We got the scoop on J.J. Abrams’ plan for The Force Awakens on home video.
The director told EW there will not be an extended edition of his mega-hit Star Wars sequel.
But there will be some additional footage.
“There will be deleted scenes, but not an extended version,” Abrams told us after the panel for his upcoming Hulu series 11.22.63 at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Beverly Hills on Saturday.
We also asked what the longest cut of the film was before he edited it down to two hours and 16 minutes for theatrical release.
“I don’t know what the longest cut was,” Abrams said. “Probably, if it were with credits, close to two hours and 50 minutes was the first cut.”
So unlike the first six Star Wars films, which were relentlessly and often controversially tinkered with by creator George Lucas, it sounds like Abrams expects to stick with the original theatrical cut. The director previously described a couple of the deleted scenes to EW, including a few that were teased in the film’s trailers.
Abrams has been indirectly quoted as being particularly excited about Rian Johnson’s script for Episode VIII. Speaking on Saturday, the director wouldn’t give specifics, even spoiler-free ones (“I wouldn’t want to do that because it’s not my movie to talk about”), but did express great interest in Johnson’s plans. “I will say that Ryan’s an amazing writer and director,” Abrams said of the Looper filmmaker. “I’m obviously really excited about what he’s going to do.”
Abrams was also asked about The Force Awakens’ record-breaking box office tally, becoming the highest-grossing domestic release of all time, with more than $770 million in ticket sales thus far.
“I’m grateful to anyone who has gone to see the movie,” Abrams said. “When I hear, anecdotally, people have gone seven or eight times. I just want to apologize to, I’m guessing, their parents.”
The director added that he was “very grateful” to fans and pleased the film is finally available for all to see.
“I can’t believe that it’s done,” Abrams said. “It was three years of very tense work by a lot of people. I’m just so happy that all the work that everyone did. Even the people who you don’t see in the movie – the puppeteers who were painted out, I watched them in 125-degree heat in Abu Dhabi bringing BB-8 to life, and then we mercilessly painted them out in the movie. I’m just so glad that people get to see all the work that this amazing cast and crew did. Whatever the numbers are, honestly I’m just so grateful the movie is out there and has been well received.”
Abrams also addressed the “preposterous” lack of Rey merchandise, noted that this was likely the final season of Person of Interest, and we got the first trailer for his new time-travel miniseries, 11.22.63.