J.J. Abrams

Appearing at NBC’s portion of the TCA Press Tour today about his role as executive producer for Alfonso Cuarón’s new TV project Believe, J.J. Abrams talked candidly about Star Wars Episode VII.

Dismissing questions about whether or not he’s found a director for the third Star Trek movie by emphasising that his sole focus right now is Star Wars, Abrams would go on to confirm that the script (which he and Lawrence Kasdan were recently tasked with rewriting) is now finished.

“We’re working really hard. We’ve got our script and we’re in deep prep. We’re full steam ahead.”

As for when exactly we’ll find out who will make up the cast of the movie and what the craziest rumour he’s heard about Star Wars Episode VII is, Abrams said:

“When the announcements happen. But, we’re working really hard on it and it’s quite a thrill. God, there have been so many of them, honestly. I don’t know. But, it’s amazing to see how many there are. It’s really remarkable. But, it’s sweet because it shows that there’s an interest in this movie that we all obviously know is there. It is an incredible thing to see how many crazy things get thrown out that people then often write commentaries about how happy they are or how disappointed they are about something that’s completely false. But, it’s a lot of noise, frankly.”

Talking of rumours, Breaking Bad star Jesse Plemons recently dismissed his apparent involvement with the movie as “crazy”. However, when Abrams was asked to confirm or deny the news, he did reveal that the actor is indeed one of the actors that he’s met with. Despite this, the director offered no indication as to whether or not Plemons is as locked into the movie as some of the trades have reported recently.

“He is one of the actors that we’ve talked to, yeah. It’s not often that I read about actors that I’m going to be meeting. I get to read articles about actors who were going to come in, so I get to see someone and say, “Oh, I read that I was going to see you. It’s very nice to see you.” It’s usually agents talking to people about what’s happening. It’s just a lot of noise.”

Finally, Abrams was quizzed on whether or not he has any intention to use the IMAX format for this movie as he did for Star Trek Into Darkness. The director has previously emphasised his desire to take the Star Wars franchise back to basics by doing away with the heavy amount of CGI and green screen the prequels had. Not using IMAX because of the way it impacts “intimate scenes” may be an indication of that, hence why Abrams says that he’s decided to shoot Episode VII on film.

“In the right situation, I’d like to use IMAX again. The problem with IMAX is that it’s a very loud camera. It’s a very unreliable camera. Only so much film can be in the camera. You can’t really do intimate scenes with it. It’s slow. They break down often. Having said that, they’re working on digital versions of that, so there may be a version one day. But, we’re going to be shooting this next movie on film.”

Star Wars Episode VII is set to be released on December 18th, 2015. Shooting begins in London this Spring.