Two asteroid-sized nuggets of official, confirmed Star Wars movie news to report today!
The first stand-alone film will be called Rogue One and star Felicity Jones, who earned accolades for her recent appearance in The Theory of Everything. It starts shooting this summer in London for a Dec. 16, 2016, release. Gareth Edwards is directing from a script by Chris Weitz. The concept for Rogue One, which is still under wraps but likely involves starfighter pilots, came from Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor John Knoll, who is Industrial Light & Magic’s chief creative officer.
Jones is also set to appear in another 2016 blockbuster: Inferno, a sequel to The Da Vinci Code adapted from Dan Brown’s novel of the same name. Past credits for the English actress include The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and the political thrillers Page Eight and Salting the Battlefield, recently featured on PBS’ “Masterpiece!”
Episode VIII will be written and directed by Rian Johnson and hit theaters May 27, 2017, exactly 40 years and a day after the 1977 release of the film that started it all.