If you're a fan hoping for some Star Wars movie redemption after those prequels, it's an exciting time. This December we get the continuation of the original saga with J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and we already know eighth and ninth installments will follow, but that's only the beginning. The Walt Disney Company is also developing spinoff films that will take us beyond the main core of the story. We've known since last May that the first of these films will be helmed by Godzilla director Gareth Edwards, and now Disney CEO Bob Iger has revealed both the title and the first star of the film.
At a shareholder meeting in Los Angeles today, Iger announced that Edwards' Star Wars spinoff is titled Rogue One. The project is described as "the first film in a unique series of big-screen adventures that explores the characters and events beyond the core Star Wars saga." We haven't been given any real plot information yet, but if you know the history of the word "Rogue" in Star Wars so far, it's not hard to make the logical leap that this film will be about a starfighter pilot, or a group of starfighter pilots like the legendary Rogue Squadron founded by Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles. Iger also confirmed that Oscar-nominated screenwriter Chris Weitz (About a Boy) is on board to script the film.
Now on to the star. Iger confirmed reports from last month that Oscar nominee Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything, The Amazing Spider-Man 2) has been cast in the film, but true to recent Star Wars announcement form, we don't know the name of her character, whether she's the lead or just a lead, or any other real details. The film will begin shooting in London this summer for a Dec. 16, 2016, release date, making the wait between new Star Wars films just slightly less than a year.
Iger also confirmed that Looper director Rian Johnson is on board to write and direct Star Wars: Episode VIII, the followup to The Force Awakens. We already knew that, but Iger also added a release date to the mix: May 26, 2017, almost 40 years to the day from the release of the very first Star Wars film.
So, there's a new batch of official but predictably vague Star Wars announcements for us all to chew on in the coming months. So, what's the movie about? Let the speculation begin!