J.J. Abrams Says the STAR WARS EPISODE 7 Script Is Done; Talks the Jesse Plemons Rumors, How They’ll be Shooting on Film, IMAX, and More

     January 19, 2014


The ever-prolific J.J. Abrams was in attendance at the NBC portion of the TCA Press Tour, to talk about his latest TV venture Believe, created by Alfonso Cuarón and for which he is executive producer.  As expected, the conversation turned to Star Wars: Episode VII and possible updates.

During the interview, JJ Abrams talked about how the Star Wars script is done and they’re in deep prep on the film, that they’re working really hard on casting, just how many crazy rumors there have been, that he has spoken to actor Jesse Plemons about a role, and how, even though he’ll be shooting Star Wars on film, he’d like to shoot in IMAX again, at some point, when the cameras become more manageable.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

star-wars-7-jj-abrams-r2d2Question:  Are you close to finding a director for Star Trek 3?

JJ ABRAMS:  I’m just focusing on Episode VII, right now.  That’s the focus.

Where are you on Star Wars?  Is the script done?

ABRAMS:  Yeah.  We’re working really hard.  We’ve got our script and we’re in deep prep.  We’re full steam ahead.

Since you’re going to have to start production soon, when might we hear announcements about cast?

ABRAMS:  When the announcements happen.  But, we’re working really hard on it and it’s quite a thrill.

What are the craziest rumors you heard?

ABRAMS:  God, there have been so many of them, honestly.  I don’t know.  But, it’s amazing to see how many there are.  It’s really remarkable.  But, it’s sweet because it shows that there’s an interest in this movie that we all obviously know is there.  It is an incredible thing to see how many crazy things get thrown out that people then often write commentaries about how happy they are or how disappointed they are about something that’s completely false.  But, it’s a lot of noise, frankly.

star-wars-episode-7-jj-abramsWas the Jesse Plemons report accurate?

ABRAMS:  He is one of the actors that we’ve talked to, yeah.  It’s not often that I read about actors that I’m going to be meeting.  I get to read articles about actors who were going to come in, so I get to see someone and say, “Oh, I read that I was going to see you.  It’s very nice to see you.”  It’s usually agents talking to people about what’s happening.  It’s just a lot of noise.

Would you like to shoot it in IMAX, at all?

ABRAMS:  In the right situation, I’d like to use IMAX again.  The problem with IMAX is that it’s a very loud camera.  It’s a very unreliable camera.  Only so much film can be in the camera.  You can’t really do intimate scenes with it.  It’s slow.  They break down often.  Having said that, they’re working on digital versions of that, so there may be a version one day.  But, we’re going to be shooting this next movie on film.

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  • Guest

    oh please jj, don’t mess this up

    • http://sonaten.se/ Jonas N

      Should be easy to make it better than Episode 1-3 at least. :p

      • Nerdlinger

        My thoughts exactly. It’s not like he can ruin the franchise – Lucas already did that. The only direction JJ can take this is up. At absolute worst, it just doesn’t get any better.

        Jar-Jar Binks.

      • Jelperman

        If Lucas “ruined” the franchise, then why would Disney pay over $4 billion for it?

      • orianalianna

        It’s cheaper to own Star Wars than partner it. Long term Star Wars is a cash cow even without an Ep7. From comics, TV series, cartoons, shows, stage, rides and toys – it’s all there. Owning it cuts the middle crap as it were (lucas stamp of ‘approval’ and constant senile intervening) and in the long run it’s an investment. .Disney would have been incompetent not to buy it.

      • JGAZM

        Ahh…because the fans realized the problem was with Lucas and not the franchise. Given how bad the prequels were, and given that the original trilogy has a huge fan-base and instant brand recognition almost all over the world, this is the cash cow to end all cash cows, it will make money no matter what, especially if Lucas can stay away from it. To fans he has become leprous, radioactive, and I think he realized it, so better sell it and make a ton of money than being bull-headed and driving the brand further into the ground until it becomes un-sellable. Fans want Star Wars, but not Lucas. Without Lucas, the sky is the limit.

  • Jan

    “J.J. Abrams. He’s ruining our daughter. That fuckin’ geek.” — Leslie Mann

  • jk

    Really hope this turns out well…

  • Mike Smith

    Seems like a dick.

    • Christian Leroux

      Lol what? What in this article makes you think that? And even if he were, it would only be because he’s working on the most successful franchise of all time. The guy probably gets calls every five minutes for interviews, and the stress level is so fucking high. Cut him some slack.

