J.J. Abrams Says Episode VII Script Is Done, Addresses Casting Rumors And IMAX

By David Wharton | 7 years ago

AbramsNow that new Star Wars movies have been officially announced, and the fact that between Episode VII and the stand-alone films we’ll always have at least one new movie in the works for years to come, it’s hard to imagine a time when we won’t be waist deep in rumors about the galaxy far, far away. They’ve certainly been swirling fast and furious lately, with talk of a Boba Fett movie, and reports that Breaking Bad’s Jesse Plemons is up for the part that could be Luke Skywalker’s son. Episode VII director J.J. Abrams is known for playing things close to the vest with his movies, but he recently opened up, slightly, about some of the news surrounding his latest venture.

Abrams says that the Episode VII script is finished, which is good news. After Toy Story 3 writer Michael Arndt spent months working on the screenplay for the next Star Wars film, this past October it was announced that Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan would be taking over writing duties. Kasdan co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, so his involvement is definitely promising. Recent rumors suggest that Arndt’s take on Episode VII was focused mainly on the offspring of Han and Leia, whereas Abrams and Kasdan shifted the focus back to Luke and his son, which would mean a larger role for Mark Hamill. Time will tell.

As for the rumors that Plemons might be up for a role, the actor initially denied the reports, telling HitFix that “[I]t’s just one of those crazy rumors.” Speaking to The Wrap, however, Abrams himself confirmed that there have been talks, but says that the Friday Night Lights alum is just one of the actors meeting with the production team. Abrams says:

He [Plemons] is one of the actors that we’ve talked to, yeah… But, you know. It’s not often that I read about actors that I’m going to be meeting … that I get to read articles about actors who are going to come in. And so I get to see someone and say, ‘Oh, I read that I’m going to see you.’ … It’s usually agents talking to people about what’s happening. It’s a lot of noise.

You get a certain tone from this statement that suggests Abrams doesn’t put much stock in rumors and conjecture. If Plemons is one of the few rumors that people actually got right, then it stands to reason that there a ton more that we haven’t even heard whispers about. Let the rampant speculation commence.

Though the constant rumors don’t impress Abrams much with their accuracy, he does seem to have a fondness for them, or at least the fan devotion and enthusiasm that they represent. He says, “[I]t’s sweet because it shows that there’s an interest in this movie that we all obviously know is there. But it is an incredible thing to see how many crazy things get thrown out that people often then write commentaries about.”

Much more interesting than every single one of these casting rumors, and more concrete as well, is what Abrams has to say about how he plans to shoot Episode VII. When asked if he will be filming with an IMAX camera, he indicates that he will not, citing various equipment issues you face when using that format. He says:

The problem with IMAX is it’s a very loud camera. It’s a very unreliable camera. Only so much film can be in the camera. You can’t really do intimate scenes with it. It’s slow. They break down often. Having said that, they’re working on digital versions of these and so there may be a version one day. But we’re going to be shooting this next movie on film.

Production is rumored to be scheduled to begin this spring at Pinewood Studios in London. Star Wars: Episode VII opens December 18, 2015.

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