Episode VIII has a production designer. Rick Heinrichs (Captain America: The First Avenger) has been booked for the film.
It’s certainly not a surprise, but Pinewood CEO Ivan Dunleavy (via Variety) confirms that another Star Wars film will shoot at Pinewood. The Hollywood Reporter says this will be the mysterious spin-off from Gareth Edwards, which already has a December 2016 release date.
We already know that Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII will film in London as well, and that there’s a ten-year deal in place with Pinewood so it won’t be the last.
All-but-confirmed Episode VIII writer/director Rian Johnson chatting with fellow filmmaker Terry Gilliam on a podcast recently. Here’s the most interesting bit that’s made it out:
Kathleen and her whole creative team have been so insistent on all the filmmakers they’ve been hiring for these new movies: ‘We want you to take it and turn it into something that you really care about.’ And we’ll see how the process plays out, but so far, that’s a big part of the reason I’m in it. Because that just seems like their attitude towards it. It’s really exciting actually.
Gilliam requested they bring Frank Oz back, so if you hear a lot of Yoda chatter in the next couple days, this is no doubt why. (via)
“The thought of it made me so completely joyfully happy, ” Episode VIII writer/director Rian Johnson told podcast fans in Chicago Saturday night, “I wanted to to play in this world, of literally the first movie my dad put me in the car to see.” (via)
Marvel announces release dates (but not actual films) through May 2019. Honestly, the only reason I’m noting this is that although they are claiming May 3 in 2019, there are no May dates for 2017 and 2018. Could Disney be keeping them clear for the return of Star Wars to our rightful month? I freely admit I’m grasping at straws, but for the moment we are still expecting Episode VIII in 2017 and a second standalone in 2018… Stay tuned.
A rep for Rian Johnson has told the Los Angeles Times that he is directing Episode VIII and penning a treatment for IX. Johnson’s producing partner Ram Bergman is also coming abroad. Looks like all we’re missing is something official from the Lucasfilm/Disney camp…
Deadline was the first to report that Disney and Lucasfilm have tapped Looper writer-director Rian Johnson to take over from J.J. Abrams on the next two Episodes. The Wrap countered, saying that while Johnson will write and direct Episode VIII, he only write a treatment for IX.
We don’t consider any news fully confirmed until Lucasfilm weighs in, but four trade reports in such quick succession is a fairly good sign that where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
Johnson isn’t verified on twitter, but you may consider his last tweet telling.
In addition to Looper, Johnson’s directing credits include Brick, The Brothers Bloom and several episodes of Breaking Bad. Vulture has nice little overview, if you don’t mind some major Breaking Bad spoilers, and there’s also THR on why he’s a good choice for the job. Another must-read is Drew McWeeny’s take on the bigger picture.
Latino Review is at it again, this time with “details” of the Fett spinoff film and a few words on the earlier rumors. Namely, they conflict with The Hollywood Reporter and say the Abrams/Arndt split had to do with focusing on Skywalker kid(s) over Solo(s) and that Mark Hamill may “end up shooting 6 months on the movie,” which seems excessive.
As for that controversial Obi-Wan’s daughter thing, “it’s absolutely not true,” though “the Kenobi family will come into play.” They have no details, but throw out possibilities like a “niece or nephew” and “Force Ghost.” Maybe Lady Kenobi from The Phantom Menace rumor days will finally show up, why not?
They also say that Jesse Plemons is basically locked, but don’t expect Lucasfilm to name his part publicly when they announce him. His character will be “the main protagonist of Episode VIII,” and yes, I see you there waiting to comment “Ben Skywalker!” ::eyeroll::
And of course no rumor dump is complete without a Boba Fett spinoff rumor. Yawn. Here’s what they say about Fett:
To counter-act the prequels, the Boba Fett spin-off movie planned for 2018 has an interesting twist pitched by Episode VII writer Lawrence Kasdan: the spin-off will start with a complete stranger killing Boba Fett and taking his armor, starting a Man-With-No-Name bounty hunter tale. So: someone kills the Boba Fett from the prequels and takes his armor and name. One this is for certain is that Kasdan didn’t like the prequel and wants no Bobba Fett Clone in the spin-off film.
There are shades there of some of the post-AOTC retcons, but we have every right to be skeptical. (Making Star Wars isn’t buying it at all.)
Latino Review also believes that Joe Johnston (Captain America: The First Avenger) is at the top of the director’s list, because duh. Three sources told them that, presumably after Googling “Joe Johnston Boba Fett.”
Whatever, man. As usual, I remain skeptical and urge you to do the same.
Our big news out of Kathleen Kennedy’s Celebration Europe panel: John Williams has officially signed on to score Episode VII!
April Fools! Here’s one we missed: First Showing spotted what appears to be an Episode VIII script or treatment that appears very briefly in Peter Jackson’s latest Hobbit behind-the-scenes video, which was released on Monday. Of course, there are also appear to be scripts that say The Silmarillion, which I don’t believe anyone even has the film rights for, so take it as you will. I’m sure you can guess how I’m leaning. Well played, hobbitses.
Box office. The Motley Fool predicts that Episode VII will make a lot of money. Not just a a lot of money (because duh) but that it will go where only James Cameron has gone before: To make $2 billion worldwide. Well, if anyone can, it would be Star Wars… Right?
Back… To the future! Movies.com gathers some Lucas’ quotes on earlier plans for extending the saga.