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Lucasfilm and the Irish Film Board Confirm ‘Star Wars Episode VIII’ to return to Ireland
18 Mar 2016 : Seán Brosnan
Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson playing General Hux in ‘Star Wars Episode VII’
In a joint statement released today, Lucasfilm and the Irish Film Board have confirmed that ‘Star Wars’ will return to Ireland to film this year.

‘Star Wars Episode VIII’ is being directed by Rian Johnson (‘Looper’) and sees actors Daisy Ridley, Carrie Fisher, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver and Mark Hamill return along with new additions Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern. Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson is also returning as the villainous General Hux. Filming has already taken place on Sceilg Mhichíl in September 2015.

"Lucasfilm is thrilled to return to Ireland to film several sequences for the next chapter in the Star Wars saga", said Candice Campos, Vice President, Physical Production. "The beauty of Skellig Michael in the final scene of ‘The Force Awakens’ was stunning and we know the new locations along the Wild Atlantic Way will prove to be equally as beautiful in ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’. We want to thank the people of Ireland for their warm welcome and continued support. Ireland has become an important part of ‘Star Wars’ history."

This official announcement comes after widespread reports over the past few months about Lucasfilm scouts prepping different filming locations around the country. Construction is currently underway in Ceann Sibéal in Kerry for a purported two week shoot in May while a number of B&B’s and vacant houses have been completely booked out for the month of May in Malin Head, Donegal after Lucasfilm scouts were spotted there.

"The Irish Film Board is delighted to welcome the production of ‘Star Wars Episode VIII’ to some of our most spectacular locations along the Wild Atlantic Way", said Chief Executive of the Irish Film Board James Hickey. "The Irish film industry has experienced much success this year on the back of major international awards and nominations for Irish films Room and Brooklyn. We believe that having ‘Star Wars Episode VIII’ film on location in Ireland will also help to build on this success, creating further opportunities and growth for the Irish film industry, resulting in increased levels of job creation, incoming tourists and foreign direct investment to Ireland."

‘Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens’, directed by JJ Abrams, was partly filmed on Sceilg Mhichíl in the summer of 2014 and was a huge critical and commercial success, making over $2bn at the Box Office and garnering five Oscar nominations.

‘Star Wars Episode VIII’ is slated for a 2017 release.

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