Just about every Star Wars fan has Dec. 18 circled on the calendar as the release date for J.J. Abrams‘ Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens, but what will happen after that? Well, there’s the mysterious standalone movie slated for Dec. 16, 2016. But then what?
Thanks to Disney’s annual shareholders report, we now know for sure that Star Wars: Episode VIII (directed by Rian Johnson) will be released in 2017 and Episode IX (probably also to be directed by Johnson) in 2019.
Bob Iger schools Lord Vader.
We fans knew it was coming when the production dramatically shuffled its writing team, but now Disney has come out with an official
spin reason for pushing the release of Star Wars: Episode VII from the summer of 2015 to Dec. 18, 2015.
Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company, told Bloomberg TV:
“One of the things that was very important to us is that we give the creative team, J.J. Abrams and his writing team, the time to design, write and produce the film so we can optimize quality, so they can create a great film. Very, very important…. At one point we considered the summer of 2015 [but] it felt like, particularly with some changes we made in the writing team that that was going to create a bit of a rush and didn’t think that was optimal for obvious reasons.”
Iger went on to
rationalize point out that Dec. 18 “happens to be the date which Avatar, which is the No. 1 movie of all time, was released, so we like that.”
So there you have it: Disney was always interested in the integrity and quality of the movie — not some sticking to some arbitrary release date selected long before there was even a script for the movie. Only optimizing quality.