In an article on Businessweek.com, George Lucas dropped the closest thing to confirmation that Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher will reprise their roles as Luke, Han, and Leia in Star Wars: Episode VII.
Here’s an excerpt:
Asked whether members of the original Star Wars cast will appear in Episode VII and if he called them before the deal closed to keep them informed, Lucas says, “We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison—or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation. So I called them to say, ‘Look, this is what’s going on.’ ” He pauses. “Maybe I’m not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them.” Then he adds: “I won’t say whether the negotiations were successful or not.”
The rest of the article details the selling of Lucasfilm to Disney. It contains a lot of history you may already know, but it’s worth a read if anything to see how things operate behind closed doors at big companies.
It also talks about how Lucas was on the fence about whether or not to hand over his outlines for a sequel trilogy – outlines he has claimed many times never existed.
At first Lucas wouldn’t even turn over his rough sketches of the next three Star Wars films. When Disney executives asked to see them, he assured them they would be great and said they should just trust him. “Ultimately you have to say, ‘Look, I know what I’m doing. Buying my stories is part of what the deal is.’ I’ve worked at this for 40 years, and I’ve been pretty successful,” Lucas says. “I mean, I could have said, ‘Fine, well, I’ll just sell the company to somebody else.’ ”
Once Lucas got assurances from Disney in writing about the broad outlines of the deal, he agreed to turn over the treatments—but insisted they could only be read by Iger, Horn, and Kevin Mayer, Disney’s executive vice president for corporate strategy. “We promised,” says Iger. “We had to sign an agreement.”
When Iger finally got a look at the treatments, he was elated. “We thought from a storytelling perspective they had a lot of potential,” he says.
So, I’ll be the first to say it: Here’s where the fun begins!