Star Wars Episode VII Cast Finally ANNOUNCED! #StarWars #StarWarsEpisodeVII


“Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in the new film,” read the press release on

You’ll recognize the names of the actors playing Han Solo, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, Chewbacca and R2-D2. Ford, Fisher and Hamill’s participation has been something of an open secret for the last year and a half, ever since George Lucas accidentally mentioned to Bloomberg Businessweek they’d be returning; photos of the trio in London in recent days made the fact even more abundantly clear.

Domhnall Gleeson, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega    Left to right: Domhnall Gleeson, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega

  • Domhnall Gleeson, son of Irish actor Brendan Gleeson, his film credits include About Time, Never Let Me Go and a recurring role as Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter films.
  • Daisy Ridley, a British actress, whose TV career has included bit parts in Casualty, Mr Selfridge and Silent Witness. According to her agent’s website, she was cast in the second Inbetweeners movie last year.
  • John Boyega, a 22-year-old British actor, who previously starred in the inner-London sci-fi Attack the Bock. Along with Gleeson and Ridley, he is expected to be one of the “trio of new young leads” announced by director Abrams earlier this year.
    Max von Sydow, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver Left to right: Max von Sydow, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver

  • Max von Sydow, a veteran actor equally recognisable as Knight Antonius Block in Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal and Father Lankester Merrin in The Exorcist. The 85-year-old Swede was Oscar nominated for his 9/11 drama Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close in 2012 and has previous sci-fi experience as Ming the Merciless in 1980’s Flash Gordon.
  • Oscar Isaac, who played the lead role in the Coen Brothers’ Oscar-nominated drama Inside Llewyn Davis last year. He is reportedly in line for “a major role” in the franchise.
  • Adam Driver, best known as Adam, the frequently shirtless love interest in cult sitcom Girls. He has been widely reported to be playing Star Wars’ main antagonist.
  • Andy Serkis, a master of motion capture, famously responsible for creating Gollum in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Outside of CGI, his acting CV includes a Bafta-nominated turn as Ian Brady in the television film Longford.

And then there’s 85-year old Max Von Sydow, the legendary Swedish actor renowned for playing villains such as Emperor Ming in Flash Gordon — coincidentally enough, the franchise that inspired Lucas to write Star Wars in the first place.

Director J.J. Abrams says, “We are so excited to finally share the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again. We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud.”

Star Wars: Episode VII is being directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, and John Williams returns as the composer. The movie opens worldwide on December 18, 2015.


Zack Snyder To Direct ‘The Justice League’ Following ‘Superman VS Batman’


Not exactly the most shocking news, we knew it was coming seeing as DC Comics is trying its very best to compete with Marvels cinema dominance at the moment. Warner Bros has announced plans for a Justice League movie directed by Zack Snyder that will follow on from the next movie Superman VS Batman.

We’ve suspected this was coming for ages, especially since Snyder’s current assignment, which Warners’ president of worldwide production Greg Silverman labels Superman Vs. Batman though no official title has been announced, is so loaded with DC heroes it’s a wonder the studio doesn’t just go ahead and call it Justice League: Prequel. Still, perhaps the confirmation that a Justice League film proper is coming after Superman Vs Batman can lay to rest concerns that this next film might be a Justice League effort in disguise.

With Henry Cavill’s Superman now joined by Ben Affleck’s Batman – WHY OH WHY BEN FUCKING AFFLECK!!!, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and a host of other characters (including Lex Luthor, played in the new film by Jesse Eisenberg, and the recently-announced Cyborg, played by Ray Fisher), the Man Of Steel follow-up really is setting the scene for DC’s big team-up film.

Warner Bros. has been trying to get the League off the ground for ages on film, and the pressure to make it happen has only been increased by Marvel’s success with the Avengers and other heroes. Justice League is in development, but there’s no word on when it might come out. Given Snyder’s busy schedule with the current superhero film, we wouldn’t it expect it before 2018 at the earliest, unless he’s pulling a sneaky back-to-back production job.

Personally, I’m still trying to recover from the announcement of Ben Affleck as Batman… I mean where are Christopher Nolan & Christian Bale!?

