Episode VII to be set 30 years after Return of the Jedi, no cast announced yetWednesday, March 19, 2014
New Star Wars movie to begin filming in May
The highly anticipated next instalment of the Star Wars franchise will be set 30 years after Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Walt Disney Co.’s chief executive officer Bob Iger said yesterday at the company’s annual shareholders meeting.
Disney purchased Star Wars production company LucasFilm for US$4.05 billion in 2012 and announced it would release three new films in the popular sci-fi series. Fans have been avidly awaiting details of the next film, Star Wars: Episode VII.
Return of the Jedi was the third film in the first trilogy of Star Wars released between 1977 and 1983. The series is set in a galaxy far, far away, in the past.
Iger did not reveal any casting news, other than to confirm the return of the robot character R2D2. The official Star Wars website posted on Monday the new films would feature “a trio of new young leads along with some very familiar faces,” and that filming would begin in May at London’s famed Pinewood studios.
During the early part of the two-hour meeting, Iger said, “I know many of you were hoping for some Star Wars news, but it’s really early in the process, so there really isn’t much that I can share with you right now.”
However, he did note that “the team is well into pre-production … and from the concept art that I’ve seen so far, Star Wars: Episode VII really looks amazing,” before adding, “For now, that’s it. I’ll get in trouble if I say more.”
Rumours have swirled for over a year about whether some of the franchise’s stars, including Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, would return. Trade magazines have reported that rising stars including Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o and Girls actor Adam Driver were being considered.
The Hollywood Reporter recently reported that Nyong'o met with J.J. Abrams only a few weeks ago. Several sources cited by the trade magazine say that Jesse Plemons is one of the actors to beat for one of the roles and that British actors Ed Speleers and John Boyega are also in the mix.
According to trade magazine Variety, Girls actor Adam Driver is in talks to play the villain in the new film. Others battling for lead roles include Downton Abbey thesp Ed Speleers, Attack the Block star John Boyega, Breaking Bad and Friday Night Light’s Jesse Plemons and theatre actors Matthew James Thomas and Ray Fisher, Variety said.
The Star Wars franchise was created by director George Lucas and comprises six films that have grossed more than US$4.4 billion at the worldwide box office since the first film was released in 1977.
Episode VII will be released on December 18, 2015, and will be directed by J.J. Abrams, who helmed the recent Star Trek film franchise reboot. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan wrote Episode VII after they “assumed screenwriting duties” from Michael Arndt back in October of 2013.
Herald with online media