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Star Wars: Episode VII Has a Release Date, Doesn’t Have Saoirse Ronan, Will Have 3D

May The Force Be With You

Plus J.J. Abrams had some things to say about why original writer Michael Arndt was replaced by himself and Lawrence Kasdan.

What kind of morning is this? We’ve heard official word on two separate Episode VII rumors, promoting one to the realm of fact and relegating the other to Not Gonna Happenville. At this rate I’m half expecting something really good to come out by the end of the day, like Lucasfilm saying “Screw it, we’re making all the rest of the movies about Mara Jade.”

That first rumor is that Episode VII would come out late 2015. That’s true: Disney has announced its release date as December 18, 2015. The original plan was for a summer 2015 release, putting it up against The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Batman vs. Superman, and way too many other big blockbusters. Then the word came that the creative team wanted it pushed back to 2016, because hello, not enough time. A European Disney exec later tweeted that the film would come out in late 2015, and it turns out that’s what’s going on.

Oh happy day, my fellow nerds. And not just because I’m happy that Abrams & co. have more time to work on Star Wars. The last Hobbit movie comes out in December 2014, so now when December 2015 rolls around I won’t feel so bereft. And the summer was already so packed.

When the film comes out, it’ll be in 3D. It’s been a pretty fair assumption up to this point that that would be the case—what big-budget Hollywood action film doesn’t come out in 3D nowadays?—but this is the first time it’s actually been confirmed. The film will be post-converted instead of being shot in 3D, but before you cry laziness and “Oh no! It’ll be just like Clash of the Titans!,” know that the reason for the post-conversion is that it’s being shot on film, not digital. So, to put it another way: Shot the way they filmed the original trilogy, not the prequels. Yeah. Thought you’d like that.

Tied into pushing Episode VII‘s release date back, Abrams opened up to Deadline about how it was that timing issue that prompted former screenwriter Arndt’s removal from the film, not any problems with his work:

“It became clear that given the time frame and given the process and the way the thing was going that working with [Star Wars: Episodes V, VI, and now VII writer Lawrence Kasdan] in this way was going to get us where we need to be and when we needed to be. Working with Larry Kasdan, especially on a Star Wars movie is kind of unbeatable.

Working with Michael was a wonderful experience and I couldn’t be a bigger fan of his or adore him more. He’s a wonderful guy and was incredibly helpful in the process… [his being replaced] doesn’t preclude working with Michael again in the future. He is one of the best writers around.”

Your mileage may vary, but it sounds like a boilerplate PR-friendly response to me. I’m still a wee bit worried that even with the delay they’re on such a time crunch that they apparently can’t even let the original screenwriter finish his job, but I’d be approximately a hundred times more worried if anyone else but Kasdan were brought on. So I remain cautiously optimistic.

And now for the rumor that’s been shot down: Saoirse Ronan will not be in Episode VII. We previously reported that she auditioned for the film, but now she’s come out and says it’s not going to happen. Via Indiewire:

“I don’t have Star Wars. I don’t have the role,” Ronan said, sounding kind of defeated. “I just shouldn’t have said anything. I just auditioned for it, like everyone else did.”

In non-Star Wars news, Ronan also debunked the rumor that she’s in the running for the Fantastic Four reboot:

“I only heard that rumor. I’m not signed up for Fantastic Four.” Not that she’s opposed to doing one of these huge scale projects. “If it was the right thing,” she demurred.

There you have it. It’s a lot of individual tidbits to take in. How are you feeling about Episode VII now?

(via: Indiewire, /Film, /Film)

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