The storyline of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII may be top secret, but its first casualty has already been revealed: as previously reported, actor Harrison Ford hurt his ankle last week while filming. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 71-year-old Ford’s injury involved one of the doors on the Millennium Falcon. At the time it was reported, Ford had been taken to the hospital to get checked out, and the official statement added that “Shooting [on Episode VII will continue as planned while he recuperates.” Well, it turns out that ankle injury is a bit more serious than initially thought, and now we’re left wondering how that could affect Episode VII’s shooting schedule.
Access Hollywood spoke to Harrison’s son, Ben Ford, who revealed that Harrison may require surgery on the ankle, possibly involving the installation of a metal plate and screws. That sounds like the sort of thing that’s going to involve some bed rest before Ford is up to full speed again. The Mirror claims, via an unnamed source, that Ford could be down for the count for six to eight weeks. It’s the Mirror, so taking that with a grain of salt would probably be wise, but it doesn’t sound inconsistent with the other information. Ben Ford has speculated that his father would still be able to continue filming, but that they just might have to limit him to waist-up shots until the ankle is all healed up. Screw that noise, this is science fiction: somebody get that man a Professor X hoverchair! Or at least a bacta tank.
The Mirror’s source says:
The initial day or two after the accident it was hard to move things around but now we have had more time we can juggle things, bring some scenes forward and push others back. There are lots of other actors in the movie so it is not a disaster. We are still confident the film can stay on schedule.
Ford’s role as Han Solo in Episode VII is said to be substantial, so it definitely may requite some organizational acrobatics to work around his injury and convalescence. There’s no way to know how strenuous or action-intensive his role in Episode VII sequel might be, but even something as simple as standing for extended periods or walking down a hallway could be tricky when you’re recovering from having somebody cut your ankle open and bolt metal into it. Maybe Chewie could carry him around in that backpack he used for the dismantled C-3PO in The Empire Strikes Back?
They’ve still got a year and a half before Episode VII hits theaters on December 18, 2015, so hopefully Ford will recover swiftly and take back command of the Falcon ASAP. In the meantime, if I were J.J. Abrams, I’d look into replacing the Falcon doors with models from the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation — they love their job and would never maim a leading man. As for Harrison, we recommend keeping a sharp eye out for unexpected dangers around the hospital room.