Sunday, August 17, 2014

Star Wars: Driver And Johnson Speak

One of the new cast members is talking about his work on J.J. Abrams' "Star Wars: Episode VII"....

 Original Trilogy stars Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker Harrison Ford as Han Solo  and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, Peter Mayhew playing the legendary Wookiee Chewbacca, and Kenny Baker as Astro droid R2 D2 will be back.
Franchise creator George Lucas told Bloomberg Businessweek that he begun talks with original stars to have them return to for its new films -- before he had even begun the process of the ultimately $2 billion deal and sale. It's been said that Lucas' actually spent about a year planning the franchise's future before handing the reigns of Lucasfilm over to Disney.

The new cast members also include John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson,Christina Chong and  Max von Sydow as a villain character. 12 Years a Slave Best Supporting Actress Lupita Nyong'o and Game of Thrones co-star Gwendoline Christie have officially been cast in the film as well. Parkour master Pip Andersen and actress Crystal Clarke have joined the sequel--the pair were two of the 37,000 or so hopefuls who attended casting calls across eleven cities

Disney/Lucasfilm haven't revealed any character details at all however, so which of the newcomers is playing which roles is all speculation at this point.

Driver is rumored to be playing one of the villains in the film, but obviously he can't confirm or deny anything about his role. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, the 30-year-old actor says he's currently not filming any scenes for the sequel but resumes shooting around "mid-November, end of December". Talking generally about filming, his history with the franchise and why it appeals to people:

"Doing Star Wars now - that's surreal. I feel like that even with this cast. You start by try[ing] to stamp [that feeling] down as much as possible, just focus on what it is that you are there to do... Easier said than done. The thing about Star Wars that's so good - sure there's this huge [canvas]. It's space, it's a long time ago in a galaxy far away. That's set up immediately. But in the midst of all those things, what has made those movies last so long is that they're all grounded, which is something that is not so far off from every movie with huge universal themes of siblings and parents and betrayal and trust. That's so generic and obvious, but it's hard to balance those things. When you break all of those things down, really it's just because someone wasn't loved enough or felt betrayed. That's what makes those movies so universal. I think they can get in your mind in big and sweeping ways. I always think back to the original movies and to those quieter moments where Luke is out in A New Hope, and there are the two suns setting, and it's just such a quiet moment. It is the equivalent, basically, of a farm boy dying to get out of his small town and do something bigger. It's those kinds of universal themes that ground this whole thing in space. How great is that to get to work on something that has so much humanity in the midst of it? I feel like that's everyone's goal, to balance those two. Again, surreal seems to be the word of this interview. It's exciting to get that to be part of your life. Now you have to contribute something to it - and that's not something you, personally, or anyone on set takes lightly. I feel like everybody wants to make it good. Friendship, I feel, is something that maybe isn't investigated as much - or maybe I'm not watching those movies. It was such a huge part of the original three. "I'm going to go save my friend." Everyone was going to go bail their friends out. "I can't do this because my friends, everything is at stake because of my friends. I gotta go back. ... Yoda, I gotta leave, whatever... I gotta leave. [Laughs]".

Driver was asked whether he'd seen Lucas on set: "I haven't seen him. I don't know."

Scottish actor Ian McDiarmid who played Emperor Palpatine attended the recent London Film and Comic Con and confirmed that he would not return to the "Star Wars" universe in J.J. the  upcoming trilogy--but he didn't rule out a return in a potential spin-off pre-Return of the Jedi:

"I'm definitely not in [Episode VII]. As you know, he's dead by then. I know, we believe in reincarnation, and holograms… But you know, they are going to take many twists on the story as the years go on, and I guess they may go back to a time - I've got no clue, I'm speaking off the top of my head - when the Emperor ran the universe. And I don't want anyone else to play him, do I?"

James Earl Jones, the man behind the voice of Star Wars villain Darth Vader was asked by Variety recently about the possibility of playing the character in more films, perhaps one of the Spin-Off Films for example set before "Return of the Jedi". He said: "Oh no. I've got no illusions that I will or even hankerings to be in them, but I'm very proud to have been part of the original."

Abrams wrote the script with Lawrence Kasdan for the film. Oscar winner Michael Arndt ("Toy Story 3," "Little Miss Sunshine") vacated his job scripting the next film--after disagreements over which characters the film will focus on.

Kasdan ("The Empire Strikes Back," "Raiders of the Lost Ark") and Simon Kinberg ("Sherlock Holmes," "X-Men: Days of Future Past") have reportedly closed deals to pen the final two installments of the new "Star Wars" trilogy. Kasdan and Kinberg are also indeed writing the stand alone/origin Star Wars features. Company CEO Robert A. Iger recently revealed that the studio has three features in the works - not two as previously indicated.  "Godzilla" reboot director Gareth Edwards is going to direct the first of the upcoming Star Wars Spin-Off Films. "Fantastic Four" reboot and "Chronicle" director Josh Trank is officially set to direct the as yet Untitled Number 2 stand alone spin-off film.

The plan is to have each of these films come out in the years when we don't see a new episode of the saga - They would come out in 2016, 2018 and 2020. We still don't know which characters these spin-offs will focus on. Current franchise chief,
Kathleen Kennedy spoke to Yahoo about the stand-alone films saying that they will NOT affect the main narrative of the Episodes.

Looking ahead "Looper" and "Brick" writer-director Rian Johnson has inked a deal to both pen and call action on "Star Wars: Episode VIII" as well as write a treatment for "Star Wars: Episode IX".

Johnson recently spoke with The Girls in Hoodies podcast about his involvement with the cable TV series "Outlander". During the interview, Johnson talked about this new trilogy's plans to use as many practical effects as possible:

"They're doing so much practical building for this one. It's awesome. They're doing it all right, yeah ... I think people are coming back around to [practical effects], yeah, it feels like there is sort of that gravity pulling us back towards it. I think that more and more people are hitting kind of a critical mass in terms of the CG-driven action scene lending itself to a very specific type of action scene, where physics go out the window and it becomes so big so quick. I probably sound like a grumpy old man talking about it, but the thing is, I do wonder because I think kids are growing up watching those and that's the thing that they love now so I don't know whether it is a generational thing, and it could be."

Johnson recently visited the UK set and talked about that experience:

"Right now they're shooting in London, which is why actually I was in London, for reals ... Yeah, I think I'm definitely gonna go back. Visiting a set that you're not working on though, I always feel kind of uncomfortable, not because anyone makes you feel uncomfortable at all, but just like, if you don't have a job on the set, the set is a really strange place to be on."

Johnson was also asked about the pressure and the intimidation of taking on such a high-profile project. He says even he's surprised how not scary it is:

"The most surprising thing is just how not scary and how much fun ... It's boring to talk about because the only thing I can really say is I'm just happy. But I don't have the terror that I kind of expected I would, at least not yet. I'm sure I will at some point. Like if there'd been no Star Wars movies since Return of the Jedi, there'd be a lot more pressure, but the fact we've had them, we've had the prequels, we've had the TV series we've had Angry Birds Star Wars... I play it all the time!"

The series MVP composer John Williams is set to score Episode VII, Episode VIII and Episode IX.

Kasdan and Kinberg would also join the projects as producers with Kennedy.

There was 
a scheduled two-week production hiatus in August to allow for adjustments in the shooting schedule following Ford's recovery from that injury where he  broke his left leg

Production is scheduled to take place through September at Pinewood Studio in England. The film has a confirmed release date of December 18, 2015.

No comments: