If the latest rumors are to be believed – an iffy proposition on the best of days, and apparently doubly dangerous for Star Wars: Episode VII – it seems that the extent of Harrison Ford’s injuries has been vastly underestimated thus far by the Star Wars-craving public. It turns out that the wheelchair-bound 71-year-old actor may not be able to return to set for a good six months, if not more.
Along Main Street
According to British site Metro – who, in turn, picked up the lead from the equally British Jedi News – an emergency meeting was held at Pinewood Studios, where Episode VII
is was currently filming, to discuss the situation and sketch out several different solutions while Ford recuperates back in America.
What are the options?
- Temporarily halt production
- Downplay Ford’s role in the film
- Rewrite the entire script to remove Han Solo altogether from the story
Any way that Lucasfilm cuts it, should Ford’s injury truly require him to have so much downtime, it’ll more than likely mean a delay to the film’s December 18, 2015 release date – which would, ironically, make director/producer/co-writer J.J. Abrams happy, as he’s long wanted a May 2016 opening.
The Disney corporate machine, however, anxious to make the $4 billion it spent on acquiring Lucasfilm back as soon as humanly possible, has proven to be extremely reticent to budge. And when one factors in that Disney has already put in place at least four additional films across the four years following Episode VII‘s original 2015 release, the situation looks increasingly calamitous.
Why would one simple accident play such havoc with the entirety of the film (series)? Rumors have been swirling for a little while now that Han Solo will be the lead character in the film – yes, even more central than Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker – meaning that any unavailability on the actor’s part will have drastic, exponential consequences on the rest of the production. As Metro puts it:
[No matter what happens,] this will be a costly delay for Disney. Deals are signed, actors’ timeframes are set, and crew members are in place. To delay the production long enough for Ford to heal would be a costly exercise. Of course, all productions have insurance policies in place to cover themselves for eventualities similar to this, but, nevertheless, this is going to be a problem.
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- Star Wars needs to embrace recasting actors
- Actors who almost played Han Solo instead of Harrison Ford
- RUMOR: Marvel recasts an important character with Star Wars’ Harrison Ford
A very big problem, indeed.
The still-untitled Star Wars: Episode VII hits theaters – for now, at least – on December 18, 2015. It stars returning cast members Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, and Kenny Baker and newcomers John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Max von Sydow, Adam Driver, and Andy Serkis.