THE next film in the Star Wars series could include scenes on the ice planet of Hoth, last seen in Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, according to reports.
Filming is not officially set to begin until May but Icelandic news site Visir reports that the Star Wars crew may begin work on scenes in Iceland as early as next month.
Hoth was the setting for an epic clash between the rebel alliance and the evil Galactic Empire, led by Darth Vader. The battle between rebels and the imperial forces on the snowy planet is one of the best loved sequences in the sci-fi series.
Director JJ Abrams has filmed in Iceland once before, recording “plate shots” for the 2013 picture Star Trek Into Darkness, Visir says.
Plate shots are background images, often used alongside green screen recordings or computer animation to create composite sequences that superimpose actors or props over a particular setting. If it does go ahead, filming in Iceland is expected to capture background imagery of this kind for Star Wars VII.
Icelandic film production company True North has been linked to the project. Members of the Star Wars crew were reported to be scouting for locations in Iceland alongside True North in October last year, although True North declined to comment on any involvement with the picture.
Disney and Lucasfilm have also released no new information about the upcoming film since the revelation last week that Star Wars VII would be set 30 years after Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
Many believe that the new films will see the return of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill in their roles as Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Luke Skywalker.
Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o and Girls star Adam Driver have also been tipped for roles in the new film.
Star Wars VII to be set 30 years after last film
THE next film in the Star Wars series will be set 30 years after Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
Walt Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, confirmed the setting at a meeting of the company’s shareholders on Tuesday. The new film will also feature a return of the robot R2D2, but executives remain tight-lipped about other casting decisions.
JJ Abrams, the creative force behind some of the most popular sci-fi films of the last decade will direct and co-write the new film that will star “a trio of new young leads along with some very familiar faces”, according to the official Star Wars website. Industry insiders have tipped Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o and Girls actor Adam Driver for roles.
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill are expected to reprise their roles as Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Luke Skywalker. Another Hollywood heavyweight touted for a lead is Harry Potter and Batman actor Gary Oldman.
According to The Guardian, actors who have already auditioned include Zac Efron and Saoirse Ronan. Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Fassbender have also been linked with key roles.
Filming will begin in two months’ time at London’s historic Pinewood Studios.
The six previous movies in the Star Wars series were devised and directed by George Lucas and have taken almost £3bn in cinemas worldwide since the first film was released in 1977.
Star Wars Ep 7 rumours: who will star in new film?
CHIWETEL Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Benedict Cumberbatch are among 15 actors rumoured to have bagged a role in the new Star Wars film, written and directed by J.J. Abrams.
The original trio of Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and Harrison Ford (Hans Solo) are also almost certain to reunite for the film, which is set for release in September 2015.
Leaked information from Drew McWeeny on film website HitFlix apparently revealed that the script is complete and that filming will begin at London’s Pinewood studios later this year.
He said: “Multiple sources now have confirmed for us that Star Wars Episode VII is set to start shooting mid-May and will run through September of this year.”
He also claimed that “most principal casting on the film is complete”.
Another Hollywood heavyweight touted for a lead role is Harry Potter and Batman actor Gary Oldman.
“They’ve called,” said the 55-year-old this week during an interview with Sky Movies.
“I don’t know if it’s, er … You know, I’m more cynical about it now,” he said. “I’ll believe it when I’m on the plane home. The deal isn’t done, but yeah, they’ve inquired.”
The only officially confirmed cast member is Kenny Baker, who will reprise his 1977 performance as R2D2.
We’ve put together a list of all the actors who’ve been linked with the film:
Carrie Fisher let slip in an interview that she, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford will reprise their original roles, although it has not yet been officially confirmed by Abrams.
In the running
According to the Guardian, actors who have already auditioned for roles include:
Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones, Hanna)
Michael B Jordan (The Wire, Friday Night Lights)
Actors reported to have had talks with JJ Abrams about a role in the film include:
Gary Oldman Benedict Cumberbatch
Jack O’Connell (Skins, Game of Thrones)
Alex Pettyfer (Magic Mike, I am Number Four)
Sullivan Stapleton (Animal Kingdom, The Hunter)
Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad)
Adam Driver (Girls)
It is thought that the full cast list will be released in the next couple of months.