J.J. Abrams took part in an interview during the TCA Press Tour, where he was promoting his latest foray into television, Alfonso Cuarón's Believe, which he'll be producing. During the interview, I'm sure you'll be shocked to learn that the topic of Star Wars: Episode VII came up. But what might actually surprise you is how open he was to discussing the project.
When asked about the script and the current status of Star Wars: Episode VII, Abrams was quick to note, "Yeah. We’re working really hard. We’ve got our script and we’re in deep prep. We’re full steam ahead." After talking a bit about how focused he and his team are right now in terms of casting this massive project, he was asked about all the recent rumors swirling that he's been in talks with Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad). "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," Abrams said. He then continued, "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,'" Abrams quipped.
Confirming earlier chatter that he's planning to go slightly more old-school in his technological approach to shooting the next Star Wars, Abrams spoke about how he'd be filming using actual film, as opposed to digital or IMAX. On the subject of IMAX, he gave a little insight into the format's limitations: "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."
The Plemons confirmation is fairly humorous, considering he denied on Saturday night that he had any involvement with the movie. He chalked it up to "just one of those crazy rumors" when he was asked about it by HitFix. It just goes to show you that nowadays, with all the secrecy and red tape surrounding projects like these, you almost have to take debunkings/denials with as much salt as you do the scoops/rumors you hear out there. It would appear that "We don't comment on rumors" has been replaced by actual, outright lying.
Back to Abrams, though, it looks like everything with Star Wars is now moving full steam ahead. When Michael Arndt departed the project, and word that the script was going to get rewritten by Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan, many wondered how big of a derailment that would be for the production of Star Wars: Episode VII. I know El Mayimbe and Kellvin seem to think the film is a long shot to make its 2015 release date, feeling it's going to end up like Batman vs Superman by sliding on into 2016. But if the script really is done, and they're knee-deep in casting, perhaps those early projections of doom were unfounded.
We shall see.
Side note: Did anyone see @elmayimbe's twitter hint on Saturday night during the SAG Awards on Saturday? In it, he implied that an actor that was nominated for one of those trophies was also in talks to join Star Wars. Who do you think it is?
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