‘Star Wars: Episode 8’ Filming Has Officially Begun in London
The cast of Star Wars: The Force Awakens barely got a few weeks to catch their breath after the whirlwind that surrounded that film’s massive success at the box office before they were called back to London’s Pinewood Studios to start it all over again. Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed this morning that Lucasfilm and director Rian Johnson have officially commenced principal photography on Star Wars: Episode 8.
Iger noted the start of production during a conference call with investors (splashy!) saying, according to Entertainment Weekly, “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.”
While it may seem like a quick turnaround for the Star Wars cast and crew, keep in mind that filming was actually supposed to begin in January, just a month off from when The Force Awakens opened in theaters. Once Disney saw how successful that film was during the holiday season, they decided to push back Star Wars: Episode 8 from a May 2017 release date to December of that same year. This gave Johnson and his team another extra month of preparation for the upcoming installment.
It’s not also the first time cameras have rolled on Star Wars: Episode 8. To take advantage of certain shooting windows surrounding Skellig Michael, the real-life location that serves as Ahch-To, Luke Skywalker’s top-secret hideout, stars Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley shot some scenes last September.
Iger also provided an update on the next Star Wars movie, this December’s Star Wars: Rogue One, the first in a planned series of Star Wars Anthology stories that take place outside the storyline of the main films saying, “Filming of Rogue One is virtually completed and we absolutely love what we’ve seen so far.” Great news! Because it would’ve been a huge bummer if the CEO of Disney came out and said, “Man, this film straight up sucks.”
What we know about Star Wars: Episode 8 is fairly limited, but we do know that in addition to directing, Johnson also wrote the script. Returning to star in the next installment are most of cast from the first film including Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie and Harrison Ford.
Star Wars: Episode 8 opens in theaters on December 15, 2017.