Mark Hamill on Episode IX’s script security

While on set for the Knights Templar drama Knightfall, Mark Hamill discusses Episode IX security with Entertainment Weekly:

“They’re going to fly [the rewrites] over with somebody from the company,” Hamill said. “They’re going to come and give it to me and wait for me to read it before I give it back. So no pressure! You can’t even keep it overnight. But that’s the way it is now.”

He reveals that he has done about a week of filming for the next Star Wars, and will head back between his Knightfall schedule. He also has a “very high profile” non-Star Wars voiceover project coming up that hasn’t been announced yet.

Knightfall season 2 doesn’t have a premiere date yet, but Episode IX will be out December 20, 2019.

Kevin Smith visits Episode IX set, says movie looks “fantastic”

Kevin Smith was on Good Morning America today and he discussed visiting J.J. Abrams and the set of Episode IX in London. Although he signed “so many nondisclosure agreements that if I said anything somebody would pop out with a lightsaber and cut my hand off,” he did manage to share a few things, namely that the movie looks great and he witnessed someone give “a career-best performance.”

Video, and a transcription of the most relevant bit, under the cut.

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Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams on Episode IX filming in Jordan

Although there have been numerous reports – and even social media posts from the likes of John Boyega (mostly via Instagram stories) and Oscar Isaac’s wife Elvira Lind – we finally have some comments from higher up the food chain. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and director J.J. Abrams both talked to Roya News about Jordan’s Wadi Rum:

“Wadi Rum is breathtakingly beautiful and the perfect location for our film,” says Abrams. “I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to shoot in Jordan. Between the warm welcome from the government and the dedication and hard work of the local film professionals, we couldn’t have had a better experience. We are enormously grateful.”

Producer Kathleen Kennedy said “I also want to thank the Royal Film Commission Jordan, and the Army, whose tremendous support has been invaluable, and helped make this shoot possible.”

Other than Boyega and Isaac (and maybe Anthony Daniels,) the cast has been mainly mum on who exactly is out in Jordan. There are fuzzy photos that may indicate at least one other cast member joined them, but they’re hardly conclusive.

There’s plenty of speculation on what Jordan means for the story – understandably, a return to Jakku is a common theory – but it’s interesting that Daniels’ tweet implies it may be standing in for more than one. Curious.

What to expect from Star Wars and Disney+

Now that the streaming service has a name, the marketing for Disney+ has really begun… Along with some inklings of how it will work.

Per Vulture’s Josef Adalian, Star Wars will be one of the “five central content hubs” for the service (along with classic Disney, Marvel, Pixar and National Geographic) so there won’t be much need for Netflix-style scrolling.

We also know that they’re aiming for the monthly price to be less than Netflix (cheapest plan: $7.99). Disney’s ESPN+ streaming service, which launched earlier this year, currently charges $4.99 a month. So I suspect we’ll be looking at something that’ll run fans $5-7 a month. (And maybe even some savings if bundled with an ESPN+ or Hulu subscription?)

But! The content. What’s coming for Star Wars? Here’s what we know for sure, some speculation about what else may be in play, and what we definitely won’t see.

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Kathleen Kennedy renews contract, will lead Lucasfilm through at least 2021

Kathleen Kennedy has signed on to remain president of Lucasfilm for another three years, per The Hollywood Reporter. Kennedy, who was hand-picked by George Lucas to lead his namesake company before the sale to Disney, has overseen Lucasfilm since 2012. The four Star Wars films released under her tenure – The Force Awakens, Rogue One, The Last Jedi and Solo – have grossed nearly $4.5 billion worldwide.

While J.J. Abrams’ Episode IX is the only film currently in production, the article reiterates that projects from The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson and Game of Thrones’ David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are still in development. A fifth Indiana Jones film is also moving forward.

Bob Iger on Star Wars: “Too much, too fast”

The Hollywood Reporter has an extensive interview with Disney CEO Bob Iger where he addresses Star Wars timing, the streaming service and more.

On Star Wars, he acknowledges that the schedule so far may have been “a little too much, too fast.”

I made the timing decision, and as I look back, I think the mistake that I made — I take the blame — was a little too much, too fast. You can expect some slowdown, but that doesn’t mean we’re not gonna make films. J.J. [Abrams] is busy making [Episode] IX. We have creative entities, including [Game of Thrones creators David] Benioff and [D.B.] Weiss, who are developing sagas of their own, which we haven’t been specific about. And we are just at the point where we’re gonna start making decisions about what comes next after J.J.’s. But I think we’re gonna be a little bit more careful about volume and timing. And the buck stops here on that.

If Solo’s underwhelming box office means we’re not stepping up to two films a year anytime soon, I will consider that a worthy sacrifice. And I don’t mind going back to an even bigger gap, although I doubt we’ll see the three years of the OT and PT eras again. But look at what Disney is (reportedly) planning for Marvel on streaming, and something similar for Star Wars could be an interesting alternative to standalone spin-off films.

On the streaming service, Iger says the company is “weaning ourselves off licensing revenue from third parties” with the departure from Netflix, although the Star Wars broadcast deal is staying in place.