“We couldn’t be more excited to work with an artist with as much depth and range as Woody,” said the film’s directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. “His ability to find both humor and pathos, often in the same role, is truly unique. He is also very good at ping pong.”
Like the last few annoucements, StarWars.com declines to use any release date for the movie besides “2018.” It’s been heavily rumored and seems fairly likely that the film will move to a December release date, just like The Force Awakens, Rogue One and Episode VIII before it.
Later Wednesday, Harrelson commented on the role during a Facebook Live chat with Mashable, confirming the “mentor” portion of the original report. (via)
But overall, there’s not really that much to say right now about the future. Because even Lucasfilm isn’t sure yet:
“There are [possible movies] that we have been talking a lot about,” Kennedy says. “But we are planning to sit down in January, since we will have had The Force Awakens released, now Rogue One, and we’ve finished shooting Episode VIII. We have enough information where we can step back a little bit and say, What are we doing? What do we feel is exciting? And what are some of the things we want to explore?”
It’s certainly an interesting question. I doubt we’ll be waiting 10 years for Episode X, but how long should they wait? Will the fanbase stand for an uninterrupted string of non-Episode films?
And which standalones? Perhaps the most interesting parts of this piece look back. First, it confirms the long-standing rumors that Josh Trank’s canceled standalone was about Boba Fett. (Ugh.) They even had a teaser reel ready to show us at Celebration Anaheim in spring 2015. A Fett film still might happen – Breznican calls it “backburnered” – but it’ll no doubt have to wait until the right director comes along. (And yes, the possibility of an Obi-Wan Kenobi film is mentioned. Again, Lucasfilm knows you want it.)
Secondly, Kennedy also mentions that the idea for the Han Solo standalone wasn’t one that George Lucas mentioned as a spinoff. We’ve previously heard otherwise, which makes me wonder if the original idea came from George in a different context, like the never-produced live-action series. (After all, Saw Gerrera made the jump from there to The Clone Wars to Rogue One – why not a major character like Han?)
In another article, this time at Variety, Kennedy talks about some of the Han film’s inspirations:
“This moves closer to a heist or Western type feel,” says Kennedy. “We’ve talked about [Frederic] Remington and those primary colors that are used in his paintings defining the look and feel of the film.”
She also talks about her desire to bring in more women to direct Star Wars films.
“We want to make sure that when we bring a female director in to do “Star Wars,” they’re set up for success,” says Kennedy. “They’re gigantic films, and you can’t come into them with essentially no experience.”
That said, the rumor does come from a tweet by The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit, who claims to have heard it from “a couple of sources” – though not, apparently, enough for an actual story. Still, it would be bigger news if the film didn’t involve the Falcon.
Now, we’re all a little (a lot, truth be told) sick of people complaining about how this film is going to be “predictable” or “boring.” About how people would rather have an Obi-wan movie, or whatever. (No, you’re not the first person to say it. You’re not even the thousandth.) And this rumor isn’t going to help matters, I’m sure. But the film is in pre-production. It has two key roles cast – Han and Lando – with a third that probably isn’t far behind. (Not to mention Chewbacca is probably locked in, as we know Ehrenrich tested with either Peter Mayhew or Joonas Suotamo.)
Most importantly, It also has a pair of directors who are best known for taking “horrible” ideas and actually making great films out of them. If you somehow managed to miss Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s The LEGO Movie or 21 Jump Street remake, please give them a try. And remember Lawrence Kasdan? He co-wrote the thing. These are not a bunch of random dudes off the street making a fan film. They, and everyone else at Lucasfilm, have a clear concept of the character and the film – check out those Celebration Europe clips again.
What do we, the audience, have? Hints and rumors and speculation – not the most solid ground for judgement.
I’m not going to discount the possibility that the movie could still turn out so-so. Hell, I’m still a little wary about the whole spinoff concept myself.
Fact is, this movie is happening. You don’t have to like it, but that’s not going to change at this point. But it’s far, far too soon to write it off. Give Han Solo a chance, just like you’re going to give Rogue One a chance. Hopefully, they both manage to surprise us.
Disney CEO Bob Iger doesn’t expect Rogue One to do quite as well at the box office as The Force Awakens, but he says the audience interest they’ve seen has been just as high for the new film. (Did anyone expect that? You don’t get a $2B film every year.) “We love what we’ve seen,” he told investors of the Rogue One rough cut.
He also revealed that they have a writer for the third Star Wars standalone due in 2020, and he recently met with Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy to plot out beyond that as well.
We’ve known since the Disney purchase that Lucasfilm plans to take the saga films beyond 2019’s Episode IX, but it remains to be seen if they’ll keep to the current schedule to leave only a year between the current and next trilogy.
“Yep. There are rumors,” Donald Glover says of the reports that he’s a front-runner for the role of Lando Calrissian in the young Han Solo movie. But hey, he does love the franchise:
I mean, I grew up on it. My dad was a big fan. I had all the toys when I was little. I had a Darth Vader with the lightsaber he has. It was cool. It’s a dynasty. It’s like the bible. I love that franchise.
Jedi News has what’s likely the production name for the Han Solo film – Carbonado Industries (UK) Ltd. The second name is a tad more mysterious – PLT Productions Ltd. – but it could be for Colin Trevorrow’s Episode IX, the third spinoff or even another Lucasfilm production like Indiana Jones.
The first surprise at the Rogue One panel was Gwendoline Christie hosting. The second was the poster, and the third is the behind the scenes clip we see above.
John Knoll revealed that he first came up with the idea of a the story when he first heard rumblings of the live-action series, during the filming of Revenge of the Sith. He put it away when he learned more about George’s concept for the series, and pulled it out again when the spinoffs were announced. Check out the original concept art of the team.
Edwards also confirmed that the beach planet is named Scarif, and later cast revealed another planet, Jedha. Apparently people make Force-based pilgrimages there – Edwards compared it to Mecca. This appears to be the market planet, and where we meet Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen,) Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) and Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed.) Edwards had more to say on Jedha in a post-panel interview – it’s certainly an intriguing addition to the galaxy.
Exactly how much Darth Vader will there be in Rogue One? “He will be in the movie sparingly,” Kathleen Kennedy tells Entertainment Weekly. “But at a key, strategic moment, he’s going to loom large.”
James Earl Jones is returning to voice one of his most iconic characters, with “a variety of large-framed performers” inside the suit.
But as iconic as he is to the audience, in-galaxy Vader is “still a background player.” To the Rebellion, he’s more of a legend than a fact:
“Within the Rebellion, it’s not commonly spoken about,” says director Gareth Edwards. “Within the Empire, there is the culture of knowing of the existence of Darth Vader. There’s definitely an underlying feeling that there is a power – a dark power – available to the Empire and that if you overstep your mark, you will suffer the consequences.”
The article also looks at where Ben Mendelsohn’s Director Orson Krennic fits in, and Vader’s first day on set.
And nope – no stills yet. Will Vader make his Rogue One debut at Celebration?