December 08, 2016

Thinking Out Loud: Oscar® nominees/winners and the ‘Star Wars’ casting rumors

86th Annual Academy Awards - Press Room

For this week’s random assortment of Thinking Out Loud ideas, I wanted to start by focusing in on the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII casting rumors briefly. Specifically, how J.J. Abrams and company have recently seemed to be honing in on Oscar nominees and winners for the cast. I’ll have some other small things below as well, but that’s the main bent that the column will have today. Anyway, let’s get started!

-Star Wars loves awards darlings, that much seems to be true. Just look at the names being mentioned for roles in the sequel…Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, and Saoirse Ronan to name a few. What do all of them have in common? With the exception of Cumberbatch and Jordan, they’re all Oscar nominees, and in the case of Nyong’o, she’s an Academy Award winner to boot. If nothing else, Abrams and company seem to be meeting or at least considering folks who’ve given a few acclaimed performances over the last couple of years. That’s a good way to keep me interested this sequel, though in all honesty, we’re all going to be seeing the film, regardless.

-Could Godzilla be worth considering for some bigger Oscar categories than just the technical ones? Trust me, I’m not saying we’ve got a Best Picture nominee on our hands, but at the same time, those two trailers have been outstanding, and with an up and coming director in Gareth Edwards inspiring confidence in its potential, I’m starting to wonder if there’s at least an outside chance that we’ll discuss it at some point. Remember, a few years ago we had a similar situation with Rise of the Planet of the Apes. I’m 99% sure that it won’t get that nomination (or Best Director, though I suppose a Screenplay citation is an outside possibility), but hey…you never know.

-Finally, I’m writing this from Atlantic City, where I’m spending my birthday weekend (yes, happy birthday to me), and it made me wonder what the last movie was to use the town in a contemporary setting. Was it that Nicolas Cage flick Snake Eyes? Well, I hope not. Anyway, that was on my mind when I arrived last night, so I figured I’d share it with you all. If any screenwriters are reading this, perhaps you might want to consider setting your next project here? Just a thought…

Until next weekend everyone, when I’ll do some more Thinking Out Loud!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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