Star Wars movies have traditionally been filmed on studio sets in the United Kingdom, though in recent years London has become an increasingly popular shooting location for blockbusters in general (ranging from Thor: The Dark World to 47 Ronin); meaning, certain tentpoles in the making have been unable to book a stay at such places as Pinewood Studios, where the bulk of principal photography on Star Wars: Episode VII shall take place over the next several months. (Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man is going to be shooting outside the UK, for that reason.)
It has been confirmed, however, that at least one of the forthcoming Star Wars spinoff movies will be shooting at Pinewood Studios, once Episode VII has wrapped up production. For those just tuning in, Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm are developing at least three Star Wars films that are not part of the central saga, and will be released in between the years of forthcoming “Episodes”, so that moviegoers can make the trip to a galaxy far, far away on an annual basis (if they so choose to).
The first of the aforementioned spinoffs has set Gareth Edwards (Godzilla (2014)) as director, with screenwriter Gary Whitta (Book of Eli) onboard to pen the script. George Osborne – England’s Chancellor of the Exchequer & MP for Tatton – first made reference to the news that Edwards’ Star Wars movie will shoot at Pinewood Studios, via a Tweet that he posted while visiting the set of Episode VII. He later confirmed to the press that he was referring to Edwards’ project, clarifying that it will begin shooting in 2015 and that (via THR) “Lucasfilm and Disney’s decision to shoot the Star Wars stand-alone movie in the U.K. is testament to the incredible talent in Britain.”
In related news: here’s a pic Tweeted by Osborn, showing himself on-set with Episode VII director J.J. Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy (the president of Lucasfilm), along with a familiar astromech droid and what appears to be a spaceship set being constructed in the background.
An unconfirmed list of upcoming Star Wars movies/TV series indicates that Edwards’ project is a Boba Fett movie, due to arrive in 2016; as we’ve discussed in the past, including on this week’s Edge of Tomorrow-centered installment of the Screen Rant Underground Podcast, that idea sounds all the more reasonable, looking at Edwards’ previous body of work. Both his Godzilla reboot and indie debut feature, Monsters, boil down to character dramas in fantastical circumstances, shined to a polish, yet also somewhat gritty in tone – an approach that would also lend itself to a movie about a space bounty hunter, arguably.
For the time being, though, that analysis is mostly speculative is nature, so it should be taken as such. Now that we know where Edwards will be shooting his Star Wars film, however, the next significant update should involve some confirmed plot details, character information, and/or casting news, ahead of shooting getting started at Pinewood Studios next year.
Star Wars: Episode VII is slated to hit theaters on December 18th, 2015, with the first Star Wars spinoff expected to follow sometime in 2016.