'Star Wars: Episode VIII' release date postponed seven months

Disney and Lucasfilm on Wednesday said "Star Wars: Episode VIII", originally scheduled for release in summer 2017, will now debut on December 15, 2017.

THE FORCE AWAKENS was the first STAR WARS movie to not debut in May, and, if you remember, there was a lot of pushback on the film's delay to December even happening.

This morning, The Walt Disney Studios announced new release dates for upcoming films from two of its major franchises.

Disney also announced in the press release that it is moving up the release date for its reboot of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series. What might be the most interesting bit of news to come out of this is the fact that the film will now be going up against the second Avatar film.

Star Wars: Episode VIII is in pre-production, with filming scheduled to begin next month in London.

"'The Force Awakens' broke the mold for what a December title can do and the shift made a lot of strategic sense", an individual familiar with Disney's thinking told TheWrap.

Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman will produce and J.J. Abrams, Jason McGatlin, and Tom Karnowski will executive produce.

"Star Wars: Episode VIII" has been pushed back.

With little-to-no competition this past Christmas at the box office, that would leave a lot of room for "Star Wars" to rake in once more at theaters. Instead, the focus will be given to "The Force Awakens" characters, Rey (Daisy Ridley) Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), and Finn (John Boyega).

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