Episode VII to ‘hopefully’ start filming in 2014

Star Wars logoBad Robot’s Bryan Burk – who will apparently be producing Episode VII – told Collider that they hope to start filming Episode VII next year, which only makes sense.

We’re progressing on a schedule to hopefully begin next year, or the beginning of next year, and the location is still kind of floating around in the air all depending on script and a whole bunch of other issues. As I just said, everything is kind of a free-flowing thing, and when we feel like the story level on this script and everything is really coming together and schedules are all working and pieces line up, we prowl ahead, and Star Wars will be no different.

Meanwhile, we’ve seen reports – well, tweets – indicating that screenwriter Michael Arndt may have been hanging out with J.J. Abrams this weekend.

Rumors: Iceland, Scotland scouted for Episode VII?

Fréttatíminn's photoshopperyWhat’s May 4th without a couple of Episode VII rumors? Two separate news sources are saying that locations in Iceland and Scotland may be in the mix for Episode VII.

The Sun claims that shooting in in the Highlands and the Isle of Skye is pretty much a done deal, but… It’s The Sun.

Meanwhile, in Iceland, Fréttatíminn (translated) is only claiming that possible locations have been scouted in the south of the country. Maybe. (via)

All I can say is that when it comes to photoshopping, Iceland is the clear winner.

Pablo Hidalgo: The Expanded Universe will always be ‘part of the Star Wars experience’

Pablo HidalgoThe Star Wars Books Facebook page held a chat with Pablo Hidalgo today, one of Lucasfilm’s resident continuity experts and author of The Essential Reader’s Companion.

So his most popular answer, naturally, addressed the relationship between the movies and the rest…

I think the EU will always continue to be part of the Star Wars experience, in that there are stories that are best suited for books, comics, games. etc.. The relationship between cinematic content and expanded universe content will continue to be what it is today and has been in the past. What happens on screen is one thing. What happens in the books is another. How they connect and interact is something I’m really eager to see.

More answers below the cut!

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J.J. Abrams: Star Wars a “once in a lifetime” opportunity

jjStar Trek? What Star Trek? J.J. Abrams is talking Star Wars again, this time with the BBC.

A self-confessed Star Wars fan, Abrams said he would have to try to mitigate his “geeky fan-boy” feelings about his forthcoming project.

“It’s just about about approaching it from as authentic a place as possible, and not trying to apply what you believe or think, as much as trying to filter everything and get at it from the core of the characters.

“[It should be] what you deeply want to see, never what you assume the fans might like.”

Hrm. I am by no means saying capitulate to the fans, because then we’d just get a movie about Boba Fett shooting shit, but I’m pretty sure a director channeling what he deeply wanted to see is what brought us Superman Returns, which is to say it can be channeling your inner fanboy. It’s a fine line. Please don’t let Episode VII be the Superman Returns to Star Trek’s X-Men. Please don’t pull a Bryan Singer. Please manage it, J.J. You’re our only hope.

Carrie Fisher ‘joking’ about Episode VII again

Carrie Fisher appeared at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo this weekend, where she talked about kissing Harrison Ford, killing Jabba the Hutt and, of course, Episode VII. The Calgary Herald reports:

“I like being bought by Disney, because they never wanted to buy me before,” she said. “I’m glad they are doing a new movie because they are sending a trainer to my house so I can get in really good shape. So I’m really eating a lot of sugar in advance, as you can see. By the time I really get down to it I will have eaten everything.”

Yes, the writing is on the wall and if we don’t get an official announcement this week I’ll be very surprised, but tales of Fisher, Hamill and Ford signing on are still, alas, unconfirmed. Barely, I’ll grant you.

Kathleen Kennedy: We’ll embrace the internet’s thirst for Episode VII

In another interview out of CinemaCon (previously) Kathleen Kennedy talks about being a role model for women, joining Lucasfilm and most notably, secrecy and Episode VII. With the internet, she says, you have to ’embrace,’ ‘recognize’ and ‘acknowledge’ that there are things fans are going to be chomping at the bit for.

This isn’t quite an acknowledgement that they’re going to be giving us tons of info, but hopefully it does bode well for our friends at StarWars.com and how much access they may get in covering the production and filming of the upcoming movies.

J.J. Abrams dances around Star Wars and Episode VII questions, says third Star Trek is a ‘possibility’

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

J.J. Abrams gave his most revealing Star Wars interview so far (which isn’t really saying much) to Playboy? Well. If you want to hear about Star Trek you can head on over there, but Star Wars fans, read on.

Okay, okay, he does say that doing a third Star Trek isn’t out of the question.

As for Star Wars, he wouldn’t comment on still-unofficial of returning cast members, or if the new trilogy will be ‘distinct.’ He’s “not going to give my opinion on the original movies or characters.”

When asked about broad ideas and the reaction to The Phantom Menace:

I try to approach a project from what it’s asking. What does it need to be? What is it demanding? With Star Wars, one has to take into account what has preceded it, what worked, what didn’t. There are cautionary tales for anything you take on that has a legacy—things you look at and think, I want to avoid this or that, or I want to do more of something. But even that feels like an outside-in approach, and it’s not how I work. For me, the key is when you have a script; it’s telling you what it wants to be.

On the pressure of taking on the franchise:

I meant if I viewed this from a fan’s point of view—and no one’s a bigger Star Wars fan than I am—or from a legacy standpoint, it would scare the hell out of me. But instead of trying to climb this mountain in one giant leap, I’m just enjoying the opportunity and looking to the people I’m working with. I’ve known Kathy for years. I’ve worked with the screenwriter, Michael Arndt, for a long time. I’ve known George for a number of years and he’s now a friend. Even if this wasn’t Star Wars, I’d be enormously fortunate to work with them.

And of course:

For me to talk to you about what the big themes or ideas are before they exist is disingenuous, but naturally I have a big say in how this gets put together. When I get involved with something, I own it and carry the responsibility of the job.

Well, Playboy, you tried.

It’s a big interview, so he also talks about his TV shows, growing up in Hollywood, Tom Cruise and more.