Star Wars: Episode VII to film in England

Filming of the new Star Wars movie will take place in England, returning the franchise to its British roots, Disney’s Lucasfilm has said.

“We’ve devoted serious time and attention to revisiting the origins of Star Wars as inspiration for our process on the new movie, and I’m thrilled that returning to the UK for production and utilising the incredible talent there can be a part of that,” Kathleen Kennedy, Lucasfilm president, said in a statement.

The six previous Star Wars films were all partly filmed in the UK at famed studios including Pinewood, Elstree and Shepperton.

Disney announced three new Star Wars films in October 2012, when it purchased George Lucas’ Lucasfilm company for US$4.05 billion.

The news was welcomed by the Chancellor George Osborne, who tweeted on Friday: “Great news for our creative industries. May the force be with us.”

Star Wars: Episode VII will be made by director JJ Abrams, and will further boost the British film industry that has been regenerated by the popular James Bond and Harry Potter film franchises.

The Star Wars franchise has grossed more than US$4.4 billion at the worldwide box office since the first film was released in 1977.

Star Wars: Episode VII is scheduled to be released in 2015.

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– Reuters