STAR WARS – Emilia Clarke is heading to a galaxy far, far away — and she’s going to meet Han and Chewie.
StarWars.com is excited to announce that Clarke, known for her stirring portrayal of Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones, will join the upcoming untitled Han Solo Star Wars movie. Clarke’s role will round out a dynamic cast of characters that Han and Chewie will encounter on their adventures.
Clarke joins Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover — previously cast as Han Solo and Lando Calrissian, respectively — in the highly-anticipated film, which is set prior to the original Star Wars trilogy.
The untitled Han Solo movie, helmed by directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, is set for release in 2018.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – HBO has just answered a huge lingering question about Game of Thrones.
EW asked the network’s new programming president Casey Bloys if he plans to go along with showrunners’ David Benioff and Dan Weiss’ oft-stated desire to end their fantasy hit with season 8.
Bloys said yes, that is the current plan – the first time somebody at HBO has confirmed this.
“Yes, they have a very specific plan about the number of seasons they want to do,” Bloys said at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Beverly Hills on Saturday. “Believe me, as the new [programming executive] coming in, if I could get them to do more. I would take 10 more seasons. But we take their lead on what they think they can do the best version of the show.”
The showrunners have also planned for the eighth season to consist of merely six episodes. On that front, however, Bloys said the exact number of season eight episodes is not yet final.
We then asked if the team is considering a Thrones spin-off to continue the valuable franchise. Thrones is one of TV’s most watched shows with 25 million total viewers this year across all platforms.
“We’ve talked about it,” he said. “It’s something I’m not opposed to, but of course it has to make sense creatively. I’m not sure that [Benioff and Weiss] could really wrap their heads around it when they’re just about to start production [on season 7]. It’s a pretty intense production, they’re about to start production soon. I’m open to it. The guys weren’t opposed to it, but there’s no concrete plans for it at this point.”
Also, with the production delay of season seven – which will debut its seven episodes next summer – the executive confirmed the plan will take Thrones out of the running for the Emmys next year. Thrones received 23 prime-time 2016 Emmy nominations, more than any other show, but requires a heavy amount of winter location shooting for the next season (locations include a production unit filming in Iceland).
Still, Bloys pointed out, “Even if we took Thrones Emmys away this year, we’d still have more than anyone else.”
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – Summer is coming.
HBO is officially confirming some major changes for Game of Thrones.
Season 7 of the fantasy sensation will not return until summer 2017 – pushing back from the show’s usual strategy of premiering each edition of the series in the spring (typically April).
Also, the network is confirming for the first time that next edition will consist of seven episodes (a pull back from the show’s usual 10 hours).
Plus, HBO added that the next season will be shot in Northern Ireland, Spain, and Iceland. It’s been a couple years since the Thrones team used Iceland for significant shooting, having primarily used the location for North of the Wall scenes when Jon Snow was embedded with the Wildlings camp.
“Now that winter has arrived on Game of Thrones, executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss felt that the storylines of the next season would be better served by starting production a little later than usual, when the weather is changing,” said Casey Bloys, president, HBO programming. “Instead of the show’s traditional spring debut, we’re moving the debut to summer to accommodate the shooting schedule.”
Benioff and Weiss also recently told the UFC Unfiltered podcast that production was getting a later start this year to film in wintery locations, which prompted speculation that the show’s return date might also be pushed. “We’re starting a bit later because at the end of this season, ‘Winter is here’ — and that means that sunny weather doesn’t really serve our purposes any more. So we kind of pushed everything down the line, so we could get some grim grey weather even in the sunnier places that we shoot.” (Usually the show begins production in July).
The producers have previously told EW they wanted to cap the hit series at 73 hours, with seven episodes next year, and six in an eighth-and-final season. (“We’ve known for several years now how many hours, roughly, we want it to go, it hasn’t changed,” Benioff said.) HBO has not yet confirmed anything about season 8, however, so that part of their plan is not yet official.
Thrones has managed to ratchet up its production values with each season, and having fewer episodes will likely allow more time for the team to polish every hour of the show. The producers have tapped directors Alan Taylor, Jeremy Podeswa, Mark Mylod, and Matt Shakman for next season.
Thrones season 6 broke HBO ratings records once again with episodes averaging more than 23 million viewers, including streaming, repeats and DVR playback The drama was also nominated for 23 primetime Emmys last week, more than any of other series for the third year running.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – So Dany finally left Meereen!
Since marrying Khal Drogo, her one aim has been to get back to Westeros. But, oh bugger, I gotta learn how to rule. Oh god, we gotta get here first. Oh f—, I might as well rule this city. Ah, a revolt – bugger! Dammit, now I’ve got to go over there! No more slaves! Done! Brilliant! She’s got the dragons. She’s got the manpower. She’s got the ships thanks to the Iron Born. So there’s nothing else to do. She’s got to go now. Iron Throne!
