The untitled sequel is being directed by Rian Johnson and features Benicio del Toro as a villain
Star Wars: Episode VIII, the sequel to JJ Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is to start shooting In Ireland this month.
It was originally reported that JJ Abrams and his crew were returning to Skellig Michael, a 54-acre island located off Ireland’s south-west coast, for last-minute additional photography for The Force Awakens. The island, protected as a UNESCO Heritage Site, is home to the ruins of a small monastery that was occupied for around 500 years until the 12th century.
However, Lucasfilm has now told Entertainment Weekly that this report was false and Skellig Michael will actually play host to Rian Johnson, director of Episode VIII, and his crew.
Episode VIII, whose official title has yet to be announced, is set for release on May 26, 2017. Benicio del Toro has been cast as a villain and Oscar Isaac has confirmed he will reprise his role from The Force Awakens. Meanwhile, Orphan Black‘s Tatiana Maslany, Bates Motel‘s Olivia Cooke and Jane The Virgin‘s Gina Rodriquez has all been linked to the sequel’s female lead.
Meanwhile, it has recently been announced that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will open in UK cinemas on December 17 – a day earlier than originally expected.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens takes place 30 years after the events of 1983’s Return Of The Jedi, though exact plot details are being kept under wraps. The film’s script was penned by Abrams, Toy Story 3 writer Michael Arndt and Star Wars franchise veteran Lawrence Kasdan.
Alongside the returning trio of Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, the film’s cast is led by Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow and Andy Serkis. Check out footage from the film recently released on Instagram here.