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New 'Star Wars' Will Cost $200 Million, Casting "Almost Done," George Lucas Still Consulting on Films

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood April 22, 2014 at 12:36PM

Disney chair Alan Horn sat down with Jon Erlichman of Bloomberg Television to discuss the on-the-horizon "Star Wars" trilogy set to unfold over the next several years. Quote highlights, below.
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J.J. Abrams

Disney chair Alan Horn sat down with Jon Erlichman of Bloomberg Television to discuss the on-the-horizon "Star Wars" trilogy set to unfold over the next several years. Quote highlights, below.

Of the several nuggets of information given, Horn confirmed that the next installments will shoot at Pinewood Studies in the UK, and in Abu Dhabi, for the "Star Warsian look." Plus, after the internet was up in arms about the first film, being helmed by J.J. Abrams (above), setting a release date for December of 2015 ("Star Wars" films have traditionally come out in May), the second and the third installments may revert back to the May release template -- but no word on what dates those would be.

Here's what Horn had to say: 

Is casting for the next "Star Wars" almost done?

"It's almost complete. We're not prepared to announce it yet, but we will be very shortly."

On the kind of shooting they are currently doing for "Star Wars":

"We did some second unit work in Abu Dhabi and other places, because we have all these locations we have to film and we have to give it that 'Star-Warsian' look…We haven't commenced the main part of principal photography yet."

Are release dates locked for the 2nd and 3rd films in trilogy?

"No, we're not sure yet. We may revert -- the 'Star Wars' dates have been May -- and we may revert to that at some point. But it depends on the readiness of the screenplays and where we are. But this first one will be December 18th of 2015. So we'll start with that and then we'll see."

What are these films going to cost?

"We actually don't even have the completed budget yet. But it will be in that range. These large, tentpole kinds of movies, on the expensive side, are in the neighborhood of $175-200 million, that kind of a number -- some are more, some are less. We need to give the audience, essentially, a full meal in return for their affection and devotion and love for these properties."

On George Lucas's role:

"George is a consultant. The understanding is when he sold the company -- and he did sell the company to the Walt Disney Company -- so he's very aware of that. So we now are the primary drivers behind this property. But he is a very valued person. He's the father of all this. [Lucasfilm president] Kathy [Kathleen Kennedy] interacts with him, back and forth I think."

This article is related to: News, Star Wars, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, J.J. Abrams, News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.