File - In this Feb. 17, 2012 file photo, George Lucas is shown arriving at the 43rd NAACP Image Awards in Los Angeles. Lucasfilm Ltd., the force behind the Star Wars movies, said it has abandoned plans to build a big digital production studio on historic farmland in northern California, citing opposition from neighbors worried the environmental impact. The company owned by filmmaker George†Lucas said it planned to construct new facilities elsewhere. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, file)
Announced with little fanfare
Most moviegoers probably overlooked one consequence of LucasFilm’s sale to Disney: “Star Wars: Episode VII” will open on Dec. 18, 2015, without the trademark 20th Century Fox fanfare to which most moviegoers have an almost Pavlovian response. Fox had largely abandoned the dramatic drumroll, horns and spotlight by 1977, but George Lucas loved it so much he insisted on it. John Williams even composed his iconic theme in the key of B major, knowing it would flow right from the fanfare. It will lose a little something in conjunction with “When You Wish Upon a Star.”
The final reel
George Clooney’s all-star “Monuments Men,” moved from December prime time, will premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February. … Jason Statham will replace Daniel Craig in the sequel to 2004’s “Layer Cake.” … Joe Wright (“Atonement,” “Pride and Prejudice”) is in talks to direct a “Peter Pan” origin story. … Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey”) joins Adam Sandler in the indie drama “The Cobbler.” … Make your Valentine’s Day 2015 plans now, ladies: “Fifty Shades of Grey” will open on Feb. 13 of that year.