The Wrap has confirmed that Star Wars Episode VII— and possibly the sequels and spinoffs to come after that– will shoot in the United Kingdom, where Industrial Light and Magic has already set up extensive facilities for building their singular visual effects. When ILM began eyeing that move we speculated that the film might shoot there as well, and now it’s official that the full Star Wars Episode VII production will be flying under the British flag. Here’s what newly appointed Lucasfilm President– and longtime Steven Spielberg collaborator– Kathleen Kennedy said in the announcement:
“We’ve devoted serious time and attention to revisiting the origins of Star Wars as inspiration for our process on the new movie, and I’m thrilled that returning to the UK for production and utilizing the incredible talent there can be a part of that.”
Each of the previous six Star Wars films have all shot some scenes at studios in the UK, but Episode VII appears to be making the largest commitment there. And of course, there will almost certainly be location shoots, whether revisiting the deserts of Tunisia to recreate Tattooine or northern Norway for a visit to Hoth. More likely, they’ll pick some spectacular new location to allow the story to visit a new planet– Iceland is pretty popular these days. Then again, J.J. Abrams has created the world of Star Trek almost entirely inside studios, so maybe those Star Wars vistas are a thing of the past?
With the pieces coming together for Episode VII to start shooting in early 2014, we’re still busily collecting all the rumors and eagerly awaiting any official news about where the Star Wars universe will go from here. If that involves giving Han Solo descendants British accents, we’ll let you know.