Disney confirms one Star Wars film a year from 2015
It's definite: as well as a Star Wars trilogy, we're getting new standalone films. And we're getting one Star Wars film a year...
Depending on your outlook for such things, what we're about to tell you will either be news to bring a rather sizeable smile to your chops, or it'll leave you feeling as if Disney is risking significant damage to its new, $4bn galactic goose.
At the CinemaCon event taking place in the US, Disney's head honcho Alan Horn firstly announced that Star Wars: Episode VII would indeed be heading to movie theater screens in the summer of 2015. There had been some talk that wouldn't be the case, after JJ Abrams took on the job, but it looks as if the movie is locked for two years' time. And it will definitely be a summer release.
However, and here comes the contentious bit, Horn then also revealed that the plan at the moment is to have one Star Wars movie in cinemas every year from 2015 onwards. At least until 2020 anyway, when the new trilogy is concluded.
It's been little secret that, on top of Star Wars Episodes VII, VIII and IX, that Disney has been working on standalone movies involving some of the characters. And, to be fair, videogames, books and comics have done a substantive job of exploring the stories we don't see in the films. So there's certainly a wealth of material to draw on. Those standalone films will now slot in alternate years between the releases of the new trilogy, as Disney looks to get a fairly quick return on its Lucasfilm investment.
Even the most devoted Star Wars fan, we suspect, has a slight alarm bell ringing at the thought of a Star Wars movie every year. It's an ambitious ask, and inevitably questions will be raised about making sure standards are kept up. We'll keep you posted. And surely that full Star Wars: Episode VII announcement can't be too far away now...