…Or Star Wars, in any case. “We would be honored if you would join us,” the franchise’s official Facebook account wrote with a link to opencastingcall2013.com, the American site for the open call first spotted in the U.K.
UPDATE: The original Facebook post seems to be region-locked, but see the comments for a screen shot.
Episode VII will be the first actual Star Wars movie not to open in May, StarWars.com announced today. The film will be in theaters December 18, 2015.
“We’re very excited to share the official 2015 release date for Star Wars: Episode VII, where it will not only anchor the popular holiday filmgoing season but also ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture,” said Disney’s Alan Horn.
Rumors about a non-May release date have been rampant in the last few months.
Well, I can’t say I’m thrilled with a December release, but I am glad we finally have an official date and all the ridiculous fanboy posturing – over that part of the equation, anyway – is over. I’m sure they’ll still have a few things to share with that April at Celebration!
“It became clear that given the time frame and given the process and the way the thing was going that working with Larry in this way was going to get us where we need to be and when we needed to be,” Deadline reports Abrams said at an Almost Human conference call today. “Working with Larry Kasdan, especially on a Star Wars movie is kind of unbeatable.”
He also called working with Micheal Arndt “a wonderful experience.”
UPDATE: Well! I suppose this counts as a confirmation!
There’s now a slick-looking website for the same Disney open call we saw from the U.K. yesterday, featuring dates in St. Louis, Chicago, Austin, Nashville and just outside Detroit (Troy) and Minneapolis (Bloomington.)
The roles, ‘Rachel’ and ‘Thomas,’ are the same, and this time there are even audition sides. They don’t reveal much, of course, and the setting is clearly generic but it does hint at a possible (incestual? snarky?) romance. And what’s more Star Wars than that?
Actors. Saoirse Ronan is no longer in the running for Star Wars. “I don’t have the role,” she tells The Playlist. “I just shouldn’t have said anything. I just auditioned for it, like everyone else did.”
Casting. Word continues to spread about the open call that may (or may not) be for Episode VII. Gary Kurtz talks to The Guardian about the open calls for the original Star Wars and David Prowse shares some advice for the hopefuls with the BBC.
Games Jeremy Conrad of Furious Fanboys thinks the December part of the equation relates to Episode VII and Rebels tie-ins with the Disney Infinity game. As always with gaming, I shrug.
The BBC thinks there may be an open call in the U.K. this week for Episode VII.
UPDATE: Bleeding Cool is pretty sure this is for Star Wars, and their sources say that the script change is not as dramatic as was speculated in the days following the script announcement: “the same characters are being sought as several months ago” and “the building blocks of story are staying pretty much untouched.”
In any case, the listing is for two characters, one for a “street smart and strong” teen girl aged 17-18 and the other for a young man 19-23 who can “appreciate the absurdities in life.”
However, the Twitter account that broke this, @UKopencall is brand new (first tweets began Oct. 30) and hasn’t tweeted about anything else: It’s mostly spamming other accounts about these listings! (Spammers. I hate spammers.) For that reason alone I have my doubts, though the name on the account, Claire Curry, does seem to be a legitimate casting assistant. Lucasfilm did decline to comment for the BBC, and if this was false it would be an easy denial for them… And of course it could be for another Disney movie entirely. You could be the new Not-Elizabeth or Not-Will of Pirates of the Caribbean 5! Whatever the case, if you go: Be careful.
UPDATE #2: There are now open casting calls for the same roles in the U.S.
Dare to believe? The listing is below.
Dennis Barbie, a retail marketing director for Disney, tweeted today that Episode VII will be coming “end 2015,” giving some weight to the rumors that have the movie aiming for a November or December 2015 release date.
In the wake of last week’s report that Disney and Lucasfilm want different dates, word had it that a late 2015 date was the possible compromise.
In a later tweet Barie said it’s “planned for end of CY15 but in the entertainment business you will never know.” We’re not even penciling anything in until there’s an official announcement, but this is certainly worth noting – to help you place your bets if nothing else.
J.J. Abrams continues his tour around the U.K. press with an interview in The Scotsman. Their writer may not have run into any potential Oscar nominees in the Bad Robot offices, but he does ask about the potential of shooting in Scotland and/or Ireland:
Abrams laughs at the notion of a Celtic civil war that may yet be settled with recourse to light-sabres (sic.) “Tommy keeps pushing locations in Scotland and Trina, who is a wonderful Irish woman, keeps pushing locations to shoot in Ireland, so I’m just going to put the two of them in a room and see who comes out, and I’ll tell you it’s not going to be Tommy. But joking aside, we are looking all over the place for locations and we haven’t made that determination yet.”
He gets even less on stepping into Lucas’ shoes (“the definition of surreal” and “it is thrilling, it is really thrilling”) and story/casting (“I will say that I’ve been very lucky to work with Harrison a couple of times and he is just a gentleman, and he is as funny and as thoughtful and as wonderful to work with as you can imagine.”)
With that out of the way, the article moves on to the point, Abrams’ new book, S – aka the real reason he’s doing all this press.
In an interview with The Times (being subscription-only, it’s summarized by The Telegraph and THR,) J.J. Abrams says he understands the feelings set out in the ‘rules‘ video,
“I would say that (the website conveys) a feeling that we share very much… I loved how Star Wars had that sense of a world far beyond the borders of what you can see and have been told – it’s one of the things it did so brilliantly.
If you watch the first movie, you don’t actually know exactly what the Empire is trying to do. They’re going to rule by fear – but you don’t know what their end game is.
The beauty of that movie was that it was an unfamiliar world, and yet you wanted to see it expand and to see where it went.”
The video was controversial, but let’s not make the mistake of thinking it’s the only fan reaction they’ve taken note of. He also recognizes that “a lot of kids who saw all the prequels when they were young really do identify with those movies as much as my generation identified with the originals.”
The original article also apparently suggests Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, Serenity) might be involved in Episode VII – but mainly because he was seen in the Bad Robot offices. (Jedi News thinks The Times is on to something with that; We’ll see.)
Meanwhile, Variety columnist Brian Lowry strikes back at Mike Ryan’s piece from the other day on how fans need to calm down. Hey, aren’t we the ones who’re supposed to be sniping at each other? (But seriously, don’t.)
Rumor roundup. In light of today’s THR report, HuffPo’s Mike Ryan points out that quick turnaround and behind-the-scenes turmoil are nothing new for Star Wars. Meanwhile, Gregory Ellwood and Drew McWeeny at HitFix discuss it, and McWeeny has some wise words for fandom as well. I’m getting pretty sick of all the panic and hand-wringing myself.
Merchandise. I’m a little horrified by this, but at least one Jader was happy to hear that Star Wars Crocs are coming. May the fug be with you?
Audio. James Burns and Mark Newbold of Jedi News are the latest to launch a podcast, RADIO 1138, with the help of the vets at Rebelforce Radio.
Your moment of zen. Or not. A supercut of Harrison Ford being angry at people. Meanwhile, at The Onion…