In amongst the current flurry of exciting new Disney/Pixar/Marvel plans at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California this weekend, Lucasfilm have revealed that their upcoming Star Wars standalone, Rogue One, has begun principle photography.
The production company also unveiled the first image from the film (above), featuring Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen and Donnie Wen in as yet unknown roles. Other recently announced additions to the cast include Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikklesen, Forest Whitaker and Alan Tudyk.
In a statement, producer Kathleen Kennedy said: “Rogue One takes place before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and will be a departure from the saga films but have elements that are familiar to the Star Wars universe. It goes into new territory, exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential Star Wars feel that fans have come to know.”
Speaking briefly about the film’s director, Gareth Edwards (best known for the 2014 Godzilla remake), Kennedy added: “Gareth is such an innovative director and I’m so excited to be working with him and the extraordinary ensemble cast he’s selected for Rogue One.”
Rogue One is the first film to be released from the franchise’s new series of standalone anthology films, with others including a Han Solo origin story and another as-yet unknown tale. Rogue One is set to be released on 16th December 2016.
Meanwhile, the latest movie in the chronological series, Episode VII: The Force Awakens, will hit cinemas this year on 18th December. Watch the trailer below.