December 18, 2015 is a date to mark for those waiting for "Star Wars: Episode VII" as Lucasfilm said it's the official show date of the latest installment of the most popular sci-fi film franchise in history. The movie is still in pre-production stage but the announcement allays earlier worries that Disney, which acquired Lucasfilm, will not be able to keep its goals of releasing a "Star Wars" movie by 2015.

The latest flick is being directed by J.J. Abrams who also directed box office hits such as "Star Trek," "Mission: Impossible III," and "Super 8." Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote the script of the original "Empire Strikes Back," is on the scriptwriting helm with the director after delays experienced with supposed new writer Michael Arndt.

"We're very excited to share the official 2015 release date for Star Wars: Episode VII, where it will not only anchor the popular holiday filmgoing season but also ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture," said Walt Disney chairman Alan Horn in a statement.

There is no final list of cast yet but the latest flick is said to have original Star Wars actors Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher on the list. John Williams, original composer for the famous trilogy, will also be tapped to create the score for the movie.

According to reports, filming will will take place in spring at London's Pinewood Studios.

Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, Abrams and Bryan Burk will be producing the movie. Tommy Harper of "Mission:Impossible - Ghost Protocol," "Star Trek Into Darkness," and "Jack Ryan" and Jason McGaitlin of "War of the Worlds" and "Tintin" will serve as executive producers.

With the holiday release date, Disney will make 2015 a box office year with expected summer hits such as "The Avengers: Age of Ultron," Batman," "Man of Steel," "Jurassic Park," "Terminator 5," and "Finding Dory" already lined up.

A month before the showing of the latest "Star Wars" movie, a James Bond flick and the third installment of "The Hunger Games" are scheduled to hit theaters.

The first ever "Star Wars" movie was released in 1977. The first trilogy hit theaters between 1977 and 1983 while three prequels were made between 1999 and 2005.

The franchise had earned around $4.4 billion in the span of 35 years.

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