Everyone who’s been following Star Wars-related news probably saw it coming, but here it is anyway: rumor has it that production on Star Wars: Episode VII could end up being significantly pushed back, due to Harrison Ford having broken his leg while working on the film’s set. Of course, it that does happen, then it raises questions about whether or not Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm will delay the movie from its current December 2015 release date.
This rumor comes from Jedi News; according to the site, “a number of sources” are saying that shooting on Episode VII could indeed be pushed back, in order to allow Ford the necessary time to recover from his worse than originally-reported leg injury. Prior to now, it was believe that Episode VII director J.J. Abrams would be able to work around Ford’s absence, by changing up the planned filming schedule. To be clear, that may still wind up being the plan put into motion; Jedi News, after all, says that a meeting was called earlier today at Pinewood Studios in London, to decide how best to handle the situation moving forward.
Making Star Wars is reporting that the Episode VII shooting schedule has indeed been altered, but that a memo has been sent out to the movie’s cast and crew, saying there are “No new pages” – meaning, no script changes, in the wake of Ford’s injury (yet, at least). Elsewhere, The Force.net has reached out to Lucasfilm and been informed by a spokesperson that “There is no change in the release date” for Episode VII, at this time. Again, that doesn’t guarantee that the release date won’t be pushed back to 2016 in the foreseeable future, but as of right now this (space)ship has not officially deviated from its previous course.
In truth, the amount of time between when Episode VII started filming and when it is currently scheduled to arrive, is much larger than that for your average effects-heavy Hollywood tentpole nowadays – so there is some wiggle room, as far as slowing down production goes. It’s even possible that part of the reason that the Mouse House set Episode VII to begin shooting when it did so that there would be extra time, to accommodate any unforeseen obstacles that would otherwise threaten to cause either the film’s production and/or post-production to take longer than expected.
Disney already has two Marvel Studios releases planned for Summer 2016, plus the first Star Wars spinoff in line to arrive in December of that year (e.g. 12 months after when Episode VII is scheduled to hit the scene), so the company might be forced to rearrange its future blockbuster lineup were Abrams’ Star Wars movie to be moved back from its current trajectory. Again, as of right now that isn’t happening, but in a case like this it’s best to avoid saying “will never happen.”
Star Wars: Episode VII is currently scheduled to reach theaters on December 18th, 2015. We’ll let you know if that changes