Tag Archives: kathleen kennedy

Episode VII: Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams now taking on script duties, key crew members confirmed

Star Wars logoWell, this isn’t the news we’ve been expecting… It looks like Episode VII has said goodbye to screenwriter Micheal Arndt. StarWars.com has announced that J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan are now penning the script for Episode VII.

“I am very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and J.J. working on the script,” Kathleen Kennedy said in a statement. “There are very few people who fundamentally understand the way a Star Wars story works like Larry, and it is nothing short of incredible to have him even more deeply involved in its return to the big screen. J.J. of course is an incredible storyteller in his own right. Michael Arndt has done a terrific job bringing us to this point and we have an amazing filmmaking and design team in place already prepping for production.”

It’s unclear if any of Arndt’s script will be used, but I don’t think it looks likely… Whatever the case, I’m sure the rumors will be coming momentarily.

The announcement confirms a number of other production roles, including sound designer Ben Burtt and many others. (/Film has a nice rundown.) It also says “location scouting, production design, casting, and costume design are already underway” and states that “shooting is scheduled to begin Spring 2014″ for “an expected 2015 release.”

4 things we learned at Celebration Europe

GL, KK and JJ. (Lucasfilm)

Another year, another Celebration… And now we can rest. For a few weeks, anyway. For those of you who weren’t in Germany, who didn’t wake up before dawn to catch news out of Germany, or who maybe just had other stuff to do this weekend, here are the headlines.

“Real locations and special FX”
Kathleen Kennedy inferred that we’ll be seeing more of a mix of effects – not just the digital stuff, which is pretty much inevitable, but also some more traditional model-based effects and such as well. HitFix’s Drew McWeeny addresses this – and the staggering pressure that Episode VII has to live up to:

I love that much of what I’ve been hearing seems to match what Kennedy is saying. I’ve heard that Lawrence Kasdan is considered by everyone else in the process a pretty great resource, and a really lovely collaborator. And I’ve heard that ILM is building a lot of actual models for this film, that they plan to shoot the models and digitally composite on a much larger scale than the last trilogy. It’s an aesthetic choice, evidently, and I find it very exciting to imagine big ILM model units working to build out the world.

Kennedy knows the gig, she’s clearly taken the time to understand what’s going on with fandom – and I don’t think she’s the only one. This is, as McWeeny said, a fragmented fandom. There are a lot of voices, and the stakes for this movie, for the whole franchise, are high. Will they manage to please everyone? Probably not: There are fans who will love or hate Episode VII no matter what. But I think it’s a good sign that they’re willing to try, and that shows in what little they’re willing to tell us so far. What’s behind closed doors? Hopefully something even better.

John Williams
John WilliamsOf course this was the big ticket news out of the con, and while I understand being disappointed that we didn’t get more, it’s still rather reassuring to have Williams back on board.

There’s been some confusion about whether he’s back for just one movie – the official site says just Episode VII, but apparently onstage, Kennedy said he was coming back for all three. And maybe that’s the plan, but just not on paper yet. In any case, it’s good news.

Rebels
rebels logoWe may not have the whole enchilada yet, but Dave Filoni did give fans enough to sate their appetites, it seems. He made it clear that the style is very much based on Ralph McQuarrie, that the stories will be told in order and showed off some concept art… One of which may be Alderaan.

And the Wookiee Gunner points out that we’ve actually been seeing new ship The Ghost all along! Tricky, tricky.

Celebration VII
And we have our next convention! In all honesty, I welcome the gap: We could all use a little time and space to save, as much as Lucasfilm will need the time to prepare. Let’s not forget, the Celebrations started as a way to get fans excited about the new movies… And think how much they’ll have to show us a month or so before the thing even comes out!

The venue change isn’t much of a surprise… But I really doubt we’ve seen the last of Orlando. After all, Disney does have two theme parks.

Anaheim Convention CenterAlas, Celebration announcements always bring a round of disappointment: We all want it close to us, but there are a lot of people to please and no matter where the thing is, some folks aren’t going to be able to come. The convention center may not be as cavernous, the plane tickets may not be as cheap, etc. It’s sad but there’s no pleasing everyone, ever. We all just have to deal, one way or another, and wait to see how the experts surprise us.

But still, I’m hopeful about California and very happy with the return to the original pre-movie schedule. Hell, I might even go to the theme park for once. Might.

And remember, news hounds: Patience. They’re not going to give us everything at once. They’re going to dribble it out slowly, they’re going to deny things, the rumors will keep flying. (All this has happened before… All this will happen again.) It’s our lot to wait it out and see what emerges.

Saturday roundup: Kathleen Kennedy, Dave Filoni and Carrie Fisher take the stage at Celebration Europe

Kathleen Kennedy and Warwick Davis (StarWars.com)Well, obviously two big bombs got dropped today: The return of composer John Williams is official and we got our first look at the new cartoon, Star Wars Rebels. Kathleen Kennedy also talked about chatting with J.J. Abrams and using “every tool in the toolbox” for Episode VII, implying that we’ll be seeing a mix of CGI and practical effects.

And yes, you can buy the Rebels logo t-shirt online.

StarWars.com also live-blogged the Carrie Fisher event, and highlighted some fan stories. They also shared a video from yesterday with Warwick Davis, Doug Chiang and Iain McCaig.

