Jonathan Rhys Meyers in talks for Episode VII?

Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Dracula

Latino Review’s El Mayimbe says that sources are telling him that Jonathan Rhys Meyers of The Tudors fame is in talks for a role in Episode VII.

FRYSQUINT: SEQUEL TRILOGY RUMORS: Take seriously at your own risk.Meyers is best known for playing Henry VIII in the Showtime series, but if you’re a big Ewan McGregor fan you’ll no doubt recall his turn in Velvet Goldmine. Perhaps more tellingly: He was in the J.J. Abrams-directed Mission Impossible: III. His next major role is as the title character in NBC’s Dracula.

I think it says something that my first thought upon seeing ‘Tudors star’ in the headline was less Meyers and more Natalie Dormer, who’s been knocking it out of the park lately on Game of Thrones and Elementary. (And would thus probably be past being billed as just a ‘Tudors’ star, but hey: Gut feeling. Her Anne Boelyn was the best part of the series.)

I can’t help but hope this one ends up being only a rumor, but Meyers would make a decent villain, I suppose. With all that shouty petulance in his wheelhouse, I can certainly see him playing a failbot Sith/Darksider ala the late Jacen Solo.

Star Trek costume designer says he’s on board for Episode VII

Star Trek Into DarknessIn an interview with Buzzfeed, costume designer Michael Kaplan says he’ll be working on J.J. Abrams Episode VII.

“I’ve just learned I’ll be working on the new Star Wars movie, again with J.J. Everything just got formalized [last week], I haven’t even had the chance to talk to anyone about it all other than to be told ‘welcome aboard.’ It’s a little too soon to know exactly what’s in store but I’m excited, absolutely, to get to work on another prestigious sci-fi series.”

In addition to both Abrams Trek movies, Kaplan’s credits include Blade Runner and Fight Club. (via)

Will J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot take their Star Wars beyond movies?

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

The Wrap reports that the Paramount/CBS scuffle over Star Trek merchandising rights prevented J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot from doing quite as much as they would have liked to with the franchise off-screen – and that struggle could have had a part in him signing on with Lucasfilm. His Star Wars contract may allow Abrams a hand in the Star Wars “television properties, theme park rides and spin-off films” that will emerge in the new era his Episode VII is spearheading.

As successful as “Star Trek” has been, few franchises match the profitability and cultural prominence of George Lucas’ space opera, which would be difficult for any director to pass up.

“Disney has always been oriented to multi-platform revenue stream situations,” Seth Willenson, a film library valuations expert, told TheWrap.

Moreover, Willenson notes that Abrams, who has a deal that is believed to include creative and profit participation in “Star Wars” inspired merchandise and spin-offs, will have more control in shaping the legacy of the Skywalker clan than he would have had with developing side projects for the “Star Trek” crew.

Granted, while Lucasfilm, and thus Disney, does own most of Star Wars free and clear, the franchise isn’t totally free of hurtles. 20th Century Fox has distribution rights to the first Star Wars “in perpetuity,” while the other 5 will revert to LFL in 2020. This could complicate things like box sets in the future, but for Abrams, that’s not going to be an immediate issue, or stop him from exploring multi-platform options.

Meanwhile, it’s Bryan Burk’s turn to talk about Episode VII and secrecy with /Film.

Brad Bird was asked to head Episode VII, didn’t want to drop Tomorrowland

Concept art for Tomorrowland (the park)

An early internet favorite for the job of directing Episode VII, Brad Bird, tells The Hollywood Reporter that he was indeed approached to helm the film:

I’ve known Kathy [Kennedy] for a while and I know George. And they did come to me. But the problem was, the schedule they had in mind made it impossible to do…unless I dropped Tomorrowland. And I was just really deeply into this film at that point. It’s easy to say, “Just put it on hold.” But you’re moving now; you don’t know if you’re going to be able to move later. Maybe it’s true of filmmakers like Cameron or Spielberg, but I have to act on momentum. We had reached a critical mass where it would’ve thrown the furniture around from the train stopping. I really want to see this movie. I love the Star Wars films, and I can’t wait to see what J.J. does, but it meant I’d have to shut down one dream to participate in another. I feel like [with Tomorrowland] we’re making something that’s really special and unique.

Tomorrowland was first known under the name 1952, which also figured into some early EPVII speculation.

He also talks about the possibility of a sequel to The Incredibles.

J.J. Abrams: ‘The ball is just getting passed to me now’

More interviews with J.J. Abrams as we near the release of Star Trek Into Darkness. Collider presents an interview from Brazilian site Omelete who ask Abrams about Han shooting first, the prequels and his favorite Star Wars film.

And from the Associated Press, Abrams points out the ridiculousness of all the Episode VII questions he’s been getting:

“What the approach is going to be remains to be discussed, because it’s in process,” he said. “So it’s a weird thing to be talking about. If I’m charging down the court dribbling the ball, it’s hard to comment on the layup that’s about to take place.

“I feel like the ball is just getting passed to me now, to complete the annoying metaphor.”

Meanwhile, there’s a nice interview with Abrams’ sometime collaborator Damon Lindelof from The Hollywood Reporter, where he talks about getting into writing, Lost, George Lucas, Star Wars and more.

Rumor: Could Episode VII film at Pinewood Studios?

SEQUEL TRILOGY RUMORS: Take seriously at your own risk.Jedi News quotes a source who tells them that Disney has recently signed a 5-year deal with Pinewood Studios. There’s a new soundstage under construction at their main facility west of London:

Some of the people there are calling [it] the new Star Wars stage. Apparently the Disney deal is for multiple movies and security has started to be tightened up.

From what my friend said, a lot of the construction workers were openly calling it the Star Wars stage.

Pinewood Studios’ main facility is in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire. Several James Bond movies have been shot there – their most famous stage is the 007 Stage, built for The Spy Who Loved Me in 1977.

It may also be noteworthy that Pinewood recently announced that they’ll be opening a facility in the States, near Atlanta.