Star Wars: Episode VII -- The Force Awakens isn’t even out yet, but Disney is already announcing plans for a new standalone movie and the premiere date for franchise’s eighth installment.
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Star Wars Episode VIII, the direct sequel to The Force Awakens, will hit theaters May 26, 2017. Rian Johnson (Looper) will take over both writing and directing duties from J.J. Abrams.
The news came from Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger at a shareholders meeting, where he also provided a few new details for the first of several planned standalone films.
Rogue One is the title of first spin-off, which focus on events and characters outside the main franchise. The new movie will be directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) and star Felicity Jones -- the Oscar-nominated actress for The Theory of Everything. Chris Weitz (About a Boy) has been tapped to write the script.
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Not much is known about the standalone project. Though, there are persistent rumors that it will tell the backstory (or future story?) of Boba Fett, Han Solo, or even Yoda.
The film is scheduled to be released December 16, 2016 -- a nice placeholder until the between The Force Awakens and Episode VIII.
Watch as Oscar Isaac discusses his new role in the highly anticipated Star Wars film.