And she’s got the confidence now too …
Exactly. She’s got the balls. And she also knows she’s got to go forward to help Meereen. She’s got to sit on the Iron Throne for the ripple effect. She knows she can do rule better than anybody else.
How does it feel to know Dany is finally going for it – unless there’s a storm at sea and all your ships sink.
Don’t even suggest that! You might give them ideas. I’m going to go back and see my mates, so Emilia feels really happy, I get to come home. It’s amazing. But the idea [Dany] might might not see [Jorah Mormont actor Iain Glen and Daario Naharis actor Michiel Huisman] again, that idea suddenly makes the show feel like it has a finite ending and that’s really sad. So there’s the excitement of getting there and being with everyone else and also being like, “Yo! Other queens! Bye!”
Speaking other queens, you have to think Cersei doesn’t stand a chance. You got dragons, the Unsullied and the Dothraki. She can barely control anybody around her aside from a gang of street kids.
I mean, yeah. That’s what I’m saying. If we talk about this: basically, I’ve got ships, I’ve got manpower, I’ve got dragons that breathe fire, and I apparently cannot be killed. I don’t even have an attractive man who wants to take his shirt off anywhere near me now, so there are no distractions. Though we have yet to see [Peter Dinklage] without his clothes on. The only thing missing is Jorah. He’s gotta come back. I said I can’t rule the Seven Kingdoms without him … But as with Game of Thrones, you know when your character is looking good, that’s when you know you’re not safe. Because [the writers are] all, “Oh, do you like her? We’ll kill her!”
Speaking of men taking off their tops, it seems pretty likely now that Dany will meet Jon Snow at some point, right? Fire and Ice?
Yup, but I just don’t know. Those rumors have never been substantiated within the Game of Thrones circle. It’s never been said. So I don’t know. I could kill him. He could kill me. He could be dead before we even meet. I could be dead before we even meet. Arya could kill us both! You never know! Anything’s possible. All I know is winter is coming … and I’m bringing the heat!
THEWRAP – “You don’t need to have dragons to be a badass in your day-to-day life,” the actress also tells TheWrap.
Emilia Clarke doesn’t have much time to ponder what her life might have been like had she not gotten the role of Daenerys Targaryen on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” “I think about a lot of what ifs,” the Emmy-nominated actress told TheWrap, “but I don’t think that!”
For Clarke, landing her breakout role so early in her career has been a fascinating journey. “There was a lot of bright-eyed, bushy-tailedness about the evolution of me within the character and me within the world of the industry,” she said. “I got to learn a lot very quickly, like Daenerys does. The thing about the kind of success the show has seen is that I am unrecognizable without the wig. I’ve been able to watch it from afar and kind of observe it, as opposed to being thrust in it and not being able to breathe. I’ve been lucky.”
Clarke plays the flaxen-haired Mother of Dragons on the hit series, which is now in its sixth season. Showrunners and the network have hinted the show is winding down, and will likely end after Season 8. The role has been a game-changer for the 29-year-old British actress, who landed two Primetime Emmy nominations and opportunities to star in movies big and small, from the 2015 reboot of “The Terminator,” in which she played Sarah Connor, to Thea Sharrock’s recent adaptation of the best-selling tearjerker novel “Me Before You.”
THE VIOLET FILES – Emilia Clarke has been crying. The 29-year-old actress just said goodbye to her best friend, who had been visiting for the past month. “There were tears,” she says. “Two crying girls.” Indeed, friends and family are everything to Clarke. While she’s known for enjoying the company of dragons in her icon-making role on HBO’s megahit Game of Thrones, in real life the people close to the actress are “what makes me feel powerful,” she asserts.
Clarke splits her time between Los Angeles (she has a house in Venice) and London, which she considers home. But “ninety percent of the time I live out of a suitcase,” she says. In the wake of the season-six Thrones premiere [when VIOLET GREY met the actress], the suitcase is coming out, as Clarke heads off to Washington, D.C., for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. She is then flying to Kentucky to start work on what she calls her most demanding role to date, in the film adaptation of Joe Sharkey’s true-crime book Above Suspicion. “It’s an amazing, dark, dark drama—Phillip Noyce is directing. I get to play a drug addict—it is really gritty and I cannot wait!” she says with great zest. “It’s so incredibly outside my experience, and takes on a real story,” she explains of the role’s challenges. “When you take a piece of material that is already loved out of people’s imaginations and put it on screen, you know you’re going to make some people happy and some people unhappy.”
In preparation, she’s taking a deep dive into all things Southern, studying reference materials like history books and the documentary The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia (“It gives you a real insight,” she enthuses). The already lively Clarke becomes even more animated when discussing her craft: “Everyone’s got a reason for being the way they are, making the choices they make,” she says of her technique. “And if you can tap into those reasons, you can give a fully realized performance that’s lived instead of just being a job.”