Report: Harrison Ford “open to” and “upbeat” about returning as Han Solo?

Entertainment Weekly’s Geoff Boucher has a ‘highly placed source’ claiming that “Harrison is open to the idea of doing the movie and he’s upbeat about it…” But he also theorizes – on the force of Ford’s history with the role – that he may require a ‘a mandatory death scene’ for the character.

Ford hasn’t been particularly enthusiastic about Solo in recent years (Boucher runs through the quotes) but there are a few things – like Kathleen Kennedy – that might lure Ford back as well. Either way, I’m not sure we can expect to see anything on the record from Ford until he’s promoting his next movie!

Rumor: Matthew Vaughn in talks for Episode VII?

Our first rumor this week comes from Collider, which claims that X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn is in talks to direct Episode VII. Their ‘source’ says it’s the reason he dropped out of the First Class sequel, which will now be helmed by original X-Men director Bryan Singer. (via)

Vaughn has significant writing credits as well. In addition to First Class, he wrote screenplays for Stardust and Kick-Ass, which he also directed.

Let’s review: What do we really know about Star Wars VII-IX?

Tomorrow it’ll be a full week since the biggest Star Wars news since the mid-90’s dropped: Not only Disney buying Lucasfilm, but that they’d be making a new trilogy – the sequel trilogy and perhaps beyond.

And amid all the rumors and fan hopes? There’s not really all that much info that’s actually solid. So in order to help stem at least a little confusion, I’ve created a page to keep track of what we actually know about Episodes VII-IX so far. It’ll be updated as we get further information.

Report: George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy meeting with “well-known screenwriters” to pitch ideas for Episode VII

Today in Episode 7 reports, we have the Los Angeles Times’ Steven Zeitchik and John Horn saying that “several different screenwriters paid visits to Lucasfilm’s Northern California compound to pitch George Lucas and his co-chair Kathleen Kennedy their ideas for the new live-action installment.” Their source went on to say “they were well-known screenwriters with experience creating big-budget Hollywood films,” and the stories were not adapted from existing Star Wars books. (via)

Their source is anonymous, but this does dovetail neatly with something Kennedy said in the video released Tuesday: “We’re sitting down with a couple of writers and we’re starting to discuss ideas; We’re starting to talk about what those stories might be.” I feel comfortable putting this one in the ‘fairly plausible’ column.

Another rumor: Episode VII more than 50 years after Return of the Jedi?

Well, this one will give some hope to the continuity-obsessed EU fans. Amid quite a bit of speculation, Nerdvana’s Dustin Diehl has a ‘Lucasfilm connection’ that claims Episode 7 will start “further out” than 50 years after the last film installment. They also told Diehl that a “a writer and director have already been selected.”

Diehl has quite a bit more faith than I that Disney and Lucasfilm will take the existing Expanded Universe – “equal parts respect and disinterest,” while I see only the second. Still, speculation is speculation, particularly at this point!

Rumor mill: Episode VII features Luke, female Skywalker

Get used to these rumor reports, folks! It’s only just begun. Today, we have Marketsaw. Their source has a lot to say about a lot of things, including the new movies, the old movies and live-action TV show, but here’s the bit about the sequel trilogy:

There are two trilogies planned, all following an original overview by Lucas, which was always planned as a multi generational saga. Movies 10 – 12 are from my understanding about the offspring of the Skywalkers, set many years later with the surviving cast playing much older versions of themselves and featuring a female protagonist named Skywalker. This is something that I understand is being discussed as the latest trilogy may end up being an amalgamation of the two using themes and ideas from both, but still keeping the general story, also allowing for continuity of cast.

As always, I recommend taking any unverified reports of this nature with a grain of salt! But I can say – have said – that I would love it if the new movies featured a female Skywalker front and center. Still, being a realist and having been an avid spectator through the worst of the prequel rumormongering, I can’t give these reports that much credence.

