Wednesday, April 16, 2014

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Production Updates


It's been a while since I reported anything about the heavily hyped sequel "Star Wars: Episode VII". I've mostly tried to keep away from news regarding this sequel because, frankly, there's just too much hype to discern between what is real news and what is not. Now, I feel I can safely bring some updates that are 100% accurate. So read on for the latest on the new sequel.

First of all, the story of the film has been revealed to take place 30 years after the events in "Return of the Jedi", fueling further speculation that the sequel could feature the offsprings of some of the original trilogy's legendary characters. The filmmakers have not reavealed anything in that direction, except that the new installment will star "a trio of new young leads along with some very familiar faces." Some tension was reported between the sequel's screenwriters regarding the involvement of characters from the previous films in the new one. It's also the reason why Michael Arndt ("Little Miss Sunshine") was replaced by director J.J. Abrams, because the latter was in favor of including Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Leia in "Episode VII".

Although initially it was reported that filming is scheduled to begin in May, a Disney representative announced recently that filming is actually already underway and that most of the cast is set, apart from a few roles which will be picked up along the way. While the main cast is kept a big secret, one role has actually been confirmed. Peter Mayhew will be reprising the role of Chewbacca. As for other veteran actors of the franchise, even though it's already been said for the last year that Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher will also be returning to the franchise, there is still no official word on their involvement. Another actor that is considered solid casting is Adam Driver ("Girls") who is said to play an undisclosed villain, but again, no confirmation.

As for the shooting, it was initially though that Tunisia and Morocco, traditional stand-ins for planet Tatooine in George Lucas' "Star Wars" films, will be the first destinations for the production team. However, THR has reported that Abu Dhabi will be the new choice for planet Tatooine, and the sequel will begin filming there mid-May. Other than that, most of the film will be shot in Pinewood Studios, England.

"Star Wars: Episode VII" opens in theaters December 18, 2015.