George Lucas has confirmed that talks had been held with Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill about having them reprise their "Star Wars" roles in Disney's new "Star Wars: Episode VII."
The creator of the hit sci-fi franchise made his comments to the financial news outlet Bloomberg Businessweek in an interview published on Thursday, March 7.
"We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison -- or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation," Lucas told Bloomberg Businessweek. "So I called them to say, 'Look, this is what's going on."
"Maybe I'm not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them," he added. "I won't say whether the negotiations were successful or not."
The Reuters news wire also reported on Thursday that Ford, 56, Hamill, 61 and Ford, 70, are "in talks to join the next installment" of the franchise," citing "a person with knowledge of plans for the new film." The source told the outlet that lawyers had the contracts for all three actors and that an announcement would be made soon.
That funny Carrie Fisher...
The interview was published soon after Fisher told a Florida news outlet that she would return as Princess Leia. Lucasfilm, Lucas' company, would not confirm the news and her spokesperson later told CNN that the actress, who is known for her sense of humor, was joking, adding: "Nothing has been announced."
The actress played the character, the sister of hero Luke Skywalker, in the original trilogy, starting from the first movie, "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope," which was released in 1977. Hamill played Skywalker and Ford, 70, starred as the swashbuckling Han Solo. All three characters are among the most recognized pop culture icons in the world.
The three actors last appeared on screen together in 2005 at the AFI Life Achievement Award tribute event honoring Lucas.
They did not appear in the most recent "Star Wars" prequel trilogy, which starred Natalie Portman as her mother and was released between 1999 and 2005. Disney acquired Lucasfilm for more than $4 billion last year and later announced plans to make a new "Star Wars" trilogy" as well as standalone films in the franchise. The first movie, "Star Wars: Episode VII," is set to be directed by J.J. Abrams, who also helmed the 2009 "Star Trek" reboot and is directing its 2013 sequel.
When asked about the trio's participation in the new movies, a spokesperson for Lucas' company, Lucasfilm, told OTRC.com on Wednesday, March 6: "As Yoda said, 'Always in motion is the future.' We haven't made any announcements about casting."
Ford has not commented about a February report about his alleged casting by Fox News Latino, while Hamill told "Entertainment Tonight" that month, vaguely, "they're talking to us," but that no deals have been signed.
"Star Wars: Episode VII" takes place after the events seen in "Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi" and is set to be released in 2015.
The Walt Disney Company also owns the ABC Television Network and eight local news stations, such as KABC Television, OTRC.com's parent firm.