News

Disney plans new ‘Star Wars’ for Christmas 2015

Disney plans new ‘Star Wars’ for Christmas 2015

NEW STAR WARS: A employee poses with Star Wars figures at the Forbidden Planet memorabilia and comic store in London May 11. The new movie is set to debut in 2015. Photo: Reuters/REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The next movie in the “Star Wars” franchise will arrive in theaters on December 18, 2015, Walt Disney Co said on Thursday, two weeks after producers hired a new writer to shepherd the script into production.

Disney purchased “Star Wars” producer Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion in 2012 and promised at least three more films in the series, one of the biggest movie franchises of all time.

“This, obviously, is one of the most important movies we have in the next few years, and we’ve chosen a date we believe will allow the creative team the time to make a great film,” Disney chief executive Bob Iger said in a conference call with Wall Street analysts.

The pre-Christmas date puts the film’s release in the prime holiday movie season, a departure for the “Star Wars” franchise. The previous six films have all been released in May, in time for the summer movie season.

Filming of the new movie, currently called “Star Wars: Episode VII,” is set to begin in spring 2014 and will be directed by J.J. Abrams, who is best known for directing the most recent films in the “Star Trek” science fiction series.

Filming will take place in England, returning the franchise to its British roots as the six previous “Star Wars” films were all partly filmed at studios in Britain.

No acting choices have been announced, but original cast members Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford have been in talks to appear in the upcoming film.

Last month, producer Kathleen Kennedy said Lawrence Kasdan would team with Abrams to write the screenplay, replacing Oscar-winning screenwriter Michael Arndt on the project.

Kasdan co-wrote the screenplays for the second and third “Star Wars” films, “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.”

The “Star Wars” franchise, which was created by director George Lucas, has grossed more than $4.4 billion at the worldwide box office since the first film was released in 1977.

Recent Headlines

in Local Sports

Langhorne leads Seattle Storm past San Antonio Stars

seattle storm logo

Crystal Langhorne had 22 points and 10 rebounds for her first double-double of the season and the Seattle Storm beat the San Antonio Stars on Friday night.

in Local Sports

Seahawk starters expected to see extensive action against Chargers

seahawkschargers

The majority of Seattle's starters will play the entire first half and into the third quarter, coach Pete Carroll said. Coverage begins at 3 p.m. Saturday on KPUG 1170.

in Local Sports

Seager, Gutierrez homer, Walker goes 6 1-3 in M’s win

Seattle Mariners' Kyle Seager, right, is congratulated by teammates after hitting a solo home run off Oakland Athletics pitcher Jon Lester during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014. The Mariners won 2-1.

Kyle Seager and Franklin Gutierrez both had three hits and a homer and Taijuan Walker allowed three hits before leaving with an injury the Mariners beat the White Sox on Friday night.

in Sports

Al Arbour, who coached Isles to 4 Cup titles, dies at 82

arbour

Beginning in 1973-74, Arbour led the Isles to 15 playoff appearances and won an NHL record 119 playoff games over 19 seasons.