Ever since October 30, 2012, when it was officially announced that Walt Disney Pictures had bought LucasFilm, we have been left wondering exactly when we would be able to see Star Wars: Episode VII. The studios repeatedly suggested that the film would come out some time during the summer of 2015, but still for months we have been left hanging without a release date. Today that has changed. The Star Wars official website has finally revealed that the currently untitled Star Wars: Episode VII will be in theaters on December 18, 2015. Said said Alan Horn, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, about the release date,
"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."
This is significant not only because it takes the project out of the overly-crowded summer blockbuster season - which is set to include The Avengers: Age of Ulron, Batman Vs. Superman, Jurassic World, the Terminator reboot and much more - but the project seems to be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Currently also scheduled to come out on December 18th of 2015 are both Ron Howard's Inferno (the third film in the adaptation of Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code series), and Duncan Jones' Warcraft (which is a feature version of the incredibly popular video game series). Obviously Star Wars: Episode VII is a much bigger title than both of those films and has the best chance at dominating at the box office, so expect some news in the coming weeks regarding Inferno and Warcraft being moved to different dates.
Overall, this shift from summer 2015 to winter 2015 isn't all that surprising. We've been hearing for a long time that there was a chance Star Wars wouldn't be ready for the middle months of the year, with talk only increasing in the last couple of weeks. Even when J.J. Abrams came aboard to direct back in January there was talk that the film wouldn't even be ready in time to fit on the 2015 calendar, so this news is actually pretty good by comparison. Having a late in the year release date also means that the production will also have a few more months to work with time-wise, which could allow the production to relax a little bit and make sure that everything is set up perfectly before cameras star to roll next year in the spring at Pinewood Studios.
Star Wars: Episode VII was originally being written by Oscar winning screenwriter Michael Arndt, but now Abrams and Empire Strikes Back screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan are taking care of the script. No actors are currently attached to the film, but look for that to change in the next few weeks.
For now, how do you feel about a Star Wars movie coming out in December? Is it weird that it won't be a summer movie event, or does it not bother you either way? Let us know what you're thinking in the comments section below.
Quick Update: In conjunction with the news about the new Star Wars release date, Disney has also revealed that they have pushed back Brad Bird's Tomorrowland. While the movie was originally going to come out on December 12, 2014, it has now been pushed back to May 22, 2015.