J.J. Abrams Says New STAR WARS Release Date Is “a Huge Improvement”; Explains Reluctance to Shoot in London

     November 25, 2013

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J.J. Abrams has mastered the art of talking without really saying anything at all.  Of course, he’s had lots of practice working on the mystery-laden Lost and two Star Trek films, but those feel like cake walks compared to the amount of information he has to keep under wraps on the hugely anticipated new Star Wars film.  Abrams has not really talked at length about Episode VII, and when he does discuss the film he does so very, very carefully.  Such is the case with today’s interview, in which Abrams “talks” about the new release date for Episode VII and his initial reluctance to shoot the film in London.  Hit the jump to read on.

star-wars-7-j-j-abramsAt the same time that Disney announced it was purchasing Lucasfilm and planning a new trilogy of Star Wars films, the studio revealed that the first movie would be in theaters by 2015.  Despite not having a script or a director, Star Wars: Episode VII was under a ticking clock from the word “go.”

As 2015 loomed closer, reports started to swirl that Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy were unhappy with this timeline and wanted to ensure that they could make the best film possible, even asking Disney for a reprieve to 2016.  The studio didn’t budge, but a sort of compromise was made in which Episode VII would break from tradition and open on December 18, 2015 instead of the Star Wars month of May.  Speaking with MTV, Abrams said he’s now happy with the new date as opposed to racing towards a summer release:

“I will say that it is an infinitely better situation now than when they were saying they wanted it in summer [2015].  Before I even came onto the project they were talking about 2015 and they made this announcement very early on—which I understand, and I understand why they would want that, but it didn’t necessarily have anything to do with the reality of where anyone was creatively, so I think it’s a hugely important thing that [the creative aspect] come first.  A release date’s great, but you have to release something great.  To me, the new release date is a huge improvement.”

star-wars-7-jj-abrams-r2d2Abrams was tight-lipped for the rest of the interview, refusing to confirm whether C3-P0 would be in the film now that R2-D2 has been announced.  Nevertheless, in speaking with Total Film, Abrams elaborated on his initial reluctance to shoot Star Wars: Episode VII abroad:

“[Filming in London is] something that I’ve always intended to do, but I’m torn because I have done everything I can to keep the production of my projects in Los Angeles. Yet the opportunity to work with UK crews is something that has always been a dream of mine. Of course, that dream existed prior to me being married and having a family, so the reality of making a movie like that for any period of time becomes much more difficult when there are other people that you desperately love and care for involved.”

Abrams’ Bad Robot company has been building new post-production offices in LA so that the filmmaker can return home to complete the pic, but filming will indeed get underway in London early next year.

Finally, Abrams talked briefly about writing the screenplay for Episode VII alongside Empire Strikes Back scribe Lawrence Kasdan, now that the two are penning the screenplay themselves based on previous work by Michael Arndt:

“Working with Larry has been one of the most surreal joys of my life. We’ve had a lot of fun working together. He’s an incredible guy and an inspiring and spectacular writer.”

Those are indeed words strung together to make a sentence, but in true Abrams fashion there’s not a hint of anything illuminating about the project itself.  Watch the full MTV interview below.

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