Chong can be seen in 24: Live Another Day. Genre fans may recall her in a pivotal 2011 episode of Doctor Who, though: She played Lorna Bucket in ‘A Good Man Goes to War.’
Today, Latino Review’s Da7e Gonzales claims that there’s indeed a struggle behind the scenes to push Episode VII back to May 2016, with JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy on one side and Disney’s Bob Iger on the other. (As we’ve heard before – but from LR, so.) Their bargaining tool? Harrison Ford’s leg, which I think has more press than rest of the cast combined at this point.
Of course we know Lucasfilm is still sticking to December 18, 2015 – but then, they would be. That is the release date – at the moment, anyway.
There are a thousand other considerations when a huge corporation like Disney is involved, but from the fan end, would any of us really object to May, if it comes to pass? I’d certainly prefer it, but the movie’s release date was never going to be my hill to die on.
In any case, this paragraph in particular makes the upmost sense to me:
The franchise and it’s spinoff films will likely be big no matter what, but the value of owning Star Wars is owning the bottomless well of potential money and that means plugging into nostalgia. Star Wars as a franchise can’t pull a Rise/Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and drastically change tones, Star Wars can’t reboot. Star Wars is continuous. Kathleen Kennedy cannot have an Episode VII that botches the handoff between Star Was and Star Is.
Star Wars may not really need to be ‘fixed’ after the prequels – I’m not even a big prequel fan and I think it’s silly to say the franchise was ‘broken’ by them – but there is a perception issue in the mainstream. The mainstream thought the prequels were bad. We can argue about whether that’s been softening until the cows come home, but the fact remains that the perception is there and it’s still plenty powerful. It still, to this day, colors how many people see Star Wars.
Kennedy needs to usher Star Wars into something that can last for Disney. She knows they can’t afford to stick the landing by releasing a rushed, subpar Episode VII with the future of the franchise hanging in the balance.
Episode VII will make Disney millions, maybe billons, not matter when it’s released or how good (or bad) it is. No matter what movie it opens against. But if Star Wars is going to last beyond a third trilogy, it’s going to need some careful cultivation. There are a whole lot of people to convince, and most of them aren’t those of us who follow every drip and drabble of news, or who know that just using the terms ‘bad’ and ‘prequels’ in the same sentence will lead to a tedious debate in certain company. Lucasfilm and Disney both need the mainstream, and they need to convince them that Star Wars is, and can be, ‘good’ again.
Of course, this story of an internal struggle and using an old man’s innocent leg as a bargaining chip is only a rumor, and none of this may pan out in any way; You know the drill. And even if it is true, plenty of great films have come from crazier turmoil than this. We simply won’t know until the movie actually comes out – whenever that ends up being.
UPDATE: Moffat’s wife and Sherlock co-producer Sue Vertue has denied the rumor, saying that it’s “news to him!” Original report below:
So. Jedi News reports of rumblings that Doctor Who and Sherlock showrunner Steven Moffat has been offered a Star Wars film. They’re not sure if this is an Episode or standalone, but I’d guess at the latter.
Moffat is… highly controversial to say the least, particularly among female fans. But I do love his early Who (his/Matt Smith’s first full season is what hooked me on the show) and fairy-tale focus. Conflict! Of course, it’s just a rumor.
Rumor: Is Episode VII filming in Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean? The news crew seems convinced, but in all fairness, it could be any number of things – and Star Wars is far from the only big production filming in the U.K. that could make use of a fairy-tale forest, wigs and practice swords.
Here’s a new twist to the Billie Lourd ‘casting’ – The Sun (of course) via the Mirror is now apparently claiming that Carrie Fisher’s daughter be playing the young Princess Leia in flashback scenes, complete with buns.
While I don’t doubt that Lourd and any number of others (The Sun also names J.J. Abrams’ father and father-in-law) will cameo, let’s not forget that British tabloids are the worst.
The big Rebels thing going around this week is that a French trailer for the show has emerged. Possible spoilers, natch – but not nearly as many as there are over at Making Star Wars, where they claim to know the entire plot of the first couple episodes!
We also have one possible premiere date – September 30.
→ Friday means Da7e’s Star Wars column over at Latino Review, and while he mostly unpacks the rumors from earlier this week, the real meat here? Is that despite Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams really wanting to move the film back to May 4, Bob Iger isn’t letting them do it, no matter what’s going on with Harrison Ford’s extremities. Lots of doom-and-gloom going on here, so please remember that rumors are rumors and don’t let yourself go into full Threepio panic mode over them.
→ /Film’s Germain Lussier on why Iger would be so firm on the December date. In short: MONEY. Naturally.
→ In the ‘well, yeah’ department, Latino Review is also saying that Carrie Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd will be in the movie. We had plenty of friends-and-family cameos throughout the prequels (all the Lucas kids, Nathan Hamill, Sofia Coppola, etc.) so naturally we’ll probably see some in this round as well. And then, of course, there’s this tweet, which also names Maisie Richardson Sellers. Abe Gurko is, depending on who you listen to, Carrie Fisher’s current or former assistant.
→ Only a matter of hours left to donate to A Force for Change if you want a chance at lunch with J.J. Abrams.
Rumor: The basic plot of Episode VII? Making Star Wars gathers together some of the latest (and very basic) rumors about the plot of the film and why Han Solo is apparently so essential to it. (AICN is the original source here, so take that as you will.) There’s a new-to-me tidbit that Daisy Ridley’s character may have been living on Tatooine for a long time, but as always: Game of telephone.
LEGO brings us the minifigure cast of Episode VII… It is pretty cute, but slave Leia, really? Meanwhile, it appears that Omaze is adding a lunch with J.J. Abrams to A Force for Change. Enter by Friday for a chance to win that one.
And in the Harrison Ford doom and gloom department, not only do we have the Oscar Isaac rumor, but the San Jose Mercury News says that one of the options that was (supposedly) being discussed at Pinewood the other day could involve writing Ford out of the film entirely. Don’t hold your breath for that one…
Rumor: Oscar Isaac’s role to be beefed up? So says the New York Post, perhaps sick of the British tabloids getting to have all the ‘fun’ regarding Harrison Ford’s injury. They also claim that there’s speculation that Isaac may be a Solo, which seems to be to be coming out of pretty much nowhere. (Speculation on Adam Driver as a Solo, yes. Isaac as Han’s mentee, or at least playing a similar type of role, yes. Isaac as Han Solo’s son? Not so much.) The article does contain a denial from Disney about the “beefing up” part, but note we have no idea how big his role is to begin with.