The cat keeps creeping out of the "Star Wars" bag when it comes to the reports that original cast members Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher will reprise their roles from the classic sci-fi film.
The latest evidence: George Lucas has opened his big mouth.
Lucas all but confirmed that the actors who originally played Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia will reclaim their famed characters in "Star Wars: Episode VII." "We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison -- or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation. So I called them to say, 'Look, this is what's going on,'" Lucas (accidentally?) told Bloomberg Businessweek.
Lucas backtracked, saying, "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."
Then he tried to cover his tracks: "I won’t say whether the negotiations were successful or not."
With so much attention on the upcoming "Star Wars" installment -- this being the first in the series to be made following Disney's acquisition of LucasFilm -- it makes sense that the studio would want to keep each news development under its firm control.
But it's not going down that way.
Earlier this week, Fisher seemed to confirm she was on board as Leia only to take it back. Her rep told CNN "She was joking... Nothing has been announced." Interesting phrasing. She didn't out and out deny Fisher's involvement.
Ford, Hamill and Fisher have all let it be known they're open to the idea of reprising their "Star Wars" roles. The Ford deal was reported in mid-February to be signed and sealed (and it appears he will be getting a lot of screen time). In late February, Hamill confirmed he was approached by Lucas. He also further signaled he had skin in the game, commenting that he hopes the forthcoming light saber-wielding sequel will "lighten up and go retro."
We have to call it: All evidence points to this being a done deal. The only question left appears to be how much wind has been taken out of Disney's sails leading up to the pomp and circumstance of the presumed announcement.
J.J. Abrams ("Lost" and "Star Trek"), known for being ultra-secretive about the production of his projects, is directing "Star Wars: Episode VII," due in theaters in 2015.
Watch the Blu-ray trailer for 'Star Wars: The Complete Collection':.
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