Although the movie’s release was pushed back by a few months, filming is already underway for Star Wars: Episode VIII. Disney CEO Bob Iger this week revealed cameras for the much-anticipated sequel have begun rolling, which can only mean one thing: We can start to expect new Star Wars rumors up the wazoo.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens has so far collected over $2 billion worldwide in ticket sales, propelling Disney to one of its best ever quarters in company history; if that lofty sum wasn’t enough, Iger said the company has already earned more than $3 billion globally from merchandise alone.
Luckily, Iger, who helped shape both Pixar and Disney into what it is today, isn’t letting that success go to his head.
“There is no better way to propel this franchise into the future than producing quality products,” Iger said. “Filming Star Wars: Episode VIII, the next chapter of the legendary saga, has just commenced and it will be in theaters December 2017. And production of Episode IX, a 2019 release, has also begun.”
Episode VIII is being directed by Rian Johnson, known for his work on Looper, while Episode IX is being directed by Jurassic World’s Colin Trevorrow. Meanwhile, the first spinoff film in the Star Wars franchise, Rogue One, is set for a release this December; Iger said filming for Rogue One is “virtually completed.”
Star Wars: Episode VIII is scheduled for a Dec. 15, 2017 release.