Rian Johnson has been confirmed as the director for Star Wars Episode VIII. The Looper director will take over the franchise from J.J. Abrams, whose Episode VII: The Force Awakens is due out on December 18th. Episode VIII has also been given a May 26th, 2017 release date, exactly 40 years and one day after Star Wars: A New Hope first premiered.
What’s more, the first Felicity Jones-starring stand-alone feature has been titled Rogue One. Shooting in London this summer for a December 16th, 2016 release, the film will be the first Star Wars movie not part of a trilogy. Chris Weitz wrote the script based on an idea from John Knoll, Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor and chief creative officer at Industrial Light & Magic. Gareth Edwards is onboard to direct.
Both bits of news were revealed during the annual Disney shareholders meeting.