<p>I can&#39;t wait to see the dramatic fall-out when Han Solo walks in on this during &#39;Star Wars Episode VII&#39;</p>

I can't wait to see the dramatic fall-out when Han Solo walks in on this during 'Star Wars Episode VII'

Credit: 20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm Ltd.

Peter Mayhew will suit up again as Chewbacca for 'Star Wars Episode 7'

Pretty sure this confirms that the Expanded Universe no longer matters

Okay, so can we finally stop asking how much of the Expanded Universe they're planning to use in "Star Wars: Episode VII"?

In 1999, "Vector Prime" was published as part of the "New Jedi Order" series of novels. In it, author R. A. Salvatore secured his place on my enemies list by killing Chewbacca as he tried to save Han Solo's son Anakin. I am a lifelong shameless fan of Han Solo's friend and business partner, and I've always felt like they treated Chewie badly. In the first film, I've never understood why he doesn't get a medal at the same time as Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. It's like they think he's Han Solo's dog instead of his co-pilot. Killing him made headlines, but it didn't make for a good book, and it seemed really short-sighted of them to eliminate the character.

Thankfully, those books no longer matter. If you're a fan who spent a lot of time and energy on the Expanded Universe novels, I sincerely hope you enjoyed them and that they were part of your personal "Star Wars" experience, but I think it's important that the films don't feel bound to adapt those stories or treat them as canon. These films have to be able to surprise us, and if it's just a matter of them creating a big-screen checklist of things that fans already know, what fun would that be?

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<p>Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith are both expected back for the sequel to &#39;Karate Kid&#39;</p>

Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith are both expected back for the sequel to 'Karate Kid'

Credit: Sony Pictures

'Crazies' director Breck Eisner signs to direct Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith in 'Karate Kid' sequel

Took 'em long enough

My children reached a major milestone in their life recently, when I screened the new film "Chinese Zodiac" for them on Blu-ray. The film isn't one of Jackie Chan's best, but it has several fun set pieces, and the closing credits are like a giant overview of Jackie's whole career, along with footage of his stunts going wrong, a long-time tradition for his movies.

They have now both declared Jackie Chan The Coolest Person Alive and they're desperate to see more of his movies. I get it, because I know so many movie fans who have had that same lightning bolt moment with Jackie Chan movies over the years. You see him do something that defies logic and safety and the rules of physics, and next thing you know, you're in Chinatown trying to find an import Blu-ray of the uncut "Drunken Master 2."

What really blew their minds, though, was when I told them that "Chinese Zodiac" was not the first film they've seen him in. Toshi told me I was crazy and refused to believe me until I brought out the Blu-ray for the remake of "The Karate Kid," a movie that they both watched four or five times after it arrived at the house. They really enjoyed the film, but for some reason, they never connected the Jackie Chan who plays Mr. Miyagi in that film with the Jackie Chan from "Chinese Zodiac." Once Toshi finally got his head around it, he was even more impressed.

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<p>If I were the director of &#39;X-Men: Days Of Future Past,&#39; I can&#39;t imagine this would make me happy.</p>

If I were the director of 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past,' I can't imagine this would make me happy.

Credit: Carl's Jr.

Why is our first view of Quicksilver from 'X-Men' in a Carl's Jr. TV commercial?

This feels like a huge tactical mistake

We must be getting close to the release of "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" if the fast-food tie-in commercials are already airing.

Here's what I don't understand. Quicksilver, played in Bryan Singer's movie by Evan Peters, is one of the main new characters in the series, and he plays a key role in securing Magneto's escape from an impossible prison in the film. We've seen photos of Peters in his costume from the film, but he hasn't featured in any significant way in the trailers so far.

That means that our visual introduction to Quicksilver in motion comes in the form of 30 seconds of him eating an X-tra Bacon, Egg & Cheese biscuit. If they were hoping to make him seem interesting or intimidating or cool, this is pretty much the opposite of the way they should have handled things.

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<p>Just one of the many moments that scared the holy hell out of my kids when we finally screened &#39;Raiders Of The Lost Ark&#39;</p>

Just one of the many moments that scared the holy hell out of my kids when we finally screened 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark'

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Film Nerd 2.0: Indy and Batman and X-Men, oh my

My kids are starting to assert their own taste, and that's a great thing

We live in an age of franchises.

