JJ Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII is currently in production here in the UK’s Pinewood Studios, and now it has been confirmed that the first spin-off movie, directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla, Monsters) will also shoot here in the UK.
Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne confirmed on Tuesday night that the UK’s relationship with Star Wars will continue. The spin-off movie, which has not revealed any details yet, will shoot next year here in the UK. Osborne confirmed the news while visiting the set of Episode VII, but before we get to his statement, first take a look at his Tweet below, and more importantly the photo.
Last week Abrams playfully denied the photos of The Millennium Falcon being built were any indication that the ship would be in the new film. However, he pretty much confirmed it would be by denying the news with a post-it note, stuck to a games board used by Chewbacca and C-3PO while onboard the legendary ship.
Now the Tweet by Osborne also hints at the Millennium Falcon being in the film, because just above Abrams’ head in the photo is a carefully placed iconic piece of the ship. You could argue that it might be a Tie Fighter, but with all that went on last week with leaked images, this photo could not be better timed to again confirm the Millennium Falcon’s inclusion in the new film.
— George Osborne (@George_Osborne) June 10, 2014
— George Osborne (@George_Osborne) June 10, 2014
Anyway, here is Osborne’s official statement about the exciting news!
“Lucasfilm and Disney’s decision to shoot the Star Wars standalone movie in the UK is testament to the incredible talent in Britain. This will mean more jobs and more investment. It is great news for people working at Pinewood Studios, from the set designers to the carpenters.”
“As Chancellor I have been determined that we back our brilliant creative industries which is why we have invested in skills and training as well as providing tax relief for films, high-end TV, animation, video games and regional theatre,” he added. “‘The further changes the government made to the film tax relief at Budget 2014 will support our highly skilled, innovative creative sectors so that they continue to thrive and encourage more films to be made in the UK.”
Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the Saga Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in the new film.
Star Wars: Episode VII is being directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams. Kathleen Kennedy, Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, and John Williams returns as the composer. The movie opens worldwide on December 18, 2015.
Here is Disney’s statement from a few weeks ago confirming Edwards as the director of the first spin-off feature:
In addition to the episodes of a new Star Wars trilogy, Lucasfilm and Disney have begun development on multiple stand-alone movies that will offer new stories beyond the core Saga. Gareth Edwards will direct the first stand-alone film, with a screenplay by Gary Whitta. The film is due out December 16, 2016.
Gareth Edwards blazed into the filmmaking forefront with his acclaimed work on Monsters, a film he wrote, directed and served on as cinematographer and visual effects artist. The skill and vision readily apparent in Monsters earned him the high-profile spot directing this year’s smash hit Godzilla.
“Ever since I saw Star Wars I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life — join the Rebel Alliance! I could not be more excited and honored to go on this mission with Lucasfilm,” said Edwards.
Gary Whittas screenwriting credits include 2010?s The Book of Eli starring Denzel Washington. He is also well known as a journalist and editor in the video game industry, as well as part of the BAFTA award-winning team on Telltale Games adaptation of The Walking Dead.
Whitta states, “From the moment I first saw the original movie as a wide-eyed kid, Star Wars has been the single most profound inspiration to my imagination and to my career as a writer. It is deeply special to me,so to be given the opportunity to contribute to its ongoing legacy, especially in collaboration with a film-maker as talented as Gareth, is literally a dream come true. I’m still pinching myself.”
And here is the most recent press release revealing Josh Trank as the director of spin-off movie number two!
In addition to the episodes of a new Star Wars trilogy, Lucasfilm and Disney continue development of multiple stand-alone movies that will offer new stories beyond the core Saga. The newest director to come on board is Josh Trank.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Josh into the family,” says Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “He is such an incredible talent and has a great imagination and sense of innovation. That makes him perfectly suited to Star Wars, and for this new slate of movies that reach beyond the core characters and storylines of Episodes I through IX.”
Trank states, “The magic of the Star Wars Universe defined my entire childhood. The opportunity to expand on that experience for future generations is the most incredible dream of all time.”
Trank captured imaginations worldwide with his critically lauded directorial debut Chronicle, a fresh and engaging take on the superhero genre. Trank is currently at work on The Fantastic Four for 20th Century Fox.