‘Star Wars: Episode 7′ Begins Filming Mid-May; Principal Casting Mostly Done

Published 1 year ago by , Updated February 11th, 2014 at 8:05 am,

star wars episode 7 image Star Wars: Episode 7 Begins Filming Mid May; Principal Casting Mostly Done
At times it’s hard to believe we’re living in a world where a new Star Wars film will arrive in theaters in a little under two years. Star Wars: Episode VII is the highly anticipated result of Disney acquiring Lucasfilm, and since that announcement, everyone – journalists and fans alike – has been desperate for news about the sequel.

Other than the obvious fact that Episodes VII, VIII, and IX will follow chronologically after Episodes IV-VI, little is known about the newest Star Wars trilogy. The latest rumors suggest these films will be “inspired” by the canon of the Expanded Universe, something fans have been questioning since day one. Another report claims that the Star Wars 7 rewrites from Abrams and Kasdan shifted the focus of the plot to the “big three” – Luke, Leia, and Han.

The original actors – Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford –  are all expected to return for Episode VII, though this hasn’t be officially confirmed. Fisher has been quite outspoken in assuring fans she’s definitely onboard, even suggesting a March or April start date for filming. Now, Hit Fix is reporting that Star Wars: Episode VII will begin shooting in mid-May.

Star Wars original artwork Star Wars: Episode 7 Begins Filming Mid May; Principal Casting Mostly Done
Episode VII will film at Pinewood Studios in London – the same studio that hosted Star Wars in 1977 – and already most set pieces, including a full-scale Millenium Falcon, are built and waiting to move in. Principal photography is expected to wrap in September, which leaves roughly a year for post-production.

In addition to confirming the production schedule, Hit Fix has also learned that casting is mostly complete. By now, all major roles have been filled and we’re left waiting for the official announcements. Which of the dozens of rumored actors attached to Star Wars 7 will turn out to actually be in Star Wars 7? Benedict CumberbatchSaoirse RonanChiwetel Ejiofor? Jesse Plemons? Gary Oldman? Judi Dench? Matt Smith? Michael Fassbender? (The list goes on…)

There’s much to learn in the three months between now and the start of filming for Episode VII. We’ll finally have a list of actors and their roles, and that’s on top of perhaps knowing the film’s direction and tone.  After that, it’s unclear how shrouded in secret Episode VII will be. Abrams has already said he believesthere’s a purity in not knowing every little thing,” so expect there to be very minimal reporting from the set.

Then again, Abrams might take a page out of Bryan Singer’s handbook and handle the leaking of information himself over social media. After all, Star Wars does have their own official Instagram account and Abrams took part in the first behind-the-scenes photo tweeted from Bad Robot’s Twitter account.

What do you think, Screen Rant readers? How soon till we get our very first casting announcement for Episode VII? Do you imagine there will be much information coming out of Pinewood while Star Wars is filming? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Star Wars: Episode VII will release on December 18th, 2015.

Source: Hit Fix

Follow Sarah Moran on Twitter @SarahThisIs
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. Nothing new here..walk on !!!

  2. thrawn thrawn to the thrawn thrawn thrawn

    • Thrawn sucks. The whole Expanded Universe sucks.

      • While I might not have chosen that phrase, I agree. The EU is not exactly the best source to pull from.

      • julc sucks. I bet he has never read the Expanded Universe.

    • I’m 100% we won’t see an Admiral Thrawn in this. But I think the chances of an Admiral Thrawn inspired character appearing in the new trilogy is high.

  3. let me see that thraaaaawn

    • You’ll see it in the new Star Wars TV series on HBO, “Game of Thrawns”.

  4. Awesome!! I can’t wait!! BTW SR there’s no ‘c’ in Fisher, just awesomeness.

    • ;)

  5. Anyone else notice that we have 2 episode VII’s? They remaking Episode 7 twice?

    • Yeah, i noticed that, it’s because Jar Jar Abrams is going to lindelof the first attempt and then they will have to reboot. Kind of like he did with Into Darkness.

    • Good catch!

  6. does earth exist in the star wars universe

    • yes, it’s far far away.

  7. So the people talking about how they read for a part are probably not in the movie. If casting is basically done, then those people have been quiet about their involvement.

  8. Aaron Paul. You heard it here first.

    • that would be good, b*tches. He was the best part of Breaking Bad.

  9. Well we’re waiting

  10. I hope Gary Oldman excepts a role,he’d be great,and huge hint towards script quality.

    • It’s accepts not excepts. I can’t believe how bad people are in proper English these days. The dumbing of America.

      • Go away you absolute clown!

  11. I just hope Benedict Cumberbatch won’t be in it. I mean, he is a great actor, but it’s enough that we have the same director, we certainly don’t need the same cast too. If they really cast him, they can just rename Star Trek the SW episode 7 and be done with it. The Abrams’ Star Trek have already felt closer in tone to SW than ST.

