If a new report is to be believed, it seems LucasFilm won't wait around to begin filming Star Wars: Episode 9. This latest rumor claims that production begins in April 2017, with filming taking place in London, most likely at Pinewood Studios, where Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: Episode 8 were all shot. If this rumor is true, then production will begin more than two years before this Star Wars sequel is rumored to be released on May 23, 2019.
While no release date has been confirmed by Disney or LucasFilm yet, various reports, including this new report from On Location Vactions, have surfaced which claim that Disney and LucasFilm have set this Star Wars sequel for release on May 23, 2019, which is a Thursday. It's also possible that the studio may change it to a December 2019 date, to fall in line with the release dates of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (December 18, 2016), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (December 16, 2016) and Star Wars: Episode VIII (December 15, 2017).
It is worth noting, though, that the studio has set a May 25, 2018 release date for their second Star Wars spin-off, Han Solo: A Star Wars Story, which is actually the 41st anniversary of the very first Star Wars movie, A New Hope, which hit theaters on May 25, 1977. If production is actually starting next April, then perhaps LucasFilm will keep the May 2019 date intact, giving the studio more than two years to complete production and post-production on what could very well be the most-anticipated Star Wars movie of all time. Still, neither the production start date nor the release date have been confirmed by Disney or LucasFilm at this time.
Back in August, Mark Hamill confirmed that his iconic characer Luke Skywalker will in fact return in Star Wars 9, as the actor shaved off his Jedi beard once production wrapped on Episode 8. No story details have been confirmed yet, but director Colin Trevorrow has re-assured fans that this final installment of the new trilogy will provide satisfying answers to all of the fan theories about Rey (Daisy Ridley) and her heritage. The director has also teased his ambitious plans to shoot a scene for the movie in actual outer space, using IMAX cameras.
The filmmaker also confirmed last month that he plans on shooting this sequel on 65mm film. Kodak reportedly added the capability to process 65mm film at their UK facility, with Star Wars 9 being one of the projects that will utilize the opportunity. Director J.J. Abrams shot Star Wars: The Force Awakens on 35mm film, with Rian Johnson also shooting Star Wars: Episode VIII on 35mm film as well. Shooting on 65mm will allow Colin Trevorrow to expand the visual scope of his film, which could make Star Wars: Episode IX the biggrst Star Wars movie, in more ways than one.