Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer
The Farewell To Middle-earth Issue
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe: Get 12 Issues For £25
Buy the perfect Christmas present this year
Farewell To Middle-earth
Full details of our Peter Jackson-edited issue
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
TODAY
The Martian Script Goes Interstellar
Exclusive look at Ridley Scott’s space-bound artwork
Podcast #142: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Tim Burton
Featuring The Interview(s)
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
15 December 2014
Mark Hamill Talks Star Wars: The Force Awakens
'This is about the new generation of characters...'
More Movie News

RELATED FUTURE FILMS
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
18 December 2015
More Future Films

RELATED REVIEWS
Super 8 (2011)
Empire Star Rating
Regarding Henry
Empire Star Rating
Filofax (1990)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Kathleen Kennedy Talks Star Wars
On JJ Abrams and George Lucas

31 January 2013  |  Written by Phil de Semlyen  |  Source: The Hollywood Reporter

submit to reddit

Star Wars logo

With news of JJ Abrams' recruitment to the helm of the new Star Wars still reverberating through fandom, The Hollywood Reporter sat down with producer Kathleen Kennedy for an in-depth chat about the newest Disney franchise, its director, and her working relationship with George Lucas.

First up, the recruitment drive. "JJ was just on the ceiling when I walked out the door," Kennedy remembered of the three-hour covert meeting she and her writers held with Abrams on December 19. The director had "very genuine concerns" about the impact a potentially overseas-based production might have on his family, not to mention the sheer pressure of piloting the Star Wars universe. "If there was any pause on JJ's part", said the producer, "it was the same pause everybody has - including myself - stepping into this. It's daunting."

Abrams, for his part, testified to those early reservations, and to the persuasiveness of Kennedy's sales pitch. "I learned first-hand how incredible and persuasive she is," he told THR. "The thing about any pre-existing franchise... I'd sort of done that. But when I met with Kathy, it was suddenly very tantalising."

Lucas's shadow, of course, still looms over the thrillingly rebooted franchise, albeit from a distance. In Kennedy's parlance, he's a Jedi knight offering sage advice and the filmmaking equivalent of mind tricks. "I call him my Yoda," she said. "He'll be a consultant. But he recognises he's stepping away. It took a lot for him to [do that]. And the fact that he turned it over to me - I think, 'Oh my God, I have a huge responsibility to him.' He did say, 'You just do what you do.' I said: 'OK. I'll figure out what that is'."

Here's Empire's thoughts on why Kennedy is already making the right calls.


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Exclusive: New Poster For Side Effects
Soderbergh's latest gets serious
David Goyer Enters The Breach
Update: He's now set to direct as well as produce

Your Comments

PLEASE LISTEN TO LUCAS, ABRAMS!
The prequels made clear Lucas is fucking awesome. All his inputs are what made those films fantastic. Quite simply hateboys seem to have forgotten what Star Wars is all about (hint: it doesn't shitty puppets & rapey assholes shooting first). So I pray that he is kept at a very, very, very close to this. Here's hoping Kennedy is listening closely to him. Imagine what would have happened if Luke listened to the Emperor (the hateboys) instead of Yoda (George Lucas). More

Posted by NeoBrowser at 02:09 on 01 February 2013 | Report This Post

PLEASE DON'T LISTEN TO LUCAS, ABRAMS
The prequels made clear Lucas has lost it. All his inputs were to the detriment of the films. Quite simply he seems to have forgotten what a good Star Wars story is (hint: it doesn't involve trade embargo debate). So I pray that he is kept at a very, very, very long distance from this. Here's hoping Kennedy is just paying lip service to him. More

Posted by launcelot at 20:23 on 31 January 2013 | Report This Post

2016 release date?
I'm not holding my breath, especially after the disaster that were the prequels (I, II, II). Wake me up when the first trailer arrives. More

Posted by nybras at 17:38 on 31 January 2013 | Report This Post

"JJ was just on the ceiling when I walked out the door." JJ should direct the next Spiderman flick with those abilities, not Star Wars. More

Posted by BenTramer at 16:17 on 31 January 2013 | Report This Post

SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

SAVE UP TO 69% GET 12 ISSUES FOR ONLY £25
Get the best seat in the house by subscribing to the world's biggest movie magazine today. Save up to 69% and every month you'll get exclusive subscriber-only covers, access to the biggest stars and the best news, reviews and behind-the-scenes reports straight from the set. Click here to find the perfect offer for you


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Watch: Night At The Museum's Cast Share Their Favourite Robin Williams Performance
Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Ben Kingsley pay tribute to the actor

Watch: Jack O'Connell And Luke Treadaway Talk Unbroken
On POWs, panto and how to name your bomber

Review Of 2014: The 15 Best Cameos Of The Year
Our favourite one-scene movie-stealers

8 Things You Can Learn From The BFI's Star Wars Exhibition
The original crawl, a 'grotesque' villain and a very different princess

Review Of The Year: 40 Worst Posters Of 2014
One-sheets that you'd rather not have on your wall

Hobbit Q&As: Ian McKellen On Finally Saying Goodbye And Farewell To Gandalf The Grey
Read our exclusive Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies interviews

Review Of 2014: The Best TV Moments Of The Year
We celebrate the small screen's biggest scenes

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)