We've heard a number of rumblings that Disney are keen for the next Star Wars film to be produced in the UK. What's more, it looks like they're also keen for visual FX work and other post production to be carried out over here in blighty, and The Wrap just this week backed up ongoing rumours that ILM are planning a British office.
All of this should lend some credibility to The Sun's story* that some of the film could be shot on location on in the Highlands and on the Isle of Skye.
They quote a mysterious source:
Location bosses feel Scotland possesses stunning scenery perfect for movie backdrops. They will look great on the big screen and the rock formations will replicate the perception of mountainous planets. It will be the first time Star Wars has ever been shot north of the border.
Well, it would make a nice change from Iceland.
I know that pre-emptive location scouting can start early. Once upon a time, teams were looking for Amazing Spider-Man 2 locations in London, but by the time the film went into production there wasn't going to be even a single shot set, let alone filmed, outside of New York.
If this is true, and we don't know that it is, it's an interesting proposition for one reason in particular. The last run of Star Wars films tended towards very artificial, green-screen facilitated settings. This would be the more organic approach that worked so well for the original Tatooine, Moon of Endor and so on. I think it would make some of the fans rather happy to see a "practical locations" plan in place.
*There isn't a single Skyewalker pun. This isn't The Sun I remember.