You can count this among the news I certainly wasn’t expecting to get today. Just a little bit ago, Disney sent out a press release announcing they have changed the date for Star Wars: Episode VIII. It was set to hit theaters on May 26, 2017, just six months following from Rogue One, but has now been moved to December 15, 2017.
So reset your countdown clocks folks, it seems like Star Wars is planning on keeping the December dates (at least for the foreseeable future). From the press release, it sounds like the record breaking The Force Awakens managed to do in that month has a lot to do with the decision:
Star Wars: Episode VIII, originally scheduled for release on May 26, 2017, will now debut on December 15, 2017. The move follows the extraordinary success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was the first Star Wars movie to premiere in December. In the popular holiday moviegoing corridor, it smashed numerous records, including biggest domestic and global debuts of all time as well as the biggest domestic second and third weekends, en route to becoming the highest grossing domestic release of all time with over $861M and the third biggest global release ever with $1.887B.
Written and directed by Rian Johnson, Star Wars: Episode VIII is currently in pre-production and will begin principal photography in London next month. Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman will produce and J.J. Abrams, Tom Karnowski, and Jason McGatlin will executive produce.
So filming is still on schedule to begin soon, which means they’ll have some extra time to get post-production in smoothly as well as any reshoots they may need to do. While it’s a little bit of a bummer for fans were were anxious to see the sequel just a few months after the spin-off Rogue One…There’s not much to complain about. I mean, we’re STILL getting a new Star Wars movie every year.
In response to this release date shuffle, Disney has moved Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales from it’s July 2017 spot, to fill in Episode VIII’s vacant May 26th date. If you’re a Pirates fan, you’ll get to see it a little bit sooner. What do you guys think of this move? Are you bummed?