A top Disney executive has confirmed previous reports that the planned 'Star Wars' spin-off movies will in fact be origin stories.
Speaking at the Bank of America Communications & Entertainment Conference, Walt Disney Co. chief financial officer Jay Rasulo reaffirmed the company's commitment to the 'Star Wars' license they acquired when they purchased LucasFilm for $4 billion nearly one year ago.
"Of all our worries, 'Star Wars' is not one of them," he said. "The market is extremely hot for everything 'Star Wars'."
The first of a new trilogy, 'Star Wars: Episode VII', will be released in the summer of 2015 with 'Episode VIII' and 'IX' coming in 2017 and 2019. The current plan is to release spin-off films in between those episodic instalments.
For the 'Star Wars' franchise "the sky's the limit" according to Rasulo, who describes the saga as an "evergreen property" which continues to make a ton of money with licensing deals and which he says has potential to make even more when new deals are made.
Simon Kinberg and Lawrence Kasdan are currently hard at work on the standalone movies, which have long been rumoured to star characters such as Han Solo, Boba Fett and Yoda. The confirmation that they will be origin tales strongly suggests that this will be the case.
It's looking increasingly likely then that within the next year there will be a new actor playing a young Han Solo as well as Harrison Ford playing his original character in J.J. Abrams' 'Episode VII'.
For Disney right now however the plan is "to put out a great film" first, according to Rasulo.
Ben Skipper is a London-based entertainment junkie whose favourite 'Star Wars' movie is 'Empire Strikes Back' (what else?) and who prefers to forget the prequel trilogy ever happened. You can follow him on Twitter @bskipper27.
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