News

Disney plans new ‘Star Wars’ for Christmas 2015

Disney plans new ‘Star Wars’ for Christmas 2015

NEW STAR WARS: A employee poses with Star Wars figures at the Forbidden Planet memorabilia and comic store in London May 11. The new movie is set to debut in 2015. Photo: Reuters/REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The next movie in the “Star Wars” franchise will arrive in theaters on December 18, 2015, Walt Disney Co said on Thursday, two weeks after producers hired a new writer to shepherd the script into production.

Disney purchased “Star Wars” producer Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion in 2012 and promised at least three more films in the series, one of the biggest movie franchises of all time.

“This, obviously, is one of the most important movies we have in the next few years, and we’ve chosen a date we believe will allow the creative team the time to make a great film,” Disney chief executive Bob Iger said in a conference call with Wall Street analysts.

The pre-Christmas date puts the film’s release in the prime holiday movie season, a departure for the “Star Wars” franchise. The previous six films have all been released in May, in time for the summer movie season.

Filming of the new movie, currently called “Star Wars: Episode VII,” is set to begin in spring 2014 and will be directed by J.J. Abrams, who is best known for directing the most recent films in the “Star Trek” science fiction series.

Filming will take place in England, returning the franchise to its British roots as the six previous “Star Wars” films were all partly filmed at studios in Britain.

No acting choices have been announced, but original cast members Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford have been in talks to appear in the upcoming film.

Last month, producer Kathleen Kennedy said Lawrence Kasdan would team with Abrams to write the screenplay, replacing Oscar-winning screenwriter Michael Arndt on the project.

Kasdan co-wrote the screenplays for the second and third “Star Wars” films, “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.”

The “Star Wars” franchise, which was created by director George Lucas, has grossed more than $4.4 billion at the worldwide box office since the first film was released in 1977.

Recent Headlines

in Local

State Dems Warn of Effects of FY 16 Budget Proposal

Fresh
state_capitol_4

They suggest tax increases

in Local

Rauner’s Justice League Is Together

Fresh
jail

Goal: Cut prison population by 25 percent

in Local

LaHood Tours 18th District

Fresh
darin lahood

Distances himself from dad's record

in Local

Manar, Tumulty Formally Support Hawkins

3-30-15 Rianne Hawkins Andy Manar Cecilia Tumulty

A former mayor and county and village official is backing a Springfield woman's bid to take the top job in the Springfield City Clerk's office in next week's election.

in Local

Congressman: Don’t Trust Obama Admin or Iran

rodney davis

Iran's possible reversal of a promise to ship out its atomic fuel is more proof that the Obama administration and its foreign policy are failures.