'Star Wars: Episode VIII' to Shoot at U.K.'s Pinewood
The British government formally announced Monday that episode eight of the Star Wars franchise will be shot at Pinewood Studios just outside of London.
"Pleased to announce #StarWarsVIII will be filmed here in UK @PinewoodStudios – great news for @starwars fans & our UK creative industries," tweeted George Osborne, the U.K. chancellor of the exchequer, the British equivalent of the secretary of the treasury. Osborne also touted the $152 million (₤100 million) inward investment and 3,000 jobs the production will bring.
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The news comes on Star Wars Day (May the Fourth), but also coincidentally a bank holiday Monday in the U.K. Lucasfilm and Disney representatives couldn't immediately be reached for comment. Pinewood declined to comment.
Yet to be titled, Star Wars: Episode VIII will be directed by Rian Johnson. Filming is due to start in 2016 with a release date scheduled for 2017.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said late last year that the company has continued its "long tradition of Star Wars movies being made in London."
As well as its links with Star Wars, Pinewood has been home to the James Bond franchise and also recently played host to the Avengers: Age of Ultron production.
In Britain, the timing of the announcement is partly seen as a political move by Osborne, an attempt to associate his party, the Conservatives of David Cameron, with a high-profile injection of foreign investment as the U.K. election takes place on May 7.
by Sheraz Farooqi
by Graeme McMillan