Disney CEO Bob Iger has announced that director Rian Johnson, who takes over from JJ Abrams, has started shooting the as-yet-untitled follow-up to “Star Wars : The Force Awakens.”
The galactic sequel was set to begin in January, but principal photography was pushed back a few weeks around the same time the movie’s release was shifted from May 2017 to December of that year, reported Entertainment Weekly.
“Filming of ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’, the next chapter of the legendary saga, has just commenced and it will be in theaters December 2017,” Iger said.
“Episode VIII” was originally due to be released in May 2017 but was pushed back to December, reportedly due to last-minute script changes.
Shooting for the film was scheduled to begin in January, the delay has given the crew a few extra weeks of principle photography.
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Iger also confirmed that production has begun on “Episode IX”, the third film of the trilogy, which will be directed by “Jurassic World” helmer Colin Trevorrow.
It is likely that Iger meant that work has just begun on film which is someway off from its 2019 planned release.
The next Star Wars film in cinemas will be the spin-off “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, directed by Gareth Edwards (‘Godzilla’).
Iger said that the movie is “virtually completed” ahead of its release later this year.