Stephen’s Story – When life gives you cancer / #StephensStory

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Stephen Sutton, 19, was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 15. When he was 17, he learned it was terminal. That’s when he made a bucket list. Sutton dreamed up 46 experiences to complete in the short years he had left, from “hugging an animal bigger than me” to crowd-surfing. But the greatest task he set out to accomplish was raise one million pounds for a charity called the Teenage Cancer Trust. (Sutton’s original goal was 10,000 pounds, but he upped the goal last year after achieving the amount.)

On Tuesday, Sutton posted a message to his Facebook page as a “final thumbs up,” saying goodbye and thanking everyone from family members to his medical team. He also asked that people continue to support his fundraiser, which had yet to reach the million-pound goal. Hours after Sutton’s message, donations began pouring in. “Stephen’s Story” also began trending on Twitter and Facebook. At time of writing, the fundraiser has raised almost 1.4 million pounds with more than 53,000 donators. He has no uploaded a video to explain his story and to thank everyone (see video description message below).

The last couple of days have been pretty surreal. Earlier on this week my disease took a pretty sharp turn for the worse, but thankfully I am still here. The reach and impact my story has had on people since then has just been unimaginable and very humbling.

I’ve always enjoyed helping others, and after being in discussions with Make A Wish foundation for a while, decided I wanted my wish with them to be to “spread my story and positivity with as many people as possible”. To make this happen, we made this film. I thoroughly hope you enjoy the video, and hope you can help out by sharing it with as many people as possible!

I am still pretty weak at the moment so don’t have the energy to write much. If you’re completely new to #stephensstory the quickest way to get up to speed with things would probably be to visit and read the last few updates. You can also visit but this doesn’t hold any accounts of the last few days.

Recently the fundraising total has surpassed over £2.3million for Teenage Cancer Trust, a charity who have helped me hugely these past few years and that will continue to help other young people with cancer like me in the future. To donate £5 to Teenage Cancer Trust just text STEPHEN to 70300 or alternatively you can donate at

The City of London, in a World of it’s own?


In the summer of 2013 Stephen Frey (undoubtedly a bloody genius) did a small series on the City of London, revealing that essentially it is in a world of it’s own. So bear with me whilst I try to explain just how the City of London functions as its own small entity.

Firstly the City of London and London are two different places – though both are known for their historical landmarks, modern skyscrapers, ancient markets and famous bridges. London however has a population of seven million and also houses the government and royal family, whereas the City of London has a far smaller population of seven thousand people. But, if you look map of London it will have a one-square mile hole near the middle — it’s here where the City of London lives inside of the city named London. Despite these confusingly close names the two London’s have separate city halls and elect separate mayors, who collect separate taxes to fund separate police who enforce separate laws.

The Mayor of the City of London has a fancy title ‘The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor of London’ to match his regal outfit.  He also gets to ride in a golden carriage and work in a Guildhall while the mayor of London has to wear a suit, ride a bike and work in an office building – none of which London Mayor Boris Johnson minds. The City of London also has its own flag and its own crest which is bloody cool, London however lacks both. To top it off the City of London gets to act more like one of the countries in the UK than just an oddly located city — for uniquely the corporation that runs the city of London is older than the United Kingdom by several hundred years.

So how did the UK end up with two London’s, one inside of the other? Because: Romans (bloody romans!) 2,000 years ago they came to Great Britain, killed a bunch of druids, and founded a trading post on the River Thames and named it Londonimium.  Being Romans they got to work doing what Romans do: enforcing laws, increasing trade, building temples, public baths, roads, bridges and a wall to defend their work. And it’s this wall which is why the current City of London exists — for though the Romans came and the Romans went and kingdoms rose and kingdoms fell, the wall endured protecting the city within.  And The City, governing itself and trading with the world, grew rich.

A thousand years after the Romans (yet still a thousand years ago) when William the Conqueror came to Great Britain to conquer everything and begin modern British history he found the City of London, with its sturdy walls more challenging to defeat. So he agreed to recognize the rights and privileges that the City of Londoners were used to in return for the them recognizing him as the new King. Though after the negotiation, William quickly built towers around the City of London (namely the Tower of London) which were just as much about protecting William from the locals within as defending against the Vikings from without. This started a thousand-year long tradition whereby Monarchs always reconfirmed that ‘yes’ the City of London is a special, unique place best left to its own business, while simultaneously distrusting it.

