From Entertainment Weekly:
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Our coverage of Star Wars: The Force Awakens has centered on questions:
But when asked about another contributor to the movie, director J.J. Abrams raised a question of his own: “Who is Simon Pegg?”
No, really. Who??
“You know, I’ve never met Simon Pegg,” Abrams tells EW. But when reminded, it gradually rings a bell: You know … Pegg played Scotty in Abrams’ Star Trek reboots… He was Shaun in Shaun of the Dead… The tech-savvy agent Benji in Abrams’ Mission: Impossible III… Hot Fuzz. The World’s End. He played uber-geeks in Spaced and the alien-road-trip comedy Paul … He’s the guy who rattles off his ranking of Star Wars movies in under a minute (like that’s really hard.)
Then it dawned on Abrams: oh, Simon Pegg! Right.
“I will say that Simon Pegg is a genius,” Abrams acknowledges. “Because he told me to say that.”
Rumors had abounded that Pegg had a secret cameo in The Force Awakens. Pegg himself, meanwhile, started further gossip about 007 actor Daniel Craig – who was shooting Spectre at the same studio and at the same time Episode VII – turning up in the movie incognito as a stormtrooper extra.
At San Diego’s Comic-Con, we saw that indeed Pegg was on set for The Force Awakens, and is even spotted with his unmasked head sticking out of some large alien-looking body (with a wet washcloth on his head to ease the heat of what looks like Abu Dhabi). So now that we’re clear on who Pegg is … who is Pegg in this movie?
Unfortunately, Abrams isn’t yet willing to identify that creature. But it turns out that wasn’t Pegg’s only contribution.
“I will say this in terms of Simon: while he won’t be recognizable in the movie, in all honesty, his role in this – not the performance or the character – but his support and friendship has been massively important and helpful in the process,” Abrams says, shifting from deadpan to sincere. “He was a wonderful partner in crime to kick the story around and ask questions and come up with ideas, and he was an incredibly helpful part of the process for all of us. I’m very grateful.”
But that’s new. It turns out Pegg was a part of the brain trust shaping these new stories.
“He was a sounding board,” Abrams says. “He would drop by the set because he wanted to, and when he could, he would help… We could talk about things, and he was a perfect combination of incredibly smart screenwriter, fan of the series, critical fan of the series, and friend of mine – but not just blindly supportive. He was an honest, critical friend. And he wasn’t so close to it that he became immune to things. He would come in with fresh eyes and very smart ideas. He’s one of a handful of people along the way that has been really priceless.” (Pegg is shooting a movie at the moment and was not available for comment when contacted by EW.)
But what about Pegg’s claim that James Bond will be one of The Force Awakens’ anonymous stormtroopers?
Abrams shifts back into hyper-snark.
“I’ve been asked to say nothing by Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” he says.
Visit EW.com for more Star Wars: The Force Awakens stories.
Does Simon Pegg’s daughter know who Tom Cruise is?
“Paramount Pictures UK has released a set of 5 new posters for Christopher McQuarrie‘s upcoming fifth installment in the action-packed Mission: Impossible franchise Rogue Nation, and they are stunning.
Focusing on five infamous stunts from all five of the Mission: Impossible installments, the posters highlight the franchises’s best quality: Tom Cruise putting his talents into some really impressive stunts.
Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, the film reunites star Tom Cruise with Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and Ving Rhames, and adds to the cast Rebecca Ferguson and Alec Baldwin.”
Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation is set to be released on 30th July 2015.
“In eight days, everyone will find out that IMF is in a bad way. As Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation begins, the Impossible Missions Force is struggling to survive on multiple levels. Only Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) can restore the agency In this exclusive featurette, you’ll see Hunt has his work cut out for him.
The IMF team has been a crucial component of the last few Mission: Impossible movies and this one is no different. In those films, Cruise has always been the star, but his associates played by Ving Rhames, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and others have become increasingly essential. They’re a huge part of the stories, but they’re also important to the chemistry, humor and tension of the films. Rogue Nation continues that trend.
We’ll have more on Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation as we get closer to its release on July 31. What I can say now though is that it’s an edge-of-your-seat, action-packed, awesome entry into and already good franchise that seems to get better and better with each subsequent installment.”