November 7, 2013
'Star Wars: Episode VII' Gets 2015 Release Date

Stars Wars: Episode VII has been scheduled for a December 18, 2015 release.

Disney and LucasFilm made the announcement Thursday. Production on the film will begin in spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, approximately 20 miles west of central London.

"We're very excited to share the official 2015 release date for Star Wars: Episode VII, where it will not only anchor the popular holiday filmgoing season but also ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture," The Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said.

In a separate press release, Disney announced that Episode VII will screen in 3D.

Star Wars: Episode VII will be directed by JJ Abrams, who hinted that it will go back to the basics of the original trilogy.

"I loved how Star Wars had that sense of a world far beyond the borders of what you can see and have been told. It's one of the things it did so brilliantly," Abrams told The Times.

"If you watch the first movie, you don't actually know exactly what the Empire is trying to do. They're going to rule by fear - but you don't know what their end game is," Abrams continued. "The beauty of that movie was that it was an unfamiliar world, and yet you wanted to see it expand and to see where it went."

Abrams added, "A lot of kids who saw all the prequels when they were young really do identify with those movies as much as my generation identified with the originals."

JJ Abrams will write Star Wars: Episode VII with Lawrence Kasdan, co-writer of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The pair replace Michael Arndt, who won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 2006 for his work on Little Miss Sunshine.

LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy said of Arndt's departure, "Michael Arndt has done a terrific job bringing us to this point and we have an amazing filmmaking and design team in place already prepping for production."

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Disney will hold open auditions forStar Wars: Episode VII in London. The studio is looking for a "street smart and strong" orphaned girl in her late teens and a "smart capable" man in his late teens or early 20s.

Star Wars: Episode VII will open against the Ron Howard-directed thriller Inferno, starring Tom Hanks and Morena Baccarin. Warcraft, a film adaptation of the popular MMORPG, also opens December 18, 2015.