'Star Wars' Fan Film '5-25-77' Finally Headed For Release

More than a decade after Patrick Read Johnson started shooting 5-25-77, his Star Wars-centric coming-of-age drama, he's finally done. The director has confirmed in a recent interview that the movie is ready to go, and will be released later this year.

John Francis Daley leads 5-25-77 as a young film geek whose life is changed by a little movie called Star Wars. Work-in-progress cuts of 5-25-77 have been screened before, notably at Star Wars Celebration in 2007 and TIFF in 2013, but money troubles kept it from completion until now. Read about Johnson's plans for a 5-25-77 release after the jump. 

"The movie is done," Johnson told Yahoo, adding that he just needs to get the final cut cleaned up. In all, Johnson estimates, the film shot for 50 days over 10 years. Shooting began in summer 2004 but Johnson ran out of money with about 75% of the movie complete. He's spent much of his time since then trying to raise funds to finish the movie. (There was even a movie, Hearts of Dorkness, about his efforts.)

Johnson revealed that an unnamed distributor is already in place, and plans release 5-25-77 in theaters and VOD this year. "I can tell you that the film will come out in theaters on a significant date," Johnson teased. All he would confirm for now was that it would not conflict with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which opens December 18.

The filmmaker also encouraged fans to look out for "unconventional advertising" leading up to the 5-25-77 release. "A few months out, you'll start to see some things appearing around the country, and if you've seen the movies these things are referencing — like 2001 and Jaws — you'll know it's advertising before anyone else does," he said.

Check out the 5-25-77 TIFF trailer and official synopsis below.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away—or rather, in early-'70s Wadsworth, Illinois—Pat, a teenage geek with a big imagination, devoted his spare time and excess energy to concocting supremely amateur "sequels" to the genre cinema of the day. With his backyard and basement standing in for a Hollywood studio, he set the sights of his Super-8 on his own visions of JAWS, PLANET OF THE APES, DUEL and of course the catalyst for his crazed creativity, 2001: A SPACE ODDYSEY. His best pal Bill doesn't entirely share his raging passion but he's perfectly game to have his arm torn off or heart ripped out in the name of homemade sci-fi cinema—and be Pat's comrade in discovering the delights and disasters of an average adolescent's life. But such lives, even those in ordinary Wadsworth, have their dramatic defining moments. Pat's arrives in a chance opportunity to visit Hollywood and while there, meet with special effects maestro Douglas Trumbull. Along that path, however, lies a fateful detour... an audience with the young, rising director Steven Spielberg, a journey through the guts of Industrial Light & Magic in its infancy, and an encounter with one George Lucas as he manically mixes up a little space-opera movie that would soon shake the foundations of cinematic art and business...