by Zach Johnson | Fri., Mar. 24, 2017 4:45 AM
Princess Leia lives.
After Carrie Fisher's passing in December 2016, many moviegoers wondered whether it would affect Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which she had completed filming prior to her death. "When we bought Lucasfilm, we were going to make three films—Episodes VII, VIII and IX," Disney CEO Bob Iger said Thursday. "We had to deal with tragedy at the end of 2016. Carrie appears throughout VIII. We are not changing VIII to deal with her passing. Her performance remains as it is in VIII. In Rogue One, we had some digital character, [but] we're not doing that with Carrie."
Iger's comments echoed those made by Lucasfilm two months ago. "We don't normally respond to fan or press speculation, but there is a rumor circulating that we would like to address. We want to assure our fans that Lucasfilm has no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher's performance as Princess or General Leia Organa. Carrie Fisher was, is, and always will be a part of the Lucasfilm family. She was our princess, our general, and more importantly, our friend. We are still hurting from her loss," the studio said at the time. "We cherish her memory and legacy as Princess Leia, and will always strive to honor everything she gave to Star Wars."
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, from writer-director Rian Johnson, is scheduled for a Dec. 15 release. John Boyega, Gwendoline Christie, Anthony Daniels, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Mark Hamill, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Daisy Ridley and Andy Serkis will reprise their roles from 2015's wildly popular blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran, meanwhile, have joined the ensemble cast in new, unspecified roles.
Iger, who was speaking at the Scale: The Future of Tech and Entertainment conference in Santa Monica, recently extended his contract with Disney through 2019. Under his leadership, the Star Wars universe will only get bigger. "We're starting talk about what could happen after Episode IX," Iger shared. "About what could be another decade-and-a-half of Star Wars stories."
And he wasn't just talking about movies.
The planned Star Wars Lands (in both Anaheim and Orlando) will include an experience that would allow park guests to get into the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon "and go for a joyrides."
Iger also spoke about the untitled Han Solo film starring Alden Ehrenreich, slated for a May 25, 2018 release. The story will take place as Han ages from 18 to 24 and will show him acquiring his spaceship the Millennium Falcon, meeting his partner Chewbacca and "getting his name." Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are directing the movie, scheduled for a May 25, 2018 bow.
Donald Glover will play a young Lando Calrissian, while Woody Harrelson announced on The Tonight Show Wednesday that he will play a "criminal" and "mentor" to Han named Beckett. Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton and Phoebe Waller-Bridge are also part of the all-star cast.
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