We don't know what the film will officially be called (you know, besides the whole Star Wars title and its episode listing). Nor do we know for sure who will be appearing in front of the camera. But according to Hitfix’s sources, we do at least now know when J.J. Abrams and co will be shooting Episode VII, with production to kick off in May this year.
The new report is given added credence by an earlier Abrams quote from this year’s winter Television Critics press tour, where he made mention of a plan to start shooting in mid-May while revealing that the script was complete. That’s repeated here, along with word that shooting will take place from May to September at Pinewood Studios. The summer plan also allows for more than a year of post-production time before the film’s scheduled December 18, 2015 release date.
Hitfix goes further, suggesting that most principal casting on the film is complete, which hopefully means some solid information will start to emerge soon from Disney and Lucasfilm, putting an end to the speculation about every working actor and their Wookiee being linked to the movie.
Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are all still likely to return to wrap up their stories before handing over to a new cast, with R2-D2 the only Star Wars character anyone in Abrams’ camp has so much as officially announced. From the sounds of the new story, we can expect several classic trilogy characters to return, though Chief Chirpa fans probably shouldn’t be building their hopes.