Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 12 July 2014

Force with UK in new Star Wars film

The latest Star Wars film is to be made in the UK

The latest Star Wars film is to be made in the UK in what Chancellor George Osborne hailed as a fresh coup for British tax breaks.

Due to start production next year and be in cinemas in 2015, the much-anticipated seventh episode of the series is being directed by Emmy-award -winning JJ Abrams.

Confirming the move, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said she was "delighted that Star Wars is coming back to Britain".

Mr Osborne took to Twitter to reveal the decision, joking: "May the force be with us..."

"Today's announcement that the next Star Wars film will be shot and produced in the UK is great news for fans and our creative industries, and it is clear evidence that our incentives are attracting the largest studios back to the UK", he said in an official statement. I am personally committed to seeing more great films and television made in Britain."

Ms Kennedy said: "We've devoted serious time and attention to revisiting the origins of Star Wars as inspiration for our process on the new movie, and I'm thrilled that returning to the UK for production and utilizing the incredible talent there can be a part of that. Speaking from my own long-standing connection to the UK with films like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Empire of the Sun and recently War Horse, it's very exciting to be heading back."

Lucasfilm representatives met with Mr Osborne earlier this year to work on a deal to make the film in this country.

All of the six previous Star Wars movies have included UK production. Parts of previous films were shot in studios steeped in British cinematic history, including Elstree, Shepperton, Leavesden, Ealing and Pinewood Studios.

Star Wars: Episode VII is being scripted by Toy Story 3 writer Michael Amdt and directed by Abrams, who was behind TV's Lost and was also picked to revive the Star Trek franchise.

The director has been described as fhe "ideal choice" by Star Wars creator George Lucas. Lucasfilm was bought last year by Disney for £2.7 billion.

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