New Star Wars To Shoot In The UK
It's coming home...
It isn't the most surprising news, but after the latter two prequels shot largely in Australia, Star Wars: Episode VII under J.J. Abrams’ direction will be coming back to the franchise’s ancestral home: the UK.
There are no details as to where specifically Abrams and his cast and crew will be working, but expect Shepperton, Leavesden and Pinewood to be under consideration, alongside, perhaps, Long Cross, Elstree (a base for the first two films) and Ealing.
"We've devoted serious time and attention to revisiting the origins of Star Wars as inspiration for our process on the new movie, and I'm thrilled that returning to the UK for production and utilizing the incredible talent there can be a part of that," Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said in statement picked up by The Wrap. "Speaking from my own longstanding connection to the UK with films like Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Empire Of The Sun and recently War Horse, it's very exciting to be heading back."
Abrams will work from Michael Arndt’s script (assuming he’s finished in time) and Disney wants the film complete for a spring 2015 release. While no official statements have been released, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are all expected to appear to hand the new trilogy over to a fresh cast. The Mouse House also seems confident it can have spin-off films in cinemas between the main new trilogy releases, but nothing has been confirmed just yet.