STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Will open in 3D on December 18, 2015; Brad Bird’s TOMORROWLAND Moved Back to May 22, 2015

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After much speculation, Disney has announced that J.J. AbramsStar Wars: Episode VII will open in 3D on December 18, 2015.  It will be the first Star Wars movie to be released outside of May.  As we previously reported, Disney refused to move the film to 2016, and in order to meet the studio’s time frame, Abrams teamed up with screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back) to handle the script.

At first it seems like the move gives Disney some breathing room between Star Wars and the studio’s other 2015 behemoth, The Avengers: Age of Ultron.  However, Disney has also announced that Brad Bird‘s Tomorrowland has been pushed from November 2014 to May 22, 2015, which is just three weeks after Joss Whedon’s highly-anticipated sequel and a week before Pixar’s Inside Out.  Hit the jump for more.

Walt Disney Pictures logoThe December date isn’t much of a shock, although I’m sure it will disappoint some traditionalists who believe that a Star Wars movie shouldn’t open in any month other than May.  I would think that the bigger disappointment is that the movie will be in 3D (Disney didn’t specify if it will be shot in 3D or post-converted).  Nevertheless, the move makes sense not only in terms of getting away from Avengers, but also from a completely bonkers summer 2015.  In addition to The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Inside Out, and now Tomorrowland, the season also includes (in current release order) Jurassic World, Assassin’s Creed, Ted 2, Terminator, Independence Day 2, Minions, Batman vs. Superman, and Ant-Man.  By comparison, the biggest competition in December is Universal’s adaptation of the video game Warcraft, which is also set for the 18th.  The orcs are probably going to have to make way for the Jedi.

Here’s the official announcement from Disney:

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 8Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek)and is being scripted by Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan (Raiders of the Lost ArkThe Empire Strikes BackReturn of the Jedi). Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, with Tommy Harper (Mission: Impossible – Ghost ProtocolJack RyanStar Trek Into Darkness) and Jason McGatlin (TintinWar 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.

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  • Pingback: J.J. Abrams Explains Why He and Lawrence Kasdan Are Writing STAR WARS: EPISODE VII | Collider

  • ebv

    Opposite the Hobbit part 3? Nothing can possibly go wrong….

    • ebv

      Nevermind. Dates are not my friend today.

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      • dfgdfg

        Lol what the shit

    • http://www.beatific-design.com Beatific

      The Hobbit part 3? That’ll be Dec 2014 I think.

    • The Flobbit

      You’re wrong there. The Hobbit: There and Back Again is coming out in 2014.

  • MAB1990

    The press release does not mention 3D

    • MEY

      3D or not, or both, I think it is not a big question TODAY.

      The big thing is the date. AT LAST it is confirmed!

      Personally, I’m happy that it will open in December.
      It will be a fantastic Christmas.

      • The Flobbit

        You hope.

  • http://www.collider.com/ DNAsplitter

    Why is Disney trying to compete against itself? I’m glad they moved the movie back 7 months to work out the script issues but putting in Tomorrowland in the spot is just confusing. Summer of 2015 is just way too crowded at this point and we are going to see a lot of these big summer tent pole films perform badly box office wise because of it. It will be like the Lone Ranger, but w good reviews, all over again.

    • BigJimSlade

      Uh, no. If it’s well reviewed it will be nothing like The Lone Ranger (which I personally loved). It should wind up being the movie of the season, easily.

      If it stinks, it still will probably do well…

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  • Scullibundo

    Going after that Titanic/Avatar date. What’s interesting is if they stick to their planned two-year cycle for these Episode films (ie: not spinoffs), that means Episode 8 will open against one of the Avatar sequels. Of course, I’d expect Disney to be smarter than that and shift the date accordingly. But then again, they are rushing toward a release date two years from now when the script is still in the process of being re-written. For a film of this scale, that will likely need an extensive post-production period, that is still pretty fucking bonkers. But I guess shareholders come first for Iger.

    • Christian

      I haven’t read a single positive comment about Avatar 2 on the internet. Nobody seems to want it. I bet Star Wars would have the upper hand in that competition.

      • Scullibundo

        The problem with that notion should become immediately apparent when you whittle that sentence down to ‘on the internet’.

      • Bob

        Seriously? Avatar is the biggest grossing film of all time. No interest? Come on. We need to get over the delusion that we are the sum total of the movie going public. We are but a fraction of the whole. Remember Snakes on a Plane? It was all abuzz on the internet. Played to empty seats in the theaters.

