STAR WARS: EPISODE VII to Shoot in Abu Dhabi as Stand-In for Tatooine

by     Posted 190 days ago

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Your (almost) daily dose of Star Wars semi-news is ready.  A few weeks ago, a report surfaced that director J.J. Abrams was looking to kick off filming on Star Wars: Episode VII in Morocco and Tunisia, which served as the stand-ins for Tatooine in George Lucas’ previous Star Wars films.  However, it appears that a new city will actually serve as the stand-in for Tatooine this time around, as a four-week shoot is being planned in Abu Dhabi.  Hit the jump for more on the latest development regarding Star Wars: Episode VII.

star-wars-a-new-hope-posterThough this has been one of the most secretive and tight-lipped productions in recent memory, the folks at THR are hearing that Star Wars: Episode VII will shoot in and around Abu Dhabi beginning in mid-May.  The production will indeed be recreating the planet of Tatooine, which of course was the home of both Luke and Anakin Skywalker.  While Tunisia may have been considered as a possible location, apparently the political climate is too dangerous to host a production as big as Star Wars, so Abu Dhabi has been settled upon as its replacement.

The bulk of filming for Abrams’ Star Wars sequel will be taking place in Pinewood Studios in England, but Abrams is a fan of blending location work with his large-scale, VFX-heavy projects, so a month-long shoot in Abu Dhabi is fitting for the filmmaker.

Moreover, seeing as how we still haven’t heard any official casting beyond the presumably confirmed return of Mark HamillCarrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford, it’s possible that this first month-long block of filming mainly involves the original trilogy characters, which would explain why Abrams hasn’t (officially) set his young leads just yet with principal photography poised to get underway in a little over four weeks.

Of course nothing is certain when it comes to Episode VII, but with filming finally poised to get underway in a little over a month, some solid, official, no-nonsense news has to be coming our way within the next four weeks.  Brace yourselves, folks.  Episode VII is imminent.

To catch up on all of our Star Wars coverage thus far, click here. Peruse the recent links below.

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  • http://mattedscreen.blogspot.com/ TheMattedScreen

    Just to get ahead of the inevitable fan rage – “How dare they! They’re ruining the franchise! How can they substitute a sandy location for another sandy location to depict a sandy location!”

    • RedMercury

      They’re raping my childhood!

    • RedMercury

      They’re raping my childhood!

    • Lance

      I’m more concerned we have to go back to Tatooine YET AGAIN. I thought that planet was supposed to be the ultimate backwater in the galaxy. Yet there’s more important stuff going on there than in Coruscant.

  • ʝoe ßloggs

    Sounds sandy to me. We have to dig deeper.

  • João Paulo

    I hope they show others new planets, not just the familiar ones of the classic trilogy, by the way I hope see Coruscant after the events of Return of Jedi.

  • Your name here

    Enough of freaking tatooine already. Remember how they showed different planets when they were killing off Jedi? How about some of those.

  • Dave

    love how THR edits their articles with no mention. They first said it was taking place in Morocco.

  • Colin Christian

    The Clone Wars had a great selection of different planets,some of them really interesting,Mandalore in particular.I loved that show,better than most of the movies…..

  • DEADP00L

    Why am I not surprised? Thus far I have had sooo little interest in this star wars and now not only am I still not interested I’m bored of it.

  • bork1138

    Inifnite number of planets that could feature, and yet here we are at Tatooine for the 6th film now out of 7. Lets get some new ideas, makes their universe seems so small

    • varagor

      My bet is they’re going to start with a familiar location like Tatooine, before going on an adventure in new locations. J.J Abrams knows how to tell a good adventure story (if not a good sci-fi story).

  • bork1138

    Inifnite number of planets that could feature, and yet here we are at Tatooine for the 6th film now out of 7. Lets get some new ideas, makes their universe seems so small

  • varagor

    By the way, Tunisia didn’t just stand in for Tatooine, they actually shot the movies at the Tataouine province.

    • HORSEFLESH

      It also has 2 suns.

  • varagor

    By the way, Tunisia didn’t just stand in for Tatooine, they actually shot the movies at the Tataouine province.

  • Oliver

    I dont think location shooting is a JJ Abrams affectation, kathleen kennedy is on record as saying they want to cleave closer to the filmmaking techniques of the original trilogy. I wouldnt even be so confident as to say it there will be large scale VFX, at least not CGI. I cant be the only one holding out hope that this team are going to bring back prosthetics and model work in a big way.

  • Oliver

    I dont think location shooting is a JJ Abrams affectation, kathleen kennedy is on record as saying they want to cleave closer to the filmmaking techniques of the original trilogy. I wouldnt even be so confident as to say it there will be large scale VFX, at least not CGI. I cant be the only one holding out hope that this team are going to bring back prosthetics and model work in a big way.

  • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

    Mos Espa’s location in Tunisia is dying under tons of sands. the Tunisian Government is looking for donors to save this location. So Why Disney is not interested to save this star wars heritage and use it for this new saga ?

    • Andrew

      Because Tunisia is a mess, and they are probably afraid of shooting there for security reasons.

      • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

        Tunisia is no Afghanistan. Stop watching CNN dude.

  • Christian Leroux

    Can you guys just shut the fuck up and let the guy do what he wants? Fuck, the average Rottentomato score for his two Star Trek films is 92%, and he wasn’t even a geek of that franchise. He’s getting the old cast back, he built a motherfucking Millenium Falcon from scratch, and he’s scouting out actual locations instead of filming everything against a green screen. AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, he’s getting fresh new talent for the leads. Like he’s basically using the same formula that made the original trilogy great, and yet you can’t quit complaining. You guys are the kind of pricks that, had Return of the Jedi premiered today, you’d still complain that “they ruined the franchise.”

  • Andrew

    Yeah, I wouldn’t film in Northern Africa either. I do alot work with my company’s African divisions, and we had to pull out of Northern Africa. The place is a mess.

  • Cosmourge of Collider

    Christ on a crisp! does anybody still care about the forward motion of this franchise?!

  • Bobby Price

    Abu Dhabi is full of rich misogynist homosexual pedophile arabs that can’t wait to get that Disney money to add on to that spininning Tower of Babel they built into the ocean.

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  • Mike Tyson

    No. He meant flesh out things that were just shown randomly in previous films. Like your mother for example.

  • HeSaidSheSaidReviewSite

    There was nothing whatsoever that was “fleshed out” when they were showing the Jedi get killed on various planets.

  • HeSaidSheSaidReviewSite

    There was nothing whatsoever that was “fleshed out” when they were showing the Jedi get killed on various planets.

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