‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ Will Be Shot On 35MM Film Stock

Much to the surprise of celluloid junkies around the world, J.J. Abrams intends to shoot Star Wars: Episode VII on 35mm film.

Although George Lucas embraced digital photography for his prequels, Abrams and cinematographer Dan Mindel are doing things a bit more old-school. The duo intend to shoot the next installment of the beloved franchise on film stock.

For those who firmly believe that celluloid looks a lot better than digital, this is certainly good news. As Hollywood races into the digital age, it’s kind of refreshing to hear about a major production that wants to capture the magic on film. Kodak film stock 5219, to be exact.

During his appearance at the American Society of Cinematographers, Dan Mindel confirmed that J.J. Abrams intends to shoot Star Wars: Episode VII on 35mm Kodak film. This is definitely good news for fans who didn’t like the look and feel of the Lucas’ prequels.

Mindel first worked with Abrams on the Tom Cruise action flick Mission: Impossible III. It was during this production that the cinematographer taught the director how to use the lens flare effect found in the Star Trek movies.

Unless something major happens between now and then, production on Star Wars: Episode VII will begin this January. Pre-production work is said to be underway at Pinewood Studios. Next year should be stuffed to overflowing with set reports and endless speculation.

Abrams isn’t the only director who is still using film stock these days. Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, and Quentin Tarantino decided to skip digital in favor of this old-school technique. According to Lincoln cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, film stock allows directors to tell better stories with shadows and light.

Other films shot on film in recent days include Les Miserables, Anna Karenina, The Master, and the award-winning flick Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Star Wars: Episode VII should arrive in theaters in 2015. Are you excited that J.J. Abrams is shooting the sequel on film stock instead of digital?

[Image via Lucasfilm / Walt Disney Pictures]