During Disney‘s quarterly earnings call today, CEO Bob Iger offered updates on the studio’s Star Wars film slate (via Entertainment Weekly). He confirmed that the first standalone “story,” Rogue One, is about to wrap production, while he updated on 2018’s Han Solo and 2019’s Star Wars Episode IX. Most significantly, he confirmed that filming on The Force Awakens follow-up, Episode VIII, has begun.
According to Iger, Episode VIII, which is written and directed by Rian Johnson, recently began production. The sequel was recently moved from May 2017 to December 15th, 2017, but the filming start date was only pushed back by a few weeks. “There is no better way to propel this franchise into the future than producing quality products. Filming of Star Wars: Episode VIII, the next chapter of the legendary saga, has just commenced and it will be in theaters December 2017. And production of Episode IX, a 2019 release, has also begun.” By “production,” Iger likely means another stage of development, as that movie is nowhere close to actually filming.
As for Disney’s standalone Star Wars films, Iger confirmed that filming for this year’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is practically finished. Meanwhile, the untitled Han Solo movie has entered pre-production. “Filming of Rogue One is virtually completed and we absolutely love what we’ve seen so far. This is the first of a set of planned stand-alone stories and we’re already in pre-production on our next one, for release in May of 2018.” So will the Han Solo movie stick in the May slot, despite Episode VIII moving back to December? We’ll see.
Stay tuned for more Star Wars news as we have it.