'Star Wars: Episode VII' to Film in U.K.

Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back - H 2012
<p>Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back - H 2012</p>
The next movie, directed by J.J. Abrams, will hit theaters in 2015.

Lucasfilm announced Friday that the next Star Wars movie will be filmed in the U.K.

All six previous Star Wars movies have filmed in the U.K., including Elstree, Shepperton, Leavesden, Ealing and Pinewood Studios.

"We've devoted serious time and attention to revisiting the origins of Star Wars as inspiration for our process on the new movie, and I'm thrilled that returning to the U.K. for production and utilizing the incredible talent there can be a part of that," said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, in a statement. "Speaking from my own longstanding connection to the U.K. with films like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Empire of the Sun and recently War Horse, it's very exciting to be heading back."

Representatives from Lucasfilm had a London meeting with George Osborne, chancellor of the exchequer, in establishing a pact to produce Star Wars in the U.K.

"I am delighted that Star Wars is coming back to Britain. Today's announcement that the next Star Wars film will be shot and produced in the U.K. is great news for fans and our creative industries," Osborne said in a statement.

Star Wars: Episode VII, scheduled for a 2015 release, will be directed by J.J. Abrams. Michael Arndt will write the screenplay. The eighth and ninth Star Wars installments are expected to hit theaters in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

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