Star Wars: Episode VIII is delayed

A life size Stormtrooper figure at a cinema in BeijingImage copyright
European photopress agency

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The current film, The Force Awakens, has been a global hit

The release of the next Star Wars film has been delayed until the end of 2017, Disney has announced.

Star Wars: Episode VIII was due to go on global release in May 2017 but instead will not be aired until the following December.

It will follow The Force Awakens, which is still showing and has become the biggest-grossing film in US history.

In the five weeks since its release, it has earned $861m (£607m) in the US and $1.88bn globally.

Disney did not say why the film had been delayed but there had been speculation that the script was being rewritten.

Production is set to begin next month at Pinewood Studios, west of London.

The new release date means it could come up against another long-awaited blockbuster, Avatar 2, which is set for Christmas 2017 but could be further delayed.

Despite the bad news concerning the postponement, Star Wars fans have the consolation of the spin-off Rogue One, which is due out in December this year.

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