Although George Lucas' hand-picked head of Lucasfilm says she's certain J.J. Abrams will direct 'Episode VII,' she's not sure the film can be finished by the date Disney has publicly committed to.
In what may come as a shock to "Star Wars" fans already planning to line up for the next film in the storied franchise in just two years, "Episode VII" may not be ready by 2015 after all.
That bombshell was dropped deep in The Hollywood Reporter's profile of new Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy today. Much of the main part of THR's story was devoted to divulging how Kennedy had corralled "Star Trek" director J.J. Abrams to sit in the director's chair on "Episode VII," but in a classic case of burying the lead, THR casually noted Kennedy's doubts about whether Lucasfilm can meet the very public release date it has been touting since it was acquired by Disney in late October.
"To the bitter end [of discussions about whether he would direct the next 'Star Wars'] Abrams was telling associates that he still wasn't fully committed to directing the project," THR wrote. "But Kennedy is confident that he will be in the chair when the cameras roll. She is less clear that the first film in the new trilogy will be ready in 2015. 'Our goal is to move as quickly as we can, and we'll see what happens,' says Kennedy. 'The timetable we care about is getting the story.'"
This hesitation about meeting the publicly-declared deadline may be troubling to some, but to fans of the "Star Wars" franchise who worry about future films heavy on stunning computer graphics but short on story (prequels, anyone?) this dedication to story can only be a good thing.
Still, it's very interesting that Kennedy is now willing to say in public that she has doubts about the 2015 release date, especially since no one else at Disney or Lucasfilm has uttered similar sentiments.
Neither Disney nor Lucasfilm immediately responded to a request for comment from CNET.