Holster those blasters and lightsabers, folks. You're going to have to wait a little longer... After lots of loud silence regarding any news about Star Wars: Episode VII, Lucasfilm announced today on StarWars.com that the new movie has a "confirmed" release date of December 18, 2015.
Announcing that pre-production is "in full-swing," The Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn says, "We're very excited to share the official 2015 release date for Star Wars: Episode VII, where it will not only anchor the popular holiday filmgoing season but also ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture."
Shooting on Star Wars: Episode VII is scheduled to begin spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios, to be directed by J.J. Abrams. The movie is being written by Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan (who wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, among other great films), and John Williams is returning to score the sci-fi saga. No plot or casting details have been announced.
Of course, this announcement comes after it was declared earlier in the year that the highly anticipated film would come out in the summer of 2015, and every subsequent summer season will see the release of a new Star Wars movie, alternating between the main episodes of the new trilogy and the previously announced standalone films, which could potentially feature solo adventures of characters ranging from Yoda and Boba Fett to a young Han Solo. Does that change the schedule of the other films? Most likely.
Oscar winner and Toy Story 3 writer Michael Arndt was originally writing the new Star Wars film, but left the project, and Abrams explained to Deadline, "It became clear that given the time frame and given the process and the way the thing was going that working with Larry in this way was going to get us where we need to be and when we needed to be. Working with Larry Kasdan, especially on a Star Wars movie, is kind of unbeatable." He added, "Working with Michael was a wonderful experience and I couldn't be a bigger fan of his or adore him more. He's a wonderful guy and was incredibly helpful in the process."
Stay tuned to ET for all the latest Star Wars news.