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.
Reader Feedback - 16 Comments
Not a very convincing debunking. It just as weak on supporting evidence as the fan speculation itself
raybia on Nov 1, 2012
What do you mean a "convincing debunking?" We don't need a string of dates and stories to debunk it. It took one person in a very key location in the industry to tell us that this wasn't true. What more evidence do you need? That's exactly where information for all movie news comes from: official sources in the film industry. Informed speculation is fun, but it's still speculation. And in this case, it's false.
Ethan Anderton on Nov 1, 2012
well WE don't know who this person is...you say he/she's legit but how do we know that?? I think what raybia means is that just saying "I have a source that said it's not true" is flimsy...instead of "here's some hard evidence from this person I trust" in the form of a set pic or telling us who this source is and what their role on the project is...at this point we have to blindly take your word, or blindly speculate on the 1952 theory...no evidence has come out to support either
The Loon on Nov 1, 2012
If you read us, then you should trust us. We're not going to make things up. And sometimes we have to keep our sources confidential, especially when it comes to sensitive projects like 1952 that are being kept under tight wraps. We wouldn't write up something like this without having a credible source. The other side of this story is pure speculation. This information we got from the a source who would know details the same as anyone in the industry releasing official film related news to outlets like The Hollywood Reporter or Variety. So our debunking is not speculation. I'm sorry you can't see behind the scenes or know who these people are, but have a little faith.
Ethan Anderton on Nov 1, 2012
LOL @the trust us even though we can't/won't give you clear proof, just more hearsay from some "secret" source. Give us readers a break, this makes you no more "credible" than the rumors you are trying to debunk just because you say you have an "inside" source. If you want readers to truly believe you, give us a name, otherwise you're just more hearsay. Way to indirectly insult your readers.
GetRealNow on Nov 4, 2012
In all fairness I understand that you can't reveal sources. that's cool and all. I get it. But, also take in mind that from a reader's perspective, whilst trusting you, we cannot fully trust this information. You may know someone in the production, but, of course, no one would reveal whether 1952 was actually Ep. VII this early in the stage of production right now. They'd have to be some kind of asshole to do that and would risk losing their job (even if you did keep them confidential). It's also not completely unknown for directors and producers to straight up lie about their projects (J.J. Abrams), and say "no this isn't happening" when it in reality is. I'm just saying. This article, in effect, didn't change anything for me. As I may trust you as a journalist, I cannot trust this information.
Alex Crouch on Nov 5, 2012
Geeez ,can you give a rest ? it's been how long ? Three days ? Don't you have nothing better to do than speculate ? Besides,it's not like Lindelof can ruin Star Wars any worse than Lucas did with the prequels. Oh wait,I forgot about Prometheus.
facepalm on Nov 1, 2012
And yet here you are, commenting on the speculation.
castingcouch on Nov 1, 2012
Delay '52, please put Brad Bird on Star Wars! He's a perfect fit.
Cinema Haiku Guy on Nov 1, 2012
Lucas met with Mark and Carrie this past August. Not in 2011.
Corax on Nov 1, 2012
Lindelof is a hack. Disney threw seven figures at him? FFS.
BK on Nov 1, 2012
i realy don't get! They are thinking up a new syfy saga? The best syfy saga is already written and called Hyperion from Dan Simmons... Don't they Google on the words:award winning, sience fiction, masterpiece?
Avi on Nov 1, 2012
and by the way. for anyone who was directed to this piece of shit debunking via this SlashFilm article,,, http://www.slashfilm.com/lets-speculate-wildly-are-brad-bird-and-damon-lindelof-already-working-on-star-wars-vii/ well, "CREDIBLE SOURCES" (im talking to you Ethan) explained to Vulture.com that although it was originally reported that Bird's 1952 would be about alien contact and be much like Close Encounters, it was also DEBUNKED and updated that although the film 1952 is "similar in the sense of Neary's (Richard Dreyfuss' character) journey--putting the pieces together to solve a mystery--the film will not involve contact with aliens" anyways, the above completely DEBUNKS slashfilms above linked article about 1952. the article concerning VULTURE.com can be found here. thanks to Collider for being a credible films news site. http://collider.com/brad-bird-damon-lindelof-1952-close-encounters-3rd-kind/204075/
DebunkedBecauseIsaidSo on Nov 1, 2012
Vulture corrected their story. They were mistaken and made it known that they messed up the details. Vulture isn't the source for this story, so I don't know what this has to do with our post. Also, you might want to take note that we never reported on those so-called details about 1952 involving aliens because we knew they weren't true, again, because we know someone involved in that production. I'm not exactly sure what you were trying to accomplish with this comment, but in no way does it make our debunking any less credible.
Ethan Anderton on Nov 2, 2012
The absolute best pick they could choose is Brad Bird with Michael Woodring Stover, the guy who made the novelization to Episode III actually thrilling (and made seeing EpIII even more of a disappointment to me). Bird has the heart and action and kid-friendliness, and Stover has the dedication to nail-biting drama and subtle moral edginess, plus he's written at least three Star Wars EU novels besides the novelization.
BlueNight on Nov 2, 2012
It's hilarious and ridiculous that people don't seem to understand how journalism works. The source can't be revealed because then they won't give this website information in the future. You don't burn a valuable bridge just to satisfy the incredulity of a few readers. As readers, you follow a journalist (or a newspaper, or a website, etc) and take note of whether or not they're reporting accurate information over a period of time. If they are, then you have reason to trust them when they report something an "unidentified source" says.
John on Nov 30, 2012
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