Disney purchased "Star Wars" production company LucasFilm for
$4.05 billion in 2012 and announced it would release three new
films in the popular sci-fi series. Fans have been avidly
awaiting details of the next film, "Star Wars: Episode VII."
"Return of the Jedi" was the third film in the first trilogy of
"Star Wars" released between 1977 and 1983. The series is set in
a galaxy far, far away, in the past.
Iger did not reveal any casting news, other than to confirm the
return of the robot character R2D2. The official Star Wars
website posted on Monday the new films would feature "a trio of
new young leads along with some very familiar faces," and that
filming would begin in May at London's famed Pinewood studios.
Rumors have swirled for over a year on whether some of the
franchise's stars, including Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher,
would return. Trade magazines have reported that rising stars
including Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o and "Girls" actor Adam
Driver were being considered.
The "Star Wars" franchise was created by director George Lucas
and comprises six films that have grossed more than $4.4 billion
at the worldwide box office since the first film was released in
"Episode VII" will be released on December 18, 2015, and will be
directed by J.J. Abrams, who helmed the recent "Star Trek" film
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; writing by Piya Sinha-Roy;
by Mary Milliken and Amanda Kwan)
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