Disney’s Alan Horn: Second unit shooting for Episode VII is happening in Abu Dhabi, future films may return to May
At a press event this morning (at least Variety and Bloomberg TV were there) Disney’s Alan Horn dropped us a few bits of Episode VII news. He clarified his earlier remarks, confirming that second unit work has happened in Abu Dhabi, though principal photography has not yet started. (Note that we still don’t know if The National pics are actually a Star Wars set.)
Horn reiterated that the film’s budget could be as much as $200M, and that George Lucas is acting as a consultant. He also said that the franchise may revert back to May release dates for future films, depending on the scripts, and that he’s flying to London this week to go over the Episode VII script with J.J. Abrams.
An announcement on casting will be coming “very shortly,” though per usual, we’ll believe that when we see it.
Marvel Comics met with Lucasfilm for the first time last week, Bleeding Cool reports. They’re apparently looking at “a couple of monthly series.” I expect the comic folks will have an easier time figuring out their writer hints than I will.
With The Clone Wars now more or less complete, Lucasfilm’s Leland Chee yesterday tweeted the chronological order of the series:
216 116 T 301 303 101-115 117-121 201-203 217-219 204-214 220-222 305-307 302 304 308 122 309-311 215 312-322 S4 502-513 501 514-520 601-613
(‘T’ is the debut movie.) He followed up with just the Maul arc: “314 421 422 501 514 515 516.”
Did Lucasfilm just give us our first (fuzzy) look at Episode VII concept art? Lucasfilm.com relaunched yesterday, and an eagle-eyed Justin LaSalata noticed that the lead photo on the production page - a meeting featuring Kathleen Kennedy and maybe (far right) John Knoll - shows what’s probably concept art for Episode VII that includes what looks like the Millennium Falcon, a mountainous location, an X-Wing pilot and maybe even an older Luke?
The Falcon appearing is pretty much a given at this point, but this is the first thing we have officially that even hints at it. Of course, it could all be for something else…
Back when visual effects were created by magicians and not programmers… Originally broadcast in 1985, this edition of Horizon (BBC 50-minute science documentary series) visits Industrial Light & Magic and Entertainment Effects Group to see the creation of the visual effects for ‘Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi,’ ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple Of Doom’ and ‘2010: The Year We Make Contact.’ “It’s about a time when innovation was made in a machineshop and not via lines of computer code. In many ways it’s a love letter to a bygone era when visual effects were more akin to a stage illusionist tricks or the slight of hand of a magician. Anyhow, it was a seminal moment for me. I hope it brings back fond memories for you.” —Chris Jones
Also recommended viewing: The Magic of Special Effects (1984).
Below: Crude home movies from the 1970s depicting activities at a certain location in the San Fernando Valley. Industrial Light & Magic SFX team during the making of ‘Star Wars.’ David Berry unofficially shot this film. He was one of several optical printer operators.
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