JJ Abrams will commence principal photography at Pinewood Studios in May, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced at the company’s annual shareholder meeting.
The storyline will take place 30 years after Return Of The Jedi and will feature three new young leads as well as familiar faces. Beyond that Iger was cagey about details, although he said the only confirmed character at this stage was R2-D2.
Star Wars Episode VII is scheduled to open in the US on December 18, 2015.
In other announcements from the CEO, Pixar is preparing a third Cars film and a sequel to 2004 release The Incredibles. A 3D version of The Incredibles is also in the works.
Meanwhile, Frozen’s release in Japan at the weekend left it poised to overtake the $1.06bn final gross of Toy Story 3, while the Shanghai Disneyland Park will accommodate a Pirates Of The Caribbean attraction named Treasure Cove.
“Fiscal 2013 was our third consecutive year of record results,” Iger told shareholders. “We increased revenue by 7% to a record $45bn, which led to a record $6.1bn in net income, up 8% over the year before.”
“These results drove total shareholder return of 27% for the year, compared to 20% for the S&P 500. And over the last five years, we’ve delivered total shareholder return of 113%, which is more than double the return generated by the S&P 500 for the same period.”
Iger also announced that the next D23 Expo will run from August 14-16 2015 in Anaheim, California.
All the board nominees were re-elected: Susan E Arnold, John S Chen, Jack Dorsey, Iger, Fred H Langhammer, Aylwin B Lewis, Monica C Lozano, Robert W Matschullat, Sheryl K Sandberg and Orin C Smith.