Straight from The Walt Disney Company Annual Meeting of Shareholders, Bob Iger has delivered a bombshell of an announcement revealing that the first upcoming “Star Wars” standalone film, set to be written by Chris Weitz and directed by Gareth Edwards, is officially titled Rogue One and will star Academy Award nominee Felicity Jones. It will begin shooting this summer in London and debut in theaters on December 16, 2016.
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.
In addition, Iger confirmed that Rian Johnson will write and direct Star Wars: Episode VIII and that it will open in theaters May 26, 2017 – forty years and a day after the release of Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977. Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman will produce the film.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, directed by J.J. Abrams and starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie, Crystal Clarke, Pip Anderson, Christina Chong and Miltos Yerolemou, will debut in theaters on December 18, 2015.