Here's an update that director J.J. Abrams gave on STAR WARS EPISODE VII recently to media during the TCA Press Tour for his TV series BELIEVE.
The biggest news out of the session is that the script is in hand for the movie which opens the door to the next phases of pre-production including casting. Further is Abrams insistence on using film for the movie. Meanwhile, Paramount has totally thrown film out the window and distributed THE WOLF OF WALL STREET completely by digital distribution. Only 8% of all theaters remain film only projection. Fox is also due to stop film distribution as is Disney and Lionsgate.
Disney is investing a TON of money into first of all buying Lucasfilm, but secondly in the new franchise movie budgets. Why would you invest top dollar into a dying, and in fact dead (in some studios) medium? The Abrams and Nolans in the world do carry significant sway obviously but we are talking hundreds of millions of dollars here.
What are your thoughts on film vs. digital distribution? You know where I stand...
Here's the Q and A:
Are you close to finding a director for Star Trek 3?
Abrams: I’m just focusing on Episode VII, right now. That’s the focus.
Where are you on Star Wars? Is the script done?
Abrams: Yeah. We’re working really hard. We’ve got our script and we’re in deep prep. We’re full steam ahead.
Since you’re going to have to start production soon, when might we hear announcements about cast?
Abrams: When the announcements happen. But, we’re working really hard on it and it’s quite a thrill.
What are the craziest rumors you heard?
Abrams: God, there have been so many of them, honestly. I don’t know. But, it’s amazing to see how many there are. It’s really remarkable. But, it’s sweet because it shows that there’s an interest in this movie that we all obviously know is there. It is an incredible thing to see how many crazy things get thrown out that people then often write commentaries about how happy they are or how disappointed they are about something that’s completely false. But, it’s a lot of noise, frankly.
Was the Jesse Plemons report accurate?
Abrams: He is one of the actors that we’ve talked to, yeah. It’s not often that I read about actors that I’m going to be meeting. I get to read articles about actors who were going to come in, so I get to see someone and say, “Oh, I read that I was going to see you. It’s very nice to see you.” It’s usually agents talking to people about what’s happening. It’s just a lot of noise.
Would you like to shoot it in IMAX, at all?
Abrams: In the right situation, I’d like to use IMAX again. The problem with IMAX is that 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 that, so there may be a version one day. But, we’re going to be shooting this next movie on film.
More STAR WARS news when we get it...