Disney announces sequel to blockbuster ‘Frozen,’ new ‘Star Wars’ in 2017

NEW YORK (AP) – Disney is developing a sequel to its hit “Frozen” movie and will release a new “Star Wars” movie in 2017.

At the company’s annual shareholders meeting in San Francisco on Thursday, Disney executives officially announced plans for “Frozen 2.”

Since its release in November 2013, “Frozen” has become a juggernaut for Disney. It made nearly $1.3 billion at the global box office and generated a massive merchandising revenue stream. The film also won the Oscar for best animated feature. Because of that enormous success, a sequel has been widely expected.

Walt Disney Co. chief executive Bob Iger says directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee will return for the sequel.

A “Frozen” short is to play in front of Disney’s latest release, “Cinderella,” which opens in theaters Friday.

“Star Wars: Episode VIII,” meanwhile, will blast into theaters on May 26, 2017.

Rian Johnson, known for the innovative time travel film “Looper,” is confirmed to write and direct. “Episode VIII” will take place after the events of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which opens Dec. 18.

Iger also announced that the first in a series of big-screen “Star Wars” stand-alone films is titled “Rogue One.” Gareth Edwards (“Godzilla”) will direct off of a script from Chris Weitz (“About a Boy”).

Felicity Jones, who earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in “The Theory of Everything,” is set to