Harrison Ford Injury Will Delay Filming Of New ‘Star Wars’

Harrison Ford’s leg injury may be healing well, as we reported yesterday, but it looks like filming of the next episode of the “Star Wars” saga will still have to take a brief break.

In a production update posted at StarWars.com, Lucasfilm said

In August, the team will take a brief two-week hiatus while adjustments to the current production schedule are made as actor Harrison Ford recovers from a leg injury. Harrison is doing well and is looking forward to returning to the set soon. Shooting remains on track to wrap in the fall with the film scheduled for release on December 18, 2015.

The 71-year-old Ford is reprising the role of Han Solo that made him famous over three decades ago, but suffered an injury during filming last month. The Associated Press reports that Lucasfilm and Disney had originally said the injury would not cause any production delays.

Also according to the AP, Ford was hurt by a falling door on the Millennium Falcon set and was expected to need two months to recover. That would put him on track to rejoin the production following the August hiatus.

In addition to the filming delay, Lucasfilm and Disney announced that production had wrapped in Abu Dhabi. Filming is now taking place at the legendary Pinewood Studios in London, known as the home of the James Bond films as well as the classic Superman movies and Tim Burton’s “Batman” and “Batman Returns.”

And while Harrison Ford might be temporarily sidelined, the new “Star Wars” has added two more actors to its burgeoning cast. After an open casting call that saw 67,000 applicants, American actress Crystal Clarke and British actor Pip Andersen have been cast in unspecified roles. Andersen is “a skilled practitioner of parkour, a discipline that involves propelling oneself through any given environment with incredible grace and agility,” according to Lucasfilm, so expect a role making use of those talents.

“The Star Wars universe has always been about discovering and nurturing young talent and in casting Episode VII we wanted to remain absolutely faithful to this tradition,” said “Episode VII” producer and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “We are delighted that so many travelled to see us at the open casting calls and that we have been able to make Crystal and Pip a part of the film.”

When the tryouts hit the Windy City last year, the Chicago Tribune reported the filmmakers were looking for the following:

No.1: A young female, 17-18 years old, “street smart, independent, athletic, natural beauty… all ethnicities, multi & bi-racial.” (The character is named “Rachel” and was “quite young when she lost her parents. With no other family, she was forced to make her way alone in a tough, dangerous town… Always a survivor, never a victim, she remains hopeful…”)

No. 2: A young male to play 19-23 years old (though the actor must be older than 18). The role is described as “athletic, smart, handsome, independent spirited.” (The character is named “Thomas,” and he has “grown up without a father’s influence. Without the model of being a man, he doesn’t have the strongest sense of himself.”)

Clarke and Andersen will join Harrison Ford’s Han Solo as well as other original cast members Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in the yet-to-be-subtitled “Star Wars: Episode VII.” J.J. Abrams is directing, and despite the delay, should still have a finished product ready for Christmas 2015.

[photo: cinefagos.com]