‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ Starts Filming, Adds del Toro (Video)

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
February 15, 2016 Updated: February 17, 2016

NEW YORK—”Star Wars: Episode VIII” has begun filming and has added Benicio del Toro and Laura Dern to its cast.

The Walt Disney Co. announced Monday that “Episode VIII” started principal photography at London’s Pinewood Studios on Monday. Written and directed by Rian Johnson, the “Star Wars” sequel will follow J.J. Abrams’ box-office smash “The Force Awakens.” It’s set for release in December 2017.

Joining returning cast members are the Oscar-winning del Toro, the Oscar-nominated Dern and newcomer Kelly Marie Tran.

Left: Laura Dern at the 29th American Cinematheque Awards at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles on Oct. 30, 2015. (John Salangsang/Invision via AP) Right: Benicio del Toro at the BAFTA 2016 film awards at the Royal Opera House in London on Feb. 14, 2016. (Joel Ryan/Invision via AP)
Left: Laura Dern at the 29th American Cinematheque Awards at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles on Oct. 30, 2015. (John Salangsang/Invision via AP) Right: Benicio del Toro at the BAFTA 2016 film awards at the Royal Opera House in London on Feb. 14, 2016. (Joel Ryan/Invision via AP)

The production start announcement was accompanied by a brief video that showed shooting picking up right where “The Force Awakens” left off, with Johnson directing Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) on a remote island off the coast of Ireland.