THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – The British government formally announced Monday that episode eight of the Star Wars franchise will be shot at Pinewood Studios just outside of London.
“Pleased to announce #StarWarsVIII will be filmed here in UK @PinewoodStudios – great news for @starwars fans & our UK creative industries,” tweeted George Osborne, the U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer, the British equivalent of the secretary of the Treasury. Osborne also trumped up the $152 million (₤100 million) inward investment and 3,000 jobs the production will bring.
The news comes on Star Wars Day (May the Fourth), but also coincidentally a bank holiday Monday in the U.K. Lucasfilm and Disney representatives couldn’t immediately be reached. Pinewood declined to comment.
Episode VIII to be #MadeinBritain, bringing 100m investment and 3,000 jobs here. #MayThe4thBeWithYou
— George Osborne (@George_Osborne) May 4, 2015
Yet to be titled, Star Wars Episode VIII will be directed by Rian Johnson. Filming is due to start in 2016 with a release date scheduled for 2017.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said late last year that the company has continued its “long tradition of Star Wars movies being made in London.” She added: “It goes back to 1976, and to know that we are now coming back and we will be making the movies once again based out of Pinewood.”
In Britain, the timing of the announcement is partly seen as a political move by Osborne, an attempt to associate his party, the Conservatives of David Cameron, with a high-profile injection of foreign investment as the U.K. election takes place on May 7.