The toys are already in stores, a new trailer is imminent, but the big event is still a couple of months away: the release of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." And with the movie coming up, you might have forgotten that over a year ago, there were rumors that things weren't going quite so smoothly behind-the-scenes. The word on the street was that following Harrison Ford's injury on set, J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy had asked Disney to push the release date of 'The Force Awakens' to May 4, 2016 — a request they had also made prior to the actor's accident — only to have it turned down by Mouse House honcho Bob Iger. But whatever transpired, heading into the final sprint, Abrams couldn't be more thrilled with his working relationship with Disney.
Sitting down with Apple designer Jony Ive, in a great talk moderated by Brian Grazer for Vanity Fair, the director reveals not only that he has final cut, but that Disney is treating the valuable brand they paid billions of dollars for with the utmost respect.
Asked by Grazer directly if he had final cut, Abrams said confirmed he did — "“Yeah, yeah" — but also noted that "when you do a Disney project, there’s a clause in there that you kind of go, ‘Well, if I were a lawyer I could probably drive a truck through it....' "
If I were to make a guess, Disney probably has it in their contract they can take the movie out of Abrams' hands if they want to (which is not uncommon with any blockbuster costing hundreds of millions of dollars), but as the director asserts, “They let us make the movie we wanted to make,” calling Iger an "incredible collaborator" on the movie.
“I cannot say enough about how Bog Iger and Alan Horn have understood this thing that is now part of the Disney company," Abrams added. "And they’re not trying to Disney-fy it, they’re not doing anything other than, I think, an incredibly smart thing, which is letting Kathleen Kennedy — who is a remarkable person and producer — run and lead Lucasfilm to a place where I think it wants to go.”
As expectations continue to rise for 'The Force Awakens' in the weeks to come, it nice to hear Abrams' undeniable enthusiasm for how things have gone with Disney, and how he feels about their handling of such a beloved property.
Meanwhile, it somewhat related news, Michael B. Jordan's name is being very loosely tossed around as a potential candidate for the standalone Boba Fett movie (via Comicbookmovie). File under "maybe" for now.
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" opens on December 18th. Check out the full Vanity Fair talk below.