It appears the Force is still strong with Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher.
In an interview posted online Thursday, George Lucas said the trio from the original “Star Wars” trilogy will reprise their iconic roles of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia in the new “Star Wars” film.
Lucas told Bloomberg Businessweek that all three were signed for the new “Episode VII” film in advance of Lucasfilm’s $4 billion purchase by Disney.
“We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison – or were pretty much in the final stages of negotiation,” Lucas said.
He added: “Maybe I’m not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do.”
Disney’s Lucasfilm was coy in response. In a statement, a spokesperson for the company said, “George couldn’t say whether they were signed or not and neither can we. As Yoda said, ‘Always in motion is the future.’ Stay tuned.”
The Walt Disney Co. is producing a new “Star Wars” trilogy to take place after Lucas’ original three space epics. J.J. Abrams is directing the first film. The 70-year-old Ford, 61-year-old Hamill and 56-year-old Fisher are expected to play smaller, supporting roles.
Bieber faints backstage at O2 show
Adding to a tough week, singer Justin Bieber fainted backstage Thursday at a concert in London. A spokeswoman for Bieber said late Thursday that the 19-year-old pop star was given oxygen and took a 20-minute reprieve after fainting backstage at London’s O2 Arena.
“Getting better,” Bieber later posted on Twitter. “Thanks for everyone pulling me thru tonight. Best fans in the world. Figuring out what happened. Thanks for the love.”
Jazz Chappell, a 20-year-old concertgoer, said a backup dancer helped Bieber off stage after he announced he couldn’t breathe and needed water.
In a video of the concert posted online, Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, appeared on stage and told the crowd that the singer was feeling “very low of breath” but would come back to finish the show. Chappell said Bieber, who’s in London to perform four concerts at the O2, later returned and performed low-energy renditions of his hits “Boyfriend” and “Baby.”
The incident caps a difficult week for Bieber. He was forced to apologize to outraged fans who accused him of taking the stage almost two hours late for his first concert at the O2 on Monday.
The birthday bunch
Songwriter Carole Bayer Sager is 69. Actor-director Micky Dolenz is 68. Actor Aidan Quinn is 54. Actress Camryn Manheim is 52. Rock singer Shawn Mullins is 45. Actor Freddie Prinze Jr. is 37. Actor James Van Der Beek is 36.