The Week in Film: Efron Talks Star Wars, 'Wolverine' Opens

This summer has been a tough one for the Hollywood box office, with major films like The Lone Ranger, After Earth, and R.I.P.D. all seriously flopping. However, the San Diego Comic-Con last week brought some hope back to the film industry as it contemplates the future. Disney's Marvel franchise is certainly picking up steam, and Warner Bros. had some exciting announcements. Let's get this floppy summer behind us and see what the film industry has in store. 

Here's some of the latest on Hollywood news and rumors from the past week...

1. Zac Efron, Ryan Gosling Rumored to Be In 'Star Wars 7' Talks

Did anyone else notice Disney's deafening absence from Comic-Con this year? They seem to still be keeping a lot of the upcoming Star Wars: Episode 7 under wraps for now. The next installment of the ridiculously successful saga is supposed to take place after Return of the Jedi. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher are reportedly to reprise their roles as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia. According to Latino Review, which has a pretty good track record of real scoops, three famous young actors have been in meetings to be in the film: Leonardo DiCaprio, Zac Efron, and Ryan Gosling. DiCaprio, who was considered for the role of Anakin Skywalker in the prequel trilogy, has reportedly turned down a role so that he can focus on a new Robotech movie. Representatives for Gosling have denied the rumors. Efron may seriously be involved in talks.

I'm going to level with you here, guys. Gosling is the better actor, but I just don't really see him fitting into Star Wars. For some reason, though, I see Efron fitting in perfectly. We'll see what happens!

2. Topher Grace, Wes Bentley Join Nolan's 'Interstellar'

Christopher Nolan, the accomplished director behind The Dark Knight and Inception, is assembling a powerful cast for his upcoming sci-fi flick, Interstellar. The cast already includes Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, and Casey Affleck. This week, That '70s Show actor Topher Grace joined the cast. Wes Bentley, who recently played Seneca in The Hunger Games, has also joined in a large supporting role. Written by Jonathan Nolan, Interstellar involves a group of space explorers traveling through time, wormholes, and alternate dimensions.

3. Chinese Censors Block 'World War Z,' 'Despicable Me 2'

Before a movie can be broadcast to the incredibly lucrative Chinese market, it must first be approved by the censors of the Community Party. Occasionally the authorities will permit a movie if certain edits are made, such as the 40 minutes of film they removed from Cloud Atlas last year. Occasionally they'll approve a movie and then pull it soon after, as like happened with The Croods and Django Unchained.

This summer, the zombie flick World War Z and the minion-loving Despicable Me 2 were both blocked by Chinese censors, cutting off the market for these movie studios. It looks like Smurfs 2 will be able to make the cut, though! Fast and Furious 6 opens up in China this weekend.

4. Tyler Hoechlin Rumored For Batman Role

Ever since Warner Bros. announced at Comic-Con that Man of Steel director Zack Snyder would be helming a new project that stars both Batman and Superman, people have been playing the "who will be Batman" guessing game. After The Dark Knight Rises, Christian Bale said that he would not be playing the Caped Crusader again. So who will face off against Henry Cavill's Superman? The latest rumor is Teen Wolf star Tyler Hoechlin. Don't hold your breath on that rumor, though. Before Cavill got to play with Clark Kent, names such as Armie Hammer, Matt Bomer, and Zac Efron were all rumored. In the case of Batman, others rumored for the role already are Joseph Gordon-Levitt and, of course, Ryan Gosling, because he is apparently good for anything.

5. Hugh Jackman's 'Wolverine' Opens This Weekend

For the sixth time in 13 years, versatile actor Hugh Jackman has brought out the claws to play Wolverine. Following the events of X-Men: The Last Stand from 2006, The Wolverine sees Logan living in Japan, grieving over the death of Jean Grey. It is receiving generally positive reviews from critics and currently has a 67% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film is projected to have a pretty strong box office opening. The Wolverine is rated PG-13 and has a run time of just over two hours.

Jackman will be reprising the role again for the much-anticipated X-Men: Days of Future Past, which combines the casts of the X-Men trilogy and the hit X-Men: First Class. Some information on the film was released at Comic-Con. It will star Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence. It is set to release in May.

For more of the latest film news, follow @RobinsonOB on Twitter!

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Robinson O'Brien-Bours

Robinson dabbles in wine, film, and technology. A former blogger for the Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs, he has previously held positions with the U.S. Congress, political nonprofits, and several Washington, D.C. think tanks. He has a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Ashland University and resides in his native Los Angeles.

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