×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Where in the World Will the New ‘Star Wars’ Films Shoot?

'Episode 7' will lense in the U.K., but global chase is on to land the other pics in the franchise reboot

When director J.J. Abrams yells “Action!” on the first new “Star Wars” film in almost a decade, it will be on a location or soundstage far, far from Abrams’ home base of Los Angeles, where his Bad Robot production outfit is headquartered.

Abrams’ Bad Robot partner and “Star Wars: Episode 7” producer Bryan Burk confirms the latest entry in the famed series will shoot abroad, principally based at the U.K.’s Pinewood Studios.

Burk maintains that the producers had been obsessed with trying to figure out a plan to keep the “Star Wars” shoot local, and gushes over the experience Bad Robot had shooting “Super 8” and the past two “Star Trek” films in California.

“We had wonderful experiences everywhere we shot and L.A. is our home,” Burk says. He also laments that “like all producers, we factor in crews, studios and the best place to recoup incentives that are available.”

SEE ALSO: L.A. Mayor Declares State of ‘Emergency’ As Movie, TV Production Flees Hollywood

While press reports have surfaced about U.K. chancellor George Osborne pushing multiple U.K. locales, no other locations beyond the famed Pinewood Studios outside London have been confirmed for “Star Wars.”

That hasn’t stopped the rumor mill. Albuquerque Studios president Dana Arnold says there has been talk for two years that parts of “Star Wars” may shoot in New Mexico, his facility’s home state. He’s also heard talk of locations as disparate as Iceland, Jordan, Scotland and Ireland.

Arnold figures Burk, Abrams and Lucasfilm chief and “Star Wars” executive producer Kathleen Kennedy must be swamped with sales pitches from film commissions and facilities to win a part of the Disney production.

SEE ALSO: Runaway Production: TV Drama Spreads Out All Over the Map

“Every location and facility across the globe and every state in the U.S. must be offering the moon and stars,” Arnold says. “And they’re all willing to offer things on a one-shot basis, everything they can imagine the producers might want, just to be able to say they got the new ‘Star Wars’ shoot. That din is probably the first challenge facing any location or facility that wants to be seriously considered.”

Burk confirms he’s getting a barrage of pitches “by mail, by phone and sometimes when I show up at events.”

One L.A. production insider estimates the incentives package to be gained across the series is “astronomical. Disney will get so much money from the U.K. that I don’t know how they could say ‘No.’ ”

Still, other pros point out that “Star Wars” is unlikely to deliver the tourism dollars which are the ultimate upside.

Says Arnold: “The irony of ‘Star Wars’ is there won’t be a single location that is identifiable. We had one of the biggest-grossing films in history, ‘The Avengers’ shoot here, but ‘Breaking Bad’ has more impact on tourism than anything we’ve ever done in New Mexico. Identifiable locales are what drives tourism.”

Trina Vargo, founder and president of the U.S.-Ireland Alliance, which hosts its annual Oscar Wilde Awards at Bad Robot’s Santa Monica offices, says she’s eager to get a different J.J. Abrams blockbuster to highlight the advantages of shooting in Ireland.

“If I could get Tom Cruise to rappel down the Cliffs of Moher, in the next ‘Mission Impossible,’” says Vargo, “it would be a bigger boost to Irish tourism than any scene they might do in Ireland for ‘Star Wars.’ ”

(Pictured: The first of three pics from Disney/Lucasfilm will lense at Pinewood Studios.)

More Biz

  • National Enquirer - Jeff Bezos

    Hudson Media CEO James Cohen Purchases the National Enquirer

    Hudson Media’s CEO James Cohen announced Thursday that he will purchase the National Enquirer as well as American Media’s other tabloids, the Globe and the National Examiner. With the purchase of the National Enquirer, which Cohen reportedly bought for $100 million, he plans to strengthen their collaborative efforts, documentary shows, weekly podcasts, and theme parks. [...]

  • Amazon

    Amazon Music’s Free Tier Is More Advertising Play Than Spotify Killer, Analysts Say

    When news began to spread last week that Amazon Music’s long-anticipated free streaming tier was imminent, headlines emerged about its threat to Spotify and Apple Music, with some stories saying that Spotify’s stock price dropped in response to the news. But not only was today’s launch of the free tier basically a soft one — [...]

  • Nicki MinajCFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Dinner,

    Nicki Minaj Parts Ways With Longtime Managers (EXCLUSIVE)

    Nicki Minaj has parted ways with Gee Roberson and Cortez Bryant and Blueprint/ Maverick Management, a source close to the situation confirms to Variety. She had worked with the pair for the majority of her career. The source says the decision was mutual and amicable, and there was no specific reason for the split, adding [...]

  • Amazon

    Amazon Music Launches Free Streaming Tier, Through Alexa Only (for Now)

    Amazon Music today basically soft-launched its free streaming tier, in which U.S. customers of its Alexa voice assistant will have access to top Amazon Music playlists and thousands of stations, at no cost. The limited access that the new free service provides — it’s only available through Alexa, and when the listener requests a song, [...]

  • Donald Glover and Adidas Launch Short

    Donald Glover and Adidas Launch Partnership With New Shoes and Short Films (Watch)

    Donald Glover and Adidas Originals today announced Donald Glover Presents, a creative partnership that unveiled a new line of shoes and a series of brief — and very funny — films to accompany them. (Watch them below.) Donald Glover Presents reimagines threeAadidas styles, the Nizza, the Continental 80, and the Lacombe. The shoes feature uneven [...]

  • Kodak Black Arrested at Border on

    Kodak Black Arrested at Border on Gun and Drug Charges

    Rapper Kodak Black and three other people were arrested after they allegedly attempted to cross the U.S.-Canada border with guns and marijuana, officials told NBC News on Thursday. The 21-year-old rapper missed concerts at the House of Blues in Boston on Wednesday night after he was stopped at the Lewiston-Queenston International Bridge near Buffalo hours [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content