Get ready for a whole lot of Star Wars, folks. Disney took the stage today for its presentation at CinemaCon—a convention for theater owners—in Las Vegas, and the studio made the bold announcement that it is planning on releasing a new Star Wars film into theaters every summer starting with 2015’s Star Wars: Episode VII. The studio will alternate every other year with an “Episode” film and a standalone film, and based on previous rumors there certainly won’t be a lack of characters for them to mine. Hit the jump for more.
Director J.J. Abrams is currently busy prepping Episode VII (and also preparing for the release of Star Trek Into Darkness), which will most likely see the return of original cast members Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford. While plot details on the new trilogy are mum, Disney confirmed that it was developing standalone Star Wars films back in February. Though the studio has yet to reveal which characters those films would focus on, previous reports claim that films focusing on Yoda, Boba Fett, and a young Han Solo are in the works.
Screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back) and Simon Kinberg (X-Men: First Class) were brought into the Disney/Lucasfilm fold early on in the Episode VII development process, and while we initially thought they would be working on the scripts for Episode VIII and IX, subsequent reports claimed that the two are also developing the standalone films as well.
If Disney is really serious about releasing one Star Wars film every year (which sounds dangerously close to overkill), it makes sense that Kasdan and Kinberg have been busy drumming up outlines for subsequent films. Like Matt, I would much rather see standalone films about new characters in the Star Wars universe rather than prequels or spinoffs of characters from the original trilogy, but I’m interested to see what kinds of filmmakers the studio will rope in to bring these things to fruition. Will they take the Marvel approach and mine the TV world for affordable directors that can carry out the studio’s singular vision, or will they allow a bit more creative freedom within the world of Star Wars?
At this point, very little is certain, but with an indefinite amount of Star Wars movies on the way starting in just two years, expect to hear much more information sooner rather than later. What do you think, readers? Is a new Star Wars movie every year too much or do you think Disney can keep the quality up?
Click here to catch up on all of our Star Wars coverage, or peruse the recent links below:
- J.J. Abrams Talks STAR WARS: EPISODE VII and Approaching the Film as a Massive Fan of the Franchise
- Harrison Ford Talks His Involvement with STAR WARS: EPISODE VII; Says “I Think it’s Happening”
- Joss Whedon Says He Wouldn’t Bring Back Original Characters for STAR WARS: EPISODE VII
- Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford “Pretty Much” Signed on for STAR WARS: EPISODE VII According to George Lucas
- Carrie Fisher Confirms She’ll Return as Princess Leia in STAR WARS: EPISODE VII
- Mark Hamill talks STAR WARS: EPISODE VII; Says “They’re Talking to Us” but “We Haven’t Signed Anything Yet”
- John Williams Hoping to Score New STAR WARS Films
- Harrison Ford Set to Return to Play Han Solo in STAR WARS: EPISODE VII?
- STAR WARS Screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg Talk STAR WARS: EPISODE VII; Frank Oz Willing to Return to Voice Yoda
- Watch Steve Talk About STAR WARS Spinoff Movies, DIE HARD 6, SPIDER-MAN, the STAR TREK Sequel and More
- RUMOR: John Noble Circling Villain Role in STAR WARS: EPISODE VII? Plus, Concept Art for Young Han Solo from STAR WARS: EPISODE III
- Editorial: Need STAR WARS Spinoffs Featuring Old Characters, We Don’t
- STAR WARS Spinoff Films Include a Boba Fett Movie and a Young Han Solo Film
- Disney Confirms Standalone STAR WARS Films
- Rumor: First Standalone STAR WARS Movie Centers on Yoda
- THE COLLISION: Episode 35 – J.J. Abrams and STAR WARS
- Producer Kathleen Kennedy Explains How She Got J.J. Abrams to Direct STAR
- ARS: EPISODE VII; Won’t Confirm 2015 Release
- STAR WARS News: Film Might Have Female Protagonist; Abrams Comments on Getting the Gig; May Not Have Agreed to 2015 Release