Abrams' 'Episode VII' to Shoot in UK, Inspired by 'Star Wars' Origins
Don't read too much into this, but there's a great quote from producer Kathleen Kennedy about their UK shooting plans that's worth a quick glance. The official Star Wars website posted a press release confirming that production on Star Wars: Episode VII, likely to begin early 2014, would take place in the United Kingdom. There's no new information or details revealed, but Kennedy does briefly mention the "origins of Star Wars" most likely as a reference to the original trilogy being shot at various UK studios like Elstree and Shepperton. We're still anxious for some actual details, but at least production plans are coming together.
Here's the full press release statement from StarWars.com (via SlashFilm) featuring a few new quotes from Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy, who is heading the development of the new Star Wars saga and spin-offs.
Lucasfilm announced today that production of Star Wars: Episode VII will take place in the United Kingdom. All of the six previous live-action Star Wars movies have included UK production in such famed studios as Elstree, Shepperton, Leavesden, Ealing and Pinewood Studios.
"We've devoted serious time and attention to revisiting the origins of Star Wars as inspiration for our process on the new movie, and I'm thrilled that returning to the UK for production and utilizing the incredible talent there can be a part of that," said Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm. "Speaking from my own longstanding connection to the UK with films like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Empire of the Sun and recently War Horse, it's very exciting to be heading back."
Earlier this year, representatives from Lucasfilm met with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, in London to establish an agreement to produce Star Wars in the U.K. "I am delighted that Star Wars is coming back to Britain. Today's announcement that the next Star Wars film will be shot and produced in the UK is great news for fans and our creative industries," Osborne said today.
As pointed out, the original Star Wars movies had many sets and were filmed predominantly in the UK, so this isn't any surprise. As pointed out by SlashFilm, which studios they'll be shooting at aren't named yet. I think, or at least hope, that Kennedy's comment about the "origins of Star Wars as inspiration" pertains to the idea that they're going back to using sets, and mixing realism in with effects as much as possible, doing things like they did in the early days during the first Star Wars. If that's the case, even better. J.J. likes to build small set pieces for the actors to interact with and fill in the background with CGI, and that should work well for Star Wars without making it feel too much like the prequels. At least I'm hoping for the best.
Star Wars: Episode VII will be directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Michael Arndt, scheduled for a 2015 release. We'll continue to keep you updated on all the latest Star Wars details and news as they arrive.