From Kurt Russell to Alicia Vikander — Here Are the 10 Biggest “Winners” of 2015

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2015 is over and it was one helluva year for the movies. Box office records were smashed. Veteran filmmakers returned with a vengeance. Stars were born. Now it’s time to take a few steps back, look at what transpired and reflect…in list-form. Yes, it’s time to do what we’ve done in years past and select the 10 people who “won” the movies in 2015.

These actors, actresses, filmmakers, and entities represent the cream of the crop, the people who dominated this year in one way or another, overcoming great odds or simply wowing us with their output.

Let’s begin.

10. Ridley Scott: The Comeback Kid

After nearly a decade of disappointments and misfires, the legendary director of Alien and Blade Runner delivered his best film in decades with The…
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Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ Lands ‘Creed’ Director Ryan Coogler

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It’s been rumored for weeks, and now it’s official: Ryan Coogler will direct Marvel’s upcoming “Black Panther.”

Coogler, who also helmed this year’s “Rocky” spinoff, “Creed,” was confirmed for the job by Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige, who discussed the director in a new interview with Empire magazine (as transcribed by Polygon). Coogler has been in the Oscar conversation this year for his work on “Creed,” and also won an Independent Spirit Award for his debut drama, “Fruitvale Station.” It made sense to attract a director of his caliber, Feige told Empire.

“This one is important,” Feige said of “Black Panther,” and its place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Not only do you get an unbelievable lead character, but you also get all of Wakanda which is a whole new setting and culture to explore.”

Marvel was initially interested in “Selma” director Ava DuVernay for the job, though she passed on the project. According to Variety, F. Gary Gray (“Straight Outta Compton”) was also considered, and it took some convincing to land Coogler, who initially turned down the job earlier this year before Marvel approached him again. But Cooger’s chops will lend themselves well to the scope of the story Marvel wants to tell, according to Feige.

“The movie is a big geopolitical action adventure that focuses on the family and royal struggle of T’Challa in Wakanda and what it means to be a king,” the exec told Empire.

“Black Panther” stars Chadwick Boseman. It hits theaters on February 16, 2018.

[via: Empire, h/t Polygon]

Photo credit: Getty Images for CinemaCon

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George Lucas Apologizes for that ‘White Slavers’ Disney Comment

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George Lucas has had plenty of wistful things to say during the press tour for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the first film in the storied franchise that he had no hand in making. And while most of his melancholy is understandable — after all, he’s compared the flicks to kids he lost in a divorce — his recent remarks to Charlie Rose about selling off the rights to “the white slavers” (a.k.a. new “Star Wars” owners Disney) were a bit head-scratching and unfortunate.

After the internet took him to task, Lucas seems to have realized his poor choice of words, and issued an apology on Thursday. The filmmaker noted that he “misspoke” in his interview with Rose, and added that he harbored no ill will toward Disney; rather, he explained, he is “thrilled” with the new direction the series has taken. He also offered specific praise for longtime Lucasfilm president and producer Kathleen Kennedy, and “The Force Awakens” director J.J. Abrams.

Here’s Lucas’s full statement:

I want to clarify my interview on the Charlie Rose Show. It was for the Kennedy Center Honors and conducted prior to the premiere of the film. I misspoke and used a very inappropriate analogy and for that I apologize.

I have been working with Disney for 40 years and chose them as the custodians of Star Wars because of my great respect for the company and Bob Iger’s leadership. Disney is doing an incredible job of taking care of and expanding the franchise. I rarely go out with statements to clarify my feelings but I feel it is important to make it clear that I am thrilled that Disney has the franchise and is moving it in such exciting directions in film, television and the parks. Most of all I’m blown away with the record breaking blockbuster success of the new movie and am very proud of JJ and Kathy.

It does seem like Lucas was simply trying to make a joke in that interview — albeit one that came out extremely awkwardly, assisted by a deeply unfortunate choice of words. That being said, there’s obviously some painful truth there: The underlying sadness that’s permeated his remarks throughout the “Force Awakens” press push has been unmissable, and he almost certainly feels left out of all the new flick’s legacy. But he should probably keep a lid on that publicly until he gets a better handle on his emotions. Here’s hoping this brouhaha has helped him learn that lesson.

[via: TheWrap]

Photo credit: Getty Images

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The Geek Beat: The 10 Best Geeky Movies of 2015

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Well, that’s it, folks. Another year is in the rearview mirror.

It’s a bit of an understatement to say that 2015 was one for the record books. At various points during the last 12 months, it seemed as if the bar for box-office success was being raised every week – and not by small increments, either. Records changed hands countless times over the year, and in a win for geeks everywhere, most of the the movies making and breaking those records hailed from the worlds of sci-fi, fantasy, and superhero fare.

Given the plethora of great films this year, choosing ten that stood above the rest wasn’t an easy task. Sure, some choices were easy – Mad Max: Fury Road, for example – but for the most part, it was a tough list to narrow down.

So, without…
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