  • Never Nude

    Every movie is released in 3D these days Collider…
    We know its not shot in 3D

  • enderandrew

    The press release doesn’t mention 3D and no one else reporting on this mentions 3D.

    Is Matt imagining things?

  • 80sRobot

    I predicted a month ago that they would shift to December 2015.

    At this point, it appears they need to start shooting this in April at the earliest, or June at the latest. That means they really need to get a final shooting script together fast. And they need to have casting in line, because most actors, especially known faces, have their gigs scheduled 6 months to a year in advance.

    So here’s my next prediction: They already have the principal cast signed, and they’ve managed to keep things secret. Mostly.

    • 80sRobot

      Regarding casting: In Episode I, there were three well-known actors cast — Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor and Liam Neeson. (Every other character was either a minor role, a non-human, or from the previous trilogy… Palpatine. Anakin was played by an unknown.) These three were rumored for months before being officially announced.

      Which brings me to the casting of Episode VII. Who are the well-known actors that have been rumored up to this point? Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Saoirse Ronan.

      • enderandrew

        Terrance Stamp was a well regarded actor cast in Episode 1, even if he wasn’t exceptionally well known (other than as the original General Zod).

      • 80sRobot

        Agreed. And I forgot about him — thanks for pointing this out. :)

        Portman, McGregor and Neeson had the most “heat” (for lack of a better term) at that time in terms of their popularity. So it would make sense they would be cast in the major roles. (And not Stamp, though he is very well-regarded.)

        Ejiofor, Cumberbatch and Ronan all have similar “heat” today in the movies.

      • 80sRobot

        Another thing I’d like to point out is that the Star Wars movies traditionally haven’t had too many human, non-masked characters in major roles. Consider Episode IV: Although Ford, Hamill and Fisher weren’t too famous at the time, Luke, Leia and Han were the human, non-masked characters with the most screen time. Following them would be Ben and Tarkin; both were played by much better known actors. That’s just five humans.

        Episode I also had just five humans who were major characters (Obi-Wan, Qui Gon, Anakin, Padme and Palpatine). Mace didn’t have a big role in the movie, although he was played by a major actor.

        So I’m going to bet there are five major human roles, and maybe two of which will be played by either an unknown or a familiar face from the original trilogy (Hamill and Fisher would be my bet; they can save Ford for an appearance in Episode 8). A well-known actor may pop in a for just a scene or two, who may appear again in an expanded role in Episode 8 — if Cumberbatch is involved, such a role seems like it would fit with him.

      • Colin

        Portman and McGregor were not house hold names then, it was just Neeson and Iam McDiarmid (not Stamp) that were the big names.

      • Colin

        Ian not Iam.

  • IMPYEMU

    Yo seriously this movie will probably be fucking average at best. Y’all are trippin’ over this fucking sequel.

    • axalon

      How am I tripping if I’m sitting down?

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  • The Monarch

    Good. There’ll be Christmas prep, traveling, then Christmas itself, then traveling back, then New Years–I’ll be able to block out the whole hoopla of the biggest two weeks of its release, easy.

  • Strong Enough

    and STILL no casting news. We are getting teasers for Captain America 2 and that comes out in April. this comes out a few months after that and we don’t even know what its about or who plays who lmao

    • Diego Fernando Salazar Proaño

      um… you are like a year and a half wrong: Cap 2 opens in 2014 (May or April, I’m not sure) and Ep. VII opens in December 2015

    • Nigger

      Oh shit, that’s embarassing bro. Star Wars Ep. VII isn’t coming out for more than 2 years you fucking faggot.

      • Strong Enough

        LMAO

  • the truth

    If it was not official before (it has always been official) that this star wars movie is not a real star wars movie, it is now (and always has been a phony). This is a a phony, it is officially a phony star wars movie now. Not counting ‘The Clone Wars’ movie or re-releases and special editions, all 6 official live action Star Wars movies came out in May.

    So this news is bullshit.

    Then again, it is not a real star wars, it is a phony jj hack job abrams shit movie.

    • Sebastion

      100% AGREED!

      • Darkwing Duck

        I SECOND THAT! You might as well call this epic failure Star Whores, because it won’t be star wars, and disney and jj and jews in general are whores for more money.

  • Joseph M

    Looks like Abrams managed to get the release as close to 2016 as possible. Tomorrow morning, the BBC’s Breakfast show will be live at the Star Wars VII auditions. All this secrecy then suddenly there’s televised auditions. It just gets weirder.

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  • Shazam

    EPIC FAIL!

    • seamus

      Ditto

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