Disney announces new Star Wars trilogy

Published on: November 13th, 2017

Deal has been struck with Rian Johnson, director of the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi. 

In a statement, said: “In shepherding this new trilogy, which is separate from the episodic Skywalker saga, [Rian] Johnson will introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored.”

Disney is also working on a live-action Star Wars series for a new online streaming service.

The news overshadowed Disney’s first drop in annual profits since 2009, amid steep competition from online rivals.

Profits for the year to September fell 4% to $8.98b (£6.8b). Disney’s shares fell initially in after-hours trading on the release of its results, but they then rallied to 1% higher on news of the new Star Wars movies.

Chief executive Bob Iger commented: “We remain optimistic about our future, in part because quality truly does matter.”

Disney also plans to launch a sports-focused ESPN+ app in the spring, and a Disney streaming service in 2019. Bob said those investments, which add to an existing Disney subscription service in Europe, were “vital” to the firm’s future.

“Our goal here is to be a viable player in the direct-to-consumer space, a space that we all know is a very compelling space to be in,” he said. He declined to address reports that the company had held talks with 21st Century Fox about acquiring parts of its business, but he did not rule out an acquisition. “I don’t think there’s ever such a thing as having too much quality.”

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