By Piya Sinha-Roy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) â€“ A terminally ill â€œStar Warsâ€ fan, who was given just a few months to live, was granted his wish to see the new â€œThe Force Awakensâ€ film on Thursday, nearly two months before it comes out in theaters.
Daniel Fleetwood, a 31-year-old Texas man suffering from an aggressive form of cancer that has spread to 90 percent of his lungs, was able to watch an early cut of the highly anticipated new â€œStar Warsâ€ film, due in theaters on Dec. 18, his wife Ashley Fleetwood said on Facebook.
â€œDaniel just finished watching an unfinished version of Star Wars: The Force Awakens!!! We would like to thank the awesomely talented JJ Abrams for calling us yesterday to tell us Daniel was getting his wish granted!â€ she said.
Daniel Fleetwoodâ€™s dying wish to see â€œThe Force Awakensâ€ went viral on social media in the past week with the hashtag #ForceForDaniel, which garnered the support of â€œStar Warsâ€ actors Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and newcomer John Boyega.
Hamill tweeted on Thursday that he was â€œelatedâ€ that Fleetwood had been able to see the film.
Fleetwood and his wife have been documenting his health on social media, and in September he posted an update saying he had been given one or two months to live, due to how fast the cancer had spread.
Disney said on Thursday that the screening for Fleetwood had taken place and that â€œall involved were happy to be able to make it happen.â€ The company did not say where the screening took place, but given Fleetwoodâ€™s poor health, it is likely to have been at his home.
The plot of â€œThe Force Awakens,â€ the seventh film installment in George Lucasâ€™s widely popular â€œStar Warsâ€ universe that will see the return of franchise veterans Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mayhew, has been kept tightly under wraps. Fans have only been given three brief teaser trailers in the past year.
Presales for the opening of â€œThe Force Awakensâ€ in theaters have already broken U.S. and international records.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Ken Wills)
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