After months of rumors, Disney has announced the release date for the next movie in the Star Wars franchise. Episode VII will be released Dec. 18, 2015.
There have been concerns that J.J. Abrams won’t be able to complete the film by the deadline, but Disney studio chief Alan Horn squashed them in a recent statement. He said, “We’re very excited to share the official 2015 release date for Star Wars: Episode VII, where it will not only anchor the popular holiday film-going season but also ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture.”
Early reports suggest the movie depicts the lives of the children of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. A leaked casting call hints it will completely deviate from the past and feature two new characters unrelated to the two main characters. The casting request mentions two lead roles: an orphaned teenage girl, who is “always a survivor, never a victim,” and a fatherless boy who “understands you can’t take life too seriously.” Maybe the two factor into a story line that also includes Luke and Leia’s children?
The move could be the result of writer Michael Arndt’s departure. Abrams and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan have taken over the script.
Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are still expected to appear in the film, while an appearance from Harrison Ford appears to still be in flux. Episode VII was originally slated to be released in May of 2015. It will be the first of the franchise to not premiere during the summer.