One of the simple truths of modern pop culture is that there is nothing a studio values more than the ability to get a series off the ground where they can constantly count on fans coming back for more of the same. My kids are on the hook for so many ongoing series at this point that I have to sometimes remind them that films that aren't part of a series are also worth watching.

There are some series that they're not ready for yet, like "Lord Of The Rings" or "The Terminator," and Toshi is constantly pushing to see the things that have been on the "not yet" shelf for a while. Recently, we've dabbled with a few series, and the reactions from both of the kids have been interesting, and not what I expected.

For example, one would think that based on the series I wrote about sharing the "Star Wars" saga with my kids that the same amount of thought and energy would go into figuring out how to introduce them to Indiana Jones.

One would think that, but one would be wrong.

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<p>He&#39;s done enough action films that we feel safe saying Chiwetel Ejiofor would make an awesome Bond villain.</p>

He's done enough action films that we feel safe saying Chiwetel Ejiofor would make an awesome Bond villain.

Credit: Sony Pictures

Chiwetel Ejiofor may be signing on to play the next Bond villain

Could this be our new Blofeld?

So is the new plan to only hire recent Oscar nominees to play Bond villains? Because if so, I'm cool with that.

I'm trying not to think about the next James Bond movie too much because I will get unreasonably excited about it when it's actually coming out. While I think "Skyfall" is one of those films that you shouldn't try to dig into too deeply on a plot level because of how much coincidence is built into it, it is one of those movies that is just plain pleasurable to watch, start to finish. There is a confidence about it that more than makes up for the things that make no sense, and Javier Bardem is having so much fun playing a terrible, terrible person that I wish he could come back for another film.

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<p>If you want to see me turn about eleven shades of red, stay tuned for my reaction when I open the second envelope.</p>

If you want to see me turn about eleven shades of red, stay tuned for my reaction when I open the second envelope.

Credit: HitFix

Our new show 'Ask Drew' premieres with stories of disappointment and a round of Movie God

I can't believe you asked me about my prom

Okay, this is fiendish.

As I said in the introductory piece we ran on Monday about "Ask Drew," a new video series that we'll be doing here at HitFix, I love my video team. They're turning out so much good work these days, and they do it every single day.

They came to me with this idea, and it sounded like a great one to me. The premise is simple. You guys send them questions via e-mail at video@hitfix.com, and they pick a handful of questions each episode. I don't see them until I am on camera, and then I have to answer.

I must be crazy to agree to this.

What I tend to forget is that you guys have absolutely amazing memories, and if I've ever mentioned anything on the site, one of you will no doubt remember it. Sure enough, there's a question this time around that almost made me run out of the studio. Still, I agreed, so I answered it, and I hope all the parties involved can smile and laugh about it at this point.

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<p>I&#39;m not sure Doctor Doom is playing fair if he&#39;s carrying a machine gun.</p>

I'm not sure Doctor Doom is playing fair if he's carrying a machine gun.

Credit: Revolver Entertainment

Toby Kebbell will don Dr. Doom's mask for 'Fantastic Four'

Josh Trank certainly isn't making the easy choices for this one

I am flat-out baffled by the casting for "Fantastic Four," but that may not be a bad thing.

While I've seen several films that Toby Kebbell has appeared in, one moment really stands out, and that was in the brilliant episode of the English anthology show "Black Mirror" called "The Entire History Of You." That one performance is enough to convince me that Kebbell's got the goods, and he's certainly been busy the last few years.

He's appeared in big studio films like "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," "Prince of Persia," and "Wrath Of The Titans," and he's appeared in plenty of smaller movies like "The East," "RocknRolla," "Dead Man's Shoes," and Ridley Scott's "The Counselor." Like the rest of Trank's cast, he's someone who is recognizable but not "famous," and he seems like a guy who is poised to break through in something, and playing one of the most famous of the Marvel villains in a giant movie seems like it could be that role for him.

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<p>J. August Richards plays a very different kind of bionic man as Deathlok on &#39;Marvel&#39;s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.&#39;</p>

J. August Richards plays a very different kind of bionic man as Deathlok on 'Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'

Credit: ABC/Marvel Studios

'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.' reveals secrets and sets up 'Captain America' nicely

So where do we go from here?

