Over the weekend Disney held their D23 convention, and with it came a fair amount of information regarding their newly acquired Star Wars universe. There was no new footage, just trickles of information and a new image which Ross Hughes kindly shared over the weekend. There was also the exciting news that Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) will direct Episode IX
First up, and this came a few days before the convention, is the news that Benicio Del Toro has confirmed he is in talks for Star Wars: Episode VIII. The film is being written and directed by Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick), and Del Toro is rumoured to be playing a villainous role.
Del Toro told Entertainment Tonight:
“I can’t tell you much about it but I think it might happen. It looks like it’s gonna happen so I’m very excited.”
The actor went on to note that he couldn’t really say anything about the film because “the script is hard to get,” joking “they told me they’d cut my finger if I talk about it.” Del Toro as a villain in fecking Star Wars is just awesome news!
Next up we have a brand new poster for the JJ Abrams directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but this one is a little special. The poster has been created by long time Star Wars poster designer Drew Struzan, and you can view it below.
Struzan is the man responsible for all the Star Wars posters, and throughout his career he has created some of the movie worlds most iconic posters, including the Indiana Jones series, Back to the Future, Blade Runner, The Thing, Hellboy and The Mist.
During the Disney convention some information was revealed about The Force Awakens’ run time. Now while this is not the final run time as the film is still in post-production, it is a good indication as to how long the film will be.
Currently Star Wars: The Force Awakens run time is 124 minutes, which brings it in line with the original Star Wars trilogy which were all between 120 and 130 minutes. The trilogy that shall not be named all came in between 130 and 142 minutes.
- A New Hope – 121 minutes
- The Empire Strikes Back – 124 minutes
- Return of the Jedi – 131 minutes
- The Phantom Menace – 133 minutes
- Attack of the Clones – 142 minutes
- Revenge of the Sith – 140 minutes
Finally, Disney announced huge plans for their theme parks in California and Florida.
Ambitious plans to bring Star Wars to life in the two parks include creating Disney’s largest single-themed land expansions ever at 14-acres each, transporting guests to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life.
“I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars,” said Iger. “Through each new attraction and new land we create, we push the boundaries of what is possible. And as you can imagine, with Star Wars, we are taking that to a whole new level, with a whole galaxy to explore.”
These authentic lands will have two signature attractions, including the ability to take the controls of one of the most recognizable ships in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon, on a customized secret mission, and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle.
And here’s Disney’s Press Release regarding more plans:
Following up on today’s exciting news about Star Wars-themed lands coming to Disney Parks, the worlds, stories and characters of the Star Wars galaxy will come to life through new and enhanced experiences at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California beginning this year.
Star Wars Launch Bay – Opening later this year, this interactive experience will take guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and Disneyland park in California into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as well as the first six films in the Star Wars saga.
Season of the Force – This new seasonal event, beginning early 2016, brings new experiences to both coasts. In Tomorrowland at Disneyland park, guests will explore the Star Wars galaxy with special entertainment, themed food locations and Hyperspace Mountain – a reimagining of the classic Space Mountain attraction in which guests will join an X-wing starfighter battle. Disney’s Hollywood Studios will feature a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies on weekend nights.
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – Later this year, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and Disneyland park in California will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, opens in theaters December 18, 2015. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan & Abrams, and features a cast including actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie, Crystal Clarke, Pip Andersen, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow. They will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker. The film is being produced by Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk, and John Williams returns as the composer. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is Episode VII in the Star Wars Saga.