Many a monarch thought the City of London was too powerful and rich. And one even built a new Capital city nearby, named Westminster, to compete with the City of London and hopefully, suck power and wealth away from it. As the centuries passed, Westminster grew and merged with nearby towns eventually surrounding the walled-in, and still separate City of London. But, people began to call the whole urban collection ‘London’ and the name became official when Parliament joined towns together under a single municipal government with a mayor. But, the mayor of London still doesn’t have power over the tiny City of London which has rules and traditions like nowhere else in the country and possibly the world.

For example, the ruling monarch doesn’t just enter the City of London whenever he/she wants, but instead asks for permission from the Lord Mayor at a ceremony however it isn’t required by law. The City of London also has a representative in Parliament, The Remembrancer, whose job it is to protects the City’s special rights. Because of this, laws passed by Parliament sometimes don’t apply to the City of London: most notably voting reforms, and unlike anywhere else in the UK elections in the City of London involve Medieval Guilds (yes they still exist here in London) and modern companies.

Finally, the City of London also owns and operates land and buildings far outside its border, making it quite wealthy. Once you start looking for The City’s Crest you’ll find it in lots of places, but most notably on Tower Bridge which, while being in London is operated by City of London. Regardless The City of London is not an independent nation like the Vatican is, rather it’s a unique place in the United Kingdom with a long and complicated history. so the border between London and its secret inner city isn’t so obvious. So essentially its a city in a city in a country in a country..

Is Coffee the greatest addiction ever?


I didn’t start drinking coffee until around mid 2012 when a friend introduced me to it, over time it became a daily habit. However I recently decided to give up drinking coffee and am now what you could call ’20 days sober’ from the stuff. The reason for this being is that I have been constantly told by friends, family and work colleagues that it is bad for you, the fact is coffee makes you more productive so of course people assume that there must be a cost to you health, right? Well no wrong. During my sobriety however I decided to do some research. Back in the 1980s a few studies of caffeine came back with negative health results. These studies were widely republished and started a backlash against coffee but have since been disproven.

Now this is the important part – Caffeine is one of the most studied drugs ever and there are essentially no health problems for normal people ingesting normal amounts of the stuff. The benefits it provides are real and measurable.

Every day the world consumes 300 tonnes of caffeine – enough for one cup of coffee for every man, woman and child. The world’s largest buyer of coffee is, well no surprise, the United States. The US has to import nearly all of its coffee intake as the coffee trees from which caffeine is harvested will only grow at commercial levels between the tropic of cancer and the tropic of capricorn in an area called the coffee belt. The most enthusiastic coffee drinkers per capita however are, in increasing order, the Netherlands, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and, strangely enough, Finland, where they drink three times as much coffee a day as the average American. All of these countries are outside of the coffee belt and must import 100% of their caffeine supply.

To get this caffeine, first bees must pollinate the flowers of a coffee tree and these flowers develop into bright red berries. Unlike more cooperative domesticated plants, the coffee tree does not ripen all its berries at the same time so they need to be hand picked and sorted. Once picked, the coffee bean is removed from inside the berry. This young seedling of the tree is then dried, heated, ground and submerged in boiling water to get out the precious caffeine. It takes about 40 coffee beans to make one shot of espresso (thats a long process!). But why is caffeine in the coffee beans in the first place? The trees originally evolved caffeine for their own benefit. Caffeine is an insecticide that effectively paralyzes and/or kills bugs biting at the tree. Whether or not the insects go out experiencing the greatest caffeine high ever is not known (wouldn’t be the worst way to go). While caffeine is technically lethal, it’s adapted for 1g bugs, not human beings who are obviously a hell of a lot bigger.

To calculate the dose of caffeine you’ll need to ingest to have a 50% chance of death, take your mass in kilograms and multiply it by 150mg. Or in terms of coffee, for every kilogram of mass you have you need to drink one latte to snuff it. That’s a lot of coffee so it’s not surprising that there are no recorded deaths in healthy adults from this method and it’s doubtful that it’s even possible. Because, while you’re busy getting the coffee in, your body is busy getting it out by one way or another…

Poison though caffeine is, you do still develop addiction to the stuff. And it’s is a real physiological addiction not a wimpy psychological addition like people claim for videos games and the internet. But caffeine isn’t heroine – rapid withdrawal won’t kill you – it might make you cranky and give you a wicked headache (which to be honest I have never had) – but since caffeine releases dopamine to make you happy and it gets rid of headaches there’s really no reason to ever stop using it. And who would want to give up the stuff anyway? Caffeine is the world’s most used psychoactive drug – and with good reason it’s bloody brilliant. It increases concentration, decreases fatigue and gives you better memory. AND this isn’t just a placebo – these are real effects which have been replicated in a laboratory. Contrary to popular belief, drinking coffee isn’t a faustian bargain where the devil gives you the ability to work faster but in exchange makes your life shorter.

