If you are a Star Wars fan, then yesterday was your lucky day! The D23 Expo that was held in Anaheim California was full of exciting Star Wars Breaking News; including the addition of Star Wars themed lands and attractions at both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. For more on that news please click here.
Disney, Marvel and Lucasfilm presented their live-action film slates that revealed an exclusive sneak peak into their upcoming live action films.
Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn took to the stage and reminded fans that there are only 124 days left until the release of Episode VII, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The film will open on December 18, 2015 and Mr. Horn shared that there have been “record-breaking trailer views and fantastic fan response.”
Mr. Horn also reminded fans that Star Wars: Episode VIII is scheduled for release on May 26, 2017 and will be directed by Rian Johnson. Horn also surprised the crowd with the announcement that Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) has signed on to direct Star Wars: Episode IX, which will have a 2019 release date.
Mr. Horn spoke about to the new Star Wars Stories Series, touching on the “Untitled Han Solo” stand-alone film. This film will be directed by Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, and the screenplay is being written by Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan. The “Untitled Han Solo” film is scheduled for release on May 25, 2018.
Mr. Horn surprised the D23 audience by announcing the cast for Rogue One. Rogue One tells the story of resistance fighters who join forces to steal plans to the Death Star. Rogue One will be the first of the stand-alone Star Wars Stories to be released, and has started the principal photography. Gareth Edwards (Godzilla, Monsters) will be directing and the cast includes Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything); Diego Luna (Milk, Killing Them Softly); Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline, Mississippi Grind); Donnie Yen (Ip Man, Blade II); Jiang Wen (Let Bullets Fly, Devils on the Doorstep); Forest Whitaker (The Butler, The Last King of Scotland); Mads Mikkelsen (The Hunt, Casino Royale); Alan Tudyk (Con Man, Trumbo); Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler, Four Lions). This film is produced by Kathleen Kennedy and is slated to be released on December 16, 2016.
J.J. Abrams ended the presentation by introducing Star Wars: The Force Awakens stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and Lupita Nyong’o. Finally, in a “bringing-down-the-house” moment, Harrison Ford joined Abrams on stage to the delight of the crowd and was met with wild applause.
With so many new and exciting projects underway for Star Wars fans, the partnership of Disney and Lucasfilms is definitely proving to be a match that is truly out of this world!