Disney Will Release a New STAR WARS Film Every Year Starting in 2015

     April 17, 2013


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.

star-wars-han-solo-harrison-fordDirector 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?

star-wars-a-new-hope-posterAt 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?

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  • Anonymous

    It’s Christmas day today !

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  • Bob

    I say every like 2 years would work better. Imo.

    • Bob too

      Hollywood likes this quantity over quality thing that has been raking in the dough. More franchises will fall to this trend before it is recognized.

  • TheIceJ

    I don’t think any film fan can really be unhappy with this – but with all this talk and after all his time, I’d be happy with one great SW film right now.
    I’d like to imagine everyone at Disney and Lucasfilm working hard on making that first film the very best it can be – its been a while since we’ve had a SW film live up to that – and then after that, hell, we can all go wild for film after film.

    But let’s just get that first one absolutely right. I think Phase 1 has proved that that attitude works.
    What do you think?

    • $$$

      I think they’re planning to milk it for all it’s worth, which would be upsetting if Lucas didn’t already do just that. Also if Phase 1 is indicative of the quality, then I suppose we can expect a bunch of insipid productions that all run together like pig slop.

      • Hiro

        If you think that Lucas milked it for all its worth, just wait until Disney really gets rolling with exploiting the heck out of the Star Wars brand name. They’re going to make what Lucas did seem like kid play. Disney has absolutely no emotional or creative connection to Star Wars and so they’re going to sink it to a whole new low and just when you think that they can’t get any worse, they will.

      • Northern Star

        I completely agree with these sentiments; Disney has no emotional involvement or connection to ‘Star Wars’ like George Lucas (whatever his faults) had, this is just product to them, and highly lucrative product at that! Y’think the Mouse House spent $4bn buying Lucasfilm for reasons othr than mercenary and commercial in nature…? Whatever you thought of the prequels, they were still made for the right reasons (if not necessarily entirely the right way), it was one man telling a story that he had both an emotional resonance and connection with, not to mention was both fascinated with and compelled to tell that story… these new films aren’t the continuation of that story – that story ended with ‘Return of the Jedi’ in 1983 – they’re money-making cash dispensers, nothing more, and that’s just sad!
        I always had a lingering feeling ‘Star Wars’ was dead, today I now know it is, ’nuff said.

      • Um, Sure

        People who think Disney will do more damage to the Star Wars brand than Lucas did are living in a fairy tale. A fairy tale where the prequels were awesome. Nuff said.

      • Steveo

        I’m hoping for anything better than the last 3 movies, but I do see a flaw in the emotional connection message. Gene Rodennbury (sp?) died a long time ago, and there were quite a few good Star Trek shows and movies since he passed.

  • Rich woa

    Cool news, as long as they are quality films, keep em comin.

    • Nihilus

      Keep dreaming Disney is gonna run this series into the ground.

      • Hiro

        That’s exactly right, Nihilus. Even after all these years, it’s surprising that people still give Hollywood and the corporations that run it the benefit of the doubt

      • Rich woa

        Haha, sorry I dont take every news as dread. Lighten up, nothing we can do stop them until the movies come out and we either choose to go or not to.

      • LOL

        Lucas already ran it into the ground with the prequels, nowhere to go but up from there.

  • Lance

    If you’re releasing a film every year they almost can’t be all quality films. This is concerning…

    • matt

      If we get at least one quality Star Wars film every 3 years, I would consider it a success.

      • Lance

        I would, too. One every three years, or maybe two, would be the right way to go.

  • Joseph M

    One thing that will immediately be lost is the sense of anticipation. A new Star Wars film, from the old trilogy onwards, was always an event. Going by this timetable, a brand new film will be released as the DVD sales of the last one are just winding down.
    Chocolate cake on a Tuesday is a treat. Chocolate cake every night of the week becomes sickening.

  • tarek

    I lost any interest in the Star Wars franchise.

    • neodvan

      Second that.

    • Rich woa

      You think Disney cares about you? They are going to rake in money by the truck loads. Keep on hating.

      • ObiwannabeKenobi

        I loved the first trilogy, disappointed by the second. I dont hate. I’m indifferent.

      • Um, Sure

        But you’re taking the time to tell others in a comment section for a Star Wars story that you are indifferent. You need to google the definition of “indifferent.”

  • Arnyxx

    Fuck you Disney for ruining it. .

    • JarJar4Evar

      It was ruined well before Disney got it

      • Rich woa

        Nice comment with a nice name. Bravo.

  • Grayden

    If they do a ‘Shadows of the Empire’ film, I won’t entirely hate Disney. The problem with this plan though, if they’re trying to emulate the Marvel formula, is all the films would take place during the same time period. It would be kind of confusing to have Ep VII, then a film about Boba Fett way back during the OT era, then the next year have Ep VIII and being back in the future. Which, if they’re having the original cast come back at their present ages, immediately puts it around 30-35 years after Jedi. So, i’m leary on seeing how they plan to do this.