      • felele

        That comment was about his own dick.

      • cezar211091 .

        it was about his brain

      • cas

        J.J.? is that you….?

    • DavidisALLright


  • Strong Enough

    Alfonso directing a star wars movie


    • AdeoAdversary

      Ya drool is right, that would be amazing. Not the drooling, Alfonso directing a Star Wars film I mean.

      • Adam Heatherly

        U mean the guy who absolutely butchered harry potter and the prisoner of Azkaban

      • Mark Tornits

        Azkaban isn’t a disaster aside from the Hagrid scenes which were obviously filmed at a time other than during principle photography- they include some of the worst compositing i have ever seen.

      • Adam Heatherly

        Other films in the series were MUCH more faithful to the books than azkaban was

      • Mark Tornits

        I love the series but it does have its faults.

        DH1 and the beginning of DH2 were faithful to the book to a fault though- they really needed better dramatic interpretation and fleshing out of things that were needed for the story that should have been provided in the earlier films- for example the mirror shard- that plot point made zero sense in the film but could have if they gave it 20 seconds of dialogue.

        the biggest fail of Azkaban was the lack of info given about the patronus charm- yes they didn’t know how important it was going to be to the series but they could have corrected that mistake in later films by just telling the audience that it takes the form of the person you love.


        They were also weaker as films.

      • doc

        Like Half-Blood Prince? Or Order of the Phoenix?

      • Gary Busey’s Eye

        ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’ was easily the best Harry Potter movie in the whole franchise. Take your blinders off!

      • Mark Tornits

        Half-blood is the best but Azkaban is good.

      • http://movieguynewsreviews.blogspot.com/ Josh

        why because they changed things from the book? who cares. the movie was incredible. one of, if not the best of the series (personally one of my favorite films of all time and favorite franchises)

      • Seanpb

        Changes aren’t always bad. Whilst Cuaron certainly made some detours and departures from the book, I believe they were more or less all in best interests of what turned out to be the turning point – visually and thematically – in the series. The film had heart, flair and a sense of magic that wasn’t equalled thereafter.

        I think he ‘got’ the material better than anyone else who helmed a Potter film. There was at once a darkness and innocence about the film, all the while wrapped in this brilliant mythology.

        Whilst I respect the idea that he didn’t interpret the book as printed for the screen, he most certainly didn’t forsake what it had to say.

      • Mark Tornits

        visually it would be pretty awesome at least.

  • Sawyer

    The camera crew on The Dark Knight Rises managed to get over an hour of IMAX footage and that was shot two years ago. Maybe hire some help? You’ve got a Disney budget so it shouldn’t be too difficult ;)

    • Nomis1700

      Not to forget the third act of Catching Fire was 48 minutes of IMAX too and I guess that budget is a lot lower than Star Wars VII ;)

      • Mark Tornits

        If star wars is only as mediocre as Catching Fire – it will be considered a failure. shot it on 35 and worry about the script and acting first.

      • Strong Enough

        medicore? it’s rated higher than every summer blockbuster

      • Mark Tornits

        what does that even mean “rated”? some fan boys on imdb? please… without internal dialogue of katniss like the books, the hunger game films lack depth and ultimately aren’t great- they will only be remembered in time as pretty decent.

      • http://movieguynewsreviews.blogspot.com/ Josh

        actually no. not by some fanboys on imdb. in fact if your talking about hunger games there arent many fan boys but a hell of a lot of fangirls. on rotten tomatoes it holds an 89% and is considered by many professional film critics to be one of the best films of the year. the first film was good, but you may be right it may not be remembered in a few years. catching fire however is an entirely different thing. it was a really fantastic film on its own and will be remembered by many for years to come as really great movie

      • Mark Tornits

        so was sky fall….

      • http://movieguynewsreviews.blogspot.com/ Josh

        ok…? what does skyfall have to do with anything? it was a great movie when it came out ands still a great movie now, that lots of people love. not really sure what youre trying to say…

      • Mark Tornits

        sky fall is not a great movie – it assassinated the great bond character that was developed for Casino Royale- and replaced him with a watered down mismash of a character to please “fans” for an anniversary movie. Mendes and Logan abandoned the continuity of the previous Daniel Craig films to reintroduce the Brosnan Era mediocracy formula. We didn’t learn anything new about Bond in Sky Fall despite the fact that Mendes and Logan really thought they were introducing new material when in fact it just showed that didn’t even know what happened in the the previous Daniel Craig Films- and the biggest slap in the face is that it made so much money so we can expect another formulaic retread for Bond 24.

