‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ pushed back to December 2017

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“Star Wars: Episode VIII,” which had been scheduled to be released in May 2017, has been pushed back by nearly seven months due to the overwhelming success of a winter release.

Lucasfilm, which is owned by Disney, said in a statement on Wednesday that the eighth installment in the main “Star Wars” film series will premiere on December 15, 2017. “The move follows the extraordinary success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was the first Star Wars movie to premiere outside the traditional summer blockbuster window and smashed numerous records,” the statement said.

Written and directed by Rian Johnson, the eighth installment is currently in preproduction, but principal photography for the movie is scheduled to start in London next month. Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman will produce and J.J. Abrams, Jason McGatlin, and Tom Karnowski will executive produce. More details about the film are expected to be revealed in the coming weeks.

Earlier this month, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” became the highest-grossing film of all time in North America, taking just 20 days to shatter the domestic record set by “Avatar” in 2009. With a worldwide gross of $1.8 billion, the seventh installment is currently the third-highest grossing film of all time and could soon surpass “Titanic,” which grossed $2.1 billion. To become the world’s highest-grossing film of all time, it will need $2.78 billion to beat “Avatar.”

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