'Star Wars Episode 8' To Film At Pinewood Studios In U.K.

Star Wars Episode 8 is booked to film at the legendary Pinewood Studios near London and will be released in 2017. The announcement comes from Pinewood Shepperton CEO Ivan Dunleavy at a CBI Conference on Monday, before the dust even settles on the title announcement last week.

Fans are still processing the new title for Star Wars: The Force Awakens (which apparently was guessed correctly by a follower...in 2012). Many have mixed feelings and feel that Disney could have come up with something better sounding, but it is what it is at this time.

But there is no rest for the weary and as principal photography at Pinewood has concluded for Episode VII, there are already plans to welcome Star Wars Episode 8 -- which will be directed by Rian Johnson -- to the famed location.

Speaking in front of an expectant audience, Dunleavy shared the stage with R2D2, who was originally built in the U.K. for the first Star Wars, according to Screen Daily.

"I'm delighted to be able to tell you that a new Star Wars movie is already booked in," said Dunleavy.

"R2D2 was built in the U.K. 37-years ago. Since then he's spent a lot of his life in foreign studios. But now he's back home. The seventh Star Wars movie just finished shooting at Pinewood.

"If we want to keep R2D2 and his friends here, then we need to see sustained government action to keep U.K. film a thriving and fast-growing industry, an industry to do Britain proud."

The United Kingdom has been an integral player in the filming of all six existing Star Wars films. Before Episode 7, the original trilogy was filmed at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, while The Phantom Menace used Leavesden Studios in Hertfordshire in 1997, as well as Shepperton, Ealing, and finally Pinewood.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams filmed on location at Pinewood and Abu Dhabi, as well as Iceland, between May and November of 2014. As far as Star Wars Episode 8 filming goes, we don't have a timetable, but we know Johnson will write and direct the next chapter of this new trilogy.

If you remember, Johnson was one of the names floating around when everyone was speculating about who would direct The Force Awakens. However, the job went to the Star Trek director after much speculation.

Pinewood Studios will also serve as the location for a couple of other upcoming blockbusters. Kenneth Branagh recently finished filming Cinderella there and director Sam Mendes will his shoot of Bond 24 at Pinewood as well.

Star Wars Episode 8 is slated to open in 2017 and is part of several new films on the legendary story line announced by Disney.

[Image via Guayageek]