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November 4, 1996 - Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace / scoops

Scooped on Sunday, May 9, 2010

'GWL' feels differently about the mysterious insider who's been submitting scoops. "For each leak from ILM, Lucas reduces the bonuses for ILM. If he were truly from ILM and was smart, he wouldn't be posting." We're not sure about the bonus situation with Lucasfilm, but the scooper claims he knows an individual who works for Lucasfilm, and isn't employed directly by LFL. "Official LFL sources, such as Steve Sansweet, have been touting the new release date as 1999 for quite some time. And let's get real about this -- do you really think that they could have it ready to go by 1998? They haven't even entered final casting stages!" To which we agree. Keeping a project as large and as closely-followed as this one secret until a few months before its release would be impossible. It may be possible to keep the knowledge of a crashed alien saucer secret for fifty years, but the knowledge that the new Star Wars movie is in production? [Scoop thoughts submitted by 'GWL'.]

We're told that after supervising effects work on The Lost World, Dennis Muren will spearhead, along with John Knoll, Joe Letteri and Alex Seiden, the R&D effort to develop the final software advances for the first prequel. Mark Dippe and Steve Williams, once they're free from the Spawn project, will also join the effort. Locations are locked in for Tunisia and are currently being planned for Portugal, the scooper tells us, and a second draft is currently nearing completion written by Frank Darabont. Carrie Fisher is planning to contribute an uncredited "polish" to strengthen female characterizations. Costume Designer Peggy Farrell is in the ongoing process of designing costumes in concert with prequel Art Director Doug Chiang. Working with the art staff in construction of sets in England is Gavin Bocquet. The schedule is shaping up and it looks like the second unit and plate photography is to commence in July or August of '97; principal photography is to begin the following October or November, with completion forcasted for February '98. [Scoop hologram sent in by an anonymous R2 unit.]

Remember the scoop from a 'bennett' up there? This fellow was reading an article in the Australian magazine Who; a small one-column feature on stars in Australia at the moment mentioned the actor who played Boba Fett (Jeremy Bullock). The actor declined an interview because he was "busy getting into role for a private project". This quote has put the 'Who' crew through the law courts before you can say "Star Wars Secret Sequel", and they now decline any further comment on the matter. A hushed up brouhaha? Methinks it to be so. If not, can someone tell me why these two seperate facts are connected then?" Maybe a secret Ewok tryst? [Sharp-eyed scoop credit is given to Bede Ronzani.]

And another scooper tells us that, "True, Frank Darabont is signed to write on the prequels, but negotiations were done through Rick McCallum, not Lucas, and Darabont has been waiting to hear back from them concerning when to start work, but he has been waiting for months now and is not going to keep his calendar clear if other projects come along. This info is straight from the source." [This info submitted anonymously.]

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