Even though the release is still a year away, filming has officially started on Star Wars: Episode VIII.
During a call with investors Bob Iger, CEO and chairman of Disney, confirmed that director Rian Johnson (Looper) has started principle photography at Pinewood Studios in London where The Force Awakens was also shot. Principle photography was supposed to start back in January, but was pushed back to February for unknown reasons. The film's release date was also pushed back seven months, moving it from May to December.
Iger also gave investors an update on Rogue One, the first Star Wars anthology film due out later this year. According to Iger, production is nearly complete on the film, and reassured them that everything they've seen so far is excellent. Directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla), Rogue One follows a group of Rebel fighters as they attempt to steal the plans to the Death Star. Rogue One hits theaters Dec. 16.
Iger added that the next stand-alone film, a movie about a young Han Solo, will be released in May 2018. Not much is known about the movie, but there have been reports of a shortlist of potential actors being considered for the role. Dave Franco and Miles Teller are just a couple of names that Lucasfilm and Disney may be taking into consideration. The film will be helmed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the creative team behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street.
During the call, Iger also spoke about how profitable the acquisition of Star Wars has been for the company, outlining the revenue they've made from both the film and merchandising materials.
The success of The Force Awakens, various toy lines and Star Wars: Battlefront all lead to Disney's record breaking $2.9 billion quarter. Iger told investors he believed that going forward, Star Wars was only going to bring more profit to the company.
Star Wars: Episode VIII will be released Dec. 15, 2017.