Star Wars creator George Lucas has been on the stump for Friday's bow of the CG animated film Strange Magic--naturally the subject of J J. Abrams' "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens" comes up.
Speaking with USA Today, Lucas says he originally had already developed a new trilogy of movies and was intending to direct "Episode VII" himself for a May 2015 release. He would hand the reigns of Lucasfilm over to Disney after that.
So why did he change his mind? It wasn't the money that he got from the sale: "The time is more important to me than the money."
The sale means that for the first time in his life he gets to be just an audience member for a Star Wars film: "The only thing I really regret about 'Star Wars' is the fact I never got to see it - I never got to be blown out of my seat when the ship came over the screen. The next one, I'll be able to enjoy it like anybody else."
We found out some time ago via Bloomberg Businessweek that he begun talks with original stars 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 to have them return to for its new films -- before he had even begun the process of the ultimately $2 billion deal. It's been said that Lucas' actually spent about a year planning the franchise's future before stepping aside.
Days after making those audience member comments Lucas told Cinema Blend that it sounds like Abrams ditched the work Lucas had already done on the film:
"The [ideas] that I sold to Disney, they came to the decision that they didn't really want to do those. So they made up their own. So it's not the ones that I originally wrote [that you'll see on screen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens]."
Lucas admitted that he "has no idea what they're doing"
In related news, we learn via Yahoo! Movies UK that "The Woman In Black: Angel of Death" actress Leanne Best landed an unspecified role in the already shot "The Force Awakens".
Production took place mainly at Pinewood Studio in England. The film has a confirmed release date of December 18, 2015