Star Wars Episode 8 has officially started filming. Disney chief executive Bob Iger has revealed that director Rian Johnson has now begun production on the next part of the blockbuster sci-fi saga.
Speaking to EW, Iger also stressed the importance of keeping standards high for future movies in the series. “There is no better way to propel this franchise into the future than producing quality products,” he said. “Filming of Star Wars: Episode 8, the next chapter of the legendary saga, has just commenced and it will be in theaters December 2017. And production of Episode 9, a 2019 release, has also begun.”
Last month it was announced that the release date of Episode 8 had moved back from May 2017 to December that year. As with The Force Awakens, principal photography is to take place in London.
Iger also provided an update on the status of Rogue One, the first of the standalone Star Wars movies, which is due in December this year. “Filming of Rogue One is virtually completed and we absolutely love what we’ve seen so far,” he said. “This is the first of a set of planned stand-alone stories and we’re already in preproduction on our next one, for release in May of 2018.”
Rogue One is directed by Godzilla‘s Gareth Edwards. It is set before the original Star Wars, and focuses on a group of mercenaries who are hired to capture the plans to the Death Star. The second spinoff movie will showcase the adventures of a young Han Solo. Last month it was reported that the search for an actor to portray Solo had been narrowed to around a dozen names.