The news of Disney buying Lucasfilm and planning a new Star Wars film has been as big as all the news surrounding the US election. After weeks of speculation over whether the new film will be about the Wookie uprising or the Ewok rebellion, we now have our first official information concerning the high-profile project. Oscar-winning writer Michael Arndt, known for acclaimed films like Little Miss Sunshine, and Toy Story 3, has been hired as the writer for Episode VII, confirms StarWars.com. His upcoming works include the Tom Cruise starrer sci-fi Oblivion, next year’s Hunger Games sequel, and the new Phineas and Ferb movie.
Arndt is reportedly a big fan of Lucas’s work, to the extent that he has given public lectures about the screenplays of the original series. Vulture reports that Arndt’s script features older versions of the original trilogy’s central characters — Luke Skywalker, Leia Skywalker, and Han Solo. If that happens to be true, then Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford will return to their iconic roles for one more time.
Reportedly, Fisher, Hamill and Ford are open to another film, and are very eager about their return. According to one of EW’s “highly placed sources” Ford is “open to the idea of doing the movie and he’s upbeat about it, all three of them are.”
In a recent encounter with the paparazzi, Fisher responded with “Yes, sure” when asked if she was interested to return. Here’s the video at TMZ.
EW managed an interview with Hamill, where he talked about Lucas’s plans about another trilogy prior to selling his company.
Last August, he [Lucas] asked Carrie and I to have lunch with him and we did. I thought he was going to talk about either his retirement or the Star Wars TV series that I’ve heard about — which I don’t think we were going to be involved in anyway, because that takes place between the prequels and the ones we were in and, if Luke were in them, he’d be anywhere from a toddler to a teenager so they’d get an age-appropriate actor — or the 3-D releases. So when he said, “We decided we’re going to do Episodes VII, VIII, and IX,” I was just gobsmacked. “What? Are you nuts?!” [Laughs] I can see both sides of it. Because in a way, there was a beginning, a middle, and an end and we all lived happily ever after and that’s the way it should be — and it’s great that people have fond memories, if they do have fond memories. But on the other hand, there’s this ravenous desire on the part of the true believers to have more and more and more material.
Except for Ford, I don’t think the gang has aged that well. Fisher is barely recognizable, and Hamill makes your inner child cry. I’m not sure if people will like to see the saggy older versions of their childhood heroes, now remaining only as shadows of their former glories, reminiscing their blissful youth, constantly reminding the audience of their impending demise.
Other than the cast, the biggest amount of speculation surrounding the movie involved the list of possible directors. Fan favorites include Brad Bird, Joss Whedon, JJ Abrams, Christopher Nolan, Matthew Vaughn, Darren Aronofsky, and Steven Spielberg. Now, some of the directors are taking themselves out of the running, possibly because established directors are intimidated by the baggage that comes with this project.
When asked if he was interested in directing the film, Spielberg said to Access Hollywood:
“No! No! It’s not my genre. It’s my best friend George’s genre.”
“I could so care less. Especially if Disney’s going to do it. I’m not interested in the Simon West version of Star Wars.”
“I don’t think I’d be interested in directing it. I’m a huge ‘Star Wars’ fanatic. I just think doing [episodes] seven, eight and nine is just a slippery slope. It’s a whole other mythological experiment I’m excited to see, but it’s a lot of effort.”
The much anticipated film, now just titled Star Wars: Episode VII, is expected to reach our theaters in summer 2015. Let’s hope it turns out okay, so that we’re spared another decade of whining Star Wars fans.