Disney Chairman Alan Horn Says the STAR WARS Films Will Have Budgets in the $175 Million to $200 Million Range

by     Posted Yesterday

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Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn spoke a bit this morning about the highly anticipated sequel Star Wars: Episode VII, but his comments were essentially confirming things we already know: the cast isn’t 100% set yet, principal photography hasn’t begun, George Lucas is consulting, and future Star Wars films could return to the May release date strategy.  However, he also revealed a fascinating nugget with regards to the budgets of the new Star Wars movies.  One might think that a movie as big as Episode VII would have a budget of epic proportions, but the number that Horn quoted is actually pretty in line with other recent tentpole films.  More after the jump.

Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn Talks STAR WARS: EPISODE VII; Says Casting Is Almost Done

by     Posted Yesterday

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We’re trying to get every morsel of Star Wars: Episode VII news we can, and there’s no better source than Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan HornA few weeks ago, he told an audience at Loyola that second unit filming was underway and that when it came to casting, “We’re just not completely done yet.”  Principal photography is currently set to begin in May, and so Horn has provided a few more details.  According to Variety, Horn is going to London this week to go over the script with director/co-writer J.J. Abrams.  That’s no reason to freak out.  There’s no major rewrite on the way.  This is probably just a check to make sure both the studio and the production are on the same page before cameras start rolling.  Communication is somewhat important when billions of dollars are on the line.

Hit the jump for more Star Wars: Episode VII news from Horn, and to see what he had to say about the budgets of the Star Wars movies, click here.  The film opens on December 18, 2015.

STAR WARS Screenwriter Simon Kinberg Says Future Movies Won’t Draw from Expanded Universe

by     Posted 2 days ago

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The Star Wars saga doesn’t stop at the six movies.  It’s been able to feed fans for decades with novels, comic books, video games, and TV shows.  However, none of this material will be used when it comes to the upcoming films.  Screenwriter Simon Kinberg, who is working on one of the Star Wars spin-offs as well as the upcoming animated series Star Wars Rebels, tells IGN, ” You know, it’s not off-limits, and it’s certainly inspiring — I’m working on an animated show for [Lucasfilm] as well, Star Wars: Rebels, that will take inspiration from everywhere, but — I know for the movies, the canon is the canon, and the canon is the six films that exist.”

Hit the jump for Kinberg talking about the Star Wars expanded universe.  Star Wars: Episode VII opens December 18, 2015.

Benedict Cumberbatch Rules Himself out of STAR WARS: EPISODE VII and DOCTOR WHO

by     Posted 10 days ago

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According to Benedict Cumberbatch Star Wars and Doctor Who are two franchises he won’t be a part of in the near future.  For Star Wars: Episode VII, fronted by his Star Trek Into Darkness director J.J. Abrams, it wasn’t for lack of trying on Cumberbatch’s part.  It appears as though he would have liked a part in in the highly anticipated film, but, alas, he will not appear on the casting sheet.  Cumberbatch was rumored to have a role in the film quite a few months ago, but we’ve yet to hear any official word (ie, from the studio itself) one way or the other.  As for Doctor Who, it certainly sounds as if Cumberbatch has a zero level of interest in ever joining the franchise.  Honest truths or studio spin?  You make the call after the jump.

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

by     Posted 13 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.

Maisie Richardson-Sellers Rumored for STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Role

by     Posted 14 days ago

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We learned this week that much of the Star Wars: Episode VII cast is set.  However, we are not privy to that information, so we subsist on rumors.  There is now speculation that Maisie Richardson-Sellers is up for a key role as part of an extended casting search in London.  Star Wars: Episode VII would be the first feature credit for Richardson-Sellers, an Oxford-trained actress.  Heat Vision suggests the role of “a young black or mixed-race woman who may be a descendent of Jedi Knight Ben Kenobi” is a good fit.  But Disney declined to comment and sources say Richardson-Sellers has not yet been offered the role.

J.J. Abrams is gearing up for principal photography in May (preliminary filming is already underway), so all will be revealed soon enough.  Star Wars: Episode VII opens December 18, 2015.  More after the jump.

Peter Mayhew to Reprise His Role as Chewbacca in STAR WARS: EPISODE VII

by     Posted 16 days ago

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It was recently revealed that preliminary filming on Star Wars: Episode VII is already underway, with most of the cast already set.  Director J.J. Abrams is known for keeping an extremely tight lid on his projects, and indeed Disney has officially announced/confirmed nearly nothing about the project, even though principal photography is only weeks away.  The one confirmed cast member we do have is R2D2, and now it looks like another familiar face will officially be returning as well: Chewbacca.  Could that mean an official announcement of Chewie’s close pal Han Solo is not far behind?  Hit the jump for more.

Filming on STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Already Underway; Most of the Cast Is Set

by     Posted 17 days ago

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Although official production on Star Wars: Episode VII has yet to begin, the pre-production, non-glamorous filming is already underway.  Speaking at the Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television in Los Angeles, Disney chairman Alan Horn told the audience [via THR] that shooting had begun.  Since main filming would have probably leaked in some form, the current work is probably second-unit and plates.  I doubt any major lightsaber battles are going down at the moment.

