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For a director who usually keeps his lips tightly sealed, J.J. Abrams just gave an awful lot of details about his next project, Star Wars: Episode VII. Sure, he didn’t say anything at the Television Critics Association winter press tour about the story, the cast or even the title, but he did address the status of the script, Breaking Bad alum Jesse Plemons, and whether he’ll shoot in IMAX again.
Explaining that he’s focusing on Star Wars instead of finding a director for Star Trek 3, Abrams said, “We’re working really hard. We’ve got our script and we’re in deep prep. We’re full steam ahead.”
The director also said the Star Wars rumors he sees online are “remarkable” and “sweet,” because they demonstrate how invested the audience is. Abrams also directly commented on the possibility of Plemons’ inclusion in the film.
“He is one of the actors that we’ve talked to, yeah,” he said. “It’s not often that I read about actors that I’m going to be meeting. I get to read articles about actors who were going to come in, so I get to see someone and say, ‘Oh, I read that I was going to see you. It’s very nice to see you.’ It’s usually agents talking to people about what’s happening. It’s just a lot of noise.”
Speaking of noise, Abrams said that’s one of the problems with shooting in IMAX. “In the right situation, I’d like to use IMAX again,” he said. “The problem with IMAX is that it’s a very loud camera. It’s a very unreliable camera. Only so much film can be in the camera. You can’t really do intimate scenes with it. It’s slow. They break down often. Having said that, they’re working on digital versions of that, so there may be a version one day. But, we’re going to be shooting this next movie on film.”
As you probably know, though, Episode VII isn’t the only Star Wars film in the works. However, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy assured The Straights Times that the planned spinoffs won’t disrupt the new trilogy.
“George [Lucas] was so clear as to how that works,” she said. “The canon that he created was the Star Wars saga. Right now, Episode VII falls within that canon. The spinoff movies, or we may come up with some other way to call those films, they exist within that vast universe that he created. … There is no attempt being made to carry characters (from the standalone films) in and out of the saga episodes. Consequently, from the creative standpoint, it’s a roadmap that George made pretty clear.”
Star Wars: Episode VII is scheduled to his theaters on Dec. 18, 2015.