×

J.J. Abrams Planning Early 2014 ‘Star Wars 7’ Production Start

Director-producer planning to move to London

Production on “Star Wars Episode VII” appears likely to start early next year in London, producer-director J.J. Abrams has disclosed.

Abrams revealed at Saturday’s Produced By Conference that he’s moving his family of five to London within six months.

“We are, most likely, if all goes as planned, going to be moving to London at the end of the year for the ‘Star Wars’ movie,” Abrams said Saturday at the Produced By Conference.

Abrams signed on to direct in February and Abrams’ producing partner Byran Burk had disclosed last month that the picture was shooting in England. Disney plans to release the film in 2015.

Abrams’ comments were part of a 75-minute discussion between Abrams and “Django Unchained” producer Reginald Hudlin at the Producers Guild of America conference on the Fox lot.

Abrams spoke in only general terms about how he’ll approach the latest “Star Wars” and would not comment when Hudlin pressed him on whether the film will be derived from any of the “Star Wars” novels.

“It is so massive and so important to people,” he said. “I think the key to moving forward on something like this is honoring but not revering what came before.”

The director professed a strong preference for shooting near his home in California, evoking a cheer from the audience of about 500. His most recent film,  “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” was shot entirely in California.

He indicated that his children — aged 14, 13 and 7 — are ambivalent about leaving Los Angeles.

The discussion also covered Abrams’ professing his affection for shooting on film and the inspiration that his parents — TV producer-writers Gerald Abrams and Carol Anne Abrams — providing him as a child.

Abrams dispensed some general career advice. “Find a community,” he said. “Find people you can trust.”

And he concluded by describing his standards for filmmaking.

‘The most important thing for me is getting the chills,” he said. “The feeling of ‘that’s the thing.'”

The conference also included a film financing panel with “Crash” producer and Mandalay Vision topper Cathy Schulman  noting that major studios don’t want to do”‘one-off’ (non-franchise) films.

“‘So there’s a lot of distribution space,” she added.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star

    Box Office: Jennifer Lopez 'Hustlers' Heading for $25 Million Launch

    STX Entertainment’s “Hustlers,” a comedic thriller about strip-club employees seeking revenge, is expected to earn $25 million when it opens on Sept. 13, according to early tracking. The movie — starring Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Lili Reinhart, Keke Palmer, Cardi B and Lizzo — will debut alongside Warner Bros.’ “The Goldfinch.” The drama, based on [...]

  • AMC TheatresShop signs, Los Angeles, America

    AMC Theatres Lays Off 35 Corporate Staffers

    AMC Entertainment has laid off 35 corporate staffers and will not fill an additional 15 open jobs. The Kansas-based chain made the announcement Thursday as part of a previously announced “profit improvement plan” intended to achieve operating and administrative efficiencies. AMC, which operates more than 10,000 movie screens, had disclosed the plan on Aug. 8 [...]

  • Ann Sarnoff Warner Bros

    Ann Sarnoff Formally Takes Reins of Warner Bros. as CEO

    The Ann Sarnoff era at Warner Bros. has begun. Sarnoff formally took the reins as Warner Bros. chair-CEO on Thursday, two months after she was appointed to the post. Sarnoff told employees in a memo that she has been impressed by the company’s track record during the past year amid a period of upheaval for [...]

  • Take Me Somewhere Nice review

    Ena Sendijarevic on Migration, Identity and the Question of Belonging

    Bosnian filmmaker Ena Sendijarević had an auspicious debut with “Import,” a short film which world premiered in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight in 2016. Drawing on her own family’s personal history, the Amsterdam-based director crafted an idiosyncratic tale about a family of Bosnian refugees trying to make a new home in the Netherlands. With her feature debut, [...]

  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    Haugesund Prizes ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire,’ ‘Him,’ ‘Ballon’

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —  Celine Sciamma’s intellectually dexterous, bittersweet love tale “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” has claimed another heart, taking home The Norwegian Film-Critics’ Prize at the Haugesund Film Festival’s closing night on Thursday. The festival, which runs over August 17-23, capped its 47th edition with a screening of André Løyning and Kristian Landmark’s [...]

  • Motherless Brooklyn Edward Norton

    Edward Norton Investigates Murder in 'Motherless Brooklyn' Trailer

    The trailer for Edward Norton’s forthcoming crime drama “Motherless Brooklyn” is officially out. Warner Bros.’ drama, based on the 1999 novel by Jonathan Lethem, follows Lionel Essrog, a young man who works for a small-time mobster in Brooklyn while struggling with an intense case of Tourette Syndrome. “Okay, listen, I got something wrong with me, [...]

  • Summer Box Office

    Box Office Report Card: Studios Get Their Summer Grades

    Studios got badly burned this summer. From May to August, popcorn season in movie speak, the film flops piled up and the big hits were few and far between for nearly every company except Disney. As a whole, summer did little to instill confidence in the state of moviegoing. To be sure, there were successes [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content