Thursday, July 12, 2018

Rumor: Filming For Obi-Wan Stand Alone Film to Take Place in Belfast

By: Dominic Jones

The long rumored, but never officially announced, Obi-Wan Kenobi stand alone film may have found its production home.  The Belfast Telegraph is reporting that filming for the upcoming Star Wars spin off will take place at Paint House Studios in Belfast, Northern Ireland beginning in spring of 2019.  The Paint House Studios has been the home of several major productions lately, including HBO's Game of Thrones and Syfy's Krypton.

Now, before we get too excited, the story does have a couple of red flags that suggest this may not be the most accurate information.  First and foremost, The Belfast Telegraph reports that, "Star Wars creator George Lucas visited Northern Ireland before Christmas to seal the deal for the new standalone film."  Which is odd, because Lucas is no longer actively involved in the production of new Star Wars films.  Likely the person making these deals would be Lucasfilm president and producer-extraordinaire Kathleen Kennedy, or some other high ranking Lucasfilm or Disney representative.  Also, it bears keeping in mind that an Obi-Wan film has never actually been announced, and it's all rumor and speculation at this point.

With that being said, there is also some circumstantial evidence to suggest this may be some validity to this report (outside of Lucas' involvement).  The report that filming on the Obi-Wan film would begin in Spring 2019 does line up with a report from Fantha Tracks earlier this year that production would begin in Spring 2019 for a December 2020 release date.  At the time it was believed that production would take place at Pinewood Studios in London, where all Star Wars films since 2014 have been shot and where Episode IX is about to start shooting.  It is possible that the timeline is accurate, and the location of the production has changed.

If that's the case (and that is a big if), it might explain all the panic about the future of the stand alone films that started a few weeks ago, when Collider reported that all spin off films in production had been put on hold.  This was later disputed in a report from ABC News which claimed that Lucasfilm still had multiple films in development outside of Episode IX, the trilogy from Rian Johnson, and series from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.  It could be that the production of future stand alone films were put on hold because Lucasfilm is moving its primary production location from London to Belfast, leading to confusion among the London-based crews about what was going on.  However, I want to be clear about that this is just speculation.

The idea of an Obi-Wan Kenobi stand alone film is one that has been floating around ever since Lucasfilm was bought by Disney in Fall 2012.  The rumors picked up steam in August 2017 when The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Stephen Daldry was in talks to direct the film.  Since then there has been no official announcement about the film, though many hope that Ewan McGregor will reprise his role as young Obi-Wan from the prequel trilogy.

As always, this is just a rumor until confirmed or denied by Lucasfilm or Disney.

Follow The Star Wars Underworld on Twitter @TheSWU for more updates about this story and other breaking Star Wars news.


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