Star Wars Episode VII to start filming in London in January

Director JJ Abrams says production is likely to move to the UK at the end of this year

New Star Wars director JJ Abrams says he’s heading for London at the end of 2013 to start work on Episode VII of the sci-fi franchise – and that the prospect is making him “insane”.


“When I came into it there was already a pre-arranged thing for them to be shooting in England, which, really does make me insane,” said Abrams. “I’ve never shot a movie outside the US or out of LA.”

“We are, most likely, if all goes ahead, going to be moving to London at the end of the year,” the director told an audience at the Produced By film and television conference in Los Angeles this weekend.

The move is thought to point to a start date of January 2014 for filming on Disney’s first foray into Star Wars since it bought Lucasfilm, and the rights to the franchise, last November.

Abrams is also responsible for rebooting the other major screen sci-fi property, Star Trek. The second instalment, Star Trek Into Darkness, did a good job recently of pleasing both dedicated fans and wider audiences and it seems the director is likely to take a similar approach to Star Wars as he did to Trek.

“I think that the thing is so big and so massive to so many people that the key to moving forward is honoring but not revering what went before,” said Abrams.

“There’s that deep feeling of infinite possibilities that I think was the ultimate thing I thought when I first saw Star Wars which I would – and probably will – give my left arm to try and come close to again.”

Star Wars: Episode VII is expected in cinemas some time in 2015.


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