  12. The only actor I care about for this movie is Liam McIntyre!!

    • Hell yeah. Liam needs to be in this. He’s a great guy and a great actor.

  13. Just a heads-up: it’s “principal” casting.

  14. I suspect Matt Smith is in it for sure. Duncan Shiek was commenting that they are moving the American Psycho Musical to the West End but it is not happening until Fall due to Matt’s schedule.

  15. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if, completely out of the blue, the movie badly flopped and it ended up making somewhere $50 million?! I think you would see some Disney execs doing a flop of their own…out of their top-story windows!

    Speaking of that…whatever Disney touches in Hollywood turns to coal! If anybody could possibly mess this franchise up, it is Disney. Sure, this movie will make a Billion dollars, but if they “John Carter” it, the next movie(s) will suffer.

    • Everything it touches? Please clarify because last I checked, there are millions of Disney fans around the world who love Disney property. If you mean Disney fouls up every acquisition, then I would say that is not true. The latest Muppets movie was awesome. Iron Man 3 was a bit disappointing, but aside from that, Disney’s Marvel record is pretty stellar.

      I try to look past the last few bombs in order to give Disney the respect it deserves. Lone Ranger, PotC 3&4, Iron Man 3, John Carter… Okay, fair enough, those movies didn’t do so well. But compared to Disney’s legacy of cinema magic? Saying they mess everything up is a bit of a stretch.

      In this case, I think most Star Wars fans would agree that George Lucas already messed up Star Wars. Disney and Abrams would have to REALLY drop the ball to make us even more disappointed in the franchise.

      • PS – Iron Man 3 “not doing so well” was a reference to some fans’ opinion of the flick in general, not a reference to how much money it earned.

  16. I want Gary Oldman as someone like Admiral Thrawn. The dude can play anything, look at True Romance.

    I really hope Matt Smith isn’t in this thing.

  17. if you don’t like the EU then how can you call yourself star wars fans?
    just because you like 1-6 and a few of the games doesn’t make you a fan. no matter how much you may like them. a real star wars fan knows and accepts the entire expanded universe for what it is.

    and for the record.
    darth sidious was never darth sidious.
    He is darth bane.
    and they will pull their source from this.
    they will have no choice but to explain parts of the old republic.
    the old republic is where the love is with the EU. we all know that.

    read the book of sith and the jedi path
    it clearly shows bane never died. his essence transfer was a success
    Remember the sith lie and deceive. truth is not their game.

    • Well said. There were so many years of NO star wars… THE DARK TIMES. Then the Zahn Trilogy and Dark Empire came out. I was elated, they are amazing and pretty damn true to the tone of the ORIGINAL trilogy. Fun stuff. Then soon after the countdown to the prequel let down began. What a disaster those films are. Yeah sure it was fun to return to that galaxy far far away, and it had a few moments but they are dreadful in comparison to the originals. Sure there is some rubbish in the EU as well, but the good stuff is far far superior to the recent films. If you never READ the books, give it a go if you call yourself a star wars fan. I never met anyone who actually READ the Thrawn Trilogy novels that did not like it. There are dozens of books, toys and comics based on the EU that still sell. Does anyone really think Di$ney is going to 100% ditch it? Mark my word there will be at the very least characters and some plot points pulled from it. If not working around it entirely. My guess for EP VII is either Thrawn (with non blue skin) and or a Clone Emperor will be the Villain. Maybe even an Obi-wan clone as Jorus C’Baoth was originally intended to be from Zahn before Lucas axed that idea. -Yes, Lucas had final say on all EU material.

      • Star Wars fans don’t HAVE to like the EU stories even IF they accept the existence and quasi-canonness of the texts. A fan can love the universe but not have a particular affinity to certain stories within that universe. Case in point, Harry Potter. Awesome idea, but I personally did not enjoy the climactic last book one bit (and I felt the whole story could have been expedited).

        That being said, I would love a Thrawn-based villain. I remember playing TIE Fighter over and over again on Windows 95 just to see Thrawn in all his blue-skinned glory. As far as the movies go, I’ll take Thrawn, blue skinned and all.

      • “I never met anyone who actually READ the Thrawn Trilogy novels that did not like it.” ~grandadmiral

        Well now you have. I’ve read the books and the comic adaptations too. Oh, and Lucas apparently didn’t like the Thrawn Trilogy either. Back in the early ’90s when the books were released, at a convention attended by several Lucasfilm licensees, someone let it slip that Lucas wasn’t a fan of Zahn’s books, but he did like Dark Empire.

