‘Star Wars: Episode VII’: J.J. Abrams’ film to open December 18, 2015

Nov. 07, 2013 | 1:25 p.m.

J.J. Abrams, who has made a name for himself writing, directing and producing such hits as "Lost" and "Star Trek," was tapped in January to direct "Star Wars: Episode VII." (Tracey Nearmy / European Pressphoto Agency)

Abrams made his first foray into television in 1998, co-creating the coming-of-age drama "Felicity," which starred Keri Russell as the title character. The show won a Golden Globe and an Emmy. (The WB)

Abrams created the Jennifer Garner-starring spy thriller series "Alias," which won four Emmys and a Golden Globe. (Norman Jean Roy / ABC)

J.J. Abrams on the set of "Mission: Impossible III," the first feature film he directed. The film earned nearly $400 million at the worldwide box office. (Paramount Pictures)

Director J.J. Abrams and star Tom Cruise on the set of "Mission: Impossible III." (Paramount Pictures)

Director J.J. Abrams and star Tom Cruise pose atop Shanghai's historic Bund 18 building after wrapping up filming in China for "Mission: Impossible III" on Nov. 30, 2005. (Associated Press)

Abrams co-created "Lost" with Jeffrey Lieber and Damon Lindelof. The suspense-filled show followed a group of people after their plane crashed on an island. The massively popular series became a cultural touchstone, with millions of viewers tuning in for twist after twist. (ABC)

J.J. Abrams is photographed in Los Angeles in April 2006. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

J.J. Abrams, second from left, poses with the cast members from "Fringe," a sci-fi television series he co-created with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. (Rich Lam / Getty Images)

J.J. Abrams reveals his first casting for his 2009 reboot of "Star Trek" during a 2007 Comic-Con panel in San Diego. (Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times)

A scene from Abrams' 2009 film "Star Trek," which raked in more than $385 million worldwide. (Paramount Pictures)

Steven Spielberg, left, co-produced the 2011 film "Super 8," which J.J. Abrams wrote and directed. The pair are shown here at a 2009 dinner honoring Spielberg in Beverly Hills. (Michael Kovac / WireImage)

J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg on the set of "Super 8." (Paramount Pictures)

Director J.J. Abrams and actor Kyle Chandler on the set of "Super 8." (Paramount Pictures)

Young actors Joel Courtney and Riley Griffiths discuss a scene with director J.J. Abrams on the set of "Super 8." (Paramount Pictures)

J.J. Abrams, left, and Eric Kripke executive produce the post-apocalyptic adventure series "Revolution." The pair are photographed here at Abrams' company Bad Robot in Santa Monica on Aug. 20, 2012. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Abrams, second from left, shares the stage with "Star Trek Into Darkness" actor Benedict Cumberbatch, star Chris Pine and producer Bryan Burk during a December 2012 press conference for the sequel to their 2009 blockbuster. (Koji Sasahara / Associated Press)

J.J. Abrams and his wife Katie McGrath are co-chairs of the Children's Defense Fund of California. They're photographed here in December 2012. (Mark Davis / Getty Images)

J.J. Abrams is photographed in Beverly Hills in June 2011. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

J.J. Abrams is photographed in Beverly Hills in June 2011. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

It’s official — “Star Wars: Episode VII” has a release date: J.J. Abrams’ new film will open December, 18, 2015.

The news appeared in an announcement Thursday on StarWars.com.

“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,” said Alan Horn, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, in the announcement.

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Late last month, word came that director Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan were taking over screenwriting duties on the newest “Star Wars” film from Oscar winner Michael Arndt.

Arndt (“Little Miss Sunshine,” “Toy Story 3″) had been announced as the original screenwriter for “Episode VII” last November, shortly after word surfaced that he had written a lengthy treatment for a trilogy of new “Star Wars” films.

Abrams was tapped to direct “Star Wars: Episode VII” back in January; Kasdan, of course, has a long history with Lucasfilm, as a screenwriter on “Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi.”

Shooting on “Episode VII” is scheduled to begin in the spring at Pinewood Studios, with the movie set for a 2015 release.

Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing, with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers.

John Williams is returning to the “Star Wars” universe to write the score.

– Gina McIntyre

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex


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21 Responses to ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’: J.J. Abrams’ film to open December 18, 2015

  1. sainted says:

    Judging by the horrible quality of the Abrams helmed Star Trek films, the new Star Wars movies will be awful. What a shame.

    • Guest says:

      Disclaimer: I am not anti jewish.

      but couldn't be more agree.

      If I were Disney I go with

      Spielberg episode VII
      Nolan episode VIII
      Cameron episode IX, X

  2. John A. Small says:

    STAR WARS movies are supposed to open in May! It's been the tradition since the very first one in 1977. Strike one, J.J….

    • cezar says:

      That might not be J.J.'s call, more so Disney's. Avengers 2 is scheduled that time. Make more sense to release December, no canibalizationa.

    • Justin Lagle says:

      All real Star Wars fans know that the very original film was going for a December release but couldn’t get it….

      So now, Star Wars can be released in December just like it was meant to almost 40 years ago

  3. jimbo says:

    Yahoooooo!!!!! About time. I can't wait.

  4. Bill says:

    Kenobi: [to Luke] You must learn the ways of the Force if you're to come with me to Alderaan.

  5. John McClane says:

    When a movie is released under a given title, such as "Star Wars", that is the name of the movie. Period. It's demeaning and insulting to, in the name of capitalism, then come back 20 years later with a sequel that causes you to change the name of the previous movie. I didn't go and see "Star Wars- Episode Blah Blah Blah". The last 3 Star Wars films have been virtually impossible to sit through, and I just don't hold out much hope for the next one.

    • Sue Ellen Crandell says:

      Realize what made them wrong, and also realize that those mistakes won't be repeated. Abrams has already shown he has a little bit of that Spielberg/Lucas magic with "Super 8", so I'm cautiously optimistic.

    • Greyjedi says:

      If your not a hardcore fan why are you looking at this heading anyway? Or spewing your negativity for no reason. .. Long live the Wars !!!!

    • REGGAE JEDI says:

      YOUR LACK OF FAITH IS YOUR WEAKNESS!!Lol…it's gonna be badass!!!

  6. Zak says:

    It's not a Star Wars film. The prequels may have been bad but overall not much harm done but Star Wars Episode 1-6 are Star Wars, anything else film wise is not Star Wars. I like the Abrams Star Trek, but whatever these new movies will be, they wont be Star Wars.

  7. Jones says:

    I could not care less. I am physically and mentally unable to sit through a J.J. Abrams movie, so I will not see Episode 7, or 8, or 9…

  8. Rife says:

    I fell asleep at the very first one and never went to another.

  9. Hah says:

    Does JJ stand for Jar Jar?

  10. Chad says:

    I think if Abrahams will keep the feel of the original three, they should be fine…

  11. Gandalf the white says:

    J.J Abrams will silence all this fools saying he will do bad.

    Real Gandalf

  12. Jamal Soward says:

    J .J. Abrams is making a terrible mistake! Why can't he release Episode 7 in May like they usually do! My idea is to release Episode 7 & 8 all in the same year! Episode 7 May 2015,Episode 8 November 2015! It worked with the Matrix films,why not Star Wars!

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