“The books were always just the books:” Timothy Zahn on the Star Wars sequels and fan hopes for Heir

Entertainment Weekly caught up with Timothy Zahn to talk about the week’s big announcement and the amount of mainstream attention that the Thrawn trilogy has been getting due to all the speculation – and what he knew of possible plans for a trilogy after Return of the Jedi.

That means Zahn’s books won’t be directly adapted, but the author says that was always the case: “The books were always just the books.”

But years ago, he was briefed on Lucas’ plans for sequels, and how the Thrawn books would fit in. “The original idea as I understood it— and Lucas changes his mind off and on, so it may not be what he’s thinking right now – but it was going to be three generations. You’d have the original trilogy, then go back to Luke’s father and find out what happened to him [in the prequels], and if there was another 7th, 8th, or 9th film, it would be Luke’s children. The Thrawn Trilogy really would have fit into the gap,” the author said.

Tim talks – vaguely! – about what kind of things he’d like to see in the new films.

Roundup: Does the Disney buyout mean The Clone Wars is headed for a new channel?

The Clone Wars. The Hollywood Reporter’s sources confirm that the cartoon will likely be making the move to Disney XD. Cartoon Network, which is owned by Turner/Time Warner, has the rights only up through current season. DisneyXD airs action-oriented shows and currently has a block dedicated to Marvel cartoons.

Episode 7 rumors. First Showing has a source denying the 1952 rumor, while Skywalking author Dale Pollock tells The Wrap that 7, 8 and 9 were the “most exciting stories.” And though there have been some rumblings from some hopeful to see Steven Spielberg finally take on a full Star Wars film, Spielberg fan Paul Bullock lays out some reasons why this is unlikely.

Ladies! Slate’s Alyssa Rosenberg on how women can save the Star Wars franchise. Like I said earlier, I would love a female protagonist heading this thing! It doesn’t even have to be someone we already know.

Reaction. Entertainment Weekly nabbed some big name Hollywood talent on how they feel about more Star Wars. Knights Archive has a nice collection of comments from Lucasfilm folks, authors, actors and other notables. MTV talked to TFN’s Eric Geller and Big Shiny Robot’s Bryan Young, while ABC News asked Devi Laskar, artist Tom Hodges, and yours truly. And our friends over the pond at Jedi News are talking to the U.K. media! But you don’t have to go to the news sites: Thoughts from fans like Michael Heilemann and Amy Ratcliffe. As for Expanded Universe fans, here are more thoughts from Tosche Station’s Brian, Knight Archive’s Ryan, and Fangirl’s Tricia Barr.

Speculation! Lists! People just can’t stop writing them. The Hollywood Reporter finds 15 potential writers, Slashfilm has 10 filmmakers to direct (and 5 who shouldn’t,) and Big Shiny Robot has yet more possible directors. Taking a different track, Screenrant has pros and cons of the deal, while Hitfix has some things to watch.

And now for something completely different… You know it’s not real news until crazy folks at NMA weigh in with a video. For something more serious, check out Empire’s infographic of who has what franchises.

Conspiracy theory: Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof to direct, write Episode 7?

An AICN reader has a theory: That Disney has been making moves towards Lost’s Damon Lindelof and Pixar’s Brad Bird as the writer and director of Episode 7. This all hinges on the mystery film 1952 as the new Blue Harvest. (Hat tip to our old pal Fatboy Roberts.)

Bird has directed The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Lindelof is best known as the co-creator of Lost. He also produced 2009’s Star Trek and worked on the script for the sequel. He has writing credits for Prometheus and Cowboys & Aliens.

Bird is also listed on IMDB as director on 1906, a film in pre-production about the San Francisco earthquakes, but IMDB has never been 100% trustworthy on ‘early’ news of films.

What does 1952 mean to Star Wars? It’s the year Liam Neeson was born. In film history, it’s the year that High Noon and The Greatest Show on Earth and the first full color 3D movie were released. George Lucas was 8 that year – do any of these films ring a bell for Star Wars scholars?

UPDATE: First Showing has a source which claims that 1952 has nothing to do with Star Wars. (H/T to Justin Alicea.)