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Dec. 18, 2015, release date for 'Star Wars: Episode VII'

Nov. 7, 2013 at 8:07 PM

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- "Star Wars: Episode VII" has been given a Dec. 18, 2015, release date, producers announced in Los Angeles Thursday.

Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn said in a statement the movie will "anchor the popular holiday filmgoing season [and] ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture."

Disney is producing the movie with Lucasfilm, to be directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan -- who wrote the screenplay for "Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back."

Filming is scheduled to begin near London next spring.

The Dec. 18 release date puts "Episode VII" on a similar marketing track to blockbusters "Avatar," "Titanic" and "The Lord of the Rings," The Hollywood Reporter said.

The report said some movies are already scheduled for release on the same date -- including Universal's "Warcraft," based on the video game, and Sony's "Inferno," based on a Dan Drown book.

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