      • http://movieguynewsreviews.blogspot.com/ Josh

        well thats your opinion and youre free to dislike it, but i and many others loved it. I never really thought that the storyline from Casino Royale to QoS was anything special. Casino was a great Bond film, then QoS was a mediocre follow up. I’d much rather see individual stories than continuing storylines. thats not what 007 is. at least not to me anyway. Skyfall was such a breath of fresh air for the franchise, especially after such a disappointing movie coming before it. I loved the more personal story and how it dared to be different from the traditional Bond film. It’s definitely my favorite of the series, well at least the Daniel Craig series.

      • Mark Tornits

        thats cool – to me it was just a rehash of the world is not enough – its basically the same story – bond get hurts, m gets threatened and the consequences of each. I don’t see the fresh air especially since it used Bond’s past film history as a huge crutch. The Goldfinger Aston Martin was such a hackie choice which showed the filmmakers didn’t want to take this movie seriously- along with the terrible one liners that Daniel Craig isn’t really capable of delivering. Casino avoided all of this by actually being that fresh air you mentioned – Sky Fall is just EON running back to the tired Bond formula.

      • Seanpb

        Dont blame Mendes for that, the decision to abandon any story or plot that would flow through the Craig era was made when QoS almost destroyed the residual goodwill rippling through the mainstream as a result of CR.

        Blame Forster and those tasked with consolidating all the great work accomplished by the brilliant reboot, I say.

        CR saved the series, giving it a kiss of life, and QoS near snuffed it out again. It was such a lame, Bourne-lite, without anything vaguely resembling what fans love about the character.

        Yeah, Skyfall was essentially a greatest hits Bond, but it was also one of the best ever made.

        Finally we’ve got moneypenny back, as well as Q. Then there’s a new, proper M. Judi Dench might’ve been a good get for GoldenEye, but her character had degenerated to the point where, as an authority figure, she was laughable. bond constantly undermined her, she was flustered, had no control… She was also far too central or involved (although Silva’s plot was brilliant, so she had to be involved.)

      • doc

        You want internal dialogue, watch Dune. And we know how that turned out.

      • Strong Enough

        rotten tomatoes you idiot. The general view is that it’s a good movie. just cause its some teen bullshit doesn’t make it crap. i bet you haven’t even seen it

    • Mark Tornits

      TDKR’s obviously suffered from pushing tech over performance, script, and story.


      It’s no use for dialogue scenes, only action.

  • Adam Heatherly

    If the script is done whats the title?

    • Johnny Black

      The Quest for More Money!

      …Oh wait, that’s Spaceballs II.

  • TrekBeatTK

    Glad it’s being shot on film. Much as I like IMAX, I wouldn’t want it for Star Wars; I don’t want the aesthetic to change again for this series. And please God don’t let anyone convert it to 3D. I’m sure Disney will want to, but I hope they don’t.

    • http://movieguynewsreviews.blogspot.com/ Josh

      unfortunately they already said that it will be converted to 3D… just see it in 2D and hope that the 3D format will die sometime soon.

      • DRT

        They same was said about “talkies.”

    • DRT

      Where did he say it was being shot on film?

      • TrekBeatTK

        It’s the very last thing he says. “But we’re going to be shooting this next movie on film.”

  • Northern Star

    I’m sure the new trilogy will be an infinitely superior improvement over the lazy and inferior prequels, but once you’ve already confronted the biggest bad in the universe – namely the Emperor of said universe – what else can you do that equally compares? It’s kinda like continuing the ‘Lord of the Rings’ story post-Sauron…

    But if they have a great idea and a strong script, I’ll give it a whirl… just let’s hope they DO indeed have both! And kudos to J.J. for shooting on film…

    • Ludwig Scroggins IV

      No, you’ll give it a whirl because curiosity. It’s like pandora’s box. It can’t possibly be worse than the prequels, right? Right?

      • Northern Star

        Mere curiosity won’t get me into the theater for Episode VII, it’ll have to come with pretty much universally stellar reviews across the board and a guarantee that the prequels’ have been as good as ignored in the new story before I fork out on a new ‘Wars film again!

