In a move we dare say no one saw coming, Disney announced they have purchased Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion and stock options. Not only that but Disney has plans to produce a Star Wars: Episode VII for a targeted 2015 release.
In the official press release from Disney, George Lucas is quoted as saying “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers.”
Now is also the time for the internet to pick its collective jaws off the floor and start speculating about just what the future could hold. Clearly, there are more stories to be told in a galaxy far, far away. What would our readers like to see from Episode VII? It’s probably too much to hope that Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford would reprise their roles, but are there really any younger actors around who’d be capable of filling the shoes of a post-Jedi Luke Skywalker?
In addition, Disney expects to release a Star Wars movie every 2-3 years starting in 2015. Episode VIII and IX are slated to arrive in 2017 and 2019, respectively. Every movie will be filmed in 3D.
Updates: Michael Arndt, who is responsible for writing Toy Story 3 and Little Miss Sunshine, is officially on board as a writer. | THR reports that Lawrence Kasdan (who co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) and Simon Kinberg (who wrote Mr. & Mrs. Smith and X-Men: The Last Stand) have locked deals to write and produce upcoming Star Wars installments. | Collider reports that Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg may be writing Star Wars spin-offs instead of sequels.
The Wrap report that J.J. Abrams (Super 8, Star Trek) is set to direct Star Wars: Episode VII. | The prequels (Episodes I, II and III) will be postponed from getting their theatrical 3D re-releases, so that Disney can concentrate on the sequels/spin-offs. | The latest news is that Disney has officially confirmed that screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are not only writing Episode VII, they’ll also be writing content for possible spin-off’s (i.e. Yoda’s own movie, Han Solo’s own story, etc).
Latino Review reports that Harrison Ford will return as Han Solo in Star Wars: Episode VII. No word on whether it will be a cameo or co-starring role. | Collider reports the latest rumor: Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher might return for Star Wars: Episode VII, with the story revolving around Luke, Leia and Han’s children. Hamill says he is currently in talks, but no contracts have been signed yet. | According to George Lucas, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford “Pretty Much” signed on for Star Wars: Episode VII.
The Guardian reports that the latest trilogy of Star Wars films will arrive in 2015, 2017 and 2019, Disney chairman Alan Horn has revealed. He also confirmed Disney is working on a number of spin-off “movies derived from that Star Wars universe.” | According to The Guardian, original Chewbacca actor, Peter Mayhew, is hoping to reprise his role for Star Wars Episode VII. Also, Mark Hamill has supposedly hit the gym to get as fit as possible for his return as Luke Skywalker. VII begins shooting early next year, with a possible 2015 release. | Latino Review reports that Rise of the Jedi and Return of the Sith could be possible titles for Episode VII.
The Playlist reports that Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams have replaced Pixar scribe Michael Arndt for writing duties. Visit the link for full details. | J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII opens December 18, 2015. Shooting starts this Spring. Do a good job, J.J. We’re counting on you.
BREAKING NEWS: Deadline reports that R2-D2 is officially returning for Episode VII. Keep in mind that this is the first official announcement of any returning character (we’re certain numerous characters from Episodes IV-VI will be returning).