Star Wars: Episode VII will begin shooting in mid-May, according to HitFix, with filming expected to wrap by September. Director J.J. Abrams has already confirmed that work on the script is complete, and also hinted at a May start, but now we know the full shooting schedule. The director still hasn't revealed who will star in Episode VII — aside from R2-D2, anyway. Abrams did confirm that he's held discussions with Jesse Plemons of Breaking Bad about a potential role, and Michael B. Jordan, Gary Oldman, Zac Efron, and Saoirse Ronan have each admitted they've been in talks. Ronan later clarified that she missed out on a role. Original stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford are also rumored to be taking part.
Star Wars: Episode VII will arrive at theaters on December 18th, 2015, which gives Abrams plenty of time to complete post-production work. In various press interviews, Abrams has signaled that he intends to return the franchise to its earlier, "Space Western" roots. Episode VII is the first of three upcoming films set after the original Star Wars trilogy; it's the first to come from Disney after the company paid $4.05 billion to secure Lucasfilm and all rights to the beloved sci-fi property.
The majority of filming is expected to take place at Pinewood Studios outside of London. With so much riding on the project, The Hollywood Reporter says that Industrial Light & Magic — Lucasfilm's visual-effects division — is preparing to launch a brand-new UK facility. ILM’s Roger Guyett will oversee visual effects work on Star Wars: Episode VII.