Today, Disney and Lucasfilm announced that Star Wars: Episode VIII, originally scheduled for release in summer 2017, will now debut on December 15, 2017.
The move follows the extraordinary success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was the first Star Wars movie to premiere outside the traditional summer blockbuster window and smashed numerous records, including biggest domestic and global debuts of all time as well as the biggest domestic second and third weekends, en route to becoming the highest grossing domestic release of all time with over $861.3 million and the third biggest global release ever with $1.886.7 billion.
Written and directed by Rian Johnson, Star Wars: Episode VIII is currently in preproduction and will begin principal photography in London next month. Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman will produce and J.J. Abrams, Jason McGatlin, and Tom Karnowski will executive produce. Stay tuned for exciting updates in the coming weeks.
It has only been pushed back a few months so the wait will not be too bad…I hope.
I’m guessing this is equal parts Disney & Lucasfilm wanting to get the second part of the new trilogy right, especially after the success of The Force Awakens. But also possibly a conscious decision to position the main saga films in a new December release window because well, did you see all that money VII made during its December release?! Hollywood is run on superstition and attempting to do the same thing again but a bit better. December worked wonders for The Force Awakens so it will do so again for Episode VIII.
Also other genre movies are going to stay clear of future Star Wars releases due to the massive audiences that have been to see The Force Awakens. The franchise is uniquely primed to make December its home just like Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit and a good chunk of the Harry Potter films.