When Disney acquired Lucasfilm for $4.4 billion back in October 2012, the newly appointed president of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy announced that there would be a new Star Wars movie with a firm release date in 2015. Kennedy went on to confirm that the new film would indeed be Episode VII, the beginning of a new Star Wars trilogy. Since then, we’ve learned who would is writing the new film — Toy Story 3‘s Michael Arndt — and who will direct the seventh installment in the Star Wars film saga — the controversial J.J. Abrams. While early reports suggest that production on Star Wars: Episode VII will begin in early 2014, new rumors point to a much sooner start date: next month.
According to Jedi News’ “very trusted source,” Star Wars: Episode VII will start shooting this August at Pinewood Studios in London, England. Furthermore, Disney has booked the studio solid for the next 10 years, presumably for Star Wars, Marvel, The Muppets, and various other Disney properties.
Jedi News also says Episode VII is operating under a production alias, just as earlier films in the franchise have. “Foodles Productions Ltd.” is a company Disney registered in March. In the tradition of “Blue Harvest” (Return of the Jedi) and JAK Productions (the Star Wars prequel trilogy), Episode VII will allegedly go by “Foodles” while in production. Foodles is a Disney snack pack full of healthy, kid-friendly treats like apple slices, carrot sticks, and pretzels.
It’s easy to imagine that Star Wars: Episode VII has been in pre-production since Disney acquired Lucasfilm, so it seems like most of the pieces are coming together if Disney plans to go into production that soon. George Lucas already had treatments that laid out the basics of the next Star Wars trilogy, and Michael Arndt was hired to write the screenplay back in November 2012. With the addition of J.J. Abrams in January 2013, it seems like Star Wars: Episode VII is ready to go!
Although no casting news has been made official, there are plenty of rumors and actors interested in appearing in Episode VII. Most recently, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost said they don’t want to be in the new Star Wars film because it would ruin their Star Wars movie-going experience. There have been some rumors that suggest Zac Efron and Jonathan Rhys Meyers could appear in the film as well, and actor Ryan Gosling was rumored to play Luke Skywalker’s son in the new film, but quickly shot down that rumor. Of course, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher are pretty much a given, but we’re still waiting for Disney and Lucasfilm to give the official confirmation.
Last weekend at Star Wars Celebration Europe in Germany, Kathleen Kennedy confirmed that John Williams will return to “a galaxy far, far away” to compose the scores for the entire sequel trilogy.
Star Wars: Episode VII will hit theaters everywhere sometime during the summer of 2015.