The first Star Wars Story movie is hitting theaters tonight, but people are already looking to the future. While Rogue One: A Star Wars Story doesn't debut for a few hours, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy was out in London for the UK premiere, and she told BBC's Lizo Mzimba a little tidbit about the future of the franchise.
Mzimba asked about the next movie in the standalone category, a Han Solo Star Wars Story (not official title) set for 2018, and Kennedy broke some news.
"We're actually very close [to production]," Kennedy said. "We're going to start shooting in February."
The Han Solo film will also take place between Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, much like Rogue One does. However, this movie will be following Han before he crossed paths with the Rebel Alliance. Starring Alden Ehrenreich as the young Han Solo and Donald Glover as the young Lando Calrissian, the plot hasn't been revealed yet, but Kennedy promised at the Rogue One junket that it would follow the vision of directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord.
"I would just say that I think what's really great about the fact that we're now moving into these standalone movies is that we're bringing in, essentially auteur directors, like Gareth. We're really supporting those directors and their vision," she said of the new line of films during the Rogue One press junket. She seemed enthusiastic that bringing in people like Gareth Edwards for Rogue One and Chris Miller and Phil Lord for Han Solo would allow for all-new stories to be told, and giving them the freedom they need is essential.
"We're looking at each of these movies without a rulebook. We're basically saying, 'okay, here's a new story, a new movie, a new approach, and what do we want to do?' We're very open to that. I think it very much is in the spirit of what George Lucas did to begin with. He inspired ILM innovation - technical innovation was extremely important to him. It's very much a part of the culture of this company," Kennedy said.
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