Star Wars VII director named as JJ Abrams but does he realise that it was the British crew and studio which made the franchise the stellar success it became ?
Jonathan Stuart-Brown for Save The British Film Industry.
Without doubt JJ Abrams is a great director and a great producer. A great guy. A very talented man. The reboot of Star Trek was a revelation and the sequel is eagerly anticipated.
However, JJ Abrams may have no idea how very much the original Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back and Return of The Jedi owed to the genius of British crews in Elstree Studios. What was a cheap movie with no name American actors became the biggest box office movies of the generation. Allow for inflation and they still are.
The new Star Wars screenplay -written by Michael Arndt, the man who wrote ‘Toy story 3’, should be excellent full of action, humour, heart, hope and inspiration.
Disney paid $4 billion to Lucasfilm – mainly for the rights to make three Star Wars movies – but unlike say Warners, Universal or Paramount, they are not as clear on the genius of British based crews and sound stages. Just look at WHERE the biggest box office smashes are consistently made and look at where and by who The Star Wars franchise was manufactured.
Spielberg and George Lucas discovered the genius of British film crews and physical sound stage infrastructure in the 1970s. So did Harry Saltzman and Cubby Broccoli in the very early 1960s with the 007 franchise.
Star Trek is ironically one of the very few highly successful Hollywood franchises with minimal British input – apologies to Patrick Stewart – where it really matters : behind the camera. JJ Abrams may find that unless he bases Star Wars VII in British studios with British crew that it might lack whatever it was that made the series supremely successful and not just another low budget cheap sci-fi production.