  • neodvan

    Second this.

  • Ryan D

    Simon Kinberg was only a producer on X-Men: First Class because he floated the idea to Fox, I don’t think you want to put that next to his name as if he was a large part of it, I think the studio gave him the Producer credit out of respect for the idea.

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  • Max Exter

    They’ve been releasing multiple Marvel films per year, and those have been pretty solid.

    They didn’t spend billions to milk this one dry. They’re going to follow their Marvel model with long-term plans and standalone films that tie into one another for major event movies.

    • Lance

      A Marvel movie, as fun as they are, isn’t anything like a real Star Wars movie.

      Direction, cinematography wise, the Marvel movies don’t really stand out. Star Wars at its best has visual style coming and going. It’d be a major dilution of the brand to have Star Wars just be cranked out that way. There really is the potential to destroy the thing altogether through overkill.

      • Max Exter

        I had a different response in mind, but it came across as too subjective. To sum it up, the original Star Wars films were not tour de (The)force in terms of direction or cinematography, but rather a major technical leap for the day, coupled with being quite fun. Regardless, the brand has already been diluted by the prequels.

        A year between films sounds like a lot, and maybe it is. But if they’re building something long-term, it could be quite cool.

      • Lance

        You can’t tell me there’s nothing special about The Empire Strikes Back. When Star Wars is firing on all cylinders, it’s truly magical.

        I really don’t want to see movies that are all about the pew pew pew but don’t deliver on the artistry of the originals. There will be fans who like that stuff, but there were fans who thought Aliens Versus Predator was the best movie of the year. That doesn’t mean it was the right move.

        A movie every year means special effects are going to be rushed, heck, scripts are going to be rushed. And I don’t get the sense they are building to anything like Marvel’s Phase One. A young Han Solo film here, a Boba Fett film there, one in the distant past as well? Hard to make all those add up. We won’t be getting Star Wars: Avengers, anyway.

  • rens

    pathetic news.

    first the hack jj abrams directing a phony episode 7, then episode 2 and 3, and presumably 4, 5, 6 3D versions cancelled. Star Wars – The Clone Wars series cancelled, Lucas Arts destroyed and Boba Fett video game (star wars 1313) cancelled, I can not get exciting for star wars anymore. George Lucas leaving star wars was a terrible idea and disney having star wars was a REALLY terrible idea and Kathleen Kennedy behind star wars was a mistake!

    star wars is dead!!!

    • Devin R.

      Give me a break, man. As a “fan”, you seem to lack any optimism that new content might actually be great. Had the franchise been left going the direction that it was (i.e., releasing the saga in 3D) it truly would have died with no new theatrical content being created. I’m in total agreement with you about The Clone Wars, which IMO is the best Star Wars content since the original trilogy – and I honestly enjoy the prequels and appreciate them for what they are. At least give Disney a chance….you might be surprised.

      • Rich

        Perhaps it was “too much” Star Wars that Disney felt had too be abandoned in order to go full steam ahead with their intentions(the cartoon, the games, the 3d conversions), but any of these by themselves isn’t enough to restrict with making new movies. The 3d conversion for Top Gun was put out relatively quick, cheap, and critically accepted (not like the Phantom Menace 3d, which was mostly subtle, sometimes all out flat). By the look of the Clone Wars (not the wooden characters, but the battle sequences), it seems so much more effort and time was spent on the series than it would take them to convert the movies to 3d. Now it seems uncertain that an older SW film converted to 3d will ever grace my 3d Blu Ray shelf. (And please Disney, make your new films Real 3D and not converted!!)

  • Dustin

    What was once an bug event film every few years will now turn into something barely special. Every year is too much and could kinda kill the brand. I honestly thought every two years was a bit much because each Star Wars was released every 3 years, so I’m not too optimistic.

  • Cpt. Hindsight

    Jesus Christ! Shut up, nerds. All u bitchin about it will be the same dorks swinging lightsabers at your little brother on the midnight release. All won’t be good, but quit crying poons.

  • alan stowe

    To Indiana Winston Jones – You think Clone Wars had poor writing but you’re worried about the novels staying intact? The novels that don’t make any sense at all? 5 years to take back Coruscant? 7 years to restart the Jedi when Luke was told he was the last one? Wow.

    PLEASE Disney, if you do one thing right, ignore those books entirely. I don’t need movies about Leia having to solve civil wars about parking tickets and desperate for readers fueled retreads of the existing films.

    • Grayden

      In a war of attrition, you bleed the other side dry of everything. Seven years to retake a planet in which the Empire has been firmly entrenched for two decades doesn’t seem irrational at all when you think about it. The rebellion couldn’t match the imperial navy ship to ship, no way they’d just show up with their entire fleet to retake Coruscant. They’d be obliterated.

