Disney and Lucasfilm will start shooting Star Wars: Episode VIII in Ireland this month. The news comes after Lucasfilm put to rest the rumor alleging that Star Wars: The Force Awakens would undergo reshoots there later this summer.
The rumor stemmed from the Irish TV News RTÉ reporting that Ireland’s arts minister, Heather Humphries, said the movie would shoot this summer. Lucasfilm claimed the confusion came from their trying to remain low-key about their shooting plans by simply telling the government department that they were shooting “Star Wars,” never specifying the episode. Filming will take place on the country’s southern island Skellig Michael. Production for Star Wars: Return of the Jedi famously shot under the title “Blue Harvest” in the Muir Woods National Monument in California for the sequences on the Forest Moon of Endor.
We last reported about the Rian Johnson (Looper)-directed sequel when news broke that Olivia Cooke (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), Tatiana Maslany (TV’s Orphan Black), and Gina Rodriguez (Deepwater Horizon) were all finalists for the film’s female lead. There hasn’t been any new developments on that front, but for a large production like this, it’s not uncommon for shooting to start before all the roles have been filled. Benicio Del Toro (Sicario) and Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina) are the only actors currently confirmed for the film.
This news comes shortly after Lucasfilm announced that filming had started on the first Star Wars spin-off, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. That film will tell the story of the group of rebels that stole the original plans for the first Death Star, kickstarting Star Wars: A New Hope.
We’ll have more on the film as it develops and as Disney and Lucasfilm are ready to release more details after The Force Awakens is released on December 18, 2015.