The title of Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars standalone movie has been revealed, as has the release date of Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII.
At the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger hosted a shareholder meeting and announced some huge Star Wars info.
Firstly, the Star Wars standalone movie directed by Gareth Edwards will officially star Oscar-nominee Felicity Jones. The film will be titled Rogue One.
As revealed back in January, Rogue One will be written by screenwriter Chris Weitz — who was nominated for an Oscar for his About a Boy screenplay. Previously Gary Whitta had worked on the script.
The idea for the Rogue One story came from John Knoll, an Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor and chief creative officer at Industrial Light & Magic. He, Simon Emanuel (The Dark Knight Rises, Fast & Furious 6), and Jason McGatlin (Tintin, War of the Worlds) will executive produce. Star Wars: The Force Awakens producer Kathleen Kennedy will produce with Tony To (Band of Brothers, The Pacific). John Swartz (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) will co-produce.
As previously revealed, Rogue One will hit theaters on December 16, 2016. It will start shooting this summer in London, and more of the cast should be revealed between now and then.
Secondly, Star Wars: Episode VIII will officially be written and directed by Looper and Breaking Bad director Rian Johnson. The film will open on May 26, 2017.
Johnson was revealed as director back in June of last year. The director has never tried to be coy about his involvement with the film, but this is the first time that Disney and Lucasfilm are finally making his involvement official.
The release date is especially interesting. When J.J. Abrams needed more time to finish filming, Star Wars: The Force Awakens moved from a general summer 2015 release to its current December 18 release date. Rogue One will follow it approximately a year after.
Star Wars: Episode VIII coming only five months later in May will return Star Wars to its traditional May home. It will also come only three weeks after the release of Guardians of the Galaxy 2. In other words, Disney will be dominating the May 2017 box office.