During a set visit to J.J. Abrams‘ Star Wars: Episode VII at London’s Pinewood Studios, Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, revealed that the recently announced Star Wars spinoff will also be shot in the U.K.
The government minister tweeted: “On set of Episode VII tonight, can announce another #StarWars film will be made in UK. A #LongTermEconomicPlan in a galaxy far far away.”
The new film will begin shooting in 2015, also at Pinewood, he later clarified to the British press.
“Lucasfilm and Disney’s decision to shoot the Star Wars stand-alone movie in the U.K. is testament to the incredible talent in Britain,” he added.
In recent years, the U.K. has introduced an aggressive set of tax incentives to lure top Hollywood projects. The Star Wars films are projected to be a major boon to the local economy and film sector.
“The further changes the government made to the film tax relief at Budget 2014 will support our highly skilled, innovative creative sectors so that they continue to thrive and encourage more films to be made in the U.K.,” Osborne said.
U.K. Culture Secretary Sajid Javid later added: “Given Lucasfilm’s decision to film another Star Wars movie in the U.K., it is clear that the Force is strong here.”
Gary Whitta (Book of Eli) is writing the script for the Star Wars spinoff, which has a release date of Dec. 16, 2016. Fresh off the success of Godzilla, Gareth Edwards is directing. Following the announcement of the new film last week, Edwards told THR: “Ever since I saw Star Wars I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life — join the Rebel Alliance!”
The story line of the spinoff has been a matter of fervent speculation, with the top-going theories suggesting characters such as bounty hunter Boba Fett and Jedi master Yoda as those who might be getting their own movies. There are also rumors of a potential Han Solo origin story, or at least something on the Solo clan, or the untold adventures of Luke Skywalker.