Debunked: Brad Bird's '1952' Not a Cover for 'Star Wars: Episode VII'
by Ethan Anderton
November 1, 2012
You might be confused by that headline, but stick with us. There's some major fan speculation making the rounds about Star Wars: Episode VII. Starting at AICN, a big fan and reader used one of our stories about Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof's original sci-fi project 1952 at Disney to fuel a theory that it might be a code name for the start of the new Star Wars trilogy, much like Blue Harvest was a code name for Return of the Jedi. While we wouldn't mid Bird directing (he's on our list of the best options), Lindelof would make us a bit leery. Either way, we have word from an extremely reliable source that 1952 is a truly original sci-fi film and has nothing to do with the new Star Wars trilogy in the works at Disney. Read on!
For a better understanding of how this theory came to light and even seemed plausible, here's a rundown of the timeline that seemed to support this wild speculation (from Portland Mercury, via SlashFilm):
May, 2011: Bob Iger and George Lucas begin discussing the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney.
June, 2011: Damon Lindelof hired by Disney (for a 7 figure deal) to write a huge sci-fi epic for the studio. The project is named 1952, and nothing else is known about it.
August, 2011: Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are told by George Lucas at a Star Wars convention that the sequel trilogy is coming.
May, 2012: Brad Bird is hired to direct the Lindelof 1952 project, and brings on Jeff Jensen, author of Eisner Award-winning graphic novel Green River Killer to further develop the script, which is intended to become a huge tentpole film, with all the merchandising, toy selling and sequel opportunities such a prospect provides.
June, 2012: Kathleen Kennedy is named co-chair of Lucasfilm, a move that surprised quite a few people in Hollywood as they didn’t know why she’d vacate her position as a prime Hollywood mover/shaker to join a studio that was essentially, shapeless and aimless.
October, 2012: Disney and Lucasfilm close the deal, and immediately announce Star Wars, Episode VII for release in 2015, with Lucas as a “creative consultant” and Kennedy as the President of Lucasfilm. Kennedy specifically notes that they’ve been talking to “a couple of writers” and they know where they want to go for the seventh movie.
It's all pretty convincing. But we've talked to somebody who is in the know when it comes to 1952, and while word on the street is that it's really good, it's not Star Wars: Episode VII. Rumors like this are going to keep popping up. Hopefully not everyday, but maybe every week. Honestly, it's exciting and frustrating all at once to have this many stories about Star Wars again. I felt like I was in All the President's Men trying to track this story down and confirm/debunk. However, we will say this: the fact that Brad Bird already has a strong relationship with Disney could make him a frontrunner for the Star Wars gig if 1952 doesn't get in the way. Stay tuned as there's likely plenty more Star Wars stories on the horizon. We'll try to give you the best ones.