What's Popping: 'Star Wars', 'X-Men: Days of Future Past', 'Twilight Saga', 'Mockingjay'

Star Wars

George Lucas sold Lucasfilm and his effects house ILM to Disney for $4 billion (which he is donating to charity, by the way) earlier this week. For that chump change, it's less of a sale than Lucas giving it away. With him retired from filmmaking, it's easy to see why. Disney is a good steward of what Lucas has built and Lucas doesn't need more money. Oh yeah, out of this deal is more Star Wars movies coming our way -- maybe six more, with Episode 7-9 focusing on a middle aged Luke Skywalker.

Bryan Singer is returning to the X-Men franchise, replacing Matthew Vaughn as the director for X-Men: Days of Future Past. For unknown reasons, Vaughn exit the project two weeks ago, leaving the movie that's shooting early next year without a director. Singer is an excellent choice to replace Vaughn because he actually has a hand in crafting the stories for both X-Men: First Class and the sequel. And his previous two X-Men movies were not bad at all.

With Sony not making as much money as it was used to, the mega corporation is cutting back the number of movies it will make by 2 a year starting in 2014. One of the casualties is Ghostbusters 3. Sony Pictures, the movie arm of the Sony, is putting the movie on hold and will not make a decision to proceed until the end of March 2013. Depending on the company's financial grounding then, Sony will either move forward or delay the movie further.

Sad that the Twilight Saga is coming to an end with the release of Breaking Dawn Part II in two more weeks? There's good news. Stephenie Meyer revealed that she has some ideas for a couple more books that may put the focus on the other characters. As for when she'll around to write them, here's what she has to say: "I don’t know, maybe I’ll write it out someday for myself."

The search for the director of the two-part Hunger Games finale Mockingjay is over: Lionsage has decided to go with Catching Fire's Francis Lawrence. Maybe the studio has learned its lesson from dealing with Gary Ross. Lionsgate was trying to lowball the the director of the first Hunger Games that talks dragged on until Ross decided not to return to direct Catching Fire, leading to Lawrence's hire.

Other News & Notes:

Jeff reviews Wreck-It Ralph.

Red Dawn's Josh Peck excited about his 3D dance movie called Battle of the Year.

Sara reviews Sean Penn's This Must Be the Place.

Ang Lee talks about Life of Pi.

Justin Lin to direct sci-fi thriller Hibernation.

First trailer for Steven Soderberg's Side Effects.

New in Theaters: Flight, The Man With the Iron Fists, Wreck-It Ralph.

John Cusack is developing a Rush Limbaugh biopic.

Mark Wahlberg to remake Point Blank.

Jamie Foxx reportedly in talks to play villain in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Reviews say Skyfall is one of the best Bond films.

WB not moving forward with Jon Favreau's Jersey Boys adaptation.

New G.I. Joe: Retaliation trailer.

Roger Avary to write and direct Castle Wolfenstein.

New Star Wars films rumored to focus on an older Luke Skywalker.

Some Terminator news may be coming.

Christoph Waltz in talks for next Muppets movie.

Sara reviews Cloud Atlas.

Imogen Poots joins Aaron Paul in DreamWork's Need for Speed.

Justin Lin may direct sci-fi comedy Subdivision.

Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders are in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Industrial Light & Magic goes to Disney in the Lucasfilm sale.

Frank Grillo will play Crossbones in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Actors assemble for George Clooney's The Monuments Men.

Watch the red band trailer for Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.

Things learned from The Wolverine chat: It will be more action-packed than the X-Men movies.

Sin City 2 begins production; Jaime King and Jamie Chung added to the cast.

Hurricane Sandy shuts down production on Darren Aronofsky's Noah.

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