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It won't be long until the cinematic Star Wars universe begins to expand. In target of the film's 2015 release date, Star Wars: Episode VII will be going into production later this year, and HitFix has now reportedly confirmed exactly when that will be. The site has confirmed with multiple unnamed sources that the next installment of the great sci-fi franchise will be going in front of cameras starting in mid-May of this year and will be shooting until September. It has already been officially announced that they will be shooting at Pinewood Studios in England. But that's only the tip of the iceberg.
If HitFix's sources are to be believed, then Star Wars: Episode VII is already much further along than any of us think. The site says that "most principal casting on the film is complete," and that "pretty much everyone who could make a return [from the previous films] will make a return," including Billy Dee Williams' Lando Calrissian. The production has been in the casting process for months, so it wouldn't be a complete surprise that they have already found a cast - but it will be strange when Disney and LucasFilm announce the full line-up for the film all in one day.
This all sounds very logical and reasonable, but of course it's all just rumor until the studios send out a full press release announcing their specific plans. At this stage we know incredibly little about the film, which you might be able to tell from the fact that it still doesn't even have a title. J.J. Abrams is directing based on a script he co-wrote with Empire Strikes Back scribe Lawrence Kasdan, having originally been working from drafts written by Oscar winner Michael Arndt. In terms of characters, the only one officially set to return is R2-D2, but we don't even know if Kenny Baker will be back in the suit or if it will be completely robotic this time around. It's been reported that Breaking Bad's Jesse Plemons is the frontrunner for the lead role, but even that only counts as speculation at this point. Abrams has said that he is going out of his way to be extra, super, especially secret about this film, so who knows when we're actually going to be able to separate all of the facts from the constantly flying fictions.
If there's anything to really gain from this article, it's that we will probably be hearing about who will be starring in Star Wars: Episode VII some time before mid-May. It's definitely much to go on, but it's what we've got at this point. In the meantime, just rest easy and just keep imagining the perfect sequel in your own mind.