We’re right on the cusp of announcements regarding films that’ll see release in 2017, and no surprise, Star Wars is the first out of the gate, as we now have release dates for the next two installments in the series, as well as a title for the 2016 spin-off.
StarWars.com announced today that Star Wars: Episode VIII (which is still untitled, no surprise there) will see release on May 26, 2017. Rian Johnson was also confirmed as the director in that same announcement. The big takeaway here is that Star Wars will be slotting into the Memorial Day weekend stretch in 2017, when some thought the franchise might permanently settle itself into the Christmas holiday vacated by The Hobbit films.
Here’s the important info from the press release:
Bob Iger confirmed that Rian Johnson will write and direct Star Wars: Episode VIII. The film, which continues the saga after the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is set for release on May 26, 2017 — forty years and a day after the release of Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977. Johnson is widely considered one of cinema’s most gifted young filmmakers, having directed the modern sci-fi classic, Looper, as well as Brick and The Brothers Bloom. He was also behind the camera for three episodes of the critically-acclaimed TV series Breaking Bad, including “Ozymandias,” which series creator Vince Gilligan named as the best installment of the show. Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman, producer of Looper, Don Jon, Brick, and The Brothers Bloom, are on board to produce.
Disney also announced that then untitled Star Wars spin-off that releases between The Force Awakens and Episode VIII will be entitled Rogue One, which in the Star Wars universe is the call-sign given to the leader of the Rogue Squadron flight squad. Whether that gives us any indication about the plot is up in the air, but Rogue One, which stars Felicity Jones and is directed by Gareth Edwards, will hit theaters on December 16, 2016.
Here’s the announcement on that as well:
Rogue One is the title for 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). The first actress cast is Felicity Jones, who garnered an Academy Award nomination and critical acclaim for her performance in The Theory of Everything. 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.
Entertainment Editor for The Beat covering film, television and the occasional comic book. His work can also be found at GeekRex.com and can be heard on the GeekRex podcast. Also, your go-to Grant Morrison/Love & Rockets/Hellboy/Legion of Super-Heroes expert.