LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The late actress Carrie Fisher will be featured in the next “Star Wars” movie, using previously unseen footage she recorded for the 2015 movie “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Walt Disney Co. studio said on Friday.
FILE PHOTO: Carrie Fisher poses for cameras as she arrives at the European Premiere of Star Wars, The Force Awakens in Leicester Square, London, on December 16, 2015. REUTERS/Paul Hackett/File Photo
Actor Mark Hamill, whose Luke Skywalker character appeared to die in last year’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” will also appear in the next movie, which will start filming in London on Aug. 1, Disney said in a statement.
Fisher, who played Princess Leia, died suddenly in December 2016 at age 60 after suffering a heart attack just as she was enjoying a career revival with the re-invigorated “Star Wars” movie franchise that reunited her with Hamill and Harrison Ford in “The Force Awakens.”
She had just finished shooting “The Last Jedi” and Leia was to have been the central character in the ninth film in the sci-fi franchise, “Star Wars: Episode IX.”
“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” director J.J. Abrams, who will direct “Episode IX,” said in a statement.
“Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. We were never going to recast, or use a CG (computer-generated) character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII,” he added.
Disney said after Fisher’s death that the script for the ninth movie was being reworked.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Susan Thomas and Dan Grebler