While Lucasfilm and Disney have been incredibly tight-lipped with regards to director J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII, the studios have unveiled essentially nothing about the other Star Wars films in the works. We know that starting next year, there are plans to release a new Star Wars movie every year, and we also know that the first film after Episode VII will be a “standalone” Star Wars feature directed by Godzilla helmer Gareth Edwards. After that we have Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII and then Josh Trank’s “standalone” feature, so the studios certainly have a pretty deep bench and no doubt have a master plan of sorts.
With Edwards on deck, he’s started to put together his crew in anticipation of starting production on his secretive Star Wars project in London next year, and the first major addition is a rather exciting one: cinematographer Greig Fraser. More after the jump.
During a great interview with Kris Tapley over at In Contention, Fraser reveals that he will indeed be acting as the cinematographer on Edwards’ Star Wars spinoff:
“I’m doing a fucking Star Wars movie, which is like – I don’t know about you but Star Wars is like my first film love, do you know what I mean?… Gareth is doing a standalone film. Of course I do know some specifics, but it’s obviously something I’ve signed my kidneys away for.”
Obviously Fraser was unable to reveal anything about the nature of the project, but the guy’s resume makes this pairing very promising. In addition to truly stellar work on Zero Dark Thirty, Fraser also shot 2009’s Bright Star, the 2010 remake Let Me In, and Andrew Dominik’s fantastically visceral Killing Them Softly. He recently lensed Bennett Miller’s excellent Foxcatcher and the upcoming The Gambler, and having seen Foxcatcher I can confirm that he’s done a swell job on that one as well. He also has a bit of experience with larger-scale projects having been the cinematographer on Snow White and the Huntsman, but this Star Wars film will no doubt be his most ambitious undertaking yet.
What’s promising about this news is that Fraser’s sensibilities are very different from those of Dan Mindel, who is the cinematographer on Episode VII. While I don’t doubt that all of these Star Wars films will visually look like they inhabit the same universe, I’m encouraged by the fact that Lucasfilm really seems to be putting together a diverse lineup of filmmakers to bring these new Star Wars stories to fruition. One of my biggest criticisms of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that every film is same-looking, with each lacking a strong individual visual identity, and while we obviously haven’t seen a frame of footage from Episode VII or Edwards’ film yet to actually compare, I’m hopeful that Fraser has the freedom to forge his own path.
Edwards’ currently untitled Star Wars film is slated to open in theaters on December 16, 2016.