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J.J. Abrams was at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena this weekend to chat about NBC’s Believe, which he is co-producing with Gravity’s Alfonso Cuaron. Of course, he had to make a comment on the status of Star Wars: Episode VII.
“We’re working really hard and we’ve got our script and we’re in deep prep,” Abrams told TheWrap Sunday. “Full steam ahead, y’know.”
Abrams also confirmed reports that Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad) did meet with him about a role. However, Abrams said it was just a meeting, which he was surprised to learn from the media, not from the actor’s agent.
In the interview, Abrams also said that he’s likely not to shoot the film in IMAX. He previously shot scenes in the large-screen format for Star Trek Into Darkness, but doesn’t plan on doing that for Star Wars. “The problem with IMAX is it’s a very loud camera. It’s a very unreliable camera. Only so much film can be in the camera,” the director explained. “You can’t really do intimate scenes with it. It’s slow. They break down often. Having said that, they’re working on digital versions of these and so there may be a version one day. But we’re going to be shooting this next movie on film.”
(That confirms a previous report that cinematographer Dan Mindel will use 35mm film to shoot the movie.)
Abrams’ interview came just days after a series of rumors from a THR report suggested that Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia would have larger roles in the new movie.
“The spin-off movies, or we may come up with some other way to call those films, they exist within that vast universe that [George Lucas] created,” she said. “There is no attempt being made to carry characters [from the standalone films] in and out of the saga episodes."
Star Wars: Episode VII hits theaters in December 2015 and stars R2-D2.