Sounds like Carrie Fisher knew what she was talking about when she said she was going to return as Princess Leia for Star Wars: Episode VII.
Though the actress' rep later said Fisher was "joking," George Lucas went and told Bloomberg Businessweek that, even before Lucasfilm was sold to Disney for more than $4 billion, "we had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison—or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation."
"Maybe I'm not supposed to say that," Lucas added after a pause, per Bloomberg. "I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them. I won't say whether the negotiations were successful or not."
But count on the folks at Wired and CNet and other interested parties to pick up on that one exchange out of the middle of a massive article about deal-making and the future of the Star Wars franchise.
And despite the attempt at backtracking, this does mark the first time anyone has used the word signed when it comes to Fisher, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill, let alone all three in one sentence, and the upcoming seventh film in the saga.
Prior to Fisher's moment of candor, Hamill had said that he and his two principal costars had not yet signed contracts and Ford had been characteristically mum on the subject, despite a report that he was interested in returning as Han Solo.
J.J. Abrams has signed on to direct and Oscar winner Michael Arndt is penning the screenplay for Episode VII, which Disney is aiming to release in 2015, with Episode VIII and IX following in two- or three-year intervals.
Disney boss Robert Iger confirmed last month that The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi scribe Lawrence Kasdan is teaming with Sherlock Holmes screenwriter Simon Kinberg to develop spinoff films apart from the planned trilogy.