Collider: Do you know where and when you might be filming?
BRYAN BURK: We’re progressing on a schedule to hopefully begin next year, or the beginning of next year, and the location is still kind of floating around in the air all depending on script and a whole bunch of other issues. As I just said, everything is kind of a free-flowing thing, and when we feel like the story level on this script and everything is really coming together and schedules are all working and pieces line up, we prowl ahead, and Star Wars will be no different.
Are you a little bit surprised, even for you, about the level of interest or did you sort of know there would be a level of interest you’ve never had before on anything?
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Last week there was word that Iceland was being scouted for Star Wars locations. Now The Sun is reporting that Scotland is also being scouted for possible locations for “Episode VII”:
Scenes from Star Wars: Episode VII, the latest instalment of the sci-fi franchise and the first under director J.J. ABRAMS, will be shot in the Highlands and the Isle of Skye.
A source said: “Location bosses feel Scotland possesses stunning scenery perfect for movie backdrops. They will look great on the big screen and the rock formations will replicate the perception of mountainous planets. It will be the first time Star Wars has ever been shot north of the border.”
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Adding to the filming location rumors, Jedi News reports that Disney just signed a 5 year deal to film at Pinewood Studios:
A good friend who’s just finished working at Pinewood studios told me that Disney have signed a new 5 year deal there and a new sound stage is in the process of being constructed.
Some of the people there are calling if the new Star Wars stage. Apparently the Disney deal is for multiple movies and security has started to be tightened up.
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Entertainment Weekly hosted a 30th anniversary screening of “Return of the Jedi” last weekend and Mark Hamill conducted a Q&A. Of course “Episode VII” was discussed.
George Lucas invited Hamill, his wife, and Carrie Fisher to lunch last year. Hamill figured he was going to talk about the 3D re-releases of the original Star Wars trilogy; as we all know now, the conversation was about something very different indeed. With regards to the new series, Hamill explained, “I’ve only had one creative meeting about the new films, but I do remember saying: ‘We’ve got to find a proper balance between CGI and old-school models.’ I want to have a more organic look so that we don’t get into Roger Rabbit territory.” This statement earned loud cheers from the audience, leading Hamill to laugh, “That’s just me! Don’t get too excited! I don’t imagine their top priority is what I want.”
There is a lot more about his “Star Wars” experiences at the link. Check it out! AICN added the following info:
Hamill also said that he knows that Carrie Fisher’s in 100%, has heard Harrison Ford is onboard, but hasn’t talked to him personally to confirm it and that he hasn’t yet met with JJ Abrams.
He anticipated the focus of the trilogy to be on the next generation “and that’s as it should be.” Hamill doesn’t know anything specific, he was quick to remind us, but he suspects the “old folks” will be more like Sir Alec Guinness in the OT. “I want it to be age appropriate, so heavy on the Jedi mind tricks and lighten up on the lightsaber duels. Let the kids do the heavily lifting!”
“Part of me is cautious, saying ‘let well enough alone, let everyone keep their nice memories if they have nice memories and don’t try to go back and do it again.’ But the other side of me, the adventerous side, thinks ‘If everyone’s in, how could I miss this?” How could you indeed?
Hamill wrapped up his new trilogy talk with this gem:
“I’m one of you, I feel like you’re one of us. I’ll be in there fighting and trying to be as honest as I can be about what I think it is made these movies so special in the first place. It always starts with the script and that’s why I’m so encouraged by Michael Arndt’s involvement because I respect his writing so much. He’s a big fan of these movies, so hopefully we can make something that doesn’t make everyone want to find us, cut off our heads and throw it right in our faces.”
TheForce.Net also posted a few videos from Hamill’s appearance. Check them out at the link!
In an interview with the LA Times, Simon Kinberg spoke about the “Star Wars” spinoff films:
HC: Larry Kasdan said that what sets the original movies apart is that they’re more about people than the films that followed. Do you plan to take this new film back in that direction?
SK: Completely. I think what worked so well in all of the “Star Wars” movies is the characters. I think the reason that they’re different than other science fiction or other genre movies is because George [Lucas] created a universe of people that you wanted to go back and see over and over again, and that’s why it’s spanned and spawned so many different mediums, so many different generations, every different language. You want to go back and see those characters, like I did when I was a kid. “Empire Strikes Back” was the first movie I saw in a movie theater more than once. And I went back 10, 15 times in the theater, and I’ve seen it probably over a 100 times since. But I saw it that many times in the theater because I loved those characters. I loved Han, I loved Leia, I loved Luke, I was right at the age when I was old enough to start to understand the nuance of that movie. I think I was too young for “New Hope” when it came out in the theater, although I loved it and it was my favorite film until “Empire.” And then really, that changed my life, that movie.
