Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars The Force Awakens Logo3/12/15 - Bob Iger announced two more projects during Disney’s shareholder meeting: Star Wars 8 will bow May 26, 2017 and be written and directed by Rian Johnson. And the first of the stand-alone spinoff movies based on Star Wars, Star Wars: Rogue One, begins shooting this summer with Felicity Jones officially starring.  Rogue One‘s storyline is by John Knoll. Gareth Edwards is already aboard to direct, and Chris Weitz is handling the rewrite. December 16, 2016 release date has been set aside.

11/24/14 - Disney and Lucasfilm have announced all 30 North American theaters playing the 88-second Star Wars Episode VII preview. Among the participating chains cashing in on the ticket-driving force of The Force are Regal, AMC, Carmike, Cinemark, Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse, and – of course – Disney’s own El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. The rest of the world will have to wait until December for a theatrical peek.  Boooo!  Source: Deadline.com

11/6/14 - Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the title of the J.J. Abrams-directed film, Disney announced Thursday. The studio also confirmed that it had wrapped principal photography.  Source: The Hollywood Reporter

7/7/14 - J.J. Abrams has added Crystal Clarke and Pip Andersen to the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII.  It is unclear what characters Clarke and Andersen will portray.  The open casting call description included two characters, named Rachel and Thomas. Rachel was described as "street smart, independent, athletic, natural beauty" while Thomas has "grown up without a father's influence. Without the model of being a man, he doesn't have the strongest sense of himself."   The film's planned two-week August hiatus was due to the injury sustained by Harrison Ford on set.  The actor sustained an ankle injury from the door of the Millennium Falcon. He was hospitalized for the injury.  Source: The Hollywood Reporter

6/2/14 - Casting on Star Wars: Episode VII under JJ Abrams continues. Joining the group is Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie.  John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow were the first batch of stars joining Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker. The movie opens worldwide on December 18, 2015.  Source: Deadline.com

5/1/14 - John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson and Max von Sydow join the Star Wars cast.  Also included are Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker.  After the first table read, Hamill told fans, "I was knocked out by the diverse & extraordinarily talented new cast members. WOW they're good! The saga is in superb hands."  Filming is set to begin in London in a few weeks.  Source: The Hollywood Reporter

4/7/14 - Peter Mayhew will play Chewbacca for Disney and Lucasfilm's Star Wars: Episode VII.  Mayhew played the legendary Wookiee and Han Solo's co-pilot in the original trilogy.  Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn revealed on April 2 that the new Star Wars had already begun filming and most of the cast was set. Source: The Hollywood Reporter

3/18/14 - Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that Star Wars: Episode VII starts shooting in May and that it takes place 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi.  Iger revealed that the much-anticipated film will feature some very familiar faces, as well as a trio of new young leads.  So far the only confirmed cast member is R2-D2.  Source: TheWrap.com

2/26/14 - Adam Driver is in final negotiations to star as the villain in Star Wars: Episode VII.  There is a high level of secrecy surrounding the project, and insiders believe that most of the top casting is quite far along.  The movie is due to start shooting in London in the spring, and some actors will be required to begin physical and Jedi training in advance of the shoot.  It's expected that Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher will return. Source: The Hollywood Reporter

12/3/13 - Star Wars has opened an official Instagram account: instagram.com/starwars/#

11/7/13 - Disney and Lucasfilm will release J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII on December 18, 2015.  With pre-production in full-swing, shooting is scheduled to begin this coming spring at Pinewood Studios. Abrams will direct from a script he’s writing with Lawrence Kasdan.  Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy is producing with Bad Robot’s Abrams and Bryan Burk, while Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin will serve as executive producers.  John Williams is returning to score.  Source: TheWrap.com

2/20/13 - Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford may return for Star Wars: Episode VII, according to Entertainment Tonight. Hamill reveals there's a kernel of truth to the rumors, as the three are in talks to reprise their famous roles.  Hamill confirmed that the filmmakers have been in discussion with the actors but that they haven't signed any contracts.

2/5/13 - Disney is planning Star Wars spin-off movies in addition to the three sequels it has previously announced, Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger said.  Lawrence Kasdan is working on one script for the films and Simon Kinberg is working on another. They will focus on characters from the Star Wars universe, but Iger did not offer any additional details. He would not say how many standalone movies would be produced.  Speculation includes Yoda and Jabba the Hut films…just rumors for now.  Source: TheWrap.com

1/24/13 - J.J. Abrams will direct the next Star Wars film for Disney.  Ever since Disney bought Lucasfilm last year and announced it would make new Star Wars films, many speculated about which director would take the job. Abrams' name always came up, but he told Entertainment Weekly in November that he wasn't going to take the job.  Lucasfilm Chief Kathleen Kennedy has been courting Abrams, one of the most successful directors and producers in Hollywood.  Source: TheWrap.com

1/7/13 - Guillermo del Toro has turned down the opportunity to helm Star Wars Episode VII.  The director decided not to pursue the gig, citing his already busy schedule.  He did reveal who he would like to see direct the film: Brad Bird, who has also removed himself from consideration since he's working on another   project for Disney.  As such, Del Toro joins Bird and J.J. Abrams as big names who have said they won't direct Star Wars: Episode VII.

11/20/12 - Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg have closed deals to write installments of the new Star Wars trilogy. The pair will write either Episode VIII or Episode IX and they will also come aboard to produce the films.  Kasdan and Kinberg would join Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy as producers.  Source: The Hollywood Reporter

11/8/12 - Before Lucasfilm was sold to Disney, writer Michael Arndt was hired to write a 40-50 page treatment for Episode VII.  Michael Arndt has completed a treatment for the new movie and is likely to pen a draft of screenplay.  Disney revealed that a new Star Wars movie was in the works when it announced its acquisition of Lucasfilm last week.  The recent hire of producer Kathleen Kennedy to serve as president of the company was also a sign that it was gearing up for new movies.  Source: The Hollywood Reporter