The Clone Wars is joining its maker in retirement, we learned, even as he himself spilled the beans on the most important Episode VII casting news so far. (I do promise that I’ve spared you all the imminently predictable remarks about old actors, because they’re beyond tired.) All that, plus the usual suspects, beneath the cut.
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.
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.
UPDATE: Sure enough, Fisher’s rep told CNN that the actress was joking: “Nothing has been announced.”
In an interview with Palm Beach Illustrated, Carrie Fishers answers the question “Can you confirm whether you’ll reprise the role of Princess Leia?” with a “Yes.” Of course, Carrie being Carrie, it continues something like this:
What do you think Princess Leia is like today?
Elderly. She’s in an intergalactic old folks’ home [laughs].
I just think she would be just like she was before, only slower and less inclined to be up for the big battle.
And still wearing the bagel buns?
The bagel buns and the bikini, because probably she has sundowners syndrome. At sundown, she thinks that she’s 20-something. And she puts it on and gets institutionalized.
We’ve always thought it was pretty likely that Fisher – along with Mark Hamill, who’s confirmed there are ‘talks,’ and Harrison Ford – will return, and we still do, but until we hear this from Lucasfilm, nothing is set is stone… Or fully confirmed.
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.
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.
Last week, the whole Han Solo thing boiled up again as it was reported that Harrison Ford is (probably) in negotiations for the sequels, Meg Cabot goes to Jedi Princess Training School and Lucasfilm is in need of a copy editor. All this and the usual nonsense below the cut.
John Noble has been rumored to be taking a part in Episode VII, But he knows about as much about it as we do, he tells fans at the Grand Slam Sci-Fi Show. “I’d like them too,” he says, but there’s no truth to it (via)
Music. John Williams is perhaps one of the biggest question marks for the sequel trilogy, but at a recent concert he made some optimistic remarks, according a reader at the John Williams Fan Network. “I need to make sure I’m still ready to go in a few years for what I hope would be continued work with George,” he said on February 9. (via)
Ric Olie, is that you?Showbiz 411 is taking the Han Solo rumors fairly optimistically, and that Fisher and Hamill are sure to return as well, but the films will be about their kids. To which 99% of the internet says: Well, duh.