When word spread that Harrison Ford had broken his ankle on the set of Star Wars: Episode VII last week, my initial thought was, “gosh, I hope they don’t have to put him down!”
However, once I remembered that Harrison Ford is not a race horse, my second thought was, “hmm, could this possibly affect the release date of the film?”
Well, according to an inside source who spoke to the Mirror, the injury is pretty severe and will keep Ford the Star Wars disabled list for eight long weeks. However, his absence shouldn’t derail the entire production.
Says the source:
The initial day or two after the accident, it was hard to move things around, but now we have had more time we can juggle things, bring some scenes forward and push others back. There are lots of other actors in the movie, so it is not a disaster. We are still confident the film can stay on schedule.
So that’s good news. Let’s just hope they fix the malfunctioning Millennium Falcon door that caused Ford’s injury before they resume filming. We can’t afford to lose Peter Mayhew, too.
Everyone knows Star Wars: Episode VII director J.J. Abrams likes to keep the details of his movies under wraps. It’s all part of his “mystery box” philosophy of storytelling which, in a nutshell, holds that the best way to instill hope and wonder in a moviegoer is tease them with little bits of info while keeping them in the dark for as long as possible. (See Cloverfield, Super 8, Lost, and of course Star Trek: Into Darkness.)
For this reason, it’s got to be pretty frustrating for J.J. when somebody leaks a bunch of photos from the set of one of his movies, revealing a pretty huge detail—like this week, when the world learned that they’re building a Millennium Falcon for Star Wars: Episode VII. Sure, he kept his official response to the leak pretty light-hearted:
See? That’s one of the hologram chess boards you see in the Falcon in Star Wars: Episode IV, the message being something like, “yeah, no shit the Millennium Falcon is in the movie!”
But you know he actually does wish the photos hadn’t gotten out. It’s not that he wasn’t going to reveal the info to moviegoers eventually. We weren’t all going to show up at midnight screenings of Episode VII in a couple of years and be like, whoa it’s the Millennium Falcon! It’s just that Abrams’s entire schtick is revealing every piece of information precisely at precisely the right time. And if he wasn’t the one who leaked the photos, then it wasn’t the right time.
Of course, if he was one who leaked the photos…well, that’s genius.
Last month, not long after the main cast of Star Wars: Episode VII cast had been announced, J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdam got on the YouTubes and hinted there were still a few big casting decisions to come, breathing a bit of life into the moribund Star Wars rumor industry.
Today that suggestion bore fruit, as Disney and Lucasfilms have announced that Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o and non-Oscar winner Gwedoline Christie have joined Daisy Ridley and Carrie Fisher on the cast of the new Star Wars film, doubling the number of women involved in the hotly anticipated sci-fi epic.
Nyong’o, of course, is the relative Hollywood newcomer who was the breakout star of the 2014 Oscars, where she won Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Patsey in 12 Years a Slave. Christie, meanwhile, plays fan favorite Brienne of Tarth of Game of Thrones, and can also be seen in the upcoming The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. Together, they make a formiddable addition to the cast of Episode VII.
But is that really it, then? Are we done with the casting announcements? I for one hope not. I’m still holding out hope for Billy Dee Williams.
Just last week, following the big Episode VII casting announcement, we lamented what we assumed was the imminent demise of the Star Wars rumor industry.
Boy did we jump the gun. We totally underestimated J.J. Abrams. This guy is a hype genius who knows how to play the Star Wars rumor-industrial complex like a fiddle. And yesterday he got the rumor mill going again with a little video selfie he made with Episode VII co-writer Lawrence Kasdan.
You see, ostensibly, the purpose of said video selfie was to say hello to fans on so-called Star Wars Day. (Get it? May the fourth be with you? LOLz.) However, in doing so Abrams suggested that the casting—which we thought was done—is still ongoing.
So go nuts, internet. Speculate away.
Here, I’ll get you started with this rumor which I am now making up: sources tell me Billy Dee Williams will return to play Lando Calrissian, who enslaved the Ewoks after Return of the Jedi and started a new mining operation on Endor. Also he’s gay, and Alan Cumming has been cast as his lover.
Well it’s only taken a year, but it seems as though J.J. Abrams is finally getting close to almost making a decision about who will star in the highly anticipated Star Wars: Episode VII. Maybe.
We’ve known for a while that the stars of the original Star Wars trilogy are all lined up, and a few weeks ago we found out Adam Driver will be playing the bad guy. Now, thanks to the folk over at Variety, we have word that, for the role of Head Good Guy Jedi, Abrams has it narrowed down to five actors: Ed Speleers (Downton Abbey), John Boyega (Attack the Block), Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad), and two other guys who aren’t important because they are theater actors.
Okay fine, the other two are Matthew James Thomas and Ray Fisher.
Unfortunately we don’t know exactly what the role of “Head Good Guy Jedi” will look like yet. Sources say the original draft of Episode VII by Michael Arndt focused on Han and Leia’s kids. However, the new draft cooked up by Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan puts the Solo kids on the back burner and instead focuses on some new Jedi hero.
Of course, nothing is final just yet. It’s still quite possible that Abrams will pull a fast one on us and casts someone else as the main protagonist. But all the other rumors we’ve heard recently have panned on, so you’d have to think one of this guys will be on set with Star Wars: Episode VII begins filming some time this summer.
How does big shot Hollywood director J.J. Abrams procrastinate when he doesn’t want to do actual work? He goes on Instagram, just like you and me!
We know this, now, because on Monday an @starwars account went live on the social media site with a selfie of—who else?—Darth Vader. Caption: “Another day at the office #StarWars #DarthVader #selfies #gpom.”
Since then we’ve also been treated to a behind-the-scenes shot of Luke and Darth battling it out in The Empire Strikes Back; a shot of a star destroyer concept model from A New Hope; and, rounding things out, a shot of a bunch of chicks in Princess Leia Return of the Jedi bikinis at Comic Con 2010. Because sex!
Obviously, the folks running the Star Wars franchise over at Disney are hoping to bring it into the 21st century with one of them newfangled viral marketing campaigns. And based on the fact that websites and blogs all over the interwebz are talking about Darth’s selfie today, that seems like a pretty smart idea.
Now, if only they’ll actually start making the movie. The release date has been set for December 18, 2015, but it would probably help if they would finish the script and hire some actors.
Lately, almost every bit of news we’ve received about the next Star Wars flick has suggested that Disney is not getting any closer to actually filming the movie. A few weeks ago we learned Oscar-winning screenwriter Michael Arndt was relieved of his script-writing duties for Episode VII and replaced by J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan. And of course there’s been casting rumor after casting rumor, but nothing has been confirmed, just today another open casting call went out in the UK.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Disney is apparently planning to push the release of Star Wars 7 from spring/summer to fall/winter 2015—at least if you believe some Dutch guy named Dennis Barbie.
Barbie, you see, is Disney’s Director of Retail for the Netherlands, and yesterday he took to Twitter to spill some beans:
Saw today some awesome first features/plans of new StarWars 7 movie coming end 2015…at this moment it is planned for end of CY15 but in the entertainment business you will never know.
Of course, later on he tried to take it all back:
OMG didn’t think my post would be picked up like this.Was just guessing period I have no real info on StarWars.
But nobody is buying that, because pushing back the release date just makes too much sense at this point.
So congrats, Barbie. You broke the news! Have fun being demoted to the mail room.