Disney CEO Bob Iger addressed a shareholder meeting this past Thursday and shared some interesting news with those invited. First, the news about the first standalone film (some of which we already knew):
- Titled Rogue One
- Planned release date: 16 December, 2016
- Directed by Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla)
- Written by Chris Weitz (Cinderella, About a Boy, Antz)
- Includes Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
- Idea for the story from John Knoll, award-winning visual effects supervisor and chief creative officer at Industrial Light & Magic
- Knoll will also executive produce alongside Simon Emanuel (The Dark Knights Rises, Fast & Furious 6)
- Jason McGatlin (Tintin, War of the Worlds), Kathleen Kennedy, and Tony To (Band of Brothers, The Pacific) will produce
- John Swartz (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) will co-produce
This is a lot of information, and some big names that are involved. Although the filming hasn’t even started—and won’t until this summer—there’s plenty to be excited about. The title, Rogue One, implies that it could potentially be a film that concentrates on the space-based aspects of Star Wars, and could feature Wedge Antilles, one of the most notable characters to hold the title.
Of course, there are plenty of ways to interpret the title, and everything is speculation at the moment.
In discussing Episode VIII, Iger revealed some interesting information as well. The film will be released 26 May, 2017, and Rian Johnson is attached to write and direct—a good sign, considering his great work on Looper and Brick. He also worked the camera for Breaking Bad, and received some big praise for that work. J.J. Abrams will still be involved, this time as executive producer. Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman will be producing.
Getting Johnson on board to write and direct is a great move by Disney, with his previous films being well-received by critics and fans alike.