        Now before you start thinking that they might adapt that for the new movies, keep in mind that Lucas has said that once a Sith is dead, there’s no coming back. Only a Jedi that’s in balance with the Force can pull off the whole disappearing and turning into a blue ghost thing.

        • “Well now you have. I’ve read the books and the comic adaptations too. ” -Biff1138

          okay, that’s ONE. Anyone else?

          Let me guess, you are either a wee Prequel fan, or you are IV,V diehard & VI hater? sound about right ?

          Lucas is just a consultant now, so not sure what point you are trying to make with your rumor. He did have to approve the Thrawn books release, and well as the sequels, comics and toys.

          As for Dark Empire: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Dark_Empire
          “The original idea for Dark Empire revolved around the Empire using an impostor in Darth Vader’s armor (or a replica of it) to use as a continuing symbol of fear to help force far-flung worlds into obedience. This concept was personally shot down by Lucas himself. Instead, Lucas directed them to bring back the Emperor through cloning. It is unclear if Lucas suggested the concept himself or merely approved it when pitched (Veitch has made conflicting comments regarding this).[4]

          If anyone could ‘cheat death’ in Lucas’s galaxy full of clones, I think a good bet would be on the Sith. No one here is talking about blue advice giving ghosts.

          • Nice attempt to diminish my opinion, grandadmiral, but unfortunately your attempt at stereotyping me is way off the mark. I grew up with and love the original movies AND I like the prequels too. So if we’re done trying to marginalize people on matters of opinion, let’s get down to facts, shall we?

            Apparently you’re not familiar with the details of Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, so let me enlighten you…

            Lucas began working on the sequel trilogy a year before he sold the company to Disney. There are certain stipulations in the sale with regard to what Disney can and can’t do with Star Wars. One of Disney’s reservations on the deal was the sequel trilogy because Lucas was insisting that they use his story. Bob Iger wanted to see a story treatment before they’d agree. Lucas provided them with a story treatment for all three movies which gave Disney the confidence to agree to the deal. Saying that Lucas is “just a consultant” is seriously downplaying how much Lucas is involved with these new movies.

            With regard to Dark Empire, your wiki article got it wrong (surprise). It links to a source that in no way confirms their assertion that Lucas might have pitched the idea of bringing back the Emperor as a clone. Since I’m personally familiar with some of the intimate details of the deal, I can tell you what really happened.

            Yes, the idea of bringing Vader back in was nixed by Lucas. They instead pitched the idea of bringing the Emperor back. That was rejected as well. Dark Horse argued that comics weren’t like novels and so they had to be allowed to do things that were more “fantastic” to appeal to comic readers. Lucasfilm then conceded and approved the idea, so long as the Emperor would be dead for good at the end of the story.

            As for the Sith cheating death, it can’t happen so sayeth Lucas… http://starwars.com/watch/ghostsofmortis_commentary.html

            • Hey Biff,

              Your entitled to your opinion of course, but you gotta admit you are in the minority when it comes to the Thrawn novels. Liking the prequels is also a minority opinion… But hey, I love just about all things star wars, and I can even find enjoyment in the prequels even though they were such a let down. To each his own.

              But since you are in the know as you say, please tell us where the *stipulations* of the Disney deal and the Dark Empire back story are documented? Or are we supposed to take your word for it? If they are going off Lucas’s original EPVII material, (an idea he has flip flopped on countless times) why was the script and character focus changed? -Or so the reports say. I am not in the know, but since you are please enlighten us. But give us a little more than “Biff1138″ so we can believe you.

              I’m also confused, Lucas says the Sith can’t come back to life yet he approved all the EU material? Was 20 years of EU just for financial gain? Unlike many I find that hard to believe as there was roughly a decade of nothing Star Wars after Jedi other than worn VHS tapes.


              • Whether or not I’m in the minority is relative. While the Thrawn novels are very popular amongst fans, all three books sold 15 million copies in their first eight years of publication. To put that into perspective, Smurfs 2 sold about 8.5 million tickets during it’s theatrical release. Zahn’s books might be popular amongst fans, but Star Wars is a phenomenon because it has a broad appeal. So would the Thrawn Trilogy be embraced by the general public? Who knows?

                Same with the prequels. I think it’s safe to say that the “fans” don’t like them, but what about kids? The next generation of Star Wars fans loves the prequels more than the OT.

                Now in terms of the deal with Disney… http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-03-07/how-disney-bought-lucasfilm-and-its-plans-for-star-wars#p4

                What happened with the story “changing” is something that Lucas was privy to. And it wasn’t really a story change; it was a change in what character’s will be most prominently featured. If you read the Making of RotJ, there’s a transcript of a conversation where Kasdan and Marquand basically came up with the idea of how Luke & friends rescue Han, so the fact that Abrams has input on how the story is executed shouldn’t come as a surprise.

