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September 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Even as it was being announced today (Thursday) that the $7 million expansion of Britain’s Elstree Studios, the original home of the Star Wars franchise, was now underway, reports appeared that J.J. Abrams, who is directing Episode VII of the franchise, is planning to “defy” George Lucas and the Walt Disney Co. and complete post-production work not in the U.K. but at his Bad Robot headquarters in Santa Monica, CA. Those facilities are also undergoing expansion, according to the Hollywood Reporter. (Abrams has previously indicated that he did not want to disrupt the lives of his family by moving them to the U.K. during the production of the movie.) The trade publication said that Abrams is building a green room, sound studios and other facilities at the location. Filming of the live-action scenes remains scheduled for the U.K. beginning in early 2014. (Oddly Australia’s AAP wire service is quoting Abrams as saying today that he would have “loved” to have shot the next Star Wars movie in Sydney. He told the wire service that he fell in love with the country when he visited there in 2006 to promote Mission: Impossible III. “It is one of the only places I have ever gone where within hours I called my wife and said ‘We should move here,'” he said.)