It’s still too early for him to drop any news bombs on us (and he eludes the obligatory EU question) but he does talk at length about how the characters are what drives the films – and we learn that his favorite character is Han Solo, who has been rumored to be a possible subject for one of the spin-offs.
ClevverMovies talked to Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy at CinemaCon (where she was named Pioneer of the Year) and got a few tidbits about Episode VII (J.J. Abrams is only signed for one) and spin-offs.
Lucasfilm is “determining what those spin-offs are going to be right now.” and she expects they’ll get some great talent” to helm them.
Big Shiny Robot, for the record, takes her evasiveness on IMAX and 3D as an indirect ‘yes.’
At CinemaCon in Las Vegas, /Film reports that Disney has said that they hopes to have a new Star Wars once every year, beginning with Episode VII.
Variety reports that they reiterated that the new Episodes will be released in 2015, 2017 and 2019, with standalones presumable aiming for ’16 and ’18.
This lines up with what we’ve all been assuming based on various comments during the acquisition, including CEO Bob Iger’s earlier statement confirming the standalone films. More worrying is the timeline: Standalones alternating with Episodes? I’m not so sure I like the idea of a new Episode every other year.
On the other hand, consider the audience: CinemaCon is a convention for theater owners, who’ll naturally want to hear about a regular slate of new Star Wars releases. The reality of film production may be another matter entirely… So we’ll see.
Cosmic Book News is at it again! Today they’ve set on another spin-off concept, one featuring Obi-Wan during his Tatooine exile with old buddy Darth Maul and a possible appearance by a young Luke Skywalker. (via)
A similar story was published in 2005 as the lead story of Star Wars: Visionaries. But as story concepts go, we’ve heard worse, and Ewan McGregor hasn’t been shy about his willingness to return. But, as always, it’s only a rumor.
SciFiNow talked to Ian McDiarmid on his Star Wars character. He talks about Palpatine’s spinoff potential and even calls the Darth Palgueis novel ‘fascinating.’
But the highlight is perhaps his own thoughts on the character, and the possibilities going forward:
“I thought Sith were just somehow born evil, that’s what they were. But I’ve… with reference to a few things that George has said, I realised that that’s not true. He might well have a tragic arc too, but I don’t know. And even if he does I’m not sure we’ll ever see it. But obviously, if we did and if it happened it would be something that would be completely fascinating to do and it would be like building a Shakespearean character.
“Also the great thing about these movies is that George doesn’t give much away in advance to anybody,” McDiarmid continues, “which is good because that’s what a good storyteller should do, you should really want to know what’s going to happen next or how it all started.”
“And that’s all there in George’s head, and he’s released it, I suppose, in one way or another over the last few years. And although, of course, Disney now owns the franchise, George is there very much as a creative consultant and I’m sure they’ll be very grateful for that. And those storylines will still continue to emerge from that sort of databank, that extraordinary databank which is his brain.
For all the squee over Plagueis, I never really felt that it revealed much about Palpatine’s own motivation: The character himself is still very much a mystery, and I can how exploring that could be more fruitful with all the EU’s restraints removed. But somehow, I doubt that spinoff is very high on the list…
Total Film has been asking celebrities about Episode VII, from the obvious (Ewan McGregor, Joss Whedon) to the totally random (Michelle Williams, Eli Roth, Mila Kunis, Mark Strong.)
Would you like to see any of these folks in the sequels or standalones?
What if? When asked about the Star Wars standalone films by Digital Spy Joss Whedon says he wouldn’t bring back the original trilogy characters like, as rumored, Han Solo and Boba Fett. Yeah, I’m with him on that: These standalone options we’ve thus heard are by far the weakest part of this whole new era for me.
Actors. Billy Dee Williams told attendees at Emerald City Comic Con that he hasn’t been approached for Episode VII, but that he’d be all for it. Meanwhile, Zoe Saldana wants in. “I want to be a sexy something, like a princess from another planet,” she told E! at the Oscars.
Expect this to continue. In perhaps an effort to keep Star Wars from overtaking the press cycle for Star Trek Into Darkness, J.J. Abrams said it’s “too early” to talk about Episode VII. Diplomatic, but are people going to stop asking? Probably not.
Nerdvana‘s ‘insider’ tells them that the new film will focus on a child and grandchild of Han and Leia’s – which may or may not give hope to those wedded to the novel continuty. On that note, the source claims “there are three new books we want Timothy Zahn to write.” Novelizations? Intriguing…
And here’s what they have to say about Abram’s contract:
JJ’s contract has a clause for all three movies and an additional three of Lucas/Disney choosing if everyone melds well on the first one. This is typical of these types of contracts; gives everyone an out if needed.
They also say that the Big Three have contracts already (right…) and that George Lucas himself has nixed the Yoda spin-off: He’s “a supporting character and will stay that way.” That last one I actually hope is true.
Marketsaw‘s spy is backing up the claims that Episode VII will focus on the Skywalker spawn, and also the film’s tone:
The focus is on the original trilogy in regards of reverence and tone. Remember I told you before that the tone was important, well I believe they are really taking that seriously. From everything I know, they’re focusing on that directly. Remember everything has the ability to change drastically, as Star Wars right now apart from the twin trilogies is a huge blank canvas. However, the trilogies ongoing narrative will continue to focus on that particular branch, whereas the stand alone movies, will fill and expand the voids in between in multiple timelines, and have potential to then be franchised themselves in regards to the worlds they open up.
The ‘news’ here, however, is the claim that Alfonso Cuarón (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Children of Men) may be a very important name in the hat for future Star Wars directing jobs, and to “expect” Simon Pegg in “some capacity.” Dengar?
UPDATE: Pegg tweets:
No idea where this silly rumour about me attached to the new Star Wars film came from but I can confirm that it’s absolute Bantha poodoo.
— Simon Pegg (@simonpegg) February 26, 2013
Oh, and they mention Plagueis as a possible spinoff, because of course.
Somewhere on the scale between ‘Ugh, no’ (Boba Fett/Yoda) and ‘Well… okay?’ (Han Solo) there exists AICN reporting a possible Knights of the Old Republic spin-off movie. Somewhere a gamer is screeching like a little girl, but I just roll my eyes. Don’t get too excited, though – “literally a ton of activity going on regarding a whole bunch of ideas,” the report also says.
Apparently there are also rumors going around Bioware about Drew Karpyshyn being involved. I thought he was working on some fantasy novels (and a screenplay that will need to be shopped around, which doesn’t exactly scream ‘part of a major franchise’ to me.) Whatever, rumor mill.
UPDATE: Let the record show…
— Drew Karpyshyn (@DrewKarpyshyn) February 23, 2013