The first concerns Harrison Ford's broken leg -- suffered while shooting a scene involving the Millennium Falcon -- and estimated eight-week absence from filming. While the initial word from filmmakers was that production would and could continue without Ford, some "Star Wars" insiders are reporting differently.
Jedi News writes that they've heard rumblings that director J.J. Abrams and co. are scrambling to come up with a new game plan for "Episode VII" in light of Ford's absence. His character, Han Solo, is one of the movie's main protagonists, and not much can be filmed around him before significant delays set in. That's leading to some speculation that "the film could be pushed back by a substantial amount of time," according to Jedi News.
So how likely is that scenario? In a nutshell: doubtful. Here's why: "Episode VII" already faced a major hurdle in getting Disney to greenlight a December 2105 release, after Lucasfilm's plea for a push to 2016 instead was summarily denied. Even factoring in Ford's injury, it seems extremely unrealistic that Disney would budge again after acquiescing to a shift from May 2015 to December 2015.
Then, of course, there's the outright denial of such a move from Lucasfilm itself, which issued a statement to TheForce.net in response to the growing clamor of rumors.
"There is no change in the release date," the company told the site.
So it seems that that rumor can be put to bed for now. But, perhaps sensing a lack of wild "Star Wars" speculation, a new bit of gossip has popped up in its place, and it concerns frequent Abrams collaborator Tom Cruise.
UK tabloid The Sun is reporting that Cruise recently met with Abrams in London and is "in talks" for a role in "Episode VII." The tab notes that the pair are already working together on "Mission: Impossible 5," so a quick "Star Wars" cameo wouldn't be out of the question.
We're disinclined to believe this rumor, too, most likely because Cruise is simply too big of a star for "Episode VII." He'd pull too much focus from the rest of the cast, which Abrams purposefully populated with relatively unknown actors (aside from returning stars like Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher, and recent Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o). It would be a safe bet that their London meeting was simply a business get-together to discuss "M:I 5."
That's all she wrote for the rumor mill today, folks, but stay tuned -- this thing has a tendency to keep churning.
"Star Wars: Episode VII" is due in theaters on December 18, 2015.
[h/t Screen Crush, Uproxx]
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