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Are Disney and J.J. Abrams fighting about 'Star Wars: Episode VII's' release date?

28 June 2014, 5:20 pm EDT By Robin Parrish Tech Times
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In the wake of Harrison Ford's now-infamous leg injury on the set of "Star Wars: Episode VII," director J.J. Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy have been put in an unenviable position.

Reportedly, Ford's leg break (or ankle break, depending on which report you believe) was a severe one, requiring surgery and physical therapy, and his recovery time could keep him out of commission for up to six months. One report cites a Lucasfilm rep directly, saying the part about Ford's recovery time is categorically untrue.

"What you heard is an erroneous report," Lucasfilm Publicity reportedly said. "Actor Harrison Ford underwent successful surgery for a broken leg and will begin rehab shortly. He's doing well and looks forward to returning to work."

Of course, since neither Lucasfilm nor Disney have released any kind of official statement about the situation, no one knows what to believe. What we do know is that Ford is the biggest name attached to "Star Wars 7," and Han Solo is believed to be the film's lead character. So his absence from the set is a big deal. J.J. Abrams' production schedule has no wiggle room at all, with filming needing to wrap up on time so that post-production and visual effects work can get done in time for the movie's December 2015 release date.

Ever since the incident, which took place on June 11, 2014, fans have been speculating about what Abrams and Disney would do to keep the movie on track. Would they attempt to shoot Ford's remaining scenes from the waist-up? Would they employ a body double and put Ford's head on top with CGI? Would they rewrite the script to diminish Ford's role in favor of another actor (Oscar Isaac has been the most popular rumor)? Or might they do the unthinkable and push back the movie's release date?

A report from Latino Review states that Abrams and Kennedy want to do just that — delay the movie's release from December 2015 to May 2016. Besides giving them time to breathe and get Ford's scenes in the can, a May 4th release date would put it alongside the release dates of past films in the franchise. ("VII" will be the first-ever "Star Wars" movie to arrive at Christmas.) But Disney's head honcho Bob Iger is reportedly having none of it. Disney has committed millions of dollars to marketing and merchandising, as well as scheduling additional "Star Wars" films for consecutive years. In short, Bob Iger can't afford to change the release date; too many wheels are already spinning.

If Latino Review's report is to be believed, then the movie's London set may have seen some heated arguments between the production crew and Disney's CEO. Unless, of course, everyone always gets along and there's never anything but rainbows and roses in the Mouse House.

Yeah, that's probably how it is.

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