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Disney Brings the Force to CinemaCon

Alan Horn talks 'Star Wars;' Depp, Hammer on hand for 'Ranger'

Six months after stunning Hollywood with its $4.05 billion LucasFilm acquisition, Disney announced that it plans to release the next three “Star Wars” films in 2015, 2017 and 2019.

Disney Studios chief Alan Horn made the revelation on Wednesday at the studio’s CinemaCon presentation after touting LuscasFilm as “perfect for the family imprimatur” of Disney.

Disney disclosed last October that it would open “Star Wars: Episode VII” in 2015 and Horn said Wednesday that it would be a summer release, followed by the next two alternating every other year. He also said that Disney and LucasFilm are working on other films related to “Star Wars” characters but did not elaborate as to when they would be released.

“We expect to have movies derived from that universe,” Horn said.

J.J. Abrams will direct “Star Wars: Episode VII” from a script by Michael Arndt. Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kimburg are working on scripts for the “Star Wars” spinoff films.

George Lucas’ first six “Star Wars” films grossed $4.4 billion globally and billions more from TV shows, videogames, theme park rides and merchandise.

Disney devoted most of its attention to two titles with a screening of Pixar’s “Monsters University” and an appearance by “The Lone Ranger” director Gore Verbinksi, stars Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp and producer Jerry Bruckheimer along with 20 minutes of footage. Sneak featured the Lone Ranger and Tonto meeting for the first time on a train that crashes spectacularly, Tonto talking to a horse and the Lone Ranger vowing revenge for the murder of his brother.

“We saw the picture yesterday and it looks terrific,” Horn said.

Disney also released a new trailer for “Ranger,” which opens on July 3.

During the presentation, Horn also drew applause from attendees when he said did not support the shortening of windows between the theaterical release of a film and its DVD release.

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