ByJames Porter, writer at
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James Porter

If you're following any movie news site you'll know that next year our first "Star Wars" spin off movie will be hitting theaters and will be directed by Godzilla director, Gareth Edwards. There have been many rumors surrounding the plot of the film but now we have our official title; "ROGUE ONE". reported today about a call to shareholders, Bob Iger revealed the title and also confirmed the lead.

Here is the official announcement:

This morning at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, across the street from Lucasfilm, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger hosted a shareholder meeting where he announced news regarding the first Star Wars stand-alone movie as well as Star Wars: Episode VIII.
Rogue One is the title for the first film in a unique series of big-screen adventures that explores the characters and events beyond the core Star Wars saga. Rogue One will be directed by Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla) and written by Oscar nominee Chris Weitz (Cinderella, About a Boy, Antz). The first actress cast is Felicity Jones, who garnered an Academy Award nomination and critical acclaim for her performance in The Theory of Everything. The idea for the story of Rogue One came from John Knoll, an Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor and chief creative officer at Industrial Light & Magic. He will executive produce along with Simon Emanuel (The Dark Knight Rises, Fast & Furious 6) and Jason McGatlin (Tintin, War of the Worlds). Kathleen Kennedy and Tony To (Band of Brothers, The Pacific) are on board to produce and John Swartz (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) will co-produce. The film starts shooting this summer in London and is due for release on December 16, 2016.

With all the hype surrounding this years "The Force Awakens", a title for the upcoming spin off hadn't really hit me. But I'm a fan of the title. If reports are correct about the film focusing on a group of bounty hunters hired by the Rebel Alliance to steal the plans for the Empire's Death Star then the title fits nicely. We also get confirmation that Academy Award Nominee Felicity Jones (The Theory Of Everything) will be leading the film. This will be out first ever Star Wars film lead by a female actress, and that is magnificent. The franchise has always been lacking in female characters and that seems to be one of the issues Episode VII will fix.

Along with that confirmation, Bob Iger shared this as well:

In addition, Iger confirmed that Rian Johnson will write and direct Star Wars: Episode VIII. The film, which continues the saga after the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is set for release on May 26, 2017 — forty years and a day after the release of Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977. Johnson is widely considered one of cinema’s most gifted young filmmakers, having directed the modern sci-fi classic, Looper, as well as Brick and The Brothers Bloom. He was also behind the camera for three episodes of the critically-acclaimed TV series Breaking Bad, including “Ozymandias,” which series creator Vince Gilligan named as the best installment of the show. Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman, producer of Looper, Don Jon, Brick, and The Brothers Bloom, are on board to produce.

We already knew that Rian Johnson was going to write and direct the next numbered installment in the franchise, as well as possibly Episode IX. If you haven't seen "Looper" then I definitely recommend it, its a beautifully looking film with great performances and a very impressive story and it's directed very well by Johnson. We also know that we won't have to wait an entire year after "Rogue One" for Episode VIII, it is releasing on May 26th 2017, forty years after "A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy Far, Far Away" first hit the big screen.

So guys, that's all we know for now, this was pretty unexpected, so soak up the information and let me know what you think of these announcements in the comments below!


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