Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Will Mark Hamill Appear in Star Wars VII or Not?

I think most of us assumed that it was a done deal. Various past and present discussions and tidbits indicated that all three of the original stars would be reprising their roles, even if in a small way, in the upcoming sequels. Harrison Ford finally signed on, and we heard about Mark Hamill and Carrie Fischer working with personal trainers to get ready to reprise their roles.

I'll admit that I never heard any confirmation that they'd been signed, but I kind of forgot to keep an eye out for that. It seemed like a formality at that point. And then...

You may have heard that Samuel L. Jackson made an appearance on a late night talk show recently and said that he hadn't been contacted about appearing in the sequels...and that Mark Hamill hadn't either. And neither had Ewan McGregor.

Some of this makes sense. Rampant rumors notwithstanding, these actors appeared decades apart in the originals and prequels, and it would take some serious gymnastics to artfully work them all in.

But we all thought Hamill was a lock, didn't we?

Seems like maybe Abrams & Co. aren't as sure as the rest of us were (and "the rest of us" apparently includes George Lucas).

While we're on the subject of the Star Wars universe...have you seen this video plea to J.J.? Apparently, Abrams has, and says that he's  largely on the same page with fans.


Monday, September 16, 2013


Technically, this has nothing to do with Mark Hamill. However, I watched Fanboys this evening. I'd never heard of the movie and ran across it entirely by accident in the video store a couple of days ago; I'm not sure how I missed it, given the cast. Anyway, any Star Wars geek is bound to enjoy it. Here's the trailer, if you don't want to just take a leap of faith...but you should feel very safe just renting the movie.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

When Time Expires

I knew when I asked "Remember that other movie Mark Hamill was in?" that I was exaggerating a bit. But I actually didn't know until just a few weeks ago that Mark had been in When Time Expires. Or, you know, that there was a movie called When Time Expires.

It's obvious that the powers behind this movie were hoping to capitalize on names-gone-by; Richard Grieco of 21 Jump Street plays the lead and Cynthia Geary from Northern Exposure his love interest.

Hamill's acting was, in my view, neither good nor bad. His part was relatively small, and he didn't make a significant impression one way or the other. He looked pretty average, too. It wasn't anything dramatic: he wasn't aging badly and there didn't appear to be residual effects from the accident. He just looked like your average guy, which would have been fine if you didn't know who he was...but a lot of the Luke Skywalker shine was gone, and with that earlier image in mind, he was a bit disappointing.

In fairness, Hamill played alongside Richard Grieco in this movie; the two were presented as peers, but there's actually a 14 year age difference between the actors and Grieco wasn't far removed from his Jump Street glory days.

I came away thinking that Hamill wasn't outstandingly good or bad--that he was an average actor who'd grown into an average-looking guy. And that made me wonder whether it wasn't Star Wars itself that derailed his acting career. Because plenty of average-looking people with ordinary acting skills make a living in those field...but we don't expect those people to be Luke Skywalker.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mark Hamill to Join the Cast of The Secret Service?

It was inevitable that, with the attention surrounding the new Star Wars films, movie offers would begin to pour in for Hamill. Hamill's reported role in the upcoming film adaptation of Mark Millar's comic book, The Secret Service, however, isn't a new development.

It was reported in November that Hamill, whose likeness was used in the comic book series, would play himself in the movie. Hamill's connection to the comic book project comes as no surprise--he's a well-known convention geek, dating back to the backroom days when the crowds numbered in the hundreds and his face wasn't yet recognizable to the vast majority of attendees.

Here's a new bit of news on the project, though: The Secret Service will apparently also feature a cameo by rocker Elton John. Despite John's advanced age and the fact that he's currently recovering from an appendectomy, the buzz is that we'll be seeing him in a fight scene in the film.

The movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio (and possibly Michael Caine) is due out in November, 2014.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Gene Shallit Interviews the Cast of Star Wars

This short clip from 1977 shows Gene Shallit chatting with Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fischer about the stunning popularity of the then-new Star Wars movie and how the three of them aren't yet recognizable and can slip unnoticed into a theater to see how the crowd reacts.

Probably the most entertaining moment comes when Shallit, in his introduction, says in wonder that it's not unusual to find a nine or ten year old kid who has "seen this movie five or six times". 

Watch the video here: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fischer and Harrison Ford circa 1977

Monday, July 1, 2013

Mark Hamill Gets a Workout

We heard weeks ago that Carrie Fischer was getting some help recapturing Princess Leia's physique, and now it turns out that Mark Hamill is getting the same treatment.

It makes sense that producers would be offering to help the pair get back in shape: with Fischer largely out of the public eye and Hamill focused on voice work in recent years, neither has had reason to keep up the rigorous diet and exercise program common to big screen stars.  And, the studio wants the two bearing the closest resemblance possible to their first-round portrayals of Luke and Leia, both of whom inspired the adolescent crushes of a generation.

Ford, apparently, is off the hook: remaining an action hero into your seventies has its perks.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mark Hamill Guest Stars

One thing the publicity surrounding the new Star Wars movies seems to have done is revived Mark Hamill's acting career.  Ironically, Star Wars fame doesn't seem to have been a benefit to Hamill back in the days when Luke Skywalker was everywhere. However, since news outlets have been buzzing with speculation about the return of Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fischer for the 2015 release, the three have been the focus of renewed interest.

Whether Hamill is testing the waters with a more visible role or he's getting more offers since the spotlight has turned back toward the trio, his television appearances have stepped up quite a bit.  After a spot with Star Trek veteran George Takei on The Neighbors in March, we're now hearing that Hamill will guest star on the 2-part season finale of Criminal Minds.

Information about Hamill's role on the popular crime drama has been strictly limited, but we're hearing hints that he may not be the good guy.  Tune in on May 22 to learn more.
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