Lucasfilm is preparing to expand the "Star Wars" film universe beyond the new planned trilogy that was confirmed in October.
The company announced on February 5 that they are planning new spinoff films "that will expand the mythos and depths of the 'Star Wars' universe in previously unexplored ways."
The films are separate from the upcoming trilogy and each film will focus on a specific character. Two spinoff films are currently in the works and the movies are expected to be released sometime after Episode VII.
"We are in development of a few stand-alone films," Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, which acquired Lucasfilm in last year, said during a call to investors. He added the films "are not part of the Star Wars saga...there are now creative entities working on developing scripts for what would be those stand-alone films."
Screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are each writing one of the two planned spinoffs. Kasdan wrote the screenplays for "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and co-wrote "Return of the Jedi." Kinberg wrote the screenplays for "Sherlock Holmes" and "Mr. and Mrs. Smith." Kasdan and Kinberg are also serving as consultants on the new trilogy.
While the central characters for the spinoff films have not been confirmed by Lucasfilm or The Walt Disney Company, Entertainment Weekly reports that "Star Wars" original trilogy characters Han Solo and Boba Fett are being considered for the character centric films.
The magazine's report quotes unnamed sources close to the project who claim that the Han Solo film would focus on Solo's younger days before his adventures in "Star Wars: A New Hope," but after the years following the timeline in "Revenge of the Sith." Harrison Ford played Solo in the original trilogy.
The report also claims the Boba Fett movie would take place either between "A New Hope" and "The Empire Strikes Back" or before "Return of the Jedi."
However, a report from Deadline.com claims that nothing has been set just yet and that the two films are still in the very early stages. Lucasfilm declined to confirm which characters would be the focus of the two spinoffs when asked by OTRC.com.
Last month, Walt Disney Studios confirmed that "Star Trek" director J.J. Abrams will direct "Star Wars: Episode VII."
"To be a part of the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, to collaborate with Kathy Kennedy and this remarkable group of people, is an absolute honor," J.J. Abrams said. "I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid."
"Star Wars: Episode VII," which takes place after the events seen in the 1983 film "Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi," is set to be released in 2015. Michael Arndt will write its script. He won an Oscar for his screenplay for the 2006 movie "Little Miss Sunshine" and was nominated for Disney-Pixar's 2010 film "Toy Story 3."
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