You’ve probably heard the good news by now, but if not, then let me be the first to share it with you: Star Wars: Episode VII is set to premiere December 18, 2015. The news was announced yesterday at starwars.com:
“We’re very excited to share the official 2015 release date for Star Wars: Episode VII, where it will not only anchor the popular holiday filmgoing season but also ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture,” said Alan Horn, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios.
Can you believe it? We’re just two years out from a new installment in the greatest science fiction movie saga ever filmed. (Yeah, yeah – I hear you Trekkers. We’ll agree to disagree.)
Meanwhile, rumors continue to fly regarding open casting calls suspected to be connected to Episode VII. The BBC reported that a recent open audition was announced via Twitter account @UKopencasting for a “nationwide search for lead roles for a Disney movie”. Via The Hollywood Reporter, The two parts – “Rachel” and “Thomas” were described as follows:
“RACHEL – Was quite young when she lost her parents. With no other family, she was forced to make her way in a tough, dangerous town. Now 17, she has become street smart and strong. She is able to take care of herself using humor and guts to get by,” the casting casting call reads.
The man who lands the role of the male character must be “handsome, smart and athletic.”
“Thomas – Has grown up without a father’s influence,” the casting call reads. “Without the model of being a man, he doesn’t have the strongest sense of himself, despite this he is smart, capable and shows courage when it is needed. He can appreciate the absurdities in life and understands you can’t take life too seriously.”
While the two descriptions don’t scream “Star Wars”, it should be kept in mind that studios often disguise movie parts during casting to control rumors. In this case, it hasn’t. The studio hasn’t offered any comments on the casting call, and the veracity of the report cannot be confirmed at the time of this writing. Fans have been stung with casting rumors before, and this might be yet another one.
Focusing back on what we do know, filming is set to begin Spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios, a major motion picture studio located just outside of London. Pinewood is an awesome facility that began life as a posh Victorian estate before it was purchased and transformed into an enormous studio.
It opened its doors in 1936, and since that has hosted numerous productions including Aliens, 28 Days Later, Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns, Superman (1978), The Dark Knight, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, Captain America: The First Avenger, plus the James Bond film series. The popular television series “Dr. Who” is filmed there. To say that Pinewood Studios is hallowed ground for science fiction films would be an understatement.
Pinewood Studios has numerous stages, including the massive 59,000 square foot 007 stage. Pinewood also offers the only underwater stage of its kind in Europe. The dimension are 66 ft by 33 ft, and it’s twenty feet deep. The underwater stage stays filled. The water is kept at a constant 87 F and filtrated with ultraviolet light. In addition to many film productions, the stage has been used to conduct scientific experiments. Pinewood has sister campuses in the Dominican Republic, Germany and Malaysia, with plans underway to open a new location in Atlanta, GA.