J.J. Abrams Comments on ‘Star Wars 7′ Casting Rumors; Script Is Complete

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Star Wars Movies Sith Lords J.J. Abrams Comments on Star Wars 7 Casting Rumors; Script Is Complete

Over the last week the Star Wars rumor mill focused on the unannounced but widely reported spinoff films tentatively planned to fill in the gaps between numbered Episodes in the main ongoing saga. Star Wars: Episode VII relaunches the franchise in late 2015, followed by at least two of these so-called unrelated-to-the-saga “origins” films based on the iconic characters Han Solo and bounty hunter Boba Fett.

While there’s been quite a lot of speculation and reports regarding story ideas, directors and writers for these spinoffs, first and and most importantly, Lucasfilm and parent company Disney need to get Episode 7 off the ground. That means carefully crafting a story that works for fans, new and old, that honors the larger franchise and successfully pushes it into a new and exciting direction. Much of that will come down to casting.

The Wrap spoke with J.J. Abrams who commented on the absurd amount of unverifiable rumors and while many of them are fake, whether by unreliable sources or made up entirely for attention, the director (who with the help of Lawrence Kasdan rewrote the Episode VII script) did confirm one of the recently buzzed about names associated with the project: Jesse Plemons.

“He is one of the actors that we’ve talked to, yeah. But, you know. It’s not often that I read about actors that I’m going to be meeting … that I get to read articles about actors who are going to come in. And so I get to see someone and say, ‘Oh, I read that I’m going to see you.’ … It’s usually agents talking to people about what’s happening. It’s a lot of noise.”

Plemons (Friday Night Lights), who earned a lot of attention for his role as Todd in the latter seasons of Breaking Bad, was rumored for a part in the next Star Wars that could see him having a key role in the entire next trilogy. He denied the rumors while appearing at the Screen Actors Guild Awards this weekend before Abrams flat out admitted he is going to be meeting with the young actor.

Breaking Bad Jesse Plemons J.J. Abrams Comments on Star Wars 7 Casting Rumors; Script Is Complete

Jesse Plemons in Breaking Bad

That doesn’t mean Plemons has signed, just that he’s currently of interest to Abrams. Some speculation puts him as a candidate to play the son of Luke Skywalker (Ben Skywalker in the extended universe). The bigger confirmation however, is that the script for Star Wars 7 is complete after undergoing extensive rewrites – a bit of a contentious issue on the Screen Rant Underground Podcast since reports claim that Michael Arndt’s (Toy Story 3) story was totally rewritten by Abrams and Kasdan in part to make the original ‘big three’ of Princess Leia, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker the leads in Episode VII as a sendoff for the characters, letting the new characters pick up the torch going forward in Episodes 8, 9 and beyond.

Abrams touched on the rumors surrounding casting for his Star Wars film, saying it as it is so to speak, in regards to the frequency of them and the inaccuracies.

“There’ve been so many of them. It’s amazing to see how many there are… But it’s sweet because it shows that there’s an interest in this movie that we all obviously know is there. But it is an incredible thing to see how many crazy things get thrown out that people often then write commentaries about. How happy they are, how disappointed they are about something that is completely false. It’s a lot of noise, frankly.”

The good news is that with production on Star Wars: Episode VII beginning in the coming months in London, there will be loads of official casting confirmations soon, putting at least some of the sets of rumors to rest. The bad news is that we’re still dealing with the issues of misinformation and rumors when it comes to all of the upcoming superhero films from DC Entertainment and Marvel Studios that are stealing as many headlines than Star Wars. At least it’s all mostly fun to talk about.


More: Rumored ‘Star Wars 7′ Cast Members & Plot Details


Star Wars: Episode VII hits theaters December 18, 2015.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Sources: HitFixThe Wrap

Follow Rob Keyes on Twitter @rob_keyes
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. So is Spartacus gonna be in the movie or not?

    • YES! Another fan hoping along with me; please, sign Liam McIntyre up!

      Along with other casting rumors Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Hugo Weaving, and Benedict Cumberbatch.

      Oh, and of course Chloe Grace Moretz!!!

      Now, that would be a fantastic cast.

      • All I want to see is Liam f*** s*** up with dual lightsabers.

        • Screw that, TRIPLE LIGHTSABERS!!!

          This is Admiral Biatch to base camp, it seems the Storm Troopers have gone on strike and I have no experience with this type of S***, who should I call for help?

          • Spartacus!!

      • “Along with other casting rumors Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Hugo Weaving, and Benedict Cumberbatch. Oh, and of course Chloe Grace Moretz!!!
        Now, that would be a fantastic cast.”