        Plus, until they release the Original Trilogy in their unspoiled theatrical versions, restored and anamorphic, on DVD/Blu Ray, I’m boycotting every and all Lucasfilm product, period!

        The ball’s in their court…

    • lars1701c

      The novels had a clone of the emperor, they might go that route

  • mattinacan

    JJ is a man that does everything just ‘ok’, and nothing great. he has his hands in too many projects. he should focus on one thing at a time and maybe he will finally make a great movie or tv show.

    • Redemption23

      It would be a stretch to say his work is all “ok”. I think all of his work has been at least good. He is consistent. I’m confident he will make a great film soon enough. I also dont think he does too much, he gives TV shows a chance that otherwise never would get a chance. His involvement in many of the projects seems to be minimal

    • The Flobbit

      He’s the poor man’s Spielberg, mean to fans, unreliable and unpredictable, has terrible friends, and is rarely not disappointing. I loved MI3 and Super 8 when I watch them, now, thinking back on them…they were so terribly hollow.

      • MEY

        We should have fired The Flobbit three months ago…

      • The Flobbit

        I don’t remember hiring you…

      • milo

        Mean to fans? Terrible friends? Come on.

      • The Flobbit

        Mean to fans: he never releases material, he is very closed about his work. See someone like Del Toro or Jackson for a filmmaker that is completely fan-friendly – making video blogs, sharing pictures, doing interviews, etc.

        Terrible friends: Frequent collaborator Damon Lindelof is a terrible screenwriter. He ruined Prometheus, Cowboys and Aliens, and Star Trek Into Darkness. Kurtzman and Orci are little better, and had a lot to contribute to the mess that was STID.

      • DJ Deezy ThaTruth

        He didnt reply to your 1,002 letters ay? This feels like that Eminem song -Stan. o.O

      • cezar211091 .

        come on,super 8 was pure joy

      • The Flobbit

        It was pure nostalgia, an unashamed ripoff of everything that made ET good. And that’s not bad! I hugely enjoyed Elle Fanning and Kyle Chandler’s performances.

      • cezar211091 .

        exactly,it’s not a movie made with much brains,it was made from the heart

  • Annon76

    Please don’t suck.
    Please don’t suck.Please don’t suck.Please don’t suck.Please don’t suck.

    • lars1701c

      You really think it won’t since Hollywood relies more on special effects that good actors and a good script?

  • The Flobbit

    So, over a year after he was added to the film…he’s finished the script! And “talked” to a few actors, and posed around an R2D2 doll. Really productive!

    • http://movieguynewsreviews.blogspot.com/ Josh

      he didn’t take over the script until a few months ago so your first statement is invalid. talked to a few actors? how about they’ve met with hundreds of thousands of actors over the last several months trying to find the perfect actors for the roles because they want this movie to be as close to perfect as possible because of how much pressure is on them to make this movie amazing. and “posed around an R2D2 doll”? that R2D2 “doll” was a prop being built for the film. one of many props that are being built. and that photo was taken on a set that is being built for the film. a set that i would assume is having a lot of hard work put into it. so yes, they actually are being very productive, despite what you may think. How about instead of bashing everything these filmmakers are doing to bring you another amazing Star Wars movie, and show them some kind of support.

      • Mark Tornits

        well, there was speculation that the scripting duties switched hands way earlier in 13 than the press release would have suggested, i don’t think it is fair to assume when the switch officially occurred.

      • http://movieguynewsreviews.blogspot.com/ Josh

        if i had to guess i’d say it happened sometime during the end of the summer. but youre right we don’t know for sure how long ago it happened. regardless, theyve taken their time writing the script for it and i’m all for that as this movie really does need to be as close to perfect as possible to win over the skeptics and bring Star Wars back to its former glory

      • Mark Tornits

        i agree- there is also the problem of movies being disposable pleasures from week to week with nothing really having staying power to become part of popular culture anymore- all of the family guy jokes of 70s,80s, and 90s pop culture is almost a thing of the past when we think about what people will look fondly on from the current generation- It will be interesting to see if the new films have staying power or if they are something that are released/ enjoyed or hated/ and then the audience just moves on- people’s interests have the option of being so sprawled out now because of some many media options- as recent as a decade ago there was a box that most entertainment came from, that box has been tipped over and spread out everywhere- this movement has certainly happened in music and it will become more and more evident with movies and tv.


        It just needs to be good, not the second coming.