So much for making it easy for new viewers to jump in.

At this point, "Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D." seems to be serialized in a major way, and if you haven't been watching from the start, things just aren't going to make as much sense to you. That's fine with me, but it seems like their plans for the show have changed fairly dramatically since it went on the air.

Then again, maybe this has always been the plan. After all, this week's episode lands at the perfect moment before "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," and next week's episode looks like it's going to take the ideas from that film and run with them in a parallel way. This is the sort of thing I was hoping for when this show was originally announced, and this is the first moment they're really having to juggle everything at the same moment.

Does it work?

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<p>I love that Kevin Costner looks like he&#39;s ready to go shoot a Western at a moment&#39;s notice.</p>

I love that Kevin Costner looks like he's ready to go shoot a Western at a moment's notice.

Credit: HitFix

Kevin Costner on authenticity in 'Draft Day' and picks Westerns for Film Nerd 2.0

Seriously, could we have a better guest programmer?

When I was preparing yesterday morning for the "Draft Day" press day, it hit me that in the seventeen years I've been doing this, I've never interviewed Kevin Costner before. I am a big fan of his work in front of the camera and behind it as well, and in particular, I think his affinity for Westerns is pretty great.

A four-minute interview is hardly the way to get to know someone, and I'm not sure Costner's the kind of guy who would ever want to sit down for an in-depth chat about his full filmography. I'd love to do that, but that wasn't what was on the table for Sunday. Instead, we talked a little bit about the authenticity of "Draft Day," the new Ivan Reitman film where Costner plays the general manager of the Cleveland Browns.

Before we started rolling, though, I explained the Film Nerd 2.0 column to him, and I asked if he'd be willing to suggest some Westerns for the boys at the end of the interview, and he told me he'd be happy to since I gave him some advance warning. So far, they've seen a grand total of three Westerns. I wrote about the experience they had with "The Cowboys" and "Rio Bravo" when my dad showed them to them on vacation. The other one they've seen was, appropriately enough, "Silverado," which we watched together after they saw "Raiders Of The Lost Ark." I figured Lawrence Kasdan made a good bridge for them, and Toshi in particular thought "Silverado" was awesome.

When we got to that moment, I thought Costner's answers were tremendous, and I give him all the props in the world for suggesting that "Dances With Wolves" is a pretty good Western. I tend to agree, and I certainly have that one set aside for a special event. It got me thinking, though, that I may try something different for this year's Film Nerd 2.0 Spring Break Film Festival and ask different filmmakers to offer up suggestions for the various themed evenings. We'll definitely be doing "How The West Was Won" this time around, and I want to thank Costner for playing along. He was every bit the thoughtful and down-to-earth guy you'd hope looking at the roles he's played for the last 30 years, and it was a real pleasure to finally chat with him, even if it was brief.

"Draft Day" is in theaters August 11, 2014.

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<p>When you&#39;re talking about America and how it&#39;s been defined on film, you have to include Rocky Balboa in that conversation.</p>

When you're talking about America and how it's been defined on film, you have to include Rocky Balboa in that conversation.

Credit: MGM/UA Home Video

We introduce the new show 'Ask Drew' and we need your help to make it work

Plus I answer a reader's question about movies about America

The video team here at HitFix constantly impresses me with not only the volume of work that they produce, but also the quality. We've gotten very lucky with the people we've hired, and they make any of our collaborations both easy and fun.

Last week, they approached me about a new ongoing feature that they wanted to do, and tomorrow, we're going to shoot the first episode of "Ask Drew," which is exactly what it sounds like. I am constantly asked questions via e-mail and Twitter and in our comments section, and I feel like I never fully answer all of them, something that makes me feel terrible. I am grateful for each and every reader of the work we do here at HitFix, and if I can answer something, I try to.

To that end, we are going to try something a little different here starting tomorrow. I want you to send me your questions about anything [Email: Video@HitFix.com]. Any topic. But they're not going to come directly to me. Instead, you'll send them to the video team. They'll pull the best questions, and then ask them to me as we shoot the video, with no prep and no warning. It's going to be unfiltered and off-the-cuff, and hopefully it'll give you a chance to let us know what you're most interested in.

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