It is official: as of February 15, 2016 filming is underway for Star Wars: Episode VIII.
Along with the start of filming, new cast and crew additions have been announced. The next chapter of the Star Wars franchise started filming on at Pinewood Studios in London. The information was released via video on the official Star Wars website the same day:
The episode is the continuation of the story line from Episode VII: The Force Awakens. The new film will include old friends: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels alongside their Episode VII additions: Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, and Andy Serkis.
According to StarWars.com , Episode VIII's freshman class will include: Academy Award winner Benicio Del Toro, Academy Award nominee Laura Dern, and Kelly Marie Tran. Kelly Marie Tran is a relative new comer to the silver screen, although she has quite a few television series appearances under her belt. Del Toro and Dern have quite a few classics on their film resumes. Laura Dern has been part of such films as Jurassic Park and The Fault in our Stars, while DelToro has appeared in Traffic, Snatch, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Guardians of the Galaxy, to name a few.
The behind the scenes magicians will include: producers Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman and executive producers J.J. Abrams, Jason McGatlin, and Tom Karnowski. Starwars.com also reveals that Steve Yedlin (Director of Photography), Bob Ducsay (Editor), Rick Heinrichs (Production Designer), Peter Swords King (Hair and Make-Up Designer), and Mary Vernieu (US Casting Director) will be new members of the production team. along with returning crew members Pippa Anderson (Co-Producer, VP Post Production), Neal Scanlan (Creature & Droid FX Creative Supervisor), Michael Kaplan (Costume Designer), Jamie Wilkinson (Prop Master), Chris Corbould (SFX Supervisor), Rob Inch (Stunt Coordinator), Ben Morris (VFX Supervisor), and Nina Gold (UK Casting Director).
Star Wars: Episode VIII is scheduled to hit theaters on December 15, 2017.