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Disney Delays Release Of Next Star Wars Movie

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By Sky News US Team

There was bad news for Star Wars fans after Disney announced it had pushed back the release of the next installment in the film franchise.

Episode VIII will now hit cinemas on 15 December 2017, seven months later than its initial debut date of 26 May 2017.

The company did not give a precise reason for the delay but there are rumours writer-director Rian Johnson is reworking the script for Episode VIII.

Hollywood blockbusters released during the summer months have drawn the biggest audiences in recent years.

However, Disney noted the success of The Force Awakens, which was released worldwide last month.

It has already become the highest-grossing release in North America with $861m (£607m)

The Force Awakens is the third-biggest global release in history, taking $1.88bn (£1.32bn) at the box office to date.

Episode VIII will start filming in London next month.

It is expected to continue the tale of new characters Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and the villainous Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).

Franchise veterans Carrie Fisher (General Leia) and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) also are expected to return, though Disney did not comment on casting.

Fans will have to make do in the meantime with Star Wars spin-off Rogue One, a stand-alone story with new characters to be released this December.

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