Stunt Casting of the Day: Michael Jackson Wanted to be in Star Wars: Episode I

Ahmed Best said Michael Jackson wanted to be Jar Jar Binks.
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Yousa not going to believe this.

In an interview with Vice July 23, the actor who did al l the voice and motion capture for Jar Jar Binks admitted that he beat out Michael Jackson for the role.

While Amhed Best briefly touched on the subject during a Reddit AMA last year, he went into even greater depth for the extended profile.

Me, Natalie Portman, and George's kids—we were at Wembley arena at Michael Jackson's concert. We were taken backstage and we met Michael. There was Michael and Lisa Marie [Presley]. George introduced me as "Jar Jar" and I was like, That's kind of weird. Michael was like, "Oh. OK." I thought, What is going on?

Really though, would you expect a conversation with the King of Pop to be anything less than super weird?

Best continues:

After Michael had driven off, we all go back up to a big afterparty. I'm having a drink with George and I said, "Why did you introduce me as Jar Jar?" He said, "Well, Michael wanted to do the part but he wanted to do it in prosthetics and makeup like 'Thriller.'" George wanted to do it in CGI. My guess is ultimately Michael Jackson would have been bigger than the movie, and I don't think he wanted that.

If you need help imagining it, it might look a little something like this:

Best himself seems to have come to terms with his history as a character that has met with so much public hatred.

At the end of the day it is the movie business, and if the character doesn't work for the people who watch the movie then the character doesn't work. I can't take that personally. It's up to the filmmaker to make sure that not only does the film work for the filmmaker but it also works for the audience. So, because he wasn't fan favorite, I can understand why he was scaled back. And, narratively, they moved on to something else.

You can read the full interview, and some of Best's thoughts on Oscars for motion capture actors, here.

George Lucas Penned a New Animated Film Based on A Midsummer Night's Dream, Out Next January

george lucas,strange magic,a midsummer nights dream,lucasfilm
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Called Strange Magic, the film stars Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Kristin Chenowith, and Maya Rudolph, and is to be released on January 23, 2015.

From the press release:

"Strange Magic," a new animated film from Lucasfilm Ltd., will be released by Touchstone Pictures on January 23, 2015. "Strange Magic" is a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion. Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Industrial Light & Magic, which created the CGI animation for 2011's Academy Award®-winning film "Rango," bring to life the fanciful forest turned upside down with world-class animation and visual effects.

With a story by George Lucas, "Strange Magic" is directed by Gary Rydstrom ("Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation," "Lifted"), produced by Mark S. Miller (associate producer "Mars Attacks!") and executive produced by George Lucas, with a screenplay by David Berenbaum ("Elf"), Irene Mecchi ("Brave," "The Lion King") and Rydstrom. An extraordinary roster of film, television and Broadway stars lend their voices to "Strange Magic," including Alan Cumming (CBS' "The Good Wife," Broadway's "Cabaret"), Evan Rachel Wood ("The Ides of March"), Kristin Chenoweth (Broadway's "Wicked"), Maya Rudolph ("Big Hero 6," "Bridesmaids"), Sam Palladio (ABC's "Nashville"), newcomer Meredith Anne Bull, Alfred Molina ("Chocolat"), Elijah Kelley ("Hairspray," "The Butler"), Bob Einstein (HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm") and Peter Stormare ("Fargo"). Well-known music producer Marius de Vries ("Moulin Rouge") serves as both the musical director and composer.

Resentment of the Day

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The Star Wars fans react to Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm with biting commentaries aimed at George Lucas, who is now the second largest shareholder of the Walt Disney Company after the estate of Steve Jobs.

George Lucas Weighs In On Disney Buyout of the Day

george lucas,disney,star wars
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We understand the mixed feelings about Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm. Here's why George Lucas decided to do it:

For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. It's now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I've always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime.

I'm confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come.

Disney's reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.

Here's the video.

George Lucas Strikes Back of the Day

george lucas,good deeds,low-income housing,Photo,trolling
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Star Wars creator George Lucas has been trying for years to convert a large parcel of land in Marin County, CA, into a 300,000-square-foot movie studio, with amenities including a day care center, restaurants, a gym and a parking garage, only to be shot down by his wealthy neighbors.

Because the local homeowners' association has refused to let Lucas move forward with the studio, he's decided to put the land to good use by transforming it into low-income housing, simultaneously doing a good deed and trolling his fellow landowners.

"If everyone feels that housing is less impactful on the land, then we are hoping that people who need it the most will benefit," Lucas snarked.

He's even donating the various studies and surveys he paid for while working on the movie studio project, to help the new housing development get underway more quickly.

That might be almost enough to outweigh creating Jar Jar Binks.


This Looks Shopped of the Day

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This Looks Shopped of the Day: Redditors HoneyNinja and spudbaws give George Lucas a taste of his own unappealing alterations.


Movie Trailer of the Day

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Movie Trailer of the Day: First official trailer the George Lucas-produced, John Ridley-penned, Anthony Hemingway-penned WWII period drama Red Tails.

Based on the story of the Tuskegee Airmen -- the first African American combat aviators to serve in the US military -- Red Tails is Lucasfilm's first non-Star Wars/Indiana Jones production sin