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WIRE Buzz: Mark Hamill’s emotional Star Wars thank you; Candyman delayed; more

By Benjamin Bullard
The medal awards scene from the original Star Wars

In what feels like a wistful look back from the finish line of the long, full-circle Star Wars saga he first began on the sands of Tatooine all the way back in 1976, Mark Hamill is sharing with fans some of his fondest reflections on what's been a long and eventful Skywalker journey.

With The Rise of Skywalker gone from theaters and now in peoples’ homes, Hamill took to Twitter to post the same emotional note to fans across the world — a Force he characterized as “one giant community” — that originally came bundled with the movie’s recent Blu-ray release.

With a nod to Harrison Ford and the late, great Carrie Fisher, Hamill marveled at the success of Star Wars — a movie that, in the 1970s auteur era of serious film, didn’t win George Lucas a lot of love from the studio system at first, until it lit up like a lightsaber with fans.

“Back in 1976, when Carrie, Harrison and I were testing for our roles in what was then called ‘The Adventures of Luke Starkiller, as taken from the Journal of the Whills, Saga I: The Star Wars,’ there’s no way we could have known what an incredibly rich and imaginative set of adventures this obscure little space movie would launch,” Hamill wrote.

“… As Carrie once said, Star Wars is about family, and that is what we have all become — one giant community that shares in the common experience of these stories and the fundamental values they instill in us.” Hamill went on to thank fans, while looking ahead to a post-Skywalker Star Wars galaxy filled with “new storytellers building an even bigger galaxy filled with heroes, villains, action, romance, and, of course, the Force.”

As noted, Hamill’s fan shout-out isn’t just for Twitter’s eyes only; it’s also packed in with the Blu-ray release of The Rise of Skywalker. The final installment in the nine-movie Skywalker saga is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital video on demand.

Candyman’s return will have to wait a while — three months, to be exact. Universal is delaying the Jordan Peele-produced reboot of the 1992 original urban legend movie from its planned June 12 theatrical release.

Via Variety, the Candyman delay comes for the same reason as so many other recent film pushbacks: the shuttering of theaters nationwide as a precautionary measure against the spread of the coronavirus. Now on track for a Sept. 25 release, the new version features Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as an aspiring artist who becomes enthralled (and eventually unstable) after stumbling upon the now-infamous story of the sinister figure who appears when you speak his name five times into the mirror.

Director Nia DaCosta already has assured fans of Tony Todd in the first film that this one won’t skimp on all the tasty, screen-splashing slasher beats. “I really love gore,” she confessed in February, adding that she and Peele (who shares co-writing credit with DaCosta) are splitting the difference in their varied horror tastes to ensure Candyman will still bring “a good amount of things you don’t want to see that I make you look at.”

Finally, not even the comics are immune to the ripple effects of the coronavirus pandemic, with Marvel confirming to The Hollywood Reporter that work on roughly one-third of its planned print projects is temporarily coming to a halt.

Per the report, Marvel Entertainment has hit the brakes on “approximately one-third of its projected comic books for May and beyond,” citing current pandemic-created supply chain issues faced by Diamond Comics Distributors, which serves the North American market through exclusive agreements with brands like Marvel and DC. A reported 103 individual Marvel issues had reportedly been set to release in May, although Marvel did not specify which of those will be affected by the pause.

Marvel and DC both already have announced they have no current plans to shift to a digital-only publishing model in the wake of Diamond's shipping stoppage, although they’ll still release collections, as well as comics already slated as digital-first releases. While we wait for the clouds to part, perhaps it might also be the perfect opportunity to dust off and revisit some of those older classics that’ve been sitting on the shelf.