Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Star Wars 7 News Roundup: The Budget, the Actors & the Set

Today was an important day in the Star Wars timeline as the shooting of the seventh Star Wars film started today. In truth it was a kind of surprise when Disney's head honcho Alan Horn's recent confirmed for The Hollywood Reporter that filming had begun on Star Wars: Episode VII. Even by the tight-lipped standards of this notoriously secretive production, getting filming underway without anyone noticing was quite an achievement.

Star Wars Episode 7 Rondup

Nevertheless, despite all efforts to keep details a mystery since Disney announced its desire to resurrect the franchise following its $4bn purchase of Lucasfilm last year, some titbits have managed to creep through. Here are a few things we know, alongside a healthy smattering of rumor, hearsay and tittle-tattle.

The most interesting new of the week though is the first speculations around the budget of the movie. Everyone is sure that Disney can feel free to invest as much as they want because this has to be one of the safest investments in history. Besides, you have to be pretty horrible to mess up a franchise like this so much that you cannot even pay off the initial budget. Rumors suggest that the budget will be around $200 million. In contrast the latest Disney movie "Frozen" had a budget of $150 million, while the previous movie (Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith) had a budget of $113 million.

The Story and the Staff of Star Wars 7

Sorry Admiral :(
Horn also said that Episode VII would take place (roughly) 35 years after The Return of the Jedi, using an original plot outline by George Lucas (who is involved as a creative consultant) as a template. The original script was said to be primarily concerned with the children of Luke and of Han and Leia, but that focus has now shifted to the creaky lead actors from the original trilogy, though the Solo and Skywalker nippers will still feature heavily. The story of Luke, Han and Leia continued, of course, in the books, games and comics of the Extended Universe (most notably in Timothy Zahn's excellent Thrawn Trilogy), but it's been reported that the upcoming film will plough its own furrow instead of adhering to a pre-existing narrative. And, as far as confirmed plot details go, that's... about it. 

We've already said that Abrams and the team won't care too much about the EU and we were correct. This will make a lot of fans angry, but then again the average Star Wars "fan" hasn't even heard of the Expanded Universe and their voice and ticket revenue will still outshine the criticism of "hardcore" fans of the SW universe and lore.

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