Production on JJ Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII has yet to begin but the film has already been given an official release date.
The seventh film in the sci-fi franchise – and the first of three movies planned by Disney – will be released on 18 December 2015, delivering a festive treat for the series’ legion of fans.
“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 film-going 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 Abrams who is also writing the script with Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi) after original screenwriter Michael Arndt dropped out last month. Abrams is set to be a busy man over the next year, also serving as a producer on the project alongside Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy.
The new Star Wars films were first announced last year when Disney acquired George Lucas’ production company, Lucasfilm, for $4.06 billion and revealed the planned release of a new trilogy and standalone character-based spin-offs.
Filming on Star Wars: Episode VII is due to commence this spring at Pinewood Studios. An open casting call for two roles widely attributed to the film prompted a flurry of excitement amongst fans and media earlier this week, with casting directors set to visit Bristol, London and other UK cities on the lookout for a “street smart and strong” orphaned girl and a “smart capable man”.