National Typewriter

A while back, a rumor began to circulate that J.J. Abrams was going to leave Star Wars Episode VII. The reason? He supposedly didn’t want to pick up and move to London, where Disney and Lucasfilm had agreed to make the movie. Abrams wanted to shoot it at home, in Los Angeles, California, and said as much in public.

Whether or not he was ever considering leaving the project over this gripe, we’ll never know. What we do know is that concessions have been made so Star Wars Episode VII will shoot, at least partially, in California. The Hollywood Reporter reports the Bad Robot offices in Santa Monica are getting a upgrade so Abrams and company can film at least some of the movie in his backyard.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “A green room, sound studios and other new facilities will be developed within the three-story, 18,000-square-foot Santa Monica building” and those “production spaces [are being] built specifically for the Star Wars project.”

Filming is rumored to start early next year, but before that we’ll have to hear some news about casting. That’s a process that’s currently underway and everyone expects announcements soon.

I was lucky enough to visit Bad Robot last year on the occasion of Abrams’ last film, Star Trek Into Darkness, and had the following to say about the building and the experience:

Some companies have offices that are a reflection of their work. Pixar is one, Google is another and Bad Robot certainly belongs on that list. J.J. Abrams’ TV and movie production company has an almost mythic quality. Part of that is because of the secretive nature of many of their productions. Another is because it’s in a building with the name “The National Typewriter Company” on the front. So, right off the bat, it’s almost as if it’s being hidden. If you go to this website you can see a slew of interior images of the space before Bad Robot moved in.

So imagine that gorgeous space, complete with every single cool geek think imaginable. I saw an original Star Wars poster, a Halloween poster signed by John Carpenter, some Shepard Fairey work, Simon Pegg’s head mold, a huge ad for Lost Kubrick toys and, of course, all kind of posters and images from their films and creations: Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, Lost, Cloverfield, and Alias are just a few. They have their own art department complete with 3D printer and screenprinter for t-shirts. Apparently, there’s a buzzer outside that says “Are You Ready?” but since we entered through the side, I wasn’t able to see it. There is, however, a time capsule buried in the ground in the courtyard that’s to be opened in 2057.

A quick glimpse through the slide show linked above will show you a lot of the things mentioned here and above: the outdoor spaces, the cool exterior, the open spacing indoors. Bad Robot truly is an awesome place.

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