The very likeable J.J. Abrams has given some more interviews regarding Episode VII. MTV offers up the following quote regarding the release date:
I will say that it is an infinitely better situation now than when they were saying that they wanted it in the summer [of 2015]. Before I even came onto the project, they were talking about 2015, and they made this announcement very early on, which I understand. I understand why they’d want that, but it didn’t necessarily have anything to do with the reality of where anything was creatively.
I think that it’s a hugely important thing that [the creative process] come first. A release date is great, but you have to release something great. To me, the new release date is a huge improvement.
The whole video interview is a lot of fun and well worth watching, however.
Meanwhile, Abrams spoke to Total Film regarding shooting in the U.K.:
It’s something that I’ve always intended to do. But I’m torn because I have done everything I can to keep the production of my projects in Los Angeles. Yet the opportunity to work with UK crews is something that has always been a dream of mine.
Of course, that dream existed prior to me being married and having a family, so the reality of making a movie like that for any period of time becomes much more difficult when there are other people that you desperately love and care for involved.
On the matter of working with Lawrence Kasdan:
Working with Larry has been one of the most surreal joys of my life. We’ve had a lot of fun working together. He’s an incredible guy and an inspiring and spectacular writer.
There’s not a whole lot to add to the above quotes, except to say that 1) the release date was apparently unrealistic right from the start and 2) the U.K. filming clearly was a sticking point, even if Abrams conceded in the end.