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The Great Unmade? The Early Drafts of Star Wars, Part 2

Following part one of my read-thru, with his second draft, dated January 1975, George Lucas began stripping down his massive manuscript of ideas and refocusing them into something much more budget conscious and achievable for the time. The Skywalker is a prophetic figure, a man who learned how to manipulate the spiritual fabric of reality […]

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The Great Unmade? The Early Drafts of Star Wars, Part 1

Discussion of the origins of Star Wars must begin with Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress, the tale of a bearded General and a young Princess, both in the guise of peasants, trying to sneak across enemy lines while pursued by the clan who overthrew their kingdom, and having to work with a bumbling pair of […]

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The Great Unmade? Gary Whitta’s “Replicant”, Starring Ryan Gosling

With the news that Ryan Gosling is to co-star in the upcoming Blade Runner sequel, Gary Whitta, screenwriter of The Book Of Eli, After Earth, and the first draft screenwriter on the first of the new stand-alone Star Wars films, tweeted his own pitch from 2012 for a “Gosling-powered Blade Runner sequel.” And he kindly […]

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The Great Unmade? Kerry Conran’s John Carter Of Mars

John Carter (Of Mars) is a property, based on the century-old Edgar Rice Burroughs high fantasy/science fiction adventures, that was knocking around for some time, waiting for someone to lick it into shape. Director Andrew Stanton’s take (Wall-E, Finding Nemo) sadly failed to connect with a mass audience, and the rights have now slipped out […]

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The Great unmade? Star Trek Phase II

Once syndication had established there was a massive interest in Star Trek, after blinkered scheduling had driven the original run into a Network Black Hole , Gene Rodenberry was determined to resurrect his cast of future Utopian interplanetary explorers on screen, big or small. Initial scripts morphed into the curious case of the lost series, Star Trek […]

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The Great unmade? Gladiator 2: A Life Lived To The Maximus

  Ridley Scott’s rejuvenation of the toga / swords and sandals epics of yore with Gladiator had everything – epic scale, brilliant battles, fully realised worlds, political backstabbing, madness, grief and vengeance. Russell Crowe fully convinced as the General betrayed and sold into slavery, doomed to fight for the plebs amusement, and determined to revenge […]

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The Great Unmade?: Who Discovered Roger Rabbit / Toon Platoon

  Even cartoons get the blues. After raking in the dollars, Who Framed Roger Rabbit was surely as deserving of a sequel as any mainstream studio film. However, rivalry between production partners Disney and Amblin Entertainment, escalating costs and disputes over the script, plugged Roger Rabbit before he could interact with hapless humans again. A […]

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The Great Unmade? Sergio Leone’s Leningrad

Italian director Sergio Leone’s The Good, The Bad And The Ugly is considered by many to be “the greatest American Civil War picture ever made”. Here, he displayed an eye for large scale action and drama, combined with impressive research, for scenes such as the bridge battle and the Union prison camp. It was in 1969 […]

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Star Wars Splinter Of The Mind’s Eye Story Conference

In the midst of fraught  post-production on Star Wars, George Lucas was planning ahead. As we reported in our previous The Great Unmade: Splinter Of The Mind’s Eye, Lucas was hedging his bets. He wasn’t convinced that his space opera would be a great success, and considered using his ghost author for the novelization, Alan […]

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The Great Unmade? Nottingham

The tale of Robin Hood is one oft told, many times on film alone, including the recent Ridley Scott / Russell Crowe team up, sold to Crowe as a chance to make a “sequel” of sorts to their previous historic rip-snorter,Gladiator.  Robin Hood sprang from an original “hot” script called Nottingham, yet the two articles bear as much relation […]

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