'Star Wars' Episode 7 Sparks Interest from Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Will They Return to the Series?
When news broke that Disney bought Lucasfilm Oct. 30 for $4.05 billion and announced plans to release at least three new "Star Wars" films, beginning in 2015, fans immediately began speculating about the films. While we don't yet have any confirmation from Disney, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill are all reportedly interested in reprising their roles in "Star Wars: Episode VII."
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"Harrison is open to the idea of doing the movie and he's upbeat about it, all three of them are," an unnamed source claimed to Entertainment Weekly, referring to the 70-year-old Han Solo actor, along with his original co-stars Hamill, and Fisher.
Lucas biographer Dale Pollock recently commented on Lucasfilm's sale and Episode VII, and assured fans that Disney will almost certainly be using Lucas's outlines for the next three films. "Writers will absolutely take his outline. That's in part what Disney bought," Pollock said.
Disney reportedly has a "very lengthy treatment" to begin the development process for the new trilogy, according to the company's CFO Jay Rasulo, and at least one of the films will likely be released in 3-D, a prediction that anyone who's been to theaters in the last two years could have easily made.
Disney CEO Bob Iger says the company plans to release a new "Star Wars" film every two to three years after "Episode 7."
"For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see 'Star Wars' passed from one generation to the next," said Lucas, the 68-year-old chairman and CEO of Lucasfilm. "It's now time for me to pass 'Star Wars' on to a new generation of filmmakers. I've always believed that 'Star Wars' could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime."
Lucas has commented offhand from time-to-time through out the years about the possibility of another three "Star Wars" films.
In an interview for Prevue magazine in 1980, Lucas said that Episode VII would begin "roughly 20 (or perhaps 30 or 40) years" after the end of "Return of the Jedi." He also told TIME in 1983 that he imagined Hamill, Fisher, and Ford appearing in Episodes VII, eight, and nine when they're in their 60s or 70s. And in an issue of Starlog, Lucas revealed that he imagined Luke having a romantic relationship with a female love interest in the sequel trilogy.
Hamill himself confirmed much of this in a press conference at Fox Home Entertainment's junket for the DVD release of the Original Trilogy in September 2004. Recalling Lucas' original plans for his involvement in a sequel trilogy, Hamill revealed, "[George] said, 'Um, how'd you like to be in Episode nine?' This is 1976. 'When is that going to be?' '2011.' I defy anyone to add 36 years to their lives and not be stunned." Hamill then added, "I said, 'Well, what do you want me to do?' George said, 'You'll just be like a cameo. You'll be like Obi-Wan handing the lightsaber down to the next new hope.'"
Sci-Fi author Timothy Zahn, who popularized the so-called "Expanded Universe" of "Star Wars" with The Thrawn Trilogy back in 1991, admitted recently his own novels could become the basis or part of the inspiration for the three new films.
The Thrawn Trilogy is a series of novels about Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia set five years after the end of "Return of the Jedi."
According to Zahn, he was "briefed" on Lucas' plans for sequels years ago and how the Thrawn books would fit in. "The original idea as I understood it- and Lucas changes his mind off and on, so it may not be what he's thinking right now - but it was going to be three generations," said Zahn to Entertainment Weekly.
"You'd have the original trilogy, then go back to Luke's father and find out what happened to him [in the prequels], and if there was another 7th, 8th, or 9th film, it would be Luke's children. The Thrawn Trilogy really would have fit into the gap," the author said.
Zahn's trilogy, which began with "Heir to the Empire," gets its name from the new villain at its core: a blue-skinned, red-eyed Imperial general, Thrawn, who reconstructs The Empire from the remains of Vader and the Emperor's evil army after the two are killed in "Return of the Jedi."
While no one is officially on board for Episode VII yet, Collider is reporting that "Kick-Ass" director Matthew Vaughn is in talks with Lucasfilm to helm "Star Wars: Episode VII."
Vaughn has also directed "Stardust," "Layer Cake," and "X-Men: First Class."
"My sources tell me this is the main reason he dropped out of the 'X-Men' sequel," reported Collider.
The site notes if Vaughn is being lined up by Disney to helm the film, it's likely a similar contract to the agreement director Marc Web signed while directing the newest, "Spider Man." Most likely a film-by-film basis, "with the assumption that if the first film is a success and he wants to come back, he could," said Collider.