Now it’s starting to feel like some kind of cruel Jedi Mind Trick.
On the same day that a rep for original Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher, revealed that the actress was just kidding when she claimed that she was the first “Star Wars” veteran to sign up for the upcoming “Star Wars: Episode VII,” the series’ master of the universe, George Lucas stirred the rumor pot some more.
“We had already signed Mark [Hamill] and Carrie and Harrison [Ford]– or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation,” Lucas told Bloomberg Businessweek in a new interview about the original trio who played, respectively, Luke Skywalker, Leia and Han Solo.
He was speaking of the “Star Wars” reboot he was working on before the $4 billion dollar deal that turned Lucasfilm over to Disney earlier this year.
“So I called them to say, ’Look, this is what’s going on’ … 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. I won’t say whether the negotiations were successful or not.”
The Bloomberg story chronicles the history of the sale, including the decision in 2012 to ask producer Kathleen Kennedy to take over Lucasfilm. That was followed by talks to revive “Star Wars” yet again.
In short order Oscar-winning “Little Miss Sunshine” screenwriter Michael Arndt was hired to work on “Episode VII,” as well as Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.”
More importantly, Lucas reached out to Hamill, Ford and Fisher and Kennedy convinced J.J. Abrams to direct the film. Rumors have rampant that Hamill, Ford and Fisher could reprise their roles in the new film, but so far only Fisher has commented … and that was in jest, when she told Palm Beach Illustrated that she’d definitely be back to play an “elderly” Leia.
Hamill, 61, beat Lucas and Fisher to the punch a few weeks ago, confirming to Entertainment Tonight that negotiations were already underway for the trio’s return.
“They’re talking to us,” he said. “George [Lucas] wanted to know whether we’d be interested. He did say that if we didn’t want to do it, they wouldn’t cast another actor in our parts — they would write us out. … I can tell you right away that we haven’t signed any contracts. We’re in the stage where they want us to go in and meet with Michael Arndt … and Kathleen Kennedy … Both have had meetings set that were postponed — on their end, not mine. They’re more busy than I am … It’s all very, very exciting and so unexpected.”