We’ve been hearing for quite a while now that a return to Ireland’s Skellig Michael was in the cards for very soon now, and now Lucasfilm themselves have confirmed (to Entertainment Weekly) that Star Wars will be shooting on the island this month for Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII.
J.J. Abrams and at least two actors filmed for threedays on Skellig Michael in July 2014.
EW also reports that some reshoots for The Force Awakens have already occurred, including some around the time of D23.
Benicio del Toro continues to be less than secretive about his status regarding Episode VIII. He told a Spanish radio station (transcribed and translated by a Star Wars 7 News reader) that he’s “like the villain” and that he believes they begin shooting in March.
→ A new image banner, has been spotted – it’s made up of two fairly familiar pieces, though: The First Order images we saw on Empire and the First Order assembled. (via)
→ An analyst estimates that The Force Awakens “could generate $5 billion in consumer merchandise sales in its first year of release,” per The Hollywood Reporter. In $150 increments, I expect.
→ Speaking of merchandise, there have been a handful of reviews of the Cover Girl line poping up. Today’s is from Tracy and Amanda at Making Star Wars, and another of a couple of the lipsticks from Love for Lacquer.
We heard she was up for the Rogue One role that eventually went to Felicity Jones, but Star Wars isn’t ready to give up on Orphan Black’sTatiana Maslany, it seems. The Wrap reports that she’s on the shortlist for the new female lead in Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII, alongside Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’sOlivia Cooke. They’ll supposedly be among the actresses who’ll chemistry read with John Boyega later this month.
Aside from the The Force Awakens stars expected to return (including Boyega and Daisy Ridley, who’s signed for at least three films) the only name we’ve heard connected with the second film is Benicio del Toro, who’s reportedly in talks to play a villain.
A site called GeekNation claims they’ve heard through the ever nebulous “sources” that Rian Johnson and company are looking for an actress to play a “strong, young female character” who will be “featured heavily” in Episode VIII.
Where I start to side-eye things is who the sources say this character specifically is, but that’s spoiler territory (including some fairly mild speculation on The Force Awakens,) so I’ll steer clear.
This isn’t the first we’ve heard that Episode VIII may feature another leading woman; Making Star Wars had something back in June, though the specifics were quite different. (Or were they?)
But as much as I hope for continued variety of Star Wars ladies in this new trilogy, I’ve never heard of this GeekNation site before and can’t vouch for their reporting at all. The salt cellar is close at hand.
Benicio Del Toro, who’s reportedly in talks for an important role in Episode VIII, told Entertainment Tonight that “it looks like it’s gonna happen.” Let’s hope that Rian Johnson is more forgiving of information slips than J.J. Abrams…
→ Indie Revolver has a collection of concept art that could very well be more Knights of Ren, the group that (apparently) gave rise to our pal Kylo.
→ After dropping a big bombshell on fandom last night, Star Wars 7 News plays it a bit safer today, with… The film’s marketing plan. Their apparent willingness to leak images aside, I don’t find SW7N the most trustworthy site, but the bit about “a mandate from the absolute top down” rings fairly true.
The Wrap is reporting that Benicio del Toro “has the offer” to play the villain in Episode VIII. You may recognize del Toro as The Collector from Guardians of the Galaxy, and (more interestingly, perhaps) he was at one point in talks to play J.J. Abrams’ Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness.
Variety is doubling down with their own sources. They say Lucasfilm really wants an A-list talent in the part – and that they also met with Joaquin Phoenix. (And The Hollywood Reporter makes three.)
del Toro would be a nice get for Star Wars, so it’ll be interesting to see if this goes through. Episode VIII, which is being directed by Rian Johnson, is currently set for a May 26, 2017 release.
Yesterday we had a big chunk of news that pretty much blew everything else away, and with SDCC officially beginning tonight we’ll likely get even more, so let’s clear the boards with a few things that have been floating around regarding Episode VII, Rogue One and (maybe) even Episode VIII.
Journey to The Force Awakens: Revealed at BookCon this weekend, thanks to via The Wookiee Gunner: Shattered Empire will be bi-weekly – two comics in September, two in November.
The first issue will be out September 2, and the trade paperback collection on November 17 – at least at the moment. (I doubt they’ll deviate much, but they are comics and September is a long way off.)
→ Making Star Wars has a small grab-bag of rumors from the licensees, though the two main ones actually seem a little more relevant to Episode VIII than The Force Awakens. (Also, one of them made me SUPER EXCITED. But, uh, possible spoilers!)
So how does BB-8 work? One site has a guess – though warning, it slowed down every computer I looked at it on.
→ Making Star Wars has heard that John Williams will begin recording The Force Awakens score next month.
→ Our first glimpse of what is assumed to be Kylo Ren’s personal ship – or at the very least, a ship we may see briefly in the second trailer – comes from LEGO. Because of course it does.
→ Miltos Yerolemou talked a little bit about filming TFA with Asian Correspondent. “It’s not really a job where you ask any questions,” he said. (Also, I believe this may be as close as we get to an actual confirmation?)
→ There was some scuttlebutt about how Oscar Isaac said he would be excited to work with Episode VIII director Rian Johnson, and (of course) the internet jumped on that as proof his character survives Episode VII. Now, I’d be very surprised if Poe Dameron kicks it that early, seeing as we suspect – with very heavy assistance from the trailer – that he’s one of the new Big 3. But for what it’s worth, /Film sought a clarification from him, and there’s your lesson in making hay out of Star Wars news for the week.