'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' U.K. Premiere Set to Take Over Leicester Square
The European premiere is happening simultaneously in three theaters in the heart of London's cinema district.
Leicester Square, the central London hub that plays host to almost all of the U.K.'s major film premieres, has welcomed a few impressive red carpets in its time. But it seems the setup being erected for Dec. 16's European premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens may be a unique show.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter while dozens of construction workers put together elaborate scaffolding and giant screens in the background, a security guard working at the site said it looked likely to be the "biggest" event Leicester Square had ever seen.
Rather than just being laid down one side of the square as per most London premieres, he explained that the red carpet would be going around "the whole bloody thing."
The guard also revealed that the actual film itself would screen in three Leicester Square cinemas — the Odeon, Vue and Empire — simultaneously on Wednesday evening. The main talent, however, would be attending one of the theaters, expected to be at the Empire Cinema, which recently installed Imax's latest laser-projection system, the first in Europe to use the technology.
THR couldn't spot any Star Wars fans on Tuesday hoping to camp out overnight to get a prime viewing spot, but rather than this being due to the somewhat miserable weather, the guard claimed that this was actually down to a cunning plan to keep them away while the barriers were put in place.
"We gave them wristbands so they can come back and they all f––ed off," he laughed.
The full Force Awakens team is set to attend the London premiere, taking place just a few miles from Pinewood Studios, where much of the film was shot. Director J.J. Abrams, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Gwendoline Christie, Warwick Davis, Simon Pegg, producer Kathleen Kennedy, writer Lawrence Kasdan and even BB-8 are all on the list.
As for how many fans he expects will turn up, the Leicester Square security guard shook his head.
"F–– knows. It's going to be big," he said.