Bob Iger was talking Lucasfilm on CNBC again, and he told them that there’s still no decision on bringing back the original actors. Or rather, that despite George Lucas’ comments last week, “We haven’t made an official announcement yet.” Indeed.
He does say that there have been “discussions” with the actors, but they’re waiting on Arndt’s script to make a final decision.
In a great story on the Lucasfilm acqusition by Disney in Bloomberg Businessweek, George Lucas more or less admits that Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher are returning for the new movies:
Asked whether members of the original Star Wars cast will appear in Episode VII and if he called them before the deal closed to keep them informed, Lucas says, “We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison—or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation. So I called them to say, ‘Look, this is what’s going on.’ ” He pauses. “Maybe I’m not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them.” Then he adds: “I won’t say whether the negotiations were successful or not.”
That may be the big news out of this, but the article itself is a must-read on the process, with extensive input from Lucas and Bob Iger.
Hey, some actual sorta kinda casting news! Entertainment Tonight spoke to Mark Hamill who revealed that he was approached — by George Lucas himself — about appearing in Episode VII. And he indicates that he wasn’t the only one who may be coming back:
“He did say that if we didn’t want to do it, they wouldn’t cast another actor in our parts – they would write us out… we’re in the stage where they want us to go in and meet with Michael Arndt, who is the writer, and Kathleen Kennedy, who is going to run Lucasfilm. Both have had meetings set that were postponed — on their end, not mine. They’re more busy than I am.”
Still, he stresses that no contracts have been signed — which perhaps blows a hole in the Harrison Ford rumor — and that he hopes everyone is on board (Billy Dee Williams and Anthony Daniels included), “rather than just one.” He also weighs in on what he’d like to see in the sequels, as well as the standalone movies. Worth checking out the whole interview.
Mark Hamill’s new movie, Sushi Girl, had its premiere last night, so of course Hamill’s being asked about Episode VII.
“I just know that nothing’s been decided, whether we’re in or out,” he said to Coming Soon. But don’t expect any a Carrie-style snarking: “Until I know more about what they have in mind, I think it’s better to let Lucasfilm make the announcements,” he told E!
Meanwhile, SFX asked him where he’d see an older Luke Skywalker:
I remember when we were making the first trilogy I thought… When I realized they were gonna make the princess my sister, I said, “You know where this is headed? It’s headed for Obi-Wan territory, where I’m in a desolate hovel, as an elderly recluse.” But I’ve heard other ideas, like you say – somebody who’s training Jedi.
“I never, ever dreamed that we would do any more movies. And so I really sort of let it go,” he said.
So when he said, “We decided we’re going to do Episodes VII, VIII, and IX,” I was just gobsmacked. “What? Are you nuts?!” [Laughs] I can see both sides of it. Because in a way, there was a beginning, a middle, and an end and we all lived happily ever after and that’s the way it should be — and it’s great that people have fond memories, if they do have fond memories. But on the other hand, there’s this ravenous desire on the part of the true believers to have more and more and more material.
Well, you can’t say they haven’t had practice keeping secrets!
Carrie’s reaction to the news breaking has so far been contained to, um, her dog. Harrison Ford is, I expect, looking into trips to Antarctica.
Today was fairly busy, starting off with the Del Rey panel. It was also the first official reveal of Detours, which I chose not to attend in order to write up Del Rey. This one goes a little beyond just the stuff I was able to attend, if only because of the sheer overlapping amount of big things going on. (Yes: Still exhausting!)
Sunday reader. Using the Blu-rays, Hitfix’s Drew McWeeny is showing the Star Wars movies to his two sons for the first time. It’s a great story (they’ve seen Clone Wars but nothing else) and probably one of the best articles (and certainly the most detailed) that I’ve read on kid’s reactions to the saga. In order: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, The Phantom Menace, Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith, with the Return of the Jedi entry coming on Thursday. A great read, whether you’ve shown the movies to kids yet or not.
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.
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.