No Episode VIII title* out of the Future Filmmakers panel at Celebration Europe, but they did confirm Alden Ehrenreich as the young Han Solo and bring him out on stage. He was the first person to audition (out of 3000 people!) and won the role over 6 months. Directs Christopher Miller and Phil Lord have only just moved to London for pre-production, and they expect to start shooting in early 2017.
Earlier, Kathleen Kennedy said Episode VIII director Rian Johnson “moves the camera as well as Steven Spielberg.” We learned that Johnson spent about six weeks with Lucasfilm before even starting in on the script.
The panel winded down with surprise appearances from John Boyega, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher. (Plus Gary and Millie.) It looked fun, but there was nothing really earth-shattering revealed. Check out the StarWars.com liveblog for details.
Below the cut, videos from the panel, and the interviews afterward!
Perhaps we were too quick to assume that Mark Hamill had lost the beard, though he does seem to be pulling double duty. (UPDATE: He’s now wrapped as well.)
And finally, your moment of zen: Gary Fisher with “his two favorite stalkers.” A weird thing happens when you start to see enough of those emoji: They start making sense. Maybe one day I’ll wake up being able to read Aurebesh after all.
John Boyega is taking his Star Wars sci-fi cred to the Shatterdome – he’s signed on to play the lead in the upcoming sequel to Pacific Rim. Not much is known about the sequel, but his character will be the son of Idris Elba’s character from the original. Boyega will also be a producer.
The film will be directed by Steven S. DeKnight. The first film, directed by Guillermo del Toro, came out in 2013.
Mark Hamill went all out for the photographers, but his costars were less gregarious. Director Johnson and Daisy Ridley are no surprise, but the fourth person joining them may be, so click at your own risk.
→ Though Malin Head is the only known filming location in Northern Ireland, there are several in Ireland now – SWNN has a map.
→ John Boyega picked up a Chopard Trophy at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday, (alongside Bel Powley, who was rumored for a VIII role at one point) and even found time for a couple of interviews. With Variety he discussed Finn and Rey and described VIII as “a different take, darker, bigger” than The Force Awakens. At Vulture, he has nothing but praise for new costar Kelly Marie Tran.
→ Meanwhile, Oscar Isaac and his Poe Dameron haircut are doing publicity for X-Men: Apocalypse. To Collider he says “Poe has a lot of love to give,” while he tells Entertainment Tonight that VII characters will get “tested intensely.”
Although it was never officially announced, it appears that The Making of Star Wars: The Force Awakens book from Mark Cotta Vaz and J.W. Rinzler has been canceled. A listing for the book appeared before the movie – usually a reliable indicator – and it was pushed back to October before the film’s release. However, it now it no longer appears on the publisher’s site, and Florian at Jedi Bibliothek found a listing on BookManager that says it’s been canceled..
All-out cancellations are rare, but I don’t expect we’ll get any word on the reasoning anytime soon. (Again, it was never actually announced.) My only guess is that it may have something to do with the lawsuit over Harrison Ford’s on-set injury. Note the incident isn’t mentioned in the official behind-the-scenes documentary on The Force Awakens Blu-ray – and may be off-limits until the legal issues have been worked out. Everyone loves the original trilogy Making of books, but here’s hoping we won’t have to wait 30 years for this one.
Given this is the Mail, a publication not exactly known for being on the up and up, and that there was no sign of del Toro at the official set visit… Well. We’ll see. The Mail also uses a character name for del Toro that I believe originates from the recent Reddit posts.
The U.K.’s Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry visited the set of Episode VIII at Pinewood Studios on Tuesday, meeting director Rian Johnson, stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, and many more. Click on the gallery pics for tweet links and captions.
@KensingtonRoyal: The Duke and Prince Harry come face to face with Daisy Ridley’s @starwars head cast @PinewoodStudios
There were fairly few revelations, naturally, but we do see Prince Harry in an A-wing, which could be either a red herring (from Rogue One, even?) or actually slated to return in VIII. We don’t get a complete look at the ship, at least not enough for a non-prophead like me to spot any differences. Journalist Rebecca English has a similar pic from a different angle.
With The Force Awakens releasing on digital tonight, we got a couple of new things today, not least of all two new still, above. (via.)
USA Today has an interview with and new video clip featuring John Boyega. He talks about training for the lightsaber fight on Starkiller Base and the hardest secret to keep. (Bonus: Sleeveless Adam Driver.)
At Fandango, Matthew Wood on the effect they were going for with the voice modulation on Kylo Rens helmet.
Expect plenty more to come, as the Blu-ray is out Tuesday the 5th. The Star Wars Facebook page is planning a live Q&A with Daisy Ridley for Monday, and you can submit questions now.