October 18, 2014 – Kathleen Kennedy, president of LucasFilm, recently attended the opening of the Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) studios in Covent Garden, London. She announced that LucasFilm is “within three weeks of finishing filming on Star Wars: Episode VII” and pointed out that Star Wars has decades-old ties to London: “This continues a long tradition of Star Wars movies being made in London. It goes back to 1976,” said Kennedy.
“To know that we are now coming back and we will be making the movies once again based out of Pinewood and now we’re looking to put together ILM London, it’s rather remarkable that this has come together in less than two years.”
ILM is the special effects company founded by George Lucas in 1975. Frustrated by the then-limited special effects technology available, Lucas created ILM so that his vision of Star Wars could come to life with groundbreaking visual effects. ILM also has locations in San Francisco, Vancouver and Singapore. The company has done the effects for over 300 films, including E.T.: The Exraterrestrial, Back to the Future, and Avatar.
Disney, parent company of ILM, was persuaded to produce more films in the U.K. courtesy of a generous £170m tax break from the U.K. government. In addition, ILM will be able to tap into a wide talent pool in London.