As for the cast, “We have a lot of them [in place],” said Horn.  “We’re just not completely done yet.”  I imagine there will be a big press event where the main cast is announced, and then people will bicker and argue even though they know nothing about the plot or characters.  At most, Actor X will be announced for Han Solo’s son or something and some people will shout, “I don’t see it!  Worst casting ever!  Protect my childhood!”  Hit the jump for a brief recap on more of what we think we know so far.  Star Wars: Episode VII opens December 18, 2015.

Jesse Plemons and Juno Temple in Talks to Join BLACK MASS; Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney May Reteam for THE HEART

by     Posted 21 days ago

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We’ve got a couple of casting stories to attend to this afternoon.  First up, THR reports that Jesse Plemons (The Master) and Juno Temple (The Dark Knight Rises) are in talks to join Johnny Depp in the Whitey Bulger drama Black Mass.  This tidbit appears to confirm that, while he indeed met for the project, Plemons is likely out of contention for a role in Star Wars: Episode VII.  The J.J. Abrams-directed sequel will be filming at the same time as Black Mass and Plemons would be unable to do both movies, so the fact that he’s actively seeking other work in the near future signals that we probably won’t be seeing Landry in a galaxy far, far away.

Depp is set to play Bulger in Black Mass, with Joel Edgerton and Guy Pearce onboard to co-star and Dakota Johnson in talks for a role.  Though the project initially had Barry Levinson attached to direct, this retooled version has Out of the Furnace helmer Scott Cooper in the director’s chair.  A May start-date is being eyed.  Hit the jump for casting news regarding The Way, Way Back directors’ next project.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII May Begin Filming May 14th in Morocco

by     Posted 22 days ago

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With so little by way of big news re: Star Wars, fans are eager for every sliver of information that can be gleaned about the J.J. Abrams-directed sequel Episode VII.  Such a news nugget may have slipped out today, as a new report claims that filming on the follow-up will begin in earnest on May 14th in Morocco.  This isn’t too surprising, as Disney has already confirmed that production on Episode VII will get underway in May, but the location is quite curious since George Lucas used Morocco to shoot some Tatooine scenes for the original Star Wars films—and those sets still stand today.  Hit the jump for more.

ATTACK THE BLOCK Star John Boyega Wanted for TERMINATOR: GENESIS

by     Posted 28 days ago

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The Star Wars casting game has been going on for a long, long time now, but the latest bit of casting rumors offered up an exciting possibility for one of the leads: John Boyega.  The young British actor had his breakthrough role in the excellent 2011 sci-fi film Attack the Block, and he seems like an inspired choice to lead this new Star Wars universe.

However, director J.J. Abrams remains undecided on the young leads in Episode VII, and now it appears that another major franchise property has Boyega in mind as well: the reboot Terminator: Genesis.  Moreover, the role that Boyega is being eyed for in Genesis is Terminator canon, as he would be playing the son of Skynet creator Miles Dyson.  Hit the jump for more.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Likely Shooting in Iceland; Is the Movie Going Back to Hoth?

by     Posted 29 days ago

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Iceland is a popular shooting location for major films.  It’s played host to Batman Begins, Prometheus, Thor: The Dark World, and many more.  Now it could be a location for Star Wars: Episode VII.  According Icelandic site visir.is [via Metro News], “the crew will be heading for the Scandinavian nation this spring ahead of the main production kicking off in May.”  The site also notes that this filming will mostly be landscape shots, and presumably they’ll be recreated on set with green screen and set design.

Given Iceland’s terrain, there’s some speculation that it could stand-in for the ice planet Hoth, but that’s firmly a rumor at this point.  Hit the jump for a brief recap of what we know about the movie thus far.  Star Wars: Episode VII opens in regular theaters and in IMAX on December 18, 2015.

Disney and IMAX Extend Partnership; STAR WARS: EPISODE VII to Be Released in IMAX

by     Posted 34 days ago

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Disney and IMAX have sent out a press release announcing that they have extended their partnership, and will continue to release the studio’s biggest films in the world’s biggest theatrical format.  The films mentioned in the press release are Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Maleficent, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tomorrowland, and Star Wars: Episode VII.  None of this is surprising.  Almost every major blockbuster gets an IMAX release these days, and I’m fine with that.  I like IMAX.  I don’t like 3D, and all of these movies will most likely be in 3D, but you can’t win them all.

Hit the jump for the press release.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Takes Place 30 Years After RETURN OF THE JEDI; Starts Filming in May

by     Posted 36 days ago

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Disney CEO Bob Iger decided to drop some big news during this morning’s earnings call.  In addition to revealing that sequels to Pixar’s The Incredibles and Cars are in the works, he provided a brief update on Star Wars: Episode VII, revealing that the sequel will take place 30 years after the events of Episode V: Return of the Jedi.  Moreover, and possibly even more surprising, Iger confirmed that filming on Episode VII begins in May despite the fact that not a single castmember beyond R2D2 has been officially announced.  Hit the jump for more, including the official press release.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Casting News: Oscar-Winning Actress Lupita Nyong’o Meets with J.J. Abrams for Undisclosed Role

by     Posted 40 days ago

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Just a couple of days ago, we brought you this shortlist of actors vying for one of the coveted leads of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII.  A new report has recent Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o being added to the list of possible cast members, as she apparently met with Abrams to read for a part as recently as a couple of weeks ago.  Obviously the details on that particular role are being kept quiet, but one possibility is that of the reportedly non-Caucasian part of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s descendant.  That role is separate from the ongoing search for actors to fill the roles of male and female lead characters in their twenties.  Hit the jump for more.

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