Last week it was reported that Disney had rejected a request from Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy to push the release date for J.J. Abrams Star Wars: Episode VII back to 2016, and now it’s been confirmed that the eagerly-anticipated first chapter of Disney’s Sequel Trilogy will arrive in 2015, with StarWars.com site revealing a December 18th, 2015 date. Here’s the official press release….
With pre-production in full-swing, a confirmed release date of December 18, 2015, has been set for Lucasfilm’s highly anticipated Star Wars: Episode VII.
“We’re very excited to share the official 2015 release date for Star Wars: Episode VII, where it will not only anchor the popular holiday filmgoing season but also ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture,” said Alan Horn, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios.
Star Wars: Episode VII will be directed by J.J. Abrams (Super 8, Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek) and is being scripted by Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan (Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi). Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, with Tommy Harper (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Jack Ryan, Star Trek Into Darkness) and Jason McGatlin (Tintin, War of the Worlds) serving as executive producers. John Williams is returning to score Star Wars: Episode VII.
Shooting is scheduled to begin spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios.
Meanwhile, in other Episode VII news, J.J. Abrams has spoken about the reasoning behind the recent change in screenwriters, which has seen himself and Lawrence Kasdan replacing Oscar-winner Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire):
“It became clear that given the time frame and given the process and the way the thing was going that working with Larry in this way was going to get us where we need to be and when we needed to be,” Abrams tells Deadline. “Working with Larry Kasdan, especially on a Star Wars movie is kind of unbeatable. Working with Michael was a wonderful experience and I couldn’t be a bigger fan of his or adore him more, He’s a wonderful guy and was incredibly helpful in the process. [It] doesn’t preclude working with Michael again in the future. He is one of the best writers around.”