'Star Wars: Episode VII' gets a release date
November 7th, 2013
05:16 PM ET

'Star Wars: Episode VII' gets a release date

Holiday movie season 2015 is going to belong to "Star Wars" fans.

After vague references to when the upcoming "Star Wars" installment, "Episode VII," might appear, Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn confirmed on Thursday that the movie will be released on December 18, 2015.

“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,” Horn said in a statement.

Given the recent screenwriting shakeup, it's not wholly surprising that "Star Wars: Episode VII" might have needed a little more wiggle room. In late October, it was announced that director J.J. Abrams and writer Larry Kasdan, who co-wrote "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi," have taken over screenwriting duties from Michael Arndt.

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy didn't downplay Arndt's effort, saying in a statement that she was "very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and J.J. working on the script. There are very few people who fundamentally understand the way a 'Star Wars' story works like Larry, and it is nothing short of incredible to have him even more deeply involved in its return to the big screen. ... Arndt has done a terrific job bringing us to this point."

Abrams, during a conference call with press about his new Fox show "Almost Human," echoed Kennedy's remarks.

"Working with Michael was a wonderful experience, and I couldn't be a bigger fan of his ... he was incredibly helpful in the process," the Hollywood titan said.

It's just that "working with Larry Kasdan, especially on a 'Star Wars' movie, is sort of unbeatable," Abrams continued. "It became clear that, given the time-frame and given the process, the way the thing was going, that working with Larry in this way would get us where we needed to be and when we needed to be. That doesn't preclude working with Michael again in the future at all, and I couldn't say enough good things about him."

"Star Wars: Episode VII" is currently in pre-production, and is expected to begin shooting in spring 2014.

Filed under: Celebrities • movies • Star Wars

soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. below comments ep user id stuff was done...

    needed mvcmvc

    December 6, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Johnny 5

    I hope Disney doesn't soften up the characters too much. I don't want them to breaking into a song and dance rountine vs a lightsaber battle.

    December 4, 2013 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  3. Kay

    First they were going to start shooting in January 2014. Now it's 'spring 2014'. No casting news at all yet and they just fired the script writer and two new people are rewriting what's been done.

    Those who want the movie released in May will probably get their wish because I can't see this movie being ready until May 2016, if even then. They're clearly having some big problems.

    November 11, 2013 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
    • dale

      yeah, and I don't like such an epic movie opening a week before Christmas anyhow. I like Christmas to be about Christmas, not non-stop talk about the "Star Wars film coming out this week", ya know? I think it'll make so much more in May anyhow (like USA $550M vs $450M if released 12/18)

      December 2, 2013 at 5:23 am | Report abuse |

    So sad the movie isn't being released in May. Like all the others were. I'm a stickler for tradition. J.J. killed tradition. *geeky emo sob*

    November 9, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Thereals

    Come on, JJ Abrams isn't that bad guys. Just be glad it isn't Michael Bay.

    November 9, 2013 at 4:12 am | Report abuse |
  6. Master Sith

    About time this happened, dumping Arndt, that is. Toy Story? The guy wrote Toy Story and has the audacity to think he can write a Star Wars script? Are you kiddin' me? Throw the whole thing in the trash and start over. Kasdan coming back is the best thing that has happened. ESB may actually be written better than SW.

    November 9, 2013 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Dude, pretty sure that every Toy Story movie got way better reviews than any Star Wars flim...you are an idiot.

      November 10, 2013 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • dale

      what Matt said. lol... I mean, SW is pretty awesome, but TS is pretty awesome too, esp 2 & 3.

      December 2, 2013 at 5:24 am | Report abuse |
    • get realist

      You post made me lol.... ahhh nerd rage. "Tis hilarious.

      December 6, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Star Wars nerd


    November 8, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jorus C'Baoth

    A large slight on SW Fans with the release date... There is a reason why we all say "May the 4th be with you"..... Just saying! Being a true fan of the original three franchise, reader of the books and over 40, I would wait for the May 2016 release of the first new SW movie. Think about who is driving this... kids, teens or the adults.

    November 8, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Justin

    Above and beyond everything else...You do not release a Star Wars movie for christmas, you release it in May

    November 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • dale

      I know, right? hate to wait 6 months more, but I don't want it messin' with Christmas week anyhow, and New Year's. Put it in May where it belongs. More money anyhow.

      December 2, 2013 at 5:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Rudy NYC

      Erm. The original 1977 movie was released nationwide just in time for Christmas.

      December 2, 2013 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Rudy NYC

      The original film was originally released in May, but to a very limited number of theaters. The movie immediately amassed a cult following. They immediately wanted to show it in more theaters, but scheduling did not permit a "nationwide" release in theaters everywhere until December.

      December 2, 2013 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  10. Sokman

    Two more years until the death of Star Wars...

    November 8, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. humtake

    Can't wait to see what JJ comes up with this time. His reboot of Star Trek was phenomenal and I'm sure he can do the same here. I hated seeing the last of the prequels coming out knowing it would be the last time in a long time I'd get to see a new Star Wars film. Love them all and can't wait for the new ones...although I have to admit I'm a little skeptical of the live action take...

    November 8, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Andrew

    Given that Abrams is a strong liberal, this movie is going to stink. Lightsabres will be replaced with books on collaborative problem solving, because after all, the dark side and the light side have more in common, no? Also, the empire needs more bridges and fewer walls, as it takes a village to run the empire.

    This will really stink.

    November 8, 2013 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Bumboclot

      How could it actually be worse than the prequel trilogy? They had so many endless scenes about that evil neo-con Emperor making up fake wars and grabbing more political power. So boring.

