In their report on the Disney investor meeting earlier today, Bleeding Cool claims that casting for a young Han Solo is already happening alongside that of Episode VII:
A basic description of the character – about as useful as “Han Solo, but young” – was created, agencies listed the role as a situation vacant and actors started to get in line. I don’t know if anybody has read for the role yet, but if they have, it was under an even heavier veil of secrecy than the saga casting is hiding. My best guess is that the filmmakers are very, very early in the process and just rounding up some candidates for now.
Pity the casting agents: Finding a “young Harrison Ford” can’t be the easiest job in Hollywood. The first spinoff, whether it features Han or not, is aiming for a 2016 release.
Disney CFO Jay Rasulo talked a bit about Star Wars at an investor conference today, and the biggest revelation for us is that he called the spinoffs “origin story films,” according to Variety’s Marc Graser. That’s in line with some of the rumors we’ve heard about Han Solo and Yoda, and while part of me hopes that Attack of the Clones disqualifies Boba Fett, somehow I suspect not. Still, it does imply an extended focus on characters outside of the Skywalkers.
Rasulo also called Star Wars an “evergreen property” and said there are plans to expand licensing programs, though the focus is “to put out a great film.” But Disney has faith in the franchise: “Of all our worries, ‘Star Wars’ is not one of them.”
The blogside. It’s a hot button issue in many fandoms right now – just ask anyone hanging around Game of Thrones lately – and Bria at Tosche Station explains on why it’s important to have diversity in Star Wars.
Oh, Carrie! Carrie Fisher shares some ideas for Episode VII. They are very… Carrie.
Who wants in now? Star Wars alumni Warwick Davis, Samuel L. Jackson and Ray Park. Spinoffs for everyone?
Disney business. Bob Iger will remain at the helm of Disney through at least 2016. And with The Lone Ranger’s opening-weekend belly flop, Disney has plenty of reasons to be thankful for their recent acquisitions. One expert expects Disney to net about $733M for 2015’s Episode VII alone.
JoBlo has a source who told them that the first two spin-offs will feature popular rumor subjects Han Solo and Boba Fett. No details on Boba, but the Han film “will focus on Han and Chewy’s [sic] relationship, potentially on how they met and became partners on the Millennium Falcon.”
Both movies have been rumored for a while now, though JoBlo also says that the idea for a Yoda film has been dropped due to LEGO’s The Yoda Chronicles.
A Boba Fett movie is, of course, inevitable, and either Daniel Logan or Temuera Morrison could return for the role, depending on where in the timeline the story falls. Casting a young Han Solo would be significantly more of a challenge… But no doubt there are plenty of actors willing to try.
Their source also claims that the Rebels cartoon will “focus on how the rebel alliance was formed,” which doesn’t give us too much of a hint of where it fits in the intertrilogy timeline. Sure, we saw the political roots of the Rebellion begin in the cut scenes of Revenge of the Sith, but parts of the Expanded Universe imply that the Rebellion we meet in A New Hope was formed by coalition of groups working against the Empire. Not that the EU material guarantees anything, but it’s an idea with plenty of story potential to be mined.
Prequel concept artists Doug Chiang and Iain McCaig are working on the ‘exciting new future for Star Wars,’ StarWars.com announced earlier this week. It’s not clear if they’ll be working on Episode VII, standalone films, neither or both.
They’ll be attending Celebration Europe next month.
Chiang was design director for The Phantom Menace and concept design supervisor for Attack of the Clones. McCaig, who designed Darth Maul, was one of the principal designers throughout the prequels.
Chiang and McCaig are the first major behind-the-scenes Star Wars veterans to be announced as returning for future films, aside from screenwriter Laurence Kasdan (doing a spinoff) and George Lucas as creative consultant on Episode VII.
Like these movies won’t be hits? As the Star Trek Into Darkness junket clips stagger out into the world, Abrams implies to MTV that the Star Wars spinoffs will depend on Episode VII going the distance.
Also from MTV: Damon Lindelof on Abrams and Star Wars, and they even asked Leonardo DiCaprio if he’d like to do future Star Wars. (He famously turned down Attack of the Clones back in the day.)
On that note… Simon Pegg talks about Abrams and Star Wars with Totalfilm – though he clarifies that he has no inside info from Abrams. And yes, they’re still asking random movie folks about Episode VII.
Interview. And finally, for someone who will almost certainly actually be in Episode VII, here’s more from Mark Hamill.
Hero Compex has an interview with Simon Kinberg, the Mr. & Mrs. Smith writer who’s penning one of the first two Star Wars standalone films as well as acting as a consultant on Episode VII.
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.