Star Wars news: first spinoff film title revealed: Rogue One, Gareth Edwards to direct. Rian Johnson to direct Star Wars: EP VIII


Disney today revealed the name of the first 'stand-alone' Star Wars movie, and some news about the forthcoming Star Wars: Episode VIII.

The spinoff film will be "Rogue One." Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla) is slated to direct, and Chris Weitz (Antz, Golden Compass) will write. Disney chairman Bob Iger announced that Felicity Jones is confirmed as one of the film's stars–she was nominated this year for an Oscar for her performance as Jane Hawking in "The Theory of Everything." The scheduled release date for "Rogue One" is December 16th, 2016. Shooting begins this summer in London.

In addition, Iger confirmed that Rian Johnson will write and direct Star Wars: Episode VIII. The film, which continues the saga after the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is set for release on May 26, 2017 — forty years and a day after the release of Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977. Johnson is widely considered one of cinema's most gifted young filmmakers, having directed the modern sci-fi classic, Looper, as well as Brick and The Brothers Bloom. He was also behind the camera for three episodes of the critically-acclaimed TV series Breaking Bad, including "Ozymandias," which series creator Vince Gilligan named as the best installment of the show. Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman, producer of Looper, Don Jon, Brick, and The Brothers Bloom, are on board to produce, and J.J. Abrams will serve as executive producer.