/star-wars-spinoff-movie-cast-felicity-jones/Way back in early February, it hit the trades that Felicity Jones will be taking the female lead in the once Untitled Gareth Edwards Directed Star Wars Spin-Off movie. Now, Disney and LucasFilm have finally confirmed that casting news with an official press release. They have also announced that the official title is Rogue One, and as previously reported by the studios, it will hit theaters in December 2016.

The news was announced by Bob Iger, who hosted a shareholder meeting this morning at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, across the street from Lucasfilm. The Disney chairman and CEO called this the first stand-alone movie in a unique series of big-screen adventures that explores the characters and events beyond the core Star Wars saga. Rogue One is confirmed to be directed by Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla) and written by Oscar nominee Chris Weitz (Cinderella, About a Boy, Antz).

At this time, no story details have been announced. While many thought this first spinoff would revolve around Han Solo or Boba Fett, the title seems to indicate that we will be getting a movie about X-Wing pilots (or more specifically 'an' X-Wing pilot). That was previously rumored to be the 3rd Star Wars spinoff, and was going by the title 'Rogue Squadron'. The story may follow a team of X-Wing pilots who attempt to steal plans for the first Death Star, but that has never been confirmed. With Rogue One the confirmed title and Felicity Jones taking the lead, perhaps the movie will follow the adventures of the first ever female X-Wing pilot, which has not been shown in a movie as of yet.

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The idea for the story of Rogue One came from John Knoll, an Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor and chief creative officer at Industrial Light & Magic. John Knoll will executive produce along with Simon Emanuel (The Dark Knight Rises, Fast & Furious 6) and Jason D. McGatlin (The Adventures of Tintin, War of the Worlds). Kathleen Kennedy and Tony To (Band of Brothers, The Pacific) are on board to produce and John Swartz (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) will co-produce. The film starts shooting this summer in London.

B. Alan Orange