Kathleen Kennedy: We’ll embrace the internet’s thirst for Episode VII

In another interview out of CinemaCon (previously) Kathleen Kennedy talks about being a role model for women, joining Lucasfilm and most notably, secrecy and Episode VII. With the internet, she says, you have to ’embrace,’ ‘recognize’ and ‘acknowledge’ that there are things fans are going to be chomping at the bit for.

This isn’t quite an acknowledgement that they’re going to be giving us tons of info, but hopefully it does bode well for our friends at StarWars.com and how much access they may get in covering the production and filming of the upcoming movies.

J.J. Abrams dances around Star Wars and Episode VII questions, says third Star Trek is a ‘possibility’

J. J. Abrams on the set of Star Trek Into Darkness

J.J. Abrams gave his most revealing Star Wars interview so far (which isn’t really saying much) to Playboy? Well. If you want to hear about Star Trek you can head on over there, but Star Wars fans, read on.

Okay, okay, he does say that doing a third Star Trek isn’t out of the question.

As for Star Wars, he wouldn’t comment on still-unofficial of returning cast members, or if the new trilogy will be ‘distinct.’ He’s “not going to give my opinion on the original movies or characters.”

When asked about broad ideas and the reaction to The Phantom Menace:

I try to approach a project from what it’s asking. What does it need to be? What is it demanding? With Star Wars, one has to take into account what has preceded it, what worked, what didn’t. There are cautionary tales for anything you take on that has a legacy—things you look at and think, I want to avoid this or that, or I want to do more of something. But even that feels like an outside-in approach, and it’s not how I work. For me, the key is when you have a script; it’s telling you what it wants to be.

On the pressure of taking on the franchise:

I meant if I viewed this from a fan’s point of view—and no one’s a bigger Star Wars fan than I am—or from a legacy standpoint, it would scare the hell out of me. But instead of trying to climb this mountain in one giant leap, I’m just enjoying the opportunity and looking to the people I’m working with. I’ve known Kathy for years. I’ve worked with the screenwriter, Michael Arndt, for a long time. I’ve known George for a number of years and he’s now a friend. Even if this wasn’t Star Wars, I’d be enormously fortunate to work with them.

And of course:

For me to talk to you about what the big themes or ideas are before they exist is disingenuous, but naturally I have a big say in how this gets put together. When I get involved with something, I own it and carry the responsibility of the job.

Well, Playboy, you tried.

It’s a big interview, so he also talks about his TV shows, growing up in Hollywood, Tom Cruise and more.

Roundup: Could Kennedy succeed Iger at Disney?

Kathleen KennedyCorporate shenanigans. Jedi News spotted an interesting mention in a recent Variety story on Bob Iger and who might suceed him at Disney: “Many expect theme park and resorts chief Thomas Staggs to land the CEO role, although there are rumblings that Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy also may now be in the running.” Well, business isn’t exactly our division, but I suppose it wouldn’t be out of the question.

In other news, Kennedy and ILM have signed a “co-operation deal” with Chinese VFX company Base FX, both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter have reported. Hrm.

Another name in the hat? Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: The Next Generation) wouldn’t mind jumping ship to Episode VII, Big Shiny Robot learned in a recent interview.

Randomly… Star Wars will be the first movie to be dubbed in Dine, the official language of the Navajo, KJZZ reports.

Video: Kathleen Kennedy on Episode VII, Star Wars 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.’

Giacchino: John Williams should score Episode VII

Scoring (a) Star Wars

There’s been a lot of speculation that Michael Giacchino, who’s scored all of J.J. Abrams’ films, might step in to replace or collaborate with John Williams on Episode VII. But Williams said earlier this year that he’d like to return, and now Yahoo reports that Giacchino is all for it.

“One of the things that excites me most about ‘Star Wars’ coming back is chance to hear a John Williams score,” he said at a weekend Q&A in Switzerland:

“He has been a great inspiration to me over the years,” he continued. “He has been a great teacher to me and good friend and I would love nothing more than to hear more of his music from that universe.”

“If it were up to me I would say ‘John, you must do it.'”

In addition to Abrams’ films (and Star Tours: The Adventures Continue,) Giacchino has scored several films for Disney and Pixar. He was nominated for an Oscar for Ratatouille in 2008 and won in 2010 for Up. Williams, of course, has 5 Oscars, including one for the original Star War score.

As the Star Wars turns: An ever-evolving franchise

Hyperspace

Today on Tor, Emily Asher-Perrin writes about Star Wars and the sequels and the Expanded Universe and generational differences and mostly, how the franchise is always changing along with the audience.

Those who saw it first in the theater will often remark how its title was initially just Star Wars—the “Episode IV: A New Hope” was added later, after the second film was released and one more was on its way. Children of the 90s had the Expanded Universe novels, which arrived just before the Special Edition was released. Those who were born in the 90s might have skipped the the original trilogy altogether, or watched the prequels first and then tracked back. And now that new films are coming, there is no telling how the new generation will see Star Wars, what it will mean to them, whether its history will be worth delving into.

This is a must-read and an important reminder: Star Wars is not a static thing, and it hasn’t been a static thing for decades now.

Anthony Daniels announced for Celebration Europe; “not sitting by the phone” for Episode VII call

Anthony DanielsReed announced today that Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) will be among the stars at Celebration Europe.

He also did an interview with Digital Spy, where he sidestepped sequel talk:

“Look, it’s all very early days and I don’t want to wear anybody out by speculating or letting you waste your energy by saying ‘What do you think?’

“I’m certainly not sitting by the phone, but it’s always nice when it rings. Do you know what I mean?”

Still, he can certainly afford to be vague: C-3PO is one of the characters that few expect to be totally absent from the new movies.

Billy Dee Williams “would absolutely love” to return as Lando, has not been contacted by Lucasfilm

LandoOn Facebook, Billy Dee Williams posts about the Star Wars sequels and asks fans to get the word out about their desire to see Lando again.

Everyone is still asking about the new Star Wars movie…. the best way to ensure that Billy Dee Williams will be in the new film is to FB, TWITTER, BLOG and tell Disney and Lucasfilm that you want to see LANDO again! Hopefully JJ will read the wishes and write in LANDO! UNTIL then…. here is all that is known: “I am in the dark with the actual plans that Disney and Lucasfilm have for the future of the “Star Wars” universe. I have heard the same rumors that the fans heard, that a new trilogy is being made, that spin-offs may be made, that we all [Mark, Carrie, Harrison and myself] are going to be reprising our roles in these projects. At this point in time, nothing has been confirmed about my participation and I have signed no contracts. I assure you that I would absolutely love to reprise my role of Lando Calrissian. He’s a character that I took great pride in creating on screen and have continued to be a part of when providing his voice for video games, the new “Star Wars Detours” cartoon and for various episodes of “Robot Chicken”, among other projects. It’s a lot of fun to keep Lando alive and I am eager to do it again, on film, when I get the call. I thank all the fans out there for their continued support and I hope to get the call from Disney and Lucasfilm real soon, until then, may the force be with us all!”

He’s said that he’d like to come back before, but leaves little doubt as to his situation with Lucasfilm at present. Do you want to see Lando return – if only as a cameo?