        A grotesquely ham-handed 90210 abrams-esque cast for 13 year olds of all ages.

        And justin timberlake as Lando Calrissian.

        But I suppose there’s enough of an audience for that since jj trek was a success.

  2. Stop making other peoples movies. No one will remember anyone for making sequels or prequels. Your not making a mark here. Your just making money. It’s dull.

    • I think oyu underestimate the power of Star Wars.

      • No..its not the Power of Star Wars..its the Power of the FORCE !!!!

        • More specifically, the DARK SIDE of the Force.

    • What… are you…. talking about?? Are you actually suggesting that no one will remember the upcoming Star Wars films… because they aren’t “original ideas”? And being that you are talking about Abrams… that he isn’t leaving a mark, because he is “piggy-backing” so-to-speak, off an existing franchise, which could be said to any director for this franchise from this point forward… which would be suggesting that no one should do it, because they’re “just making money”???

      I get the hivemind mentality that sequels and re-boots and all of that are bad these days, since that’s all there seems to be… but it’s STAR WARS, and this is all incredibly exciting, because it’s NEW material (hopefully not entirely new, because I personally want them to stick perfectly to canon as they can, but by new, I mean it coming to life on the big screen) and who in their right mind doesn’t want that?? You just want what exists for Star Wars right now to be it???? Maniac..

    • I think I understand and agree with the sentiment underlying your argument, your argument itself is pretty flawed. People will remember J.J. Abrams rebooting Star Trek, Christopher Nolan doing the same for Batman and what Martin Campbell did for James Bond. Even more to the point, Irvin Kershner took over directing duties and made the best Star Wars film to date.

      Not to mention, The Godfather, Part II, Superman II, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, The Road Warrior, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, X2:X-Men United, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (a sequel of sorts to A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More), and others which were all superior and more memorable sequels that came from the same director. A story’s nature as a sequel, prequel or follow-up does not automatically invalidate its artistic or entertainment integrity.

    • “Stop making other peoples’ movies.”
      George Lucas didn’t direct episodes V or VI and they were largely successful. In fact these decisions were the best that Lucas ever made: he let someone else direct.
      And yes, audiences do remember people who make prequels–Especially horribly acted ones with a cartoon rabbit that steps into crap.

    • Ummmm….Lucas barely had an original idea. Most of his ideas were borrowed from somewhere else. He copied frame for frame shots of older films and borrowed story lines from a host of different movies. Star Wars itself is a retelling of a story. Get over yourself. It’s about making something aweseome that fans like. The Extended Universe has covered so much it’s impossible to create something completely new. Abrams has the oppurtunity to fix a busted franchise. Good for him if does it.

  3. Does anyone else think that focusing on Luke, Leia, Han is a bad idea? Personally, I think it’s just going to be depressing watching those old guys try to be action stars again. It seems like this decision is being made more out of a desire to give fanservice than a desire to make the best possible movie.

    • Seriously? You can see the future? Who the eff are you to think you know what you are talking about? The movie is two years away and you are doing in the article what JJ said is amazing that people can make commentary on false information. Noone even knows what the movie is going to be about.

      Just stfu and go diaf

    • That is an INCREDIBLY popular opinion… I can assure you that nearly everyone thinks the same as you on that. So no worries..

    • No. I don’t think it’s a bad idea focusing on the original 3 cast members. It’s going to be a passing of the torch so to speak. I don’t have a problem with that. many people didn’t have an issue with episode 1-3 focusing on the younger versions of some of the established characters.
      We need to see the original 3…4…if you count lando. At least it would be great to see Luke wield a light saber one more time…not to mention…we may get to see Leia wield a saber as well…if they write her character that way, at least picking one up, to defend one of her kids.

  4. “May the Force be with us.”

  5. And why do they think Star Wars will be a blockbuster? They never did good with the prequel trilogy. So how you except the Seventh part will be as good as or even better than the original trilogy.

    • Because Disney now owns them, and we know how the House of Mouse operates with famous franchise.

      • milk, Milk, MILK!!!

        • Has Air Bud ever played hockey against the Mighty Ducks? Crossover event!!

      • Yeah…known franchises like Tron, Inspector Gadget, Underdog, and of course the Prince of Persia, John Carter, and the Lone Ranger.

    • I think Disney will do this franchise the most justice. Lucas took a dump on his franchise with the prequels (may their name never be spoken.) hopefully Disney remakes the prequels one day, claims the first were just testers to gauge audience reactions. John Carter was done justice by Disney. It was just a stupid franchise. Trying to make money on that was making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Same with the Lone Ranger. Star Wars is right in their sweet spot. I’m personally a touch worried that doin a sequel at all will take away from the power of the ending of Jedi. But it’s too late to stop it now. The train’s a movin. So lets hope its as good as it can possibly be

  6. My Geek mind just got incinerated . Lets do this!!

  7. did anything happen here…did i miss something

  8. Why that guy? Why ugly people?…
    The Star Wars cast have always been conformed by good looking guys/gals.

    I hope he is not cast as one of the star´s children.

