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‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ Delayed Until End of 2017

“Star Wars” fans will have to wait a little longer for “Episode VIII,” with Disney moving the release date from May 26, 2017, to Dec. 15, 2017.

The studio also shifted the date for the release of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” to May 26, 2017, previously set for July 7, 2017.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” continues to smash box office records since its release on Dec. 18. It’s currently the highest-grossing movie in U.S. history, and is also the third highest-grossing movie worldwide, with its current global cume standing at $1.88 billion.

“Episode VIII” is currently in pre-production and will begin principal photography in London next month. Rian Johnson is taking the reins from J.J. Abrams, who helmed “The Force Awakens,” to write and direct the upcoming sequel.

Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman will produce “Episode VIII.” Abrams, Tom Karnowski and Jason McGatlin will exec produce. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac, who were all introduced in “The Force Awakens,” will return to star.

The “Star Wars” release date shift isn’t great news for Warner Bros., which is releasing Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” on Dec. 15, 2017, as well.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” will see Johnny Depp reprise his role as Captain Jack Sparrow, along with Geoffrey Rush and Orlando Bloom returning as Captain Barbossa and Will Turner, respectively. Javier Bardem will make his debut in the series as new adversary Captain Salazar.

Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg are directing “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” with Jerry Bruckheimer producing. It’s currently in post-production.

Disney currently has two other tentpoles set for summer 2017: “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” for May 5 and “Cars 3” for June 16. The next “Star Wars” movie slated for release is standalone film “Rogue One,” which is scheduled to bow December 16, 2016. A Han Solo origin film, to be written by Lawrence Kasdan and son Jon Kasdan, and directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, is penciled in for release on May 25, 2018.

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