                Lucas is constantly changing his mind on things and until he puts it on screen he’s entitled to do so. The whole notion that Sith can’t merge with the living Force is a relatively new thing that Lucas decided. Back in the day, I doubt he gave it all that much thought. Lucas also told writers they could talk about Boba Fett’s backstory because he wouldn’t be in the prequels. Then Lucas changed his mind. It’s his world so he can do whatever he wants.

                • Did you see seriously just compare sales of a sci-fi novel to a crappy kids film that came out roughly twenty years later ? Sorry dude, that is the single most stoooopid thing I have ever read. -wow-

                  • Yes I did. I’m sorry you can’t see that the Thrawn Trilogy is only popular to a small niche audience.

                    You want a different comparison. How about John Carter? More people saw John Carter in it’s first month of release than read Heir to the Empire in its first eight years! And John Carter was a total flop. You want a literary comparison? 50 Shades of Grey sold 16 million copies in one year. Heir to the Empire? One million. How about a Star Wars comparison? The special editions sold over 15 million tickets in their opening weekends. So in just a few days, all three Special Editions sold more tickets than all three Thrawn books combined sold in eight years!

                    You can continue to pretend that the Thrawn Trilogy is extremely popular or you can come to grips with the fact that it’s only popular with a very small group.

                    • Your comparisons are straight up idiotic and irrelevant. The point is that the Thrawn trilogy NOVELS would make great FILMS. They also take place post Jedi and were approved by George Lucas. These are some of the most POPULAR novels with star wars fans who read the books. I’m sure the Phanton Menace novelization sold more copies though, but that would miss the point entirely as you clearly have.

                      …Smurfs 2. still LMAO

                    • How would the meeting go if JJ did that? Well first off, he wouldn’t be dumb enough to do it. Secondly, he’d be pulled off the project immediately. And lastly, we know that Lucas came up with the story idea so your point is invalid as that’s clearly not what’s going to happen.

                      At it’s not that no one knows a damn thing. YOU don’t know a damn thing. Let’s go back to your original posts shall we?

                      1) You said that Disney wouldn’t ditch the EU because it’s so much money. Let’s see…the franchise has brought in an estimated $27 billion. Less than 7% of that came from publishing. Hasbro makes up the lion’s share of the pie, and that’s dominated by kids. Kids who know absolutely nothing about the Thrawn books.

                      Me: 1, You: 0

                      2) You said that Lucas is “just a consultant.” I point out that Lucas sold the company with the understanding that his story treatments will be the basis for all three movies.

                      Me: 2, You: 0

                      3) You said that a clone of the Emperor could show up in the sequels. I link to a video of Dave Filoni saying that Lucas explicitly said that Sith cannot merge with the living Force ala Qui-Gonn, Yoda, etc. hence they are obsessed with trying to cheat death.

                      Me: 3, You: 0

                      So there you have it; I’ve been consistently right and you’ve been proven wrong time and again.

                      I could go on, but clearly you’ve never worked in the entertainment business and have no idea how these types of complicated matters work. And just so you can have another laugh..more people saw The Smurfs in theaters than read your precious Thrawn novels. Have fun with that.

                  • Grandadmiral, here’s how your meeting with Bob Iger would go…

                    You: Mr. Iger, you should adapt the Thrawn Trilogy novels into movies. They’re very popular.

                    Iger: Really? How many copies did it sell?

                    You: Over one million copies in its first year of release!

                    Iger: Security, can you remove this man from my office?

                    You: But the fans really like them! And Lucas said it was OK for Zahn to write them!

                    Security picks up grandadmiral and throws him out of the office.

                    Iger: Uh-huh…buh-bye.

                    Saying the Thrawn Trilogy’s popular is like saying Alan Jackson’s popular because he has the #1 bluegrass album.

                    • Again you go with the idiotic scenarios. How would said meeting go if JJ or another huge director wanted to make or use aspects from The Thrawn trilogy? For all you know Iger or Kathleen Kennedy like Zahn’s work. No one knows a damn thing.

                      But Smurfs 2…. lmao @U

  18. When JJ or lucasfilm announces this, I’ll believe it. Until then it’s all just rumors.

  19. John Carter flopped not because it was a bad film but its adaptation. The book was written in the 1900′s. Back in those days it was plausible to have us believe there was life on Mars. What Disney should have done is to have John Carter transported to another planet in another galaxy or dimension. Sill, I don’t think the movie was that bad.

  20. the eu does not suck, that would be coming from someone or certain people who must not have read the eu. it would be awesome, though not through any eu continuity means, one plus of eu, a timeline…..and characters that are screaming for the big screen.

  21. I actually thought the movie was rather good.

  22. Star Wars shot at Elstree Studios in 1977, NOT Pinewood.

  23. May we expect motion captured rejuvenated versions of Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher?