We’ve know that Lucasfilm would have a Friday Hall H panel for The Force Awakens at San Diego Comic-Con for some weeks now, but now we have a time: 5:30pm PDT, aka 8:30pm EDT. The panel description is exactly the same, teasing Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan and “special guests.”
We’re expecting a big splash – one doesn’t take their franchise to Hall H after this many years without bothering to do that much, particularly when one’s parent company has their own con* a month later, and the sibling is sitting it out…
* Yes, we’re expecting TFA stuff at D23 too, but that’s also the first con after the Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation release that’s keeping LFL quiet on the Rogue One front, so that seems like it may get a big splash.
There will be a Hall H panel for The Force Awakens at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, July 10, StarWars.com revealed today. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan and “special guests” will be present.
There are several other panels, including two for Star Wars publishing. (Del Rey will be at ‘Part 2,’ Friday at 11 a.m.)
Vanity Fair isn’t done just yet: In addition to (finally) posting their complete cover story on The Force Awakens, they have an interview with Lawrence Kasdan where he talks about the old film, the new film, and hints that Lando Calrissian’s journey isn’t over just yet.
As for TFA, less is more when it comes to running time:
…it’s turning out really great. J.J. directed it so beautifully, and it’s so exhilarating and everything. It’s a big movie. It’s full of wonderful stuff, incident and character stuff and jokes and effects. One of the things that we always refocus on from the get-go was that it not be one of these very long, bloated blockbusters. A lot of very entertaining movies lately are too long. In the last 20 minutes, you think, why isn’t this over? We didn’t want to make a movie like that. I mean, we were really aiming to have it be—when it’s over you’ll say, “I wish there’s more.” Or, “Wait, is it over?” Because how rarely you get that feeling nowadays, and I think we’re headed there. But it means that there will be constant critical looking at it from now to the end, saying, “Do we need this? Do we need that? Is it better if this comes out, even though we love it?” Killing your darlings.
“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.”
Well, 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.”
We have also been given Lawrence’s original handwritten page for the Leia / Han “I love you” scene, which of course features different dialogue (Harrison Ford famously came up with the classic “I know” on set while they were shooting the scene.)
In another interview from his appearance at the Paley Center on Thursday, Lawrence Kasdan told Hero Complex that he wants his film to be something new:
“I’m trying to start fresh,” he said. “There are certain pleasures that we think the saga can bring to people that they’ve been missing, and we’re hoping to bring them that, and at the same time, have them feel that it’s all new.”
It’s implied (by Hero Complex) that means ignoring the existing Expanded Universe, but it’s worth noting that some fans are also hoping these spin-offs don’t rehash things that the EU has already covered extensively – like Han’s backstory.
He also credits George Lucas with bringing him onto the project, his favorite Star Wars film, and the focus of the original trilogy.