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WIRE Buzz: John Williams' The Last Skywalker score; Sebastian Stan teases swole Winter Soldier

By Josh Weiss
Daisy Ridley as Rey in Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker

We've got an eclectic mix of development news from Star Wars, the MCU, and HBO in this edition of SYFY's WIRE Buzz.

John Williams has started working on the score for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, according to the legendary film composer’s younger brother Don. In an interview with the Academy of Scoring Arts, Don Williams, who’s also a musician (and is performing on the score), said that his older brother has “got 135 minutes’ worth of music to write” for the latest Star Wars film. “So, that kinda tells you how long the film is.”

Don added: “We’ve done four days and we just scratched the surface. I think we’ve got something like 34 minutes in the can at this point.”

The musician revealed that the score for The Rise of Skywalker will include “every theme you’ve ever heard” from the previous main films. 

“But I can tell you that every theme that you’ve ever heard is going to be compiled into this last effort. Leia, Yoda, the Phantom, Darth, all of it is going to be in there. And in his usual style, he hides them," said Don. "You gotta go look for them.” Considering this film is supposed to be the final chapter in the Skywalker saga, plus it may very well be the last Star Wars score Williams composes, it makes sense that its score would refer to all the other motifs from the previous eight episodes.

Check out the interview below:

An update on the recording of Star Wars 9: The Rise of Skywalker

Don Williams has performed on scores of cinematic soundtracks (oh, shut up), including ones his older brother has composed, including The Adventures of Tintin, War of the Worlds, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and even the original Star Wars (aka A New Hope).

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in December.

We now have our very first look at HBO's adaptation of The Plot Against America, a miniseries adapted from Philip Roth's Sidewise-winning alternate history novel of the same name. Taking a semi-autobiographical approach, the book imagines what Roth's formative life in New Jersey might have looked like had America Firster Charles Lindbergh defeated FDR in the 1940 presidential election. As the U.S. grows closer with Nazi, Germany, casual anti-Semitism becomes even more mainstream through government policy, causing Philip and his family fear for their lives as working-class Jews.

While the snippet of footage (seen at the 1:05 mark in the video embedded below) isn't long, it does give us an initial glimpse of John Turturro (Rabbi Lionel Bengelsdorf) and Winona Ryder (Evelyn Finkel) in fancy evening wear. In the book, Bengelsdorf, who ends up marrying Philip's Aunt Evelyn, throws his support behind Lindbergh, allowing the ace pilot to win the election. Their attire in the HBO trailer may very well refer to the part in the source material where Lionel and Evelyn attend a dinner held at the White House to welcome German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, who was hanged for crimes against humanity after World War II.

The Plot Against America co-stars Zoe Kazan, Morgan Spector, and Anthony Boyle. Azhy Robertson is portraying Philip. David Simon (The Wire, The Deuce) is on board as an executive producer.

The video below also contains new footage for Westworld Season 3 (debuting sometime in 2020), His Dark Materials (debuting later this year), and Watchmen (debuting in October).

Coming Soon | Watchmen, His Dark Materials, Westworld and More | HBO

With Captain America (Chris Evans) now old and wrinkly, it's time for a new sexy super-soldier in the MCU. Sebastian Stan (aka Bucky Barnes, aka the Winter Soldier) is more than ready to take up the mantle in Falcon and Winter Soldier, the upcoming team-up series on Disney+ with Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson, aka the Falcon, aka the new Captain America following the events of Endgame). Posting on Instagram, Stan teased his intense workout regimen for the show with a picture that promises a Bucky who is swoller than ever.

"After 7 years with @donsaladino I caught a good day, sucked it up and finally posted this," wrote Stan in the caption. "Been working with this guy through years of self judgement and mental wars when it comes to fitness and LIFE, and TODAY I’m giving myself a break and acknowledging the hard work we’ve done for @355movie (and this other small thing we got comin’) ! Proud of what we’ve accomplished pal! Love you. And thank you. ??❤️ #donsaladino #drive495 #355movie#marvel#TheFalconAndTheWinterSoldier."

There's no word on when we'll see Falcon and Winter Soldier (after all, Stan's post seems to indicate that filming hasn't even started yet), but we do know that Disney+ goes live Tuesday, Nov. 12.

Additional reporting by James Comtois.