There’s a couple of Star Wars: Episode VII related tidbits that have surfaced today, courtesy of Disney studio chief Alan Horn, who has apparently been fairly busy making public appearances today.
First off, Horn has mentioned what the budgets will be for the new trilogy of films. The word comes from Variety reporter Marc Graser, who tweeted out the following earlier this morning as he was covering Horn at a speaking engagement –
Disney's Alan Horn says the new Star Wars movies will have budgets of around $175 million to $200 million
— Marc Graser (@marcgraser) April 22, 2014
A price tag in the range of $175 to $200 million is not surprising, given that that is the same price that Disney is shelling out per Marvel Studios movie. It is also a bit less than the $225 to $250 million that the studio dropped on John Carter and The Lone Ranger, both of which the studio took markdowns on after they severely underperformed at the box office. I don’t believe that there is anyone out there who thinks that the new Star Wars films will be as disappointing. By comparison, Episode VII director J J Abrams managed to film Star Trek Into Darkness for $190 million.
Another Variety report is stating that in another appearance by Horn today, he confirmed the previous rumors and subsequent set photos that some second unit work had already been shot in Abu Dhabi stating “We have to give that the ‘Star Wars’-ian look, if I can use that as an adjective — we need to go to these places.” He didn’t confirm that the Abu Dhabi filming indicated that the new films would return to the previously seen in a number of other Star Wars films as is being speculated about in fandom.
Horn also repeated that casting on the film was very close to being completed but that the studio is not yet ready to make any announcements. But with the expected start of production looming ever closer they better get their act together soon.