? Personally, all I wanted out of Transformers: Age of Extinction was something worth the money I paid for it, and that definitely didn’t happen. So I’m the guy actually hoping that Paramount is full of shit and that they get caught inflating totals. There’s got to be a robot out there that’s meant to do that, right? Com…puterbot?
Based on the state of the world in the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailers, it’s clear that some time has passed between the end of Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the opening of this summer’s sequel. You might not have realized just how much time, however — a full 10 years. During that decade, the Simian Flu has ravaged the human population, whittling our numbers down drastically and setting the stage for a world where the uplifted apes can become the dominant species of the planet. That 10-year gap is the subject of three new prequel short films that lead up to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, set during the first year of the Simian Flu outbreak, the fifth year, and the tenth, respectively.
I guess DARPA’s not the only agency working on human robots, or robot humans. Usually I think of cyborgs as humans with a machine part or two, rather than the other way around, but that may soon be changing. Researchers at the University of Illinois recently demonstrated the first robot that moves via stimulation of actual living muscle — the aptly named “biobot.”
WGN America’s Manhattan is set in Los Alamos, New Mexico in the midst of the race to build the world’s first atomic bomb. The story focuses on two different families — Charlie and Abby Isaacs (Ashley Zukerman and Rachel Broshnahan) and Frank and Liza Winter (John Benjamin Hickey and Olivia Williams) — through whose eyes we experience 1940s Los Alamos and the “mysterious mission” at the heart of the town. Brian Dollenmayer, EVP of marketing and promotions at WGN America and Tribune Studios, makes inevitable Mad Men comparisons and says Manhattan is “a drama that tries to capture the emotional truth of these people who lived and worked there. It’s really the story beyond the bomb.”