The British star of global smash Star Wars: The Force Awakens has signed on to Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures’ sci-fi.

John Boyega

Steven S. DeKnight will direct the second instalment and the studios have earmarked a fourth quarter production start.

Boyega will play the son of Idris Elba’s character from the original film, which opened in July 2013 and went on to gross a modest $411m worldwide. Universal handles worldwide distribution on the sequel excluding China.

Guillermo del Toro and Travis Beacham conceived of the property. Legendary founder Thomas Tull will produce with recently hired vice-chairman of worldwide production Mary Parent, former president and COO Jon Jashni, and del Toro, as well as Boyega and Femi Oguns through their Upper Room Productions. Cale Boyter will serve as executive producer.

Boyega’s credits include Attack The Block and his upcoming roster Features Star Wars: Episode VIII, The Circle, Imperial Dreams, and Watership Down.