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Abrams on Cumberbatch for Episode 7

Star Wars Update

By Robert T. Trate     September 24, 2013
Source: LA Times Reporter Yvonne Villarreal (@villarrealy) on Twitter

Recently, Yvonne Villarreal of the LA Times caught up with JJ Abrams and asked him about Benedict Cumberbatch being cast in Episode VII. She got the following quote:
"We're working our asses off trying to get things in place w/ casting." Benedict Cumberbatch? "I love that guy."

Again, not a confirmation or a denial. We should know something official, for casting, by the end of the year. Production of Episode VII begins this January. 

In other Star Wars news, JJ Abrams has recently been quoted (by ContactMusic) in saying that he wants Star Wars to feel "authentic" and "real". A great change of pace from the prequels. In the same interview he said: “'It's been nice see that how important it is and to be reminded how important it is to so many people. We all know that [creator George Lucas'] dream has become almost a religion to some people”. For this Star Wars fan, it is nice to know that Abrams gets it. 

What does Abrams have to do for you to make Star Wars feel real? The construction of the Millennium Falcon that has been reported on is a step in the right direction. 

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ultrazilla2000 9/24/2013 8:03:37 AM

 More location shoots, less CGI environments.  

SarcasticCaveman 9/24/2013 8:26:35 AM

 Yes, more location shots, and I say more actual masks and prosthetics and make up.  And since you asked what Abrams could do to make it feel real again...cast more unknowns again.  From the originals, aside from Sir Alec Guiness, Peter Cushing and James Earl Jones, the rest of the cast was made up of relative unknowns.  Then in the prequels, Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christianson were really the only unknowns.  I love Cumberbatch, but I've already heard other pretty big names associated with Episode VII.  Some you can't help (Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford), but I would like to see unknown actors as the characters that Luke, Leia and Han will pass the torch to.

xpaladinx45 9/24/2013 8:49:24 AM

 I have no problem with known actors, provided the script isn't awful, and the actors fit the parts.  No more adding actors in becasue they're famous.

monkeyfoot 9/24/2013 8:54:06 AM

One of the things people criticize Lucas for in the prequels was the heavy use of greenscreen and CG backgrounds. I contend that isn't entirely justified. Heavily CGI created enviornments were kind of in its infancy when he did Eps1 -3. He in fact was helping to pioneer it. A heavy budgeted almost all g-screened movie wasn't ever done before. It was in a sense an experiment to see how it worked and how audiences would react to it. As Lucas had always done he was pushing the technology further than anybody else to see the results. He had said there were so many creatures and worlds that couldn't have been done well years before and he and ILM were making then. He shot Eps 2 and 3 entirely digitally which no major production had done before either. He was trying to see what could be done.

In the end with some retrospect, the quality difference between the prequels and the original movies is indeed noticeable. The familiar look of the SW universe was too clean and shiny and I don't think anyone at the time would have realized that was a problem for people. You can certainly criticize George for script and direction but you have to always give him cudos for always trying to make filmmaking better.

Modo 9/24/2013 9:02:21 AM

It all comes down to the story and the script.  If it's really good, I can overlook just about anything they do, overdone CGI and lens flares included.... having the big three and even Billy D back in these movies will also help give the movie the "authentic" feel, so let's get these guys signed (or at least officially announce it if they have already signed them!)  

That being said, I agree wholeheartedly through for more make-up and location shoots and less CGI...

mellowdoux 9/24/2013 10:07:22 AM

 Good post, Monkeyfoot.

As much as the prequels piss me off, I really can't disagree with what you've said here.

ElBaz13 9/24/2013 11:04:13 AM

There is no denying what Lucas has done. He is a visionary and took cinema to the next level.

The one problem with his prequels was his direction. But he was never a good director and a lot of his weak decisions had to do with the yes-men surrounding him. (where's Rick McCallum anyhow?).

I just recently binged watched the first four seasons of Clone Wars and I have to say they are top notch when it comes to writing, direction and "acting".  And people assume Lucas did not get involved with this show. He did. A lot of the featurettes has him in the production meetings telling the team his ideas and them working with them. I have to say some of the Clone Wars story arcs (like the Umbara one with Master Krell) are way better than the prequels. So for these new movies, Lucas will still be involved but the production group will be like the Clone Wars cartoon. A bunch of young fans who grew up with the franchise.

As for casting. Liam McIntyre auditioned for a role (probably the late twentysomething male, fit, handsome and confident role they had in their casting. Also just read that a casting call for a 7 foot 3 character just went up. Mmmm....wonder who that could be?



CaptAmerica04 9/24/2013 11:26:59 AM

Retcon the midichlorian bullshit and bring the Force back to the religion and more metaphysical concept that it was in the original trilogy.

samson 9/24/2013 12:02:24 PM

 I'm a casual Star Wars fan. I liked the movies as a kid, but never got into the books, comics, etc ... The CGI didn't bother me in the prequels. And, I really enjoyed Attack Of The Clones in pite of it's short comings. But, the script choices and direction where the problem more than anything else.

swisshammer 9/24/2013 12:46:06 PM

Cumberbatch would be an excellent choice for the trilogy. I also like the names that are being dropped for the female leads. This is looking better and better every day.

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