Today, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger led a shareholder meeting and made some exciting announcements regarding a couple of his company’s most lucrative franchises.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, directed by J.J. Abrams, is coming December 18–we all know this. Now what comes after? Details about the future of Star Wars just got a bit clearer. Sandwiched between Episode VII and its direct followup Episode VIII, Disney is releasing the first stand-alone Star Wars film. “Rogue One is the title for the first film in a unique series of big-screen adventures that explores the characters and events beyond the core Star Wars saga,” reads a press release. Gareth Edwards (Godzilla, Monsters) is confirmed to direct Rogue One, and Chris Weitz (Cinderella, About a Boy, Antz) is penning the script. Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) will star. The idea for the stand-alone came from John Knoll, an Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor and chief creative officer at Industrial Light & Magic (that’s the visual effects company created by George Lucas in 1975). Production on Rogue One begins this summer and it’s slotted to hit theatres December 16, 2016.
Iger went on to confirm that Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick, Breaking Bad) will direct Star Wars: Episode VIII, “which continues the saga after the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Ep8 releases May 26, 2017.
In other Disney-related news, Iger made an unsurprising but still incredibly exciting announcement about the future of Frozen. A sequel is most definitely in the works! Frozen co-directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck are working on the followup to the top-grossing animated film of all-time.
“We enjoyed making Frozen Fever so much and being back in that world with those characters,” said John Lasseter, Pixar chief creative officer. “Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck have come up with a great idea for a sequel and you will be hearing a lot more about it and we’re taking you back to Arendelle. We are so excited about that.”
That’s all there is to know for now. But now I bet you’re craving Frozen like Olaf craves summertime. Don’t fret–you can experience a brand new Frozen adventure starting tomorrow when the Pixar short Frozen Fever hits theatres; it’s playing in front of Disney’s new live-action Cinderella.