JJ Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII will shoot from mid-May to September this year, according to the US site HitFix.
Respected columnist Drew McWeeny quoted multiple sources confirming the shooting schedule. Episode VII is expected to film mainly at London’s Pinewood studios, with some work (mostly post-production) also taking place at Abrams’ Californian facility.
The film-maker had previously mentioned a May start date, but the new report marks the first time a full shooting schedule has been published. If correct, it would leave Abrams — who directed Super 8, both recent Star Trek films, and produced the TV fantasy adventure series Lost — around 15 months for post-production work before Episode VII hits cinemas in December 2015.
HitFix also suggests that principal casting for the film, the first in a planned trilogy of sequels to the classic Star Wars movies released between 1977 and 1983, is complete. So far, no casting details have been revealed for Episode VII, though it is expected to centre on the iconic trio of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo portrayed by Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford.
Gary Oldman, Zac Efron, Saoirse Ronan and Michael B Jordan are among those actors who have publicly revealed auditions. Abrams has confirmed talks with Breaking Bad’s Jesse Plemons, and a host of actors from Chiwetel Ejiofor to Benedict Cumberbatch and Simon Pegg, have been tipped for roles. The only 100 per cent confirmed character, however, is diminutive space droid R2-D2.
Episode VII will be the first Star Wars film to emerge since Disney’s $4.05 billion purchase of all rights to the long-running space saga in October 2012.