Newswatch! Sunday is by far the lightest day on the schedule, so those of us on this side of the pond may take the opportunity to sleep in, at least a little. There are still plenty of panels, but for our purposes I think we only need to keep an eye on two of them: Mark Hamill at 2:30 p.m. CEST (8:30 a.m. EDT) and the Closing Ceremonies at 4:00 p.m. CEST (10:00 a.m. EDT.) Will we learn the date and location of the next Celebration?

As for the hoped-for Big 3 confirmation… If neither Kennedy or Fisher said anything, I doubt Hamill will, either. Next milestone is in two weeks at Disney’s D23 Expo, and the rumors have already been churning. Patience!

CONFIRMED: John Williams to score Episode VII

Our big news out of Kathleen Kennedy’s Celebration Europe panel: John Williams has officially signed on to score Episode VII!

That was it as far as announcements go from Kennedy’s panel this morning. StarWars.com liveblogged it, and I’ve collected the tweets on Storify.

Friday roundup: Celebration Europe begins!

David Collins has the ‘ground report’ from Essen, above, as Celebration Europe officially kicks into gear. Of course our news of the day was in regards to The Clone Wars S5 on Blu-ray. The panel itself was recapped by the folks over at Star Wars Underworld.

@starwars: The @501stLegion debuting their new Ralph McQuarrie concept Stormtroopers at #StarWarsCelebration. pic.twitter.com/jAAkxS3EStThe folks at StarWars.com recapped Doug Chiang and Iain McCaig. (No, no sequel art! Hey, it was a long shot.) They also live-blogged Anthony Daniels and International Fan Clubs. And the highlights of the Ian McDiarmid event.

Meanwhile, Bleeding Cool’s Craig Skinner was not particularly impressed with Attack of the Clones 3D – though apparently the room was less than optimal.

(You’re following @jamesjawa, right? Other Twitter fan MVPs include @TGP73 and @TheSWU. #StarWarsCelebration is the tag to watch!)

Newswatch! Saturday is the big one, with Lucasfilm president and Episode VII producer Kathleen Kennedy! Her panel begins at 10:30 a.m. CEST (4:30 a.m. EDT. Yes, I will try to be up. On a Saturday. We are born to suffer.) But if we’re going to get any movie news this weekend, it’s probably going to come from her first.

The rest of the day’s not so bad, either. At 12:30 p.m. CEST (6:30 p.m. EDT) Leland Chee will join Pablo Hidalgo for a look at the Holocron. It’s probably the closest Germany is going to get to an EU panel. Of course, it happens to be running against fan’s first look at Rebels – also 12:30 p.m. CEST – with Dave Filoni, our second most likely panel to produce big news. Which one will StarWars.com liveblog? MYSTERY.

There’s a Doug Chiang panel at 3:30 p.m. CEST (9 a.m. CEST,) a Master’s level trivia challenge with Filoni, Hidalgo and Chee at 5:30 p.m. (11 a.m. EDT) and then the night wraps up with Carrie Fisher at 6:00 p.m. CEST (Noon EDT.)

Roundup: Kathleen Kennedy, Al Pacino, and DAK!

Kathleen KennedyProfiled. USA Today interviews Kathleen Kennedy about her career, Lucasfilm, and women in film.

Imagine this? Al Pacino told a London audience that he turned down the role of Han Solo in Star Wars, the BBC reports. “That role was mine for the taking but I couldn’t understand the script,” he said. He also turned down Die Hard and Pretty Woman.

Dak! Our pal John Morton has been blogging for StarWars.com! He even profiled a few CJers!

Neat stuff. The next Star Wars mega-LEGO is an almost 2,000-piece Ewok Village. It’ll set you back $249.

Kathleen Kennedy attending Celebration Europe

Kathleen KennedyThe president of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy, will be heading to Germany for her first Celebration in July, Reed revealed today.

“When I joined Lucasfilm, I immediately saw the true passion shared by Star Wars fans around the world,” Kennedy says. “I’m thrilled to attend my first Star Wars Celebration and see in person that energy that makes the Star Wars experience so special.”

Kennedy is executive producing Episode VII, so there’s a chance we might actually get some movie information…

Saving the Clone Wars: Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy responds

Kathleen-Kennedy-response-letter-fullYesterday in the mail, I got a form letter from Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy as a response to my letter expressing my support for releasing as much bonus content for The Clone Wars as they could. Basically, it restated their position to wind down the show, and hinted at the new animated series.

Nothing really new revealed, but it seems that their position to end the show is solid. The letter had no real mention of the ‘bonus content’ but does mention that it is more than just Dave Filoni working on the new series: “many members of his Clone Wars team” is also in the letter.

Still, nice to know that my letter was received and that they are willing to engage fans on a one-on-one basis. Here’s the full text of the body of the letter (or just click on the image to read the main text):
Continue reading

Kathleen Kennedy: We’ll embrace the internet’s thirst for Episode VII

In another interview out of CinemaCon (previously) Kathleen Kennedy talks about being a role model for women, joining Lucasfilm and most notably, secrecy and Episode VII. With the internet, she says, you have to ‘embrace,’ ‘recognize’ and ‘acknowledge’ that there are things fans are going to be chomping at the bit for.

This isn’t quite an acknowledgement that they’re going to be giving us tons of info, but hopefully it does bode well for our friends at StarWars.com and how much access they may get in covering the production and filming of the upcoming movies.