Star Wars: The Force Awakens at D23 Expo
Also taking the stage by storm at Anaheim this weekend was Star Wars!
Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn presented the Lucasfilm slate and timeline to the D23 Expo fans. Horn told the audience that there were only 124 days to the release of Episode VII, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, on 18 December 2015 and added that there have been record-breaking trailer views and fantastic fan response.
Touching on Star Wars: Episode VIII, Horn reminded the audience that Rian Johnson will be directing the film slated for release in 2017. Then in a surprise announcement, Horn informed everyone that Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) has signed on to direct Star Wars: Episode IX, which is scheduled for release in 2019.
Moving on to the new Star Wars stories series, Horn touched on the Untitled Han Solo stand-alone film, slated for release in 2018 by reminding everyone that it will be directed by Christopher Miller & Phil Lord, with Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan writing the screenplay.
Horn then took the audience by surprise, announcing the cast for Rogue One, the first of the standalone Star Wars stories to hit the big screen on 16 Decemeber 2016, which has commenced principal photography. Gareth Edwards (Godzilla, Monsters) is directing Rogue One, which tells the story of resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star.
The cast includes Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Diego Luna (Milk), Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline), Donnie Yen (Ip Man), Jiang Wen (Let the Bullets Fly), Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland), Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale), Alan Tudyk (Trumbo), Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler).
Star Wars: The Force Awakens ended the live-action presentation with a bang as J.J. Abrams introduced stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and Lupita Nyong’o. Then, in a bringing-down-the house surprise moment, Harrison Ford, who is reprising his role as Han Solo, joined Abrams on stage to wild applause.
Watch our videos to see what happened!