During their annual meeting of shareholders held today, Disney revealed more details about their upcoming Star Wars projects, including Star Wars: Episode VIII.
Rian Johnson, who was reportedly signed on to direct Star Wars: Episode VIII, has been officially confirmed for the position, as well as for screenwriter for the sequel. It is still not known if the director will return for Star Wars: Episode IX, but previous reports have stated that he is attached to it.
Episode VIII will hit theaters on May 26, 2017, which marks the return of the Star Wars film franchise opening on its traditional May release. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is one the first Star Wars film to deviate from the May release, trading it in for a December 2015 release. J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy had had a public fight to get the film released on May 2016, to no avail.
Now we still don’t know much about Episode VIII, though we’d like to think there is a linear story to all of this and the events in The Force Awakens will have an impact on Episode VIII. The fact that Daisy Ridley is also confirmed for all three Star Wars films leads us to believe that there is some connective thread.
But here is the official confirmation that was released on the official Star Wars website:
[Bob] Iger confirmed that Rian Johnson will write and direct Star Wars: Episode VIII. The film, which continues the saga after the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is set for release on May 26, 2017 — forty years and a day after the release of Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977. Johnson is widely considered one of cinema’s most gifted young filmmakers, having directed the modern sci-fi classic, Looper, as well as Brick and The Brothers Bloom. He was also behind the camera for three episodes of the critically-acclaimed TV series Breaking Bad, including “Ozymandias,” which series creator Vince Gilligan named as the best installment of the show. Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman, producer of Looper, Don Jon, Brick, and The Brothers Bloom, are on board to produce.
Johnson is also rumored to be directing Episode IX, although the site makes no mention if he is in talks or if he is actually signed on to direct it.