      • http://movieguynewsreviews.blogspot.com/ Josh

        wouldn’t mind it being the second coming though…

      • The Flobbit

        1. He should have been onto the script months before that. Come to say that, they should have had a spec script ready before they brought him on as director. On top of that, he fired Michael Arndt, the only thing standing between Abrams and Damon “I make everything suck” Lindelof.

        2. Hundreds of thousands of actors? I would be surprised if they talked to 20,000, and I would eat a large rock if JJ Abrams personally met with 60. I know people who auditioned for a role. You stand in line for 4 hours, and at the end they look at you for 2 seconds and send you away if they don’t like your looks.

        3. WRONG. That R2D2 prop was not made for the film, but rather an older model used in film before. They just brought it out, posed around it, looking bored, and uploaded it to the Internet.

        I will show them every support in the world when JJ shows us that he’s off his ass, working, instead of fighting with his producers, spreading countess rumors, and being anal about releasing anything to the fervent fans who pay his paycheck.

        In 5 days it will have been a year since Abrams was brought on board. What do we have to show for it?

      • DJ Deezy ThaTruth

        Though its part look, I would hope some Acting skill would be involved in an Auditions :D and a Resume to boot. I dont know about the rest, I dont really follow the man around or anything.

  • 80sRobot

    Did you like Super 8? I mean, *really* like it? Because I predict that movie will be the better example (not his Trek movies) of what Abrams will do to Star Wars. Just as he recreated the look (but not heart) of 80′s era Spielberg movies, Abrams wants to recreate the vibe of A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, I’m betting. Superficially, he’ll probably succeed, but I have a lack of faith in the story. (He also co-wrote Super 8.)

    • The Flobbit

      I really did like Super 8. It was super nostalgic, and Elle Fanning and Kyle Chandler were great. Looking back, it ripped off Goonies and ET big-time, filled with Spielberg’s trademark sentimentalism (this time sappy as heck).

      So do I like Super 8? I won’t see it again, but I enjoyed it. But if that is the tone of a Star Wars film, no, I don’t like.

  • Ashotjan

    “Jar Jar is the key to all of this.” – Lucas

    Abram could put together a 5 minute documentary about flamingos, call it Episode 7, and I would be more entertained than I was during the prequels.

    • The Flobbit

      Abram could put together a 5 minute documentary about flamingos, call it
      Episode 7, and I would march over to Bad Robot studios with an axe, a can of spray paint, and an angry throng.

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  • octobersurprise

    Like 2 years ago someone made a joke that Star Trek 09 was just JJ’s demo reel for Star Wars.

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  • orianalianna

    No one can mess up Star Wars anymore than George Lucas has with EP3. If it were my call I would have rebooted 1 2 and 3 and brought the real Darth Vader/Sith Order origins out. Instead of the absolute garbage we were forced to ingest. …turning Vader into a mommas boy and a cry baby – unbelievable.

    • The Flobbit

      That’s like saying that my stealing a car isn’t wrong because I committed murder. A movie is bad even if it’s prequel is worse.

      • orianalianna

        Well if you murdered you wouldn’t be needing your car. You’d be in prison.

      • The Flobbit

        I fail to see how that is relevant.

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  • doctor_robot

    please… don’t make jesse plemons a skywalker.

  • cezar211091 .

    i want them to shoot most of it on 35mm,imax is too clean if they want it to feel like the originals.

    • DRT

      Whether they shoot in Imax or not, I’m sure it will still be filmed digitally. I don’t think many movies are shot on 35 mm anymore

      • cezar211091 .

        actually,i’m quite happy to know that many still are.the studio said it will be shot on 35mm and i love that.i love digital but i love film more

  • cezar211091 .

    i love that JJ doesn’t ruin his movies like nolan does with that atrocious sharpening and edge enhancement.

  • Johnny

    My hopes are low for this one. CGI wookies and lens flare

    • lars1701c

      Ya another CGI crap fest

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  • http://batman-news.com Jake Lakota

    Just what I need, an intimate scene with an IMAX – you can see Han Solo’s wanker and it’s 75 feet long. Brilliant. Dolt.

  • http://batman-news.com Jake Lakota

    Just what I need, an intimate scene with an IMAX – you can see Han Solo’s wanker and it’s 75 feet long. Brilliant. Dolt.

  • http://batman-news.com Jake Lakota

    Just what I need, an intimate scene with an IMAX – you can see Han Solo’s wanker and it’s 75 feet long. Brilliant. Dolt.

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