‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ release delayed to Dec. 2017

This photo provided by Disney shows Daisey Ridley as Rey, left, and John Boyega as Finn, in a scene from the new film, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," directed by J.J. Abrams. The movie releases in the U.S. on Dec. 18, 2015. (Film Frame/Disney/Copyright Lucasfilm 2015 via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — The release of “Star Wars: Episode VIII” has been delayed from May 2017 to December 2017.

The Walt Disney Co. announced the new release date, Dec. 15, on Wednesday. The date change pushes back the anticipated “Star Wars” installment set to follow the box-office hit “The Force Awakens.”

The eighth chapter in the saga is to be written and directed by Rian Johnson. Production is scheduled to begin next month in London.

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