MICHAEL FASSBENDER AND JENNIFER LAWRENCE STAR IN HERBIE GOES BANANAS LIVE READ

LOS ANGELES – Jason Reitman’s live read of Herbie Goes Bananas was a star-studded fest for fans of everyone’s favorite VW bug with Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence taking the leads.

For many Herbie Goes Bananas is the apotheosis of all the Herbie films, beating even 1968’s The Love Bug for the quality of its writing, physical comedy, madcap direction and subtle characterization.  In the live read, Michael Fassbender played Pete, Jennifer Lawrence played Melissa and Mark Hamill played Herbie, Captain Blythe and Aunt Louise. The biggest surprise of the night was Benedict Cumberbatch who played Pringle one of a trio of villains originally played by John Vernon. Quentin Tarantino voiced the other two villains Quinn and Shepherd.

Tarantino spoke to the Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY about the live read:

This is a wonderful new way of discovering and rediscovering films. Herbie Goes Bananas was the fourth Herbie film and a work of delightful joie di vivre, perhaps one of the best live action film Disney made. And yet behind the slapstick humor and the apparently light tone, there is a scathing satire on South American dictatorships and specifically the Pinochet regime in Chile. Herbie’s silence stands for the repressed free press and the proletariat’s revolutionary potential.

Jason Reitman explained how the reading had offered up some surprises.

Pete in the original film is just a boy but Michael Fassbender obviously gave the performance of a grown man. And Mark Hamill’s voice work was exemplary. The enthusiasm which greeted the live reading was fantastic, much better than The Empire Strikes Back read which everyone agreed was a pile of dump.

Jason Reitman’s Live Read series continues with The Cat from Outer Space.

JASON REITMAN TO DIRECT MUMBLECORE STAR WARS PREQUEL

SAN FRANCISCO – Kathleen Kennedy announced today that Young Adult director Jason Reitman will direct a stand-alone Star Wars film entitled Star Wars: Going into Tosche Station, the first mumblecore Star Wars.

The Up in the Air and Juno director said that it had long been an ambition of his to make a Star Wars film, but one that was skewed towards his interest in character and dialogue. 

My idea was really simple. What happened the day before Luke Skywalker bought C3P0 and R2D2? I wanted to see Luke arguing with Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen, hanging out with Biggs and his friends, tooling about in their landspeeders, listing to the latest hit song by the cantina band and picking up gals. It’s like American Graffiti but on Tattoine.

 Kathleen Kennedy was quick to reassure nervous fans. 

There’s going to be the core Star Wars movies which will carry on the story that J.J. is developing, but Lucas Film are planning as many as three releases a year and so there will be room for these other versions and offshoots, and when I heard Jason talking about his idea, I thought yeah, I’d like to see that too.

Secrecy surrounds the search to find an actor to play the young Luke Skywalker, although some of the cast is already in place. Stellan Skarsgard will play Uncle Owen and Helen Mirren will play Aunt Beru.

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