What's Popping: 'Star Wars: Episode VII', 'Guardians of the Galaxy', 'Ted 2', 'Jurassic Park 4', 'TMNT'

Star Wars

Some familiar characters are rumored to be returning for Star Wars: Episode VII, but we're not talking about Luke Skywalker, Han Solo or Leia. Those will most likely return. No, the latest rumor is that Emperor Palpatine and Obi-Wan Kenobi, both of whom died in Episode V and VI, respectively, will show up in the new movie as spirits. If true, don't be surprised if Yoda turns up as well.

Vin Diesel has met with Marvel about a possible team-up, but neither parties gave any clues as to what that'll be. The speculation is that Diesel may either play Thanos or the android Vision, but those turns out to be false. He is actually voicing a tree-like creature named Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy.

The sequel to Ted has a release date -- well, a release month and year, to be exact. According to director (and the voice of Ted) Seth MacFarlane, Ted 2 is aiming for an April 2015 release. The r-rated comedy was a huge hit at the global box office, taking in over $549 million while costing a reported $50 million to make. The budget will definitely be higher for the sequel, but will likely be equally lucrative for Universal.

Colin Trevorrow, director of the forthcoming Jurassic Park IV, likes to remind us not to believe everything we've read on the internet, especially when it comes to his movie. "I saw some of the rumors on the internet and I would have all kinds of red flags going off if I heard they were going to muzzle a T-Rex," Trevorrow tells Bleedingcool. "So I would say don't believe everything you read, there are way more insiders on the internet than there are in real life."

Paramount's live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot has its release date bumped again. Instead of June 6, 2014, the movie is now scheduled to open on August 8, 2014 to avoid competition with the other family-friendly movies opening around the same time and to give Paramount more time to plan out the marketing campaign since the original date is so close to Transformers 4.

Other News & Notes:

Joseph Kosinski directing Warner Bros' The Twilight Zone.

First Vampire Academy trailer: A new camp classic?

Mark Wahlberg wouldn't mind playing Iron Man.

Vin Diesel to produce and star in Soldiers of the Sun.

Darren Aronofsky circling spy thriller Red Sparrow.

Woody Allen pimps out John Turturro in Fading Gigolo trailer.

Joel Edgerton in talks for Ridley Scott's Exodus.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier aiming for ''70s political thriller' vibe.

Pete Docter talks Pixar's Inside Out.

Leaked Guardians of the Galaxy footage from D23 Expo.

Review: Austenland (an antidote to gentlemen broncos).

Max Landis reveals discarded Chronicle sequel storyline.

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