Colin Trevorrow to direct ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The force will awaken in just 125 days, but “Star Wars” fans didn’t learn anything new about the film at Disney’s D23 convention on Saturday.
Audiences at the biannual fan expo were, however, informed that “Jurassic World” director Colin Trevorrow is set to direct “Star Wars: Episode IX” and saw a first glimpse of the cast of Gareth Edwards’ anthology film “Star Wars: Rogue One.”
But “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” out Dec. 18, remains cloaked in secrecy. Director J.J. Abrams, stars Harrison Ford, Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley, Lupita Nyong’o, and John Boyega were on hand to wave at the screaming audience in the 7,500-seat auditorium, but revealed no new footage or information about the film.
Ford, who appeared with the cast at Comic-Con in July, spoke briefly when the audience screams died down.
“I’m following in the footsteps of George Lucas, the author of the early parts of my story, and now I’m delighted to be here with J.J. and the cast and Disney, which has supported this effort in a really extraordinary way,” said Ford, who will be playing Han Solo once more in the film, set about 30 years after the events of “Return of the Jedi.”
“It’s a great thrill to be here with you and who made this whole thing happen, I couldn’t be happier,” he said.
After showing only behind-the-scenes footage at Comic-Con, many expected to see something new from the film at the Disney-only event, but the cast was shuffled off stage quickly so that Disney CEO Bob Iger could announce the plans for “Star Wars” themed lands at the Disney Parks.
Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012 and has a slew of “Star Wars” films and spin-offs set for the next few years. The new trilogy will kick off with Abrams’ film this December, followed by “Looper” writer/director Rian Johnson’s “Star Wars: Episode VIII.”
Trevorrow, whose “Jurassic World” broke box office records this summer with over $1.6 billion in global earnings had been rumored to be joining the “Star Wars” fold before Saturday’s announcement. “Episode IX” is planned for 2019.
In addition to the main trilogy, Disney and Lucasfilm are making a number of anthology spin-offs set in the “Star Wars” universe, including Edwards’ “Rogue One,” starring Felicity Jones and Diego Luna as rebels attempting to steal the plans for the Death Star, and a young Han Solo film from “The LEGO Movie” directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
Beyond “Star Wars,” Disney previewed upcoming live-action films “Beauty and the Beast,” a lavish musical starring Emma Watson and featuring the songs of Alan Menken, the Uganda-set “The Queen of Katwe” starring Lupita Nyong’o, and “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” the sequel to 2010′s box office smash “Alice in Wonderland.”
Fans also learned that Orlando Bloom will be reprising his role as Will Turner in “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” alongside Johnny Depp, who appeared on stage in full Captain Jack Sparrow costume.
Aside from Ford taking the stage, fans responded strongly to the live-action/CGI spectacle of “The Jungle Book,” a lush epic from “Iron Man” director Jon Favreau which Disney exec Sean Bailey called “the most technologically advanced movie ever.” That, and seeing Bill Murray as the lumbering bear Baloo singing “The Bear Necessities.”
Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr