Star Wars: Episode VIII has a landing date, as Disney chairman Bob Iger announced a May 26, 2017 release for the second film in the franchise reboot at a shareholders meeting today. Iger also confirmed that the first Star Wars standalone spin-off movie, now titled Star Wars: Rogue One, will star Oscar-nominee Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything).
Episode VIII will land almost exactly 40 years to the day from the the initial blockbuster Star Wars: A New Hope, and will follow director J.J Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, which is set for a December 18th opening this year. Rian Johnson (Looper) is attached as writer and director for this new installment. No casting information has been released for the film. Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill (Kingsman: The Secret Service), and Harrison Ford reprised their roles from A New Hope for Episode VII, but it will be interesting to see if Ford makes it back into the ranks after his recent plane crash and certain rumors about what might happen in Episode VII.
Production on the standalone Rogue One will begin this summer. The film is a highly anticipated attempt to expand the Star Wars universe beyond the core characters. Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) is attached to direct from a script by Chris Weitz (Cinderella). Rouge One is scheduled for a December 16, 2016 release.