For normal, healthy humans there are no medical concerns. Coffee and the caffeine may even have medical benefits such as protection from cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Parkinson’s. Caffeine can even get rid of migraines, but the amount required and the and method of ingestion is… uncomfortable.

You know what else you can thank caffeine for? A little thing called the enlightenment. In the 1600s people drank more beer and gin than water. But with the introduction of coffee and tea, people switched from a depressant to a stimulant. It’s not surprising then that this time was an intellectual boom compared to earlier centuries. Ben Franklin and Edward Lloyd loved their coffee for the same reason that modern workers and students do. It’s invaluable for staying awake and concentrating. Coffee is the fuel of the modern world.

So with that all said I would like to announce I will be coming out of my ‘coffee retirement’ and stepping back into this oh so sweet world of pure delight.

‘Kingdom Tower’ in Saudi Arabia Will One Day Be the World’s Tallest Building


Saudi Arabia is one of the richest countries in the world, so it isn’t surprising really that the wealthy Middle Eastern country is set to begin construction next week on what will be the world’s tallest building standing at a whopping 3,280 feet.

Kingdom Tower will be 568 feet taller than the Khalifa Tower, which is the current Guinness World Record holder for the tallest building in neighbouring Dubai. The tower is the first phase of Jeddah Economic Company’s approximately $20 billion, 17 million-square-foot Kingdom City project, of which it will be the focal point. Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, a nephew of Saudi King Abdullah, is chairman of the Kingdom Holding Company, a partner in JEC.

“Our vision for Kingdom Tower is one that represents the new spirit of Saudi Arabia,” Adrian Smith, cofounder of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the firm that designed the tower, said in a press release. “This tower symbolizes the Kingdom as an important global business and cultural leader, and demonstrates the strength and creative vision of its people.”

Foundation work for the $1.2 billion skyscraper began in December, and above-ground work will start April 27. The 200-floor tower will be located in Jeddah, a culturally significant city near the Red Sea that is known as the gateway to Mecca.

A building this size doesn’t come without its challenges, however. Concerns include resistance to salt water and high winds, as well as how concrete will be delivered to higher floors, as the tower is erected. The construction site itself is 5.7 million square feet, and the project will require around 80,000 tons of steel, according to the Saudi Gazette. Despite these potential roadblocks, the skyscraper is still a realistic undertaking that could eventually be seen through to completion, Construction Weekly reported.

Kingdom Tower will house a Four Seasons hotel, luxury condominiums, office space and an observatory. Kind of makes London’s Shard look rather pathetic really…

‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’ final trailer is released


This will certainly be one of the coolest superhero movies ever, bringing together the popular cast of not only the original X-Men trilogy but also those from First Class!

The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. The beloved characters from the original “X-Men” film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from “X-Men: First Class,” in an epic battle that must change the past — to save our future.


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Paul Walker’s brothers stand in to film actor’s final scenes for ‘Fast & Furious 7’ movie


Paul Walker’s brothers Caleb and Cody will stand in to play the role of their late brother in the final parts of the forthcoming Fast & Furious 7 film. The announcement was made on their official Facebook page..

”We have resumed shooting and now welcome Paul’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, into our FAST family, Caleb and Cody are helping us complete some remaining action for their brother and fill in small gaps left in production. Having them on set has made us all feel that Paul is with us too.”

Asked to clarify exactly what the brothers would be filming, a source close to the production said that they would fill in for Walker during select scenes. Computer graphics would then be employed to disguise any differences between their bodies and his. However, Caleb and Cody Walker will not be replacing Walker throughout the whole film.

Production on the seventh film in the franchise resumed earlier this month, after cast and crew took an extended break following the tragic death of Walker in a car crash on 29 November. Walker, who played policeman-turned-street racer Brian O’Connor in all but one of the films, had just a few scenes left to shoot in Fast & Furious 7.

A Few Pictures of London This Week

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I’m very fortunate to work in the City of London, which means I get to see these marvellous sites every day.