Lucasfilm has dismissed reports that director JJ Abrams is about to pull out of the new Star Wars movie.
Abrams was officially hired in January, with Star Wars creator George Lucas calling him the “ideal choice” to take over the director’s chair. Lucasfilm has since confirmed that Star Wars: Episode VII will be made in the UK and the shoot is due to begin early next year (2014).
However, recent industry rumours, as reported by Badass Digest, have suggested that the director is close to quitting the project because he is unhappy about having to shoot in the UK. Abrams lives with his wife and three children in LA and has made all his previous movies at home in the US, but recently revealed he was planning to move his family to London at the end of this year (2013), albeit reluctantly.
“When I came into [the new Star Wars movie] there was already a pre-arranged thing for them to be shooting in England, which really does make me insane,” the director said at a film conference last month (June), before adding: “There’s a whole lot of stuff happening at home. It’s not an easy thing.”
These rumours have now prompted IGN to ask Lucasfilm for a comment. “There is no truth to the rumour,” a Lucasfilm representative told the US entertainment site yesterday (July 22). “JJ is having a great time working on the script and is looking forward to going into production next year.”
Lucasfilm – which is now owned by Disney – has slated Star Wars: Episode VII for release in 2015 and hired Toy Story 3 writer Michael Arndt to pen the script. Original cast members Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill have all hinted very strongly that they will be returning. Rather more surprisingly, Florence Welch has recently been linked to a “leading role” in the film.