Here comes the ultimate test of franchises. Get ready for 'Star Wars' vs. 'The Lego Movie Spinoff'.
On Thursday, Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger announced that Star Wars: Episode VIII would release in theaters May 26, 2017 — a date already claimed by Warner Bros. for its untitled Lego movie, which is most likely the Lego Batman spinoff.
Episode VIII is the follow-up to J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens, which opens Dec. 18 this year and relaunches the franchise under the control of Disney, now parent company of Lucasfilm. Looper Helmer & Rian Johnson will be directing and writing Episode VIII.
Releasing over Memorial Day weekend in 2017 gives Disney four likely monsters in summer of 2017. Episode VIII launches in theaters three weeks after Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy 2 debuts (May 5), while Pixar's Toy Story 4 is set to open June 16, followed by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales on July 7. All Disney films.
Whether Warner Bros. will decide to relocate its Lego movie, has not been decided. Episode VII has virtually no competition, with no rival studio daring to go up against it. At the same time, the Memorial Day holiday is a huge moviegoing corridor, and the first Lego Movie was a runaway hit, earning $468.8 million worldwide. As Seth Grahame-Smith wrote the script for the Lego spinoff, and Chris McKay will direct. Will Arnett is starring as the voice of the animated Caped Crusader.