Lucasfilm Updates on Star Wars: Episode VII Schedule, Announces New Cast Additions

Here I was, enjoying a lazy Sunder afternoon (no kidding, I was watching Star Wars on blu-ray) not expecting any significant news to drop.  So imagine my surprise when the official Star Wars website (with a nifty re-design) posted an update that announced a couple new actors joining the cast of the film plus a much needed update regarding Ford’s injured leg.  

When news of Ford’s injury came out, along with it came a firestorm of rumors talking about how the film would see a delay in it’s release date.  Even some ridiculous rumors hit that Ford was returning to the States for six months to recover.  While I and many others often said his injuries were being blown out of proportion, pictures of Ford, still in London and recovering quite well hit last week to finally dispell some of those rumors.  The only thing lacking, was word from Lucasfilm.  It appears, as though they’ve figured out a plan they like and as such, passed the information along: 

In August, the team will take a brief two-week hiatus while adjustments to the current production schedule are made as actor Harrison Ford recovers from a leg injury. Harrison is doing well and is looking forward to returning to the set soon. Shooting remains on track to wrap in the fall with the film scheduled for release on December 18, 2015.

There you have it.  They’re taking a break in August to even things out in the schedule (filming things with sets earlier than they’d planned most likely), but all in all, they’re still roughly on track with the overall production.  The other news comes in the form of some casting based on those open casting calls they put out for all fans to participate in last year: 

The casting calls spanned 11 cities across the US and UK and over 37,000 hopefuls attended, with a further 30,000 submitting applications online.  Having hunted high and low for young and undiscovered talent, the filmmakers are delighted to announce that two actors from the open call call have been cast.

Crystal Clarke is an American actress studying in Glasgow, UK, who has both stage and screen acting experience and is soon to be seen in her first feature, The Moon and the Sun (to be released in 2015). British actor Pip Andersen is a skilled practitioner of parkour, a discipline that involves propelling oneself through any given environment with incredible grace and agility. Pip recently demonstrated this remarkable skill in a Spider-Man ad for Sony.

“The Star Wars universe has always been about discovering and nurturing young talent and in casting Episode VII we wanted to remain absolutely faithful to this tradition. We are delighted that so many traveled to see us at the open casting calls and that we have been able to make Crystal and Pip a part of the film,” said producer and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.

Of course, we don’t know what roles they’ve been cast in or what they’ll be doing in the movie (as is the case with just about all the casting so far), but hey any official news is good to hear!  Mostly, I’m glad they’ve finally come out with information about Ford to hopefully quiet the rumors about a delay.  What’s really interesting is why they decided to announce this on a Sunday…makes me wonder if they have something more/bigger to announce next week.