HC: Which of those memorable characters is your favorite?
SK: There’s so many that I love and for different reasons. I really love Han Solo. He does that thing that Larry does so well. He’s really human and real, but also really fun and banter-y and larger than life. And when I was a kid, I wanted to be Han Solo.
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The NY Times did an article about J.J. Abrams and discussed how he was originally brought on board for “Episode VII”:
Though Mr. Abrams suggested in interviews last year that his commitment to “Star Trek” would make it nearly impossible for him to direct “Star Wars,” he said that his thinking evolved as he worked on “Into Darkness” and his schedule became clearer.
“It wasn’t as if they offered it to me outright and I passed,” he said of his conversations with Lucasfilm. “It was early discussions, and I just felt like it was not the right thing to even consider.” But “a number of weeks, if not months, went by in between those calls,” he said, “and it was easier to actually think about.”
For his “Star Trek” colleagues, this proved a surprising and bittersweet development. Mr. Lindelof, who was in an editing suite with Mr. Abrams when news of his “Star Wars” deal appeared online, said his reaction “was the same, probably, as most people’s, which is that he said he wasn’t going to do it.”
Mr. Lindelof said he was “profoundly thrilled” that there would be new “Star Wars” movies and that Mr. Abrams would be directing one. But seeing Mr. Abrams poised to jump to a new swashbuckling, intergalactic epic, Mr. Lindelof seemed unsure if audiences would still care about the swashbuckling, intergalactic epic they just finished.
“I wonder if ‘Star Wars’ is now going to eclipse ‘Star Trek,’ ” Mr. Lindelof said, “so that when this movie comes out and people are asking us questions, is everyone going to be asking me about ‘Star Wars’?”
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MTV had lots of “Star Wars” talk this week. They spoke to J.J. Abrams, who stated that he’s not working on the spinoff films and they’re mainly focused on “Episode VII”:
Damon Lindelof speaks about the first time he heard J.J. Abrams was directing “Episode VII: and whether or not he’s want to work on a spinoff:
Leonardo DiCaprio expressed his love for “Star Wars” and his openness to performing in one of the films:
Total Film spoke with Simon Pegg about what J.J. Abrams would bring to the “Star Wars” universe, and he’s not shy about giving his thoughts on the prequels:
“What will he bring to the franchise? Everything that was missing from the last three. That’s what he did to Star Trek, really – invigorate it with a little bit of Star Wars magic. He switched it from science-fiction to science-fantasy.
“And I think if anyone can pull [Star Wars] out of the mire, it’s J.J. He’ll bring the fun back. Lucas seemed to misread what made the first ones great, and concentrate on things that people didn’t really care about, or wilfully ignore the things that people cared about. Whereas J.J. will embrace them all.
“We’re going to see the Millennium Falcon again. We’re going to see those characters again. All the things that we loved about the first three, we will see again.”
Pegg later clarified his comments on Twitter:
Worth pointing out @totalfilm, that anything I said in that exchange was speculation, me and JJA have had no discussions about it.
— Simon Pegg (@simonpegg) May 9, 2013
Total Film also asked several stars about who they’d like to play in Star Wars: Episode VII. The answers range from silly to downright thoughtful. Check out Ben Kingsley, Aaron Eckhart, Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage, Zoe Saldana, Famke Janssen, Dougray Scott, and Ryan Reynolds:
Sky Movies also features a conversation between “Star Wars” fans Simon Pegg and J.J. Abrams:
Topless Robot points readers to a couple of fun “Episode VII” videos. The first features Harrison Ford’s intense negotiations to play in the new sequel: “Star Wars Episode 7 – Harrison Ford Contract Negotiations: Ep. 3 – ‘Return of the Han Guy'”:
Next up are some kids with the coolest dad in the galaxy – “Star Wars Episode 7: Return of the Junior Jedi”:
With fresh excitement over the making of a new Star Wars movie, three children (and some, ahem, adults) set out to make a trailer for a possible Episode 7. Shooting in beautiful Los Angeles including famous Vasquez Rocks and supplementing with VFX and sounds inspired by Star Wars, this short teaser asks the question what a galaxy far, far away be like with Junior Jedi protecting it. Winner – Best Group Project. Premiered at Encino Charter Elementary School Movie Night on April 27, 2013. Starring Marley Gonzales, Kai Hale and Liam Hale.