NEW YORK (AP) — The Walt Disney Co. announced Thursday that Rian Johnson will craft a new trilogy for the "Star Wars" universe, greatly expanding the director's command over the ever-expanding space saga created by George Lucas.
The announcement, made by Disney chief Bob Iger on a call with investment analysts, constituted the most ambitious new foray into the "Star Wars" galaxy, moving well beyond the original nine-film framework imagined by Lucas. Disney also announced a live-action "Star Wars" series that will debut on its streaming service which is set to launch in 2019.
The new films will be separate from the Skywalker saga. "Johnson will introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored," Disney said in a statement.
That Johnson will preside over a new "Star Wars" trilogy altogether confirms his status as the franchise's new chief guardian. It's a considerable amount of trust to be placed in the 43-year-old director of 2012's "Looper," even before audiences see his first "Star Wars" installment. J.J. Abrams, who kick-started the dormant franchise with "The Force Awakens," is set to return for the untitled Episode IX — the third film in the current trilogy.
"He's a creative force, and watching him craft 'The Last Jedi' from start to finish was one of the great joys of my career," Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy said of Johnson. "Rian will do amazing things with the blank canvas of this new trilogy."
Johnson will write and direct the first film in the trilogy, working with his producing partner Ram Bergman.
"We had the time of our lives collaborating with Lucasfilm and Disney on 'The Last Jedi,' " Johnson and Bergman said in a joint statement. "'Star Wars' is the greatest modern mythology and we feel very lucky to have contributed to it. We can't wait to continue with this new series of films."
Iger also revealed that Disney is also planning series for its streaming service based on the 2011 Pixar film "Monsters Inc." and the Disney Channel movie franchise "High School Musical." Iger said he expects the service to be priced "substantially below" Netflix's $10-a-month subscription price.
Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter @jakecoyleAP
A pothole here. A pothole there. The City of San Diego says it has seen a spike in reports of potholes due to recent winter storms.
Hundreds of San Diego State students are dancing the night away Friday as part of a 15-hour dance marathon which will end Saturday morning.
Skies across San Diego County are mostly clear and will stay that way through the early Saturday. This will result in another night of tumbling temps into early Saturday morning.
The owner of an Ocean Beach sandwich shop is sharing surveillance video of a man he says stole the employees tip jar.
One week ago as diners packed restaurants in a Kearny Mesa a shooting broke out in the parking lot of a strip mall on Convoy Street.
The National Weather Service on has issued a frost advisory from 10 p.m., Friday to 9 a.m., Saturday for the inland valleys of San Diego.
If you look East towards the horizon, you can see the fresh dusting of snow on our local mountains, thanks to the substantial storm system that blew through San Diego County.
In Otay Mesa, it’s the first week of construction of a steel wall for the secondary border barrier separating the United States from Mexico.
While some animals enjoy the cold temperatures and occasional snow, others do not. The San Diego Zoo makes sure all of the animals in its care that need to stay warm are kept nice and cozy. News 8's photojournalist Brian White shows us how they make it happen.