In his admirable bid to recapture the essence of the original trilogy, director J.J. Abrams made the somewhat contentious decision to shoot Star Wars: The Force Awakens on 35mm film, favoring the old-school approach over digital methods. Rian Johnson will follow suit for Star Wars: Episode VIII late next year but with Star Wars: Episode IX – Johnson also cited “logistical reasons” as a huge influencer – Disney is poised to cap off the spacefaring trilogy in a big, big way.
Joining the likes of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight and, soon, WWII epic Dunkirk, Movieweb is reporting that Episode IX will be shot on 65mm film, allowing directors – Colin Trevorrow, in this instance – to capture a much clearer image on a grand scale. If 35mm is prone to loss of quality during projections, 65mm is considered the perfect solution.
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It’s another fold to the ongoing film vs. digital debate, essentially, and we understand that Star Wars: Episode IX is one of a handful of upcoming features that will incorporate 65mm scenes. Kenneth Branagh’s star-studded Murder On the Orient Express, for instance, will use the large-scale format, while The Nutcracker and the Four Realms will also be shot on 65mm. Other films that will integrate small doses of the technique include The Death and Life of John F. Donovan.
Should things go according to plan, Star Wars: Episode IX will zoom into theaters at some point in 2019 – around Christmas, most likely – and you can check out Kodak’s official statement regarding the 65mm announcement (via The Playlist), below.
“The film comeback is accelerating,” said Steven Overman, Chief Marketing Officer and President, Consumer and Film Division at Kodak, “and the epic, big screen experience is well and truly back. The creative and aesthetic distinctiveness of 65mm film is still well beyond the capability of digital capture, so when discerning filmmakers want to a create work of memorable grandeur and lasting visual quality, they know that only real film delivers.”