Lawrence Kasdan has been speaking to Vanity Fair about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and has identified a typical blockbuster pitfall that he and J.J. Abrams have identified as something to be avoided: an excessive run-time.
“This new movie, first of all, it’s turning out really great,” begins Kasdan. “J.J. directed it so beautifully, and it’s so exhilarating and everything. It’s a big movie. It’s full of wonderful stuff, incident and character stuff and jokes and effects. One of the things that we always refocus on from the get-go was that it not be one of these very long, bloated blockbusters.”
“A lot of very entertaining movies lately are too long. In the last 20 minutes, you think, ‘why isn’t this over?’ We didn’t want to make a movie like that. I mean, we were really aiming to have it be – when it’s over you’ll say, ‘I wish there’s more.’ Or, ‘Wait, is it over?’ Because how rarely you get that feeling nowadays, and I think we’re headed there. But it means that there will be constant critical looking at it from now to the end, saying, ‘Do we need this? Do we need that? Is it better if this comes out, even though we love it?’ Killing your darlings.”
It’s certainly been the case that many of the biggest tentpole movies of the last few years have been approaching the two and a half hour mark, and one might expect a movie on the scale of Star Wars to follow suit, so it’s encouraging that Abrams and Kasdan are actively aware of that risk. Sounds like that editing room is going to be a bloodbath…
Directed by Abrams and co-starring John Boyega, Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley, Star Wars: The Force Awakens will open in the UK and US on 18 December 2015.