The production for Star Wars: The Force Awakens is long over, but the producers are facing a new issue. The British Health and Safety Executive announced on February 11 that they charged Foodles Production Ltd. over a filming accident that involved actor Harrison Ford, according to People.
Foodles Production (UK) Ltd is the London-based production company for the Walt Disney Company that produced Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The HSE released a statement that says that Foodles Production Ltd. violated four breaches of health and safety law during the film’s production at London’s Pinewood Studios. The production company is responsible for making sure that their employees are working in a safe environment, whether on a factory floor or on a film set, according to British workplace safety authorities.
Harrison Ford broke his leg in a June, 2014, incident while filming the seventh installment of the Star Wars series. A heavy hydraulic door hit Ford’s left leg while he filmed a scene on the Millennium Falcon, the famous spaceship that belonged to Ford’s character, Han Solo.
The actor had to be rushed to a hospital in Oxford, and the film’s schedule had to change while Ford was in recovery. The 73-year-old actor had to undergo surgery and rehab before he could return to Pinewood Studios to finish his scenes.
The HSE did their own investigation over the accident, and decided to pursue charges against Foodles Production Ltd. The charges include that the workplace was not completely safe; employees’ health and safety were at risk; and that the company failed to make sure that the machinery worked properly and didn’t pose a threat to employees.
Representatives for Foodles Production Ltd. have to appear at the High Wycombe Magistrates Court on May 12 to answer the charges. The production company have not yet released a statement concerning the charges.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released on December 18, 2015, in the United States. The space opera reached a worldwide box office revenue of $2 billion this February, making it the highest-grossing film in the series, along with being the third film in movie history to reach that amount.
There are two more Star Wars sequels in the works. Star Wars: Episode VIII has a December 15, 2017, release date, while Episode IX will be released in 2019. Episode VIII originally had a May, 2017, release, but was pushed back until the December date.
Rian Johnson is the writer and director of the eighth installment of the series, and he will also write the ninth film. Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow will direct Episode IX. J.J. Abrams, who directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens, returns to the franchise as one of the executive producers for the remaining sequels.
Principal filming for Episode VIII was supposed to begin last month, but script rewrites kept delaying the original schedule. There was also a threat of a strike from Bectu, a film technicians’ union that demanded a pay raise in the industry for its workers. Union members were threatening to walk, and Episode VIII was among the nine films that would have been affected by the strike. U.S. producers managed to work out a deal with Bectu, and give film technicians a pay increase.
Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed on February 10 that production had begun, as reported by Entertainment Weekly. The Walt Disney Company owns all the rights to the Star Wars franchise ever since they purchased Lucasfilm Ltd. in December, 2012.
Most of the cast from Episode VII is set to return, including Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, and Oscar Isaac. Actors Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Benicio Del Toro are the newest cast members to join the latest Star Wars trilogy, although their film characters’ names have not been announced, but del Toro is rumored to have a villainous part.
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