Rick McCallum talked to IGN about – what else – the live-action series. He reiterates the cost and technical issues with doing the series, saying, “They’re so complicated. Each hour has more visual effects, digital animation, than any of the films we’ve done.” He also clarifies his previous comments on ‘underworld,‘ saying that while the term has plenty of meaning for the series, it’s not a working title. Also: A Star Wars theme park and Joe Johnston’s hopes to helm a Boba Fett movie, and what’s on the horizon for George Lucas. And the interview ends when ‘1313’ is brought up. Curious! (via)
It’s been a while since we’ve had a silly rumor about the Star Wars live-action series to giggle over, but thankfully there’s Ain’t It Cool News to get things going. Today: Time travel! No, really:
Daniel tells us that one of the series’ first episodes will involve a group of bandits acquiring the capability of time travel, and using it to travel back in time to stop Darth Vader from ever existing.
Sounds like someone’s been watching a bit too much Terminator! Thanks, AICN. Glad to know you’re there when we need a laugh. (via)
P.S.: It’s Expanded Universe. Not Extended. Expanded.
Entertainment Weekly caught up with Rick McCallum at last night’s Red Tails premiere to follow up on the IGN interview. McCallum confirmed that ‘Underworld’ is indeed the show’s working title (read: not likely to make the final cut,) and reiterated the show’s theme of “smugglers, gangsters, bounty hunters, and a few Wall Street-type power brokers.”
More revealing was his talk of the technological factors, and how it’s likely even further off than the “three or four years” he said back in June.
When I asked McCallum if the show is still three or four years off, he said, “Even longer. Because I think we don’t have the technology yet to be able to do it for the level of money that it would have to be done. Plus, the world of television is imploding. No one knows whether you should make a network show or a cable show. I’m really excited about it though, and I hope George does do it. I really do.”
As for Seth Green’s comedy show:
Closer on the horizon is Seth Green’s Star Wars comedy series. “That’s coming along great,” McCallum says. “I’ve seen a few of their little skits. They’re great.”
‘Skits’ is quite revealing, implying that the show’s format may indeed resemble the Robot Chicken specials. McCallum said we may see that one as soon as 2013.
In this interview today, Rick McCallum told IGN that the live-action show’s working title is Star Wars: Underworld. He goes on to talk in some detail about the reasons that the series is on hold (“Each one-hour episode is bigger than the prequels were.”) which is rather fascinating in and of itself.
(You’re very lucky that I’m too tired to photoshop anyone’s head onto Kate Beckinsdale’s body.)
In a clip from The People vs. George Lucas, which comes to DVD next week, A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back producer Gary Kurtz opines on the prequel trilogy. He’s not a fan, but you probably knew that.
Live-action. I’ve been rolling my eyes at the inevitable wave of ‘what about the live-action show!?!’ whine that inevitably accompany any news of other TV projects, so those folks can feel free to take it to io9, where Charlie Jane Anders’ tells you what she wants from the live-action Star Wars and Star Trek TV shows.
Merchandise. Hallmark’s Star Wars exclusive ornaments are fast sellers at conventions, shocking… absolutely no one. Next year’s regular ornaments will be TIE Interceptor, Han on Taun taun, General Grievous, Darth Maul, and a Lego Stormtrooper.
People Mark Hamill says goodbye to the Joker. At least until they make another video game…
Den of Geek is claiming that British writer Matthew Graham, co-creator of the BBC shows Life On Mars (not the U.S. remake) and Ashes To Ashes, may be one of the writers on the Star Wars live-action series.
We got in touch with Matthew Graham and asked him whether the news was true. All he would say to us was that he had done some work out at LucasFilm during 2008 and 2009 “on something unbelievably cool”, and that his contract “had come to an end”. “I hope one day I’ll be able to talk about it,” he told us.
Possible? Possible: Rick McCallum said in a 2008 Star Wars Insider interview that two of the show’s writers were British.
Graham also wrote a recent Doctor Who two-parter. Other high-profile Brit genre TV writers have been approached: Russell T. Davies, who spearheaded the current Who revival, said he down an offer from George Lucas.
Producer Rick McCallum, in an interview with Czech Position, says that the live-action series is several years away.
“The TV series is on hold, but that has nothing to do with the Czech Republic; it has to do with [the episodes being] so ambitious,” McCallum told Czech Position. “We have 50 hours of third-draft scripts, but the problem we have is there is a lot of digital animation; we don’t have the technology yet to be able to do them at a price that is safe for television. Since we would be financing them, it would be suicide for us to do this [now]. So we are going to wait three or four years,” he said.
In addition to giving us a tentative production timeline, he reiterates a few things about the basic premise of the series.
“Basically, it is like ‘The Godfather’; it’s the Empire slowly building up its power base around the galaxy, what happens in Coruscant, which is the major capital, and it’s [about] a group of underground bosses who live there and control drugs, prostitution,” McCallum said.
So… By Celebration VII, then? Maybe.
George Lucas was on Attack of the Show this evening. He mostly talked about 3-D and 3-D conversion, but also quite a bit on the live-action show.
Where is is? “It sits on the shelf. We have 50 hours and we’re just waiting to figure out a different way of making movies: A different technology we can use that will make it so it’s easy enough to make it feasible to shoot the show.” That’s pretty on line with what he’s said before.
You want a money shot? Here’s a money shot: “Right now it looks like the Star Wars features,” Lucas said. Looks like? Actual footage? Just tests? Effects? And what does that mean for those ’50 hours?’
We’ve assumed, in the past, that they were talking about scripts and concept art and the like, but this puts a whole new spin on things. I’m guessing it’s mostly for test purposes, but still, this puts things much further along than we suspected.
UPDATE 05/27: io9 contacted Lucasfilm about the whole ’50 hours’ thing, and they confirmed he was referring to the scripts. Could there still be test footage? I suppose, but I doubt LFL is going to say and none of us can be sure in any case.
“We have to figure out a way of making it for about a tenth the cost of the features, because it’s television,” Lucas goes on to say. “We’re working towards that… We will get there at some point, but it’s just a very difficult process. Obviously when we do figure this problem out it will dramatically effect a lot of movies.”
This is actually old news, but it’s something that didn’t really get any headlines back when it broke – though it has been trickling down through fandom. (Yes, I’m at as much fault as anyone here.) Turns out, the biggest news we’ve had so far on the live-action series was actually… In May. And it’s not good. Here’s what George said at the Q&A at The Empire Strikes Back 30th Anniversary Screening, courtesy of Rebelscum:
Answer: The live action TV show is kind of on hold because we have scripts, but we don’t know how to do ‘em. Because, they literally are Star Wars, only we’re going to have to try to do them…[at] tenth the cost. And, it’s a huge challenge…lot bigger than what we thought it was gonna be.
Thanks to Techland for digging this up.