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Movie Morsels: J.J. Abrams on STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Running Time

Still buzzing from Star Wars‘ presence at this weekend’s D23 Expo? We’ve got an interesting new factoid about Star Wars: The Force Awakens in today’s Movie Morsels courtesy of J.J. Abrams himself. Plus, the latest on Jack Reacher 2, Underworld 5, Neighbors 2, and Star Trek Beyond. Hey, no matter how the next Star Trek film turns out, at least it doesn’t have a number in its name… May the Force be with you, live long and prosper, and read on!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

On Saturday, at this year’s D23, a lot of excitement for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was added to the already massive amount we had for J.J. Abrams’ upcoming chapter of the space saga. But despite the reveal of the film’s first illustrated poster (by Star Wars artist supreme Drew Struzan), pictured below, and appearances by Abrams and stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, and even Harrison Ford himself, frustratingly few new details emerged about the film. One detail that did emerge, however, was the running time of J.J. Abrams’ current cut of the film: 124 minutes. Disney publicists told me Abrams went right back to work in the editing suite on Sunday, so that number is sure to change. But it’s not expected to change dramatically. As Slashfilm points out, that’s good news for those of us who believe the shorter Star Wars films of the Original Trilogy (the longest of which was Return of the Jedi at 131 minutes) are infinitely superior to the longer-running Prequel Trilogy films (the longest of which was Attack of the Clones at 142 minutes). Oh, December 18, 2015, where are you?!

Star Wars


Underworld 5

Tobias Menzies

Outlander star Tobias Menzies is joining the cast of the fifth Underworld film. Underworld 5 will reunite him with director Anna Foerster, who helmed the recent season finale of Outlander, in which Menzies’ villain brutally assaulted hero Jamie Fraser. No word on whether or not he’ll play a nicer guy this time around, when he meets up with Kate Beckinsale’s returning Selene, but he’s been cast as “Marius,” who’s described as “a mysterious new Lycan leader.” The film debuts on October 21, 2016.


Neighbors 2


On paper, Dave Franco sounds like the kind of guy who’s easy to dislike: kid brother to the ever-controversial James Franco, good-looking, dating nerd goddess Alison Brie. But despite all that, the actor keeps making us love him, by not only delivering consistently funny performances, but holding his own against stars like Channing Tatum and Seth Rogen. So I’m happy to hear the younger Franco will be back as his clueless frat boy character in Neighbors 2, co-starring the returning Rogen and Rose Byrne, along with Chloe Moretz, Kiersey Clemons and Beanie Feldstein as a trio of sorority sisters. Nicholas Stoller is also back to direct the May 20, 2016 release.

[The Wrap]

Jack Reacher 2

Jack Reacher

Looks like the sequel to Tom Cruise’s other recent hit directed by Christopher McQuarrie will start shooting in November, with director Ed Zwick at the helm of Jack Reacher 2 for a late 2016 release from Paramount. After which, Cruise will shoot the next installment of the Mission: Impossible series in summer 2016.

[The Hollywood Reporter]

Sinister 2

A new Sinister 2 clip examining the “Mystery of Bughuul” and a featurette looking at the film’s “Family” have arrived online. The sequel to Blumhouse’s 2012 horror hit, starring Shannyn Sossamon real-life twins Robert and Dartanian Sloan lands on August 21st. Ciaran Foy directs.


Star Trek Beyond

Finally today… We have a new Omaze charity video from the set of Star Trek Beyond, featuring Captain Kirk himself (Chris Pine) and his latest antagonist (Idris Elba). The next Trek film, directed by Justin Lin, appears on July 8, 2016. Enjoy!


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