The eagerly-awaited re-boot of the Star Wars franchise, this time under the auspices of Disney, will be made in the UK, George Osborne has announced. In a coup for the beleaguered chancellor, the seventh instalment of the seminal sci-fi fantasy series will go into production next year, with Lucasfilm set to take advantage of the UK’s generous tax credits for filmmakers.
Osborne announced the news, which will secure thousands of jobs in the creative industries, on Twitter on Friday evening.
Osborne later added: "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 UK is great news for fans and our creative industries, and it is clear evidence that our incentives are attracting the largest studios back to the UK. I am personally committed to seeing more great films and television made in Britain."
Speaking on Sky News on Saturday afternoon, Osborne called the announcement a “real vote of confidence in Britain’s creative industries”, adding “my favourite character is Han Solo”.
J.J. Abrams, who helmed the Star Trek re-boot, is set to direct the first Star Wars film since 2005; Disney secured the rights to the franchise in a $4bn deal in 2012. The first four Star Wars films featured some production in the UK, with the original film ‘A New Hope’ shot in 1976 at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire.
President of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy said in a statement: "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 UK for production and utilizing the incredible talent there can be a part of that. Speaking from my own longstanding connection to the UK with films like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Empire of the Sun and recently War Horse, it's very exciting to be heading back."
The seventh film, which is so far unnamed, has been scheduled for a 2015 release date. Michael Arndt has been hired to write the screenplay, with an eighth and ninth film expected in 2016 and 2017. The Star Wars franchise has grossed more than £2.8bn at the box office since the first film was released in 1977, with rumours suggesting the seventh film will feature members of the original cast, including Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford.
Lucasfilm was bought by Disney, there is no way I am wearing Mickey Mouse ears.
not Luke Johnson
STAR WARS VII: THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE
Marvel, Lucasfilm... Disney systematically buying up things that were vital to me at age 12. Next they acquire Robotech, Now & Laters, air.
The Dark Lord
Does the Disney/Lucasfilm merger mean that Leia is now a Disney Princess?
Saw news about Disney & Star Wars, looked at calendar. Nicely done Mayans, you were obviously strong in the Force. #DisneyBuysLucasFilm
Joe ~ Speedyf40
It was like a million nerds (voices) crying out in unison then suddenly retweets! #DisneyBuysLucasfilm
Now that Disney has bought Lucasfilm, I think we can all agree that we want to see Tony Stark kill Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars 7.
Jack Sparrow steals the Millennium Falcon. Hijinks ensue. #DisneyBuysLucasfilm
I mean to quote my generation, this shit be cray cray #DisneyBuysLucasFilm
Star Wars Episode VII: The Jedi Wore Tennis Shoes #disneybuyslucasfilms
Cesar R Cespedes
I felt a disturbance in the Force, as if millions of geeks were shocked in an instant #DisneybuysLucasfilms
FILM CRIT HULK
NOW THAT DISNEY OWNS MARVEL + STAR WARS, HULK STARRING IN CROSSOVER MOVIE WHERE HULK SMASHES JAR JAR BINKS FOR 2 HOURS FOR, LIKE, NO REASON
Star Wars Episode 7: The Return of Miley Cyrus #DisneyBuysLucasFilms
Truly the twitter sphere now has something else to explode about. #disneybuyslucasfilms
The Dark Lord
Lucasfilm has just been sold to Disney. So Disney is now in control of the Dark Side? I KNEW IT!
I go for lunch and Disney buys Lucasfilm? WHAT THE WHAT?
I'm pretty sure this Disney-Lucasfilm news is breaking my corner of the internet.
Disney just bought Star Wars & LucasFilm. Meaning more princess than Jedi. #StarWars
Let's face it, Lucas had already Disneyfied Stars Wars, anyway. This seems more up front. - Disney buying Lucasfilm http://t.co/22NiPWfv
Not sure how to react to this -> “Princess Leia is now a member of the Disney Princess club, I guess.” -- @abtran in a Facebook comment
Toydarian Story #DisneyBuysLucasFilm
#DisneyBuysLucasfilm Jar Jar Poppins
No one obviously told #Disney “IT’S A TRAP!!!” #Disneybuyslucasfilm
There was a disturbance in the force like the voices of a million nerds were scilenced. #DisneybuysLucasfilm
Now, if we can just get Disney to buy out JK Rowling.... #disneystarwars #disneypotter #disneybuyslucasfilm
Emperor Palpatine's New Groove #DisneyBuysLucasFilm
Andrés de Rojas
May the Force be with... Mickey Mouse? #DisneyBuysLucasfilm
A long time ago, in a galaxy fully complaint with SOPA and PIPA . . . . #DisneyBuysLucasfilm
So... the Internet just exploded. #DisneyBuysLucasFilm
I guess this means Jason Segal will make the next "Star Wars" movie. #DisneyBuysLucasFilm
Mulando Calrissian #DisneyBuysLucasFilm
Is there enough room at Disney World to build a Death Star? #DisneybuysLucasfilm
Medicloreans revealed to be Tinkerbell pixie dust. #DisneyBuysLucasFilm
Lauren Alice Dykes
I kinda get the feeing I might be the only one who is super-stoked about this... #DisneybuysLucasfilm
Pixar/Marvel/Indiana Jones/Star Wars crossover possibilities FTW? #DisneyBuysLucasfilm
Oh bloody hell. A Disney Jar Jar Binks is all we need. #tweetfleet #disneybuyslucasfilm
#DisneyBuysLucasfilm Jar Jar Poppins
Tomeu X. Sastre
#DisneyBuysLucasfilm Snow White and the 7 ewoks
RT @joshgreenman: Jar Jar, Goofy. Goofy, Jar Jar. #disneybuyslucasfilm