In a new interview with MTV, Star Wars Episode VII director J.J. Abrams said that the December 18, 2015 release date for his movie represents "an infinitely better situation now than when they were saying they wanted it in summer ."
Speaking to MTV's Josh Horowitz, Abrams said he understood why Disney decided to announce a summer release date at their biennial D23 conference, but he went on to say that it "didn't necessarily have to do with the reality of where anyone was creatively."
Referring to the creative team's priorities, Abrams said, "It's a hugely important thing that that come first."
As pointed remarks go, "didn't necessarily have to do with the reality of where anyone was creatively" is pretty remarkable. It's clear that Abrams has stronger feelings about Disney's decision to publicize a summer release date at D23, but he wants to respect the studio, so he's (mostly) biting his tongue. Even so, for Abrams to describe the D23 announcement as not "necessarily" connected with reality is a reflection of how surprised and frustrated he must have been with the studio's initial time frame.
On a different subject, while discussing the recent news that R2-D2 will be in Episode VII, Abrams remarked, "How do you do Star Wars without R2-D2?" But he remained coy about the possible inclusion of C-3PO, telling Horowitz, "They have different agents."
Check out the MTV interview below.