      November 8, 2013 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Yehbut

      Yer just upset that the franchise paints conservatives in a bad light, Andrew. The Federation is a metaphor for jackbooted, fascist conservative government. If he were a real person, Darth Vader would be a hero to the GOP and a frequent guest on FoxNews. If JarJar Binks were real, he would be Ted Cruz.

      November 8, 2013 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • China Mike

      I am old enough that I recall seeing previews for the first Star Wars film at the theater. I never imagined I would have a 23 yo son who would grow up with even more Star Wars films, and now, even more. It has become something akin to the James Bond films. There are good ones, and a few bad ones, but all in all we enjoy them. With Disney now in charge, Star Wars will be around long after I am gone. I can see it now; my son, wheeling me in front of a giant wall projection screen in my wheelchair, watching "Star Wars Episode 15".

      November 8, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • sativa619

      LOL how would a 'conservative' do it better? Empire raises taxes on the Jedi and exempts the Emperor? You're a tool.

      November 8, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dash

      Ha – if it were real DarthBama and DarthPelosi would be listening to every phone call or reading every email you write. Jackbooted moron Sheeple would be forcing the elderly in front of a death panel to give them the happy pill because they get up 3 times a night to leak and thus their quality of life can't be good. There would be no Jedi knights fighting back because Emperor Obungle would have long ago taken away their right to bear light sabers and thus protect themselves from a tyrannical and despotic regime that declares its love for all citizens while it murders them.

      November 8, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      Dash = total moron. Yeah, I bet they created the Star Wars movie dynasty because of Obama. You right wingers just have to drag politics into everything, including Star Wars. This is an Entertainment blog, you idiot. I don't want to read about you personal, biased slant on politics.

      November 10, 2013 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • jlacke

      Yehbut –

      Anyone that thinks the adjectives fascist and conservative can be used to describe the same ideology is an ignoramus.

      Conservative – limited, decentralized government. Capitalism. Respect for natural rights of man, as understood as negative rights.
      Fascist – powerful, centralized government. Government involved in cental planning of economy. Natural rights not respected, as government must manage the population.

      Remember, the Nazis were National Socialists. the distinction between them and Communists was, at the time, communism was an international movement.

      Learn a little history and political ideology so you don't look like an idiot. The only thing you got right is that Neocons are facsist. But, there's a reason they are called Neocons rather than just Conservatives; and there's a reason Conservatives hate them and don't go out to vote for them, costing people like Romney and McCain presidential elections (W managed to fool conservatives).

      November 10, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Celly

    I like lens flare.

    November 8, 2013 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  14. Ethic's Board

    My lightsaber just ignited in my pants.

    November 8, 2013 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  15. james

    I hope thy do keep George,s main philosophy he wood spend million,s of dollars for a fue seconds in the movie he wood say it did it,s job . he wood resist using more footage hope thy use the same standards.

    November 8, 2013 at 4:38 am | Report abuse |
  16. BlahBlahhhhhhh

    CAN T

    STAR WARS is the best thing ever made

    November 8, 2013 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  17. what's up with those ears?


    November 8, 2013 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  18. Bob

    Haven't seen a J.J. Abrams film yet that I thought was good or even mediocre. The Star Trek reboot was the worst film I have seen in years. I do not hold high hopes that this is going to be any different. If anyone can produce a bigger steaming pile of crap than "The Phantom Menace", it is J.J. Abrams.

    November 7, 2013 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      Agreed on all points, Bob.

      November 8, 2013 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Khatti

      Abrams does have the Spielbergesque habit of milking every scene for all it can give–and much that it can't.

      November 8, 2013 at 5:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian Landon

      Obviously the fans who paid almost half a billion dollars to see the Star Wars reboot by JJ Abrams were satisfied.
      And as it repeated it success in dvd/digital sales as well----- I guess you are in the minority.

      November 8, 2013 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  19. Justin Burnell

    Reblogged this on thehiltonburnellfiles and commented:
    December 18, 2015 that's gonna be a long time to wait for the new Star Wars movie. I can't wait for it.

    November 7, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Jones

    Get back to story telling over CGI. And remember pace is important..They could have had a lot of ripe fruit to pick from if they had Luke turn to the dark side in ROTJ. Since he didn't ,Yoda's insight, "no there is another" seems rather meaningless. And if you leave your training now, if you chose the quick and easy path as Vader did, you will become an agent of evil. Yet Luke stood up pretty well to the emperor without his full training, made Yoda see manipulative. Finally, they need to simplify the scenes, and not try make 1000 things happening in one scene.

    November 7, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  21. wintermutt

    December 2015? Really? *sigh* With the exception of Return of the Jedi, all of the 'major' Star Wars movies have released sometime in May. The other exceptions have been the Clone Wars CGI movie and the two Ewoks movies. There's a reason (beyond the obviously bad pun) that May 4th is recognized as Star Wars Day (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars_Day). Sad that they put box office over tradition, though it's not overly surprising.

    November 7, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      You're actually whining because of the month? Is there nothing any of you can't find to complain about?

      November 7, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      It is sad when some one approaches live action toy commercials with an emotional religiosity. You should be more worried about who they have gotten to make the film not when the day it will be released, if anything. Its just a movie and honestly most of the six (and the spin offs) were actually pretty bad. I tried watching "A new hope" a little while ago and I was struck by how bad it was. I mean c'mon. Billions die and Obiwan gets a headache? And that dialogue was terrible.

      Empire was a great film and the third was good but the rest were ridiculous garbage and don't deserve all the childish worship.

      November 8, 2013 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
    • alucarD

      John, your name is in the bible...I dont like the bible

      November 8, 2013 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
    • webman6

      If you read the piece you would know that the release date was a function of having enough time to make a decent film. Of course, J.J. Abrams is now associated with the project so the possibility of getting a decent film is very low. You can count on numerous lens flares.

      November 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |

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