It’s official!! Director Rian Johnson (best known for Brick and Looper) has started rolling cameras on Star Wars: Episode VIII, according to Disney CEO Bob Iger.
Iger provided updates on the studio’s ever-expanding Star Wars universe during The Walt Disney Co.’s quarterly earnings call, touting the gargantuan financial success of the The Force Awakens. It is only the third film in history to collect more than $2 billion at the global box office, and the only domestic release to collect more than $900 million. In addition, he said it earned more than $3 billion globally in consumer products.
Iger said the company had a simple strategy for the future of Star Wars: don’t lose sight of what sold all those tickets and merchandise.
“There is no better way to propel this franchise into the future than producing quality products,” he said. “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.”
A rumour that has been doing the Geek Rounds relating to filming is that a mysterious film production company named Space Bear Industries, which is widely believed to have been set up as a working title name for filming of the next Star Wars: Episode VIII film.
Space Bear Industries have also announced filming dates in the southern Croatian city of Dubrovnik next month, filming will take place from the 11th -16th of March 2016 and locations include the city’s famous stone walls, the main street that runs through the old town called Stradun, Banj beach and one of the city’s castles.
Daisy Ridley also got in on the Episode VIII act this week as well with this post on Instagram showing some flowers with a VIII tag at the bottom.
But what’s more interesting if you look closer, the flowers are from Kathleen Kennedy with a parts of note saying “Dear Daisy, As we begin this tremendous…appreciation of your d… Kathleen”
Even her latest post on Instagram taken by someone sounding remarkably like John Boyega showing her training at what looks like the backlot of Pinewood.
Going back to Bob Iger’s Disney Co.’s earnings report (which you can listen to his web-cast here) he said that production has also begun on Star Wars: Episode IX which is directed by Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World and Safety Not Guaranteed).
“Filming of Rogue One is virtually completed and we absolutely love what we’ve seen so far,” he said, of the heist story about Rebel plans to steal the blueprints for the original Death Star. “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.” That one will be the “young Han Solo” movie, which The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are making, based on a script by Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan.
Finally, Iger confirmed that the company planned to break ground later this year on new Star Wars Land attraction at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.