Earlier today just across the street from LucasFilm at the Palace of The Fine Arts in San Francisco, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger hosted a shareholder meeting where he announced big Star Wars news. The news covered two future movies in the franchise with the date of Star Wars Episode VIII, and even more news regarding the first stand-alone Star Wars movie including the title.
Iger confirmed that Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick, The Brothers Bloom) will write and direct Star Wars: Episode VIII. The next movie in the trilogy sequel, and follow up to Star Wars Episode: The Force Awakens is set to hit theaters 40 years and one day after the anniversary of the release of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in 1977 on May 26, 2017. The film will also have Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman (Looper, Don Jon, Brick, The Brothers Bloom), as producers.
The larger news though is in regards to the franchise's stand-alone film titled, Star Wars: Rogue One. This will be the first film in a unique series of big-screen adventures that explores the characters and events beyond the core Star Wars saga. Rogue One will be directed by Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla) and written by Oscar nominee Chris Weitz (Cinderella, About A Boy, Antz). Along with the title and writer and director Iger announced the film's first star with actress Felicity Jones (Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Theory Of Everything) being cast in an as yet unnamed role. The idea for the story of Rogue One came from John Knoll, an Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor and chief creative officer at Industrial Light & Magic. He will executive produce along with Simon Emanuel (The Dark Knight Rises, Fast & Furious 6) and Jason McGatlin (Tintin, War of the Worlds). Kathleen Kennedy and Tony To (Band of Brothers, The Pacific) are on board to produce and John Swartz (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) will co-produce. The film starts shooting this summer in London and is due for release on December 16, 2016.
And don't forget that the Force Awakens December 18, 2015 Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, and stars franchise veterans Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker and Warwick Davis, and introduces franchise newcomers John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie.
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