    • Have you seen how mark hamill aged from episode 4 to 6 ? Have you seen him now ? Let’s just say, he hasn’t aged as well. But i agree…that kid isn’t very attractive.

  9. Only one of the original Star Wars movies was good, that being Empire Strikes Back. The latest ones piss me off anytime I have to think of them.

    The Phantom Menace… Ok so at the start a massive droid army surrounds Naboo. For some reason at the end of the movie theres only one droid ship which is taken out by a toddler flying a ship. WTF ?

    Naboo is a monarchy yet they elect a queen. Ok so if they can elect their queen why would they @#$@#$ elect a kid ? They deserve to be taken over by useless robots.

    If Palpatine could secretly make an army of clones while controlling the separatists & republic why bother with the charade. Just take it over anyways. The Jedi weren’t an issue his clones take them out easily.

    The lightsaber fights are waaaay too choreographed. They need to have fights like in Empire Strikes Back where Luke gets owned by Darth Vader all over the place. He really looks like he’s struggling to just hold his own.

    The later movies they look like they’re just going through the motions. It looks stupid and fake. Go watch the ending of Empire Strikes Back.

    • I agree about the lightsaber fights. There’s a tendency to suggest that that is one area in which the prequels were superior, and while I do appreciate the more extended, fluent dueling styles, nothing has topped the fight in Empire for pure visceral power, suspense and menace. Hardcore, man.

    • What’s great about most OT lightsaber fights is that Luke Skywalker isn’t properly trained until ROTJ, and you see and feel his frustration and it feels like training because it can and will go wrong. I’m more emotionally invested in these fights because I know there’s more at stake than the CGI-fest of the prequels.

    • I can’t see any reason why somebody would love Empire Strikes Back so much, but so quickly dismiss the other original ones. All the complaints you just made don’t even have to do with A New Hope, or Return of the Jedi. I’m just wondering what do you think about those two?

  10. Its funny how the only origin that hollywood doesnt ever consider is originality.

  11. Overall I think it’s just funny that Disney and JJ slapped Star Trek in the face with which is the more important “Star”. lmao

  12. The first Star Wars trilogy was for kids
    The second trilogy was for teens
    Now we need a star wars trilogy for adults. A reboot would be better

  13. This Jesse Plemons will be Palpatine / Darth Sidous I think, looks almost exactly like a younger version – Maybe thats the reason behind the story of Plagus the Wise in Ep3…. Origin story of Sidous.

    • Almost every player of this new trilogy wasn’t even involved in episode 3. And, out of respect for Lucas, they haven’t said much about the prequels, but it’s pretty obvious they hated them. They’ve made comments about staying clear of the prequels, making the same mistakes as the prequels, and the latest (which I’m all for!) getting rid of any ties of the Boba/Jango Fett story line and just making him a new guy.

      I kinda doubt that the Darth Plagus the Wise (which was a pretty lame story line as well) was thought of having anything to do with episode 7. We’ll see.

  14. I can’t wait for this film. I have no problem with having Luke Leia, and han pass the torch to their kids.

    I was still hoping for a massive Jedi vs Sith fight with hands being cut off everywhere. But I know it wont happen.

    • “with hands being cut off everywhere.”

      made my day :))

  15. Somehow, J.J. Abrams got a Star Wars fanatic excited about the new Star Trek films and has made that same Star Wars fanatic lose interest in the upcoming additions to the saga.

    Luke, Leia, and Han all had their ending. They celebrated with a bunch of midget wookies in the trees. Why give them another send off? And why hire a writer who still has to update his computer for Y2K? Lawrence Kasdan wrote Empire and Jedi, but what has he done lately? Carrie Fischer and Mark Hamill both need some acting lessons…I love the original trilogy, but come on…there is a reason we haven’t seen much of them since the eighties. Cameos and voice-talent…that’s about it.

    And Harrison Ford needs a speech therapist. I haven’t understood him for the last six movies or so.

  16. I can’t see Todd as playing anything other than a villain. If you can picture him wearing imperial outfits – like the same as moff Tarkin – that would work for me.

  17. As stupid as I feel about this, I never thought about the agents before. Makes total sense. You have an actor/actress that you’re representing. You want them to make money, cuz then you make money. You start a rumour that they’re in casting talks for Star Wars. Gets them a lot of attention.