After months of speculation, Walt Disney Pictures confirmed on Thursday that "Episode VII," the next installment of the "Star Wars" saga, will open on December 18, 2015.
In a statement, Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said, "We're very excited to share the official 2015 release date for 'Star Wars: Episode VII,' where it will not only anchor the popular holiday filmgoing season but also ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture."
When Lucasfilm was originally purchased by Disney just over one year ago, it was announced that a new "Star Wars" film would be coming in 2015. The assumption at the time, though, was that the movie would open in the summer. The original movie opened on May 25, 1977 and set the template for the summer blockbuster that would dominate Hollywood for the next three decades. Every previous "Star Wars" film opened in the month of May, including the three prequels.