Writer-director Kevin Smith lived out a nerdy childhood fantasy last week, visiting the London set of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII. (He even posted a teary-eyed Instagram selfie to prove how amazing the experience was.) As The Hollywood Reporter notes (via Slashfilm), Smith opened up about the visit during a recent Q&A at the Neuchatel International Film Festival in Switzerland, gushing about the old-school, “tactile” world Abrams has created.
“So we go to the set, and they’re actually shooting – and this is what I can’t tell you what they were shooting – but what I saw I absolutely loved,” Smith said in the above video (starting around the 35-minute mark). “It was tactile; it wasn’t a series of fucking green and blue screens in which later on digital characters would be added. It was there; it was happening.”
The filmmaker signed a non-disclosure agreement, which restricts him from revealing specific details about the project. But he did drop some intriguing hints, including a mention of a full-scale Millennium Falcon (which he viewed during a tour of “Stage M”).
“I saw uniforms; I saw artillery that I haven’t seen since I was a kid,” he continued. “I saw them shooting an actual sequence in a set that is real – I walked across the set; there were explosions – and it looked like a shot right out of a fucking Star Wars movie,” he said.
Smith said Abrams is “building a tacticle world, a world you can touch. And he’s replicating it with all the love of somebody that has the world’s greatest collection of Star Wars figures.”
He then used an unlikely pop culture reference to explain the majesty of what he saw.
“It’s like Field of Dreams,” he continued. “And if J.J. builds it, we’re all going to come hard because it’s amazing. It looks fantastic. So anyone out there wondering if he’s going to pull it off: He’s pulling it off. He showed me cut scenes; he showed me sequences, images, pictures. I cried, and I hugged that guy. And I’m sure as I was crying and hugging on him that he was thinking ‘time is money’ because they’re making a movie. But he got it. He was very flattered. And I was like, ‘Honestly dude, you’re doing it. You’re making my childhood again. You’re doing our Star Wars.’ What I saw blew me away.”
Abrams’ tacticle world is so real, it’s already resulted in a broken leg for returning cast member Harrison Ford. After the Millennium Falcon fell on his appendage last month – arguably the coolest injury of all time – the actor began a two-month recuperation process. On Sunday, Disney announced that production on Episode VII would be suspended for two weeks, The Associated Press reports; the studio also promised that the film is still expected to finish shooting in the fall and hit theaters in December 2015.