Is That Star Wars Coming-of-Age Film '77' Finally Getting a Release?
Half of you are probably thinking "what Star Wars coming-of-age film?" The other half, maybe, are thinking "ohhh yeaa, I remember that." If you were reading this site way back in 2009, we posted a trailer for a film titled '77, shortened from 5-25-77. Movie geeks should instantly recognize that date as the day Star Wars, or rather A New Hope, was released. It's a coming-of-age story about a kid and his experience seeing Star Wars, and the trailer looked great. Jump ahead three years and it still hasn't been released, haven't heard a word since, until now. Variety's Jeff Sneider tweeted "5-25-77 is coming out this spring on that very day..."
The story was picked up by SlashFilm, who has started to speculate that we may officially see this '77 movie finally this summer. While I'm certainly excited for it, things aren't as nostalgic anymore, it may have been better to release this around Super 8 and Fanboys (or maybe not). But it may not get a wide theatrical release this summer, in fact there's more to it. After Sneider wrote that tweet, the film's director, Patrick Read Johnson, replied back to him, stating 5/25 was not the release date, but "the cross-country road-trip adventure that begins that day will lead us to one!" I can't figure out if that means they're doing a tour with the film, or if he's driving cross country to negotiate a distribution deal, but I'm intrigued nonetheless.
The film was shot in 2007 independently by Patrick Read Johnson, starring John Francis Daley, entirely in Illinois. It screened at Star Wars Celebration back in 2007, but hasn't been shown too many places since. You can read a full rundown on the distribution troubles on Hollywood-Elsewhere. But now Read Johnson seems to hint that it might indeed be coming this summer after all, tweeting: "On 5-25-12, a 1975 Ford Pinto will depart Wadsworth, Illinois to deliver a precious cargo to 3 very important people." He included a photo, that artwork seen below, which it sounds like is only a tease, not the actual release date for the film.
As a die-hard, life-long Star Wars fan who grew up with the originals, I'm inherently interested in this. And based on that trailer years ago (which you can still see on YouTube), this looks much better than Fanboys, much more like a real coming-of-age drama. We'll definitely keep an eye out for updates and will certainly let you know once Patrick Read Johnson sets an official date for '77. Already getting anxious to finally see it!