So much for Star Wars reclaiming its pre-Memorial Day box office perch. Disney and Lucasfilm have scrapped plans for the next official episode in the space saga, "Star Wars: Episode VIII," to be released on May 26, 2017, moving the follow-up to "The Force Awakens" all the way to Christmas. You'll now be lining up at theaters to learn more about Rey and Finn and to hear what Luke Skywalker sounds like these days on December 15, 2017, the studio announced today.
Traditionally — or at least when George Lucas was in charge — the Star Wars films were May releases, a tradition that dates all the way back to 1977. Of course, given the massive success Lucasfilm has had with the most recent entry and its pre-Christmas release, it's understandable they'd want to try that again. But then a global box office take of $1.887 billion (so far) will do that. And they've probably got something up their sleeves for May anyway, since it will mark the 40th anniversary of the first Star Wars film.
The as-yet-untilted "Episode VIII" will be written and directed by "Looper" helmer Rian Johnson, and it begins filming in London next month. Also, Disney isn't leaving May 26, 2017 vacant for any other studio to come in an commandeer. Instead, they're moving "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" into the slot, away from its original unveiling on July 7 of that year. So we've got that to look forward to.
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