      Also, who tells the last Jedi in the galaxy he has to do anything?

  • alan stowe

    To Indiana Winston Jones – You think Clone Wars had poor writing but you\’re worried about the novels staying intact? The novels that don\’t make any sense at all? 5 years to take back Coruscant? 7 years to restart the Jedi when Luke was told he was the last one? Wow.

    PLEASE Disney, if you do one thing right, ignore those books entirely. I don\’t need movies about Leia having to solve civil wars about parking tickets and desperate for readers fueled retreads of the existing films.

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  • Gavin Bollard

    It does feel a bit like overkill but I guess it depends on how it’s done.

    If the “EPISODES” every two years don’t necessarily go forwards but “dance all over the place” (eg: Episode -2 set firmly in the world of the old republic or Episode -10 which could be back in the Sith wars) then it could be interesting. The idea being that eventually they all string together to tell a much larger story.

    The Standalone films could be good too especially if they concentrate on specific characters, Yoda, Young Qui-Gon, Young Han, Kir Kanos, The Hutt Cartels, Boba Fett, the Witches of Darthomir, Asoka, etc…

    Of course, true to the original star wars, (sorry bearded figurine collectors), it’s primarily a kid’s show and it belongs with Disney. If they make squillions and entertain us at the same time, I won’t complain. At least it’s better than simple remakes and 3D conversions.

    • Lance

      I hope the stand-alones are actually real movies. Not just “and that’s how Yoda got to be so short,” or “And that’s how Han Solo got his vest.”

      I’ve got to wonder what George Lucas thinks of all this. Is a movie a year really what he would have wanted from his franchise? I know all of George’s recent decisions have been questionable, but I don’t think even in his heyday he would have liked Star Wars being cranked out like so much cheap sausage.

      • Rich woa

        hahahahaha at “and thats how Yoda got to be so short”. Sounds like an interesting movie.

  • genialsuh

    Every summer?! So, basically, Disney is determined to get their money back in the short run, while killing a franchise that, of late, already has an unhealthy social reputation, through oversaturation and a declining pool of quality and creativity? Damn!

  • TheRealBukzit

    I’ll call this: “phase one of the slow and tragic death of a franchise”
    sure thing, SW got fans -let the force be with these film makers- but one SW movie every year is an easy way to make flops trust me
    …time will tell time will tell time will tell

  • HeSaidSheSaidMv

    Every year…..until when? Sounds like overkill and I’m someone who welcomes this new trilogy and some standalone projects, but this sounds like overkill.

  • BullhammerSouvineer

    May the force be with all of us!

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  • sense 11

    If the movies are well executed by solid filmmakers no one will care if they come out every year.

    This is good news

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  • Flaarn

    You know, Pixar went on a pretty brilliant run of films every year for many years. And no one complained about a dilution of storytelling or technical effects. And Disney was involved to some degree. And they raked in bajillions, but no one accused them of milking it. Just saying, there is a precedent for quality plus quantity.

    • Lance

      That’s a fair point, but Pixar had a small group of dedicated artists that went round and round perfecting their stories, over the course of years, before they released their movies. And even they didn’t start releasing movies every year until “Cars” in 2006.

      That’s not what’s happening with these Star Wars movies. People are being brought in, the process is going to be on the same schedule as most Hollywood blockbusters, and that means we’ll probably have the same ratio of hits to misses. Meaning it’ll be rare to get a truly great Star Wars film, we’ll get some decent ones, and even a few “Battleship” style howlers, or even a “Transformers” or “Suckerpunch.”

      • Rich woa

        True, I doubt they would mess up Episode 7, 8, 9. It’s basically like The Avengers.

    • Kay

      True, but then Pixar did run dry. They haven’t released a truly brilliant movie in years. Cars 2 was a dud and Brave was only notable for its visuals, less for its ‘been there done that’ teen daughter rebel story.

      I’m not worried about Star Wars because there’s no way they’re going to be able to crank out a decent SW movie every year. Heck, they haven’t even been able to get Episode VII off the ground yet. It’s still in development and it could be there for many years.

  • spongefist

    Attention all bitches.

    Abrams and Disney will knock this out of the park, it will be amazing. No doubt about it.

    You will then be begging for the next one like the little bitches you are.

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  • tarek

    Lucas pleases you, Disney, so grant me this one request. We need a badass like Malcolm Reynolds as the main protagonist.
    If not, then go to hell !

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  • CB4Ujudge

    I don’t mind that Disney took over, maybe we’ll be amazed by fresh and new ideas.
    I, personally, would like something innovative… not from the extended universe!
    But as the article mentioned, one movie every year? Come on… We want quality, not “B” movies!

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