Out of this world: (from left) director/writer J.J. Abrams, builders Lee Towersey
and Oliver Steeples, and Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy.
Photo: Twitter: bad_robot
The first installment of the third trilogy of Star Wars films will start shooting in London in May, Disney has announced.
Production on the highly anticipated Star Wars sequel – presently known only as Star Wars, Episode VII – will kick off in May.
Disney chief Bob Iger revealed the shooting date at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Portland, Oregon.
Although his audience was composed primarily of shareholders, very few of whom are likely to be declared Star Wars geeks, he also threw a few more choice morsels their way.
The film, Iger revealed, would pick up the story 30 years after the events depicted in Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
In that film, which was released in 1983, the rebel alliance destroyed the second Death Star space station and, with the death of Emperor Palpatine, effectively toppled the Galactic Empire.
In the fourth, fifth and sixth chapters of the film, A New Hope (1977), The Empire Strike Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983), producer George Lucas chronicled the struggle between the rebel alliance, led by Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), and the tyrannical Empire.
Lucas subsequently produced the early history of the saga, the so-called “prequels”, The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005), which examined the collapse of the Galactic Republic, the fall of the Jedi Knights and the rise of the Galactic Empire.
Iger said the seventh chapter would feature “familiar faces including a trio of young leads” but noted that the only official cast member is the “astromech droid” R2-D2.
Lucas has previously said the only characters he wanted to span across the trilogies were R2-D2 and his counterpart, the “protocol droid” C3-P0.
There is intense speculation, however, that the three stars of the original trilogy – Hamill, Ford and Fisher – will reprise their characters in the new film.
Iger told shareholders that the movie “really looks amazing,” though presumably he was referring to pre-production material as principal photography has not yet commenced.
The film will be directed by J.J. Abrams and written by Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan.
Kasdan was co-writer of The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and the much-loved George Lucas/Steven Spielberg collaboration Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Disney purchased LucasFilm, which owns the Star Wars saga, in 2012 for $US4.05 ($4.48) billion. One of the most anticipated projects to come out of the acquisition is the prospect of a new Star Wars trilogy.
Lucas had, in the saga’s early life, flagged the possibility of a nine chapter story, but had later pared it back to six.
Star Wars: Episode VII is slated to open on December 18, 2015.
Source: Michael Idato, Star Wars 7 details emerge from Disney meeting, The Sydney Morning Herald, March 20, 2014, http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/star-wars-7-details-emerge-from-disney-meeting-20140320-353ob.htm.
‘Ghostbusters 3’: Dan Aykroyd Spills Details on Plot
“We will be doing the movie and hopefully with” Bill Murray, the actor says.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
After months of speculation, Dan Aykroyd, one of the original stars, hinted Thursday on The Dennis Miller Show that the film could start shooting in the spring.
He added that Bill Murray has not yet committed to the project, but he and the creatives behind the film are hoping Murray signs on to reprise his role from the first two films.
“Yes, we will be doing the movie and hopefully with Mr. Murray,” he said, as reported by ComingSoon.net. “That is our hope. We have an excellent script.”
In March, Ivan Reitman expressed that same sentiment to The Hollywood Reporter, saying: “There’s a very good script that the other cast members have read and liked. We’re just waiting for Bill Murray to read it.”
But on Thursday, Aykroyd argued that the movie could go forward without Murray should he decide not to return.
“What we have to remember is that Ghostbusters is bigger than any one component, although Billy was absolutely the lead and contributive to it in a massive way, as was the director and Harold [Ramis], myself and Sigourney [Weaver],” he said. “The concept is much larger than any individual role and the promise of Ghostbusters 3 is that we get to hand the equipment and the franchise down to new blood.”
The story line, according to Aykroyd, will center around the original Ghostbusters’ inability to effectively bust ghosts anymore, so they set out to find new recruits.
“My character, Ray, is now blind in one eye and can’t drive the Cadillac,” he says, “He’s got a bad knee and can’t carry the packs. … Egon [Ramis’ character] is too large to get into the harness. We need young blood and that’s the promise. We’re gonna hand it to a new generation.”
It’s unclear whether the fourth Ghostbuster, Ernie Hudson, would be part of the cast. In April, the actor said he had not been approached by anyone in the project.
“I haven’t seen anybody with any money, but I hear it’s happening, and I’ve been reading all the press stuff, and the fans have been telling me that it’s on,” he told TMZ.
Meanwhile, Aykroyd did say Thursday that there has been no casting decisions made, but one of his recommendations would be Criminal Minds actor Matthew Gray Gubler.
“There’s going to be a casting,” he added.”:We’re going to see everyone that wants to do it. We’re going to need … three guys and a young woman.”