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

17 hours ago in National

Trump looks to unify Republicans; Kasich reported dropping out

17-overlay

Billionaire Donald Trump assumed the mantle of presumptive Republican presidential nominee on Wednesday with a message on unity that also suggested he was not going to work too hard to placate some party establishment figures angered by his outsider candidacy.

20 hours ago in National

Takata recalls millions more air bag inflators

takata16125303396828

Automakers will recall up to 40 million more air bag inflators installed by Takata Corp by 2019, expanding the largest automotive recall in American history.

21 hours ago in National

School safety: Drops in bullying, violent crime on campus

schoolsafety16124794280762

The latest government snapshot of school crime paints a picture of safer schools, with declines in violent crime, bullying and harassment because of sexual orientation.

22 hours ago in National, World

U.S. gathers allies on next steps in Islamic State fight

isisREUTERS

The United States gathered defense ministers from 11 other countries for talks on Wednesday about ways to strengthen the campaign against Islamic State, a day after a U.S. Navy SEAL was killed in Iraq during an attack by the militant group.

22 hours ago in National

10 FOR TODAY: Wednesday, May 4

trump16125063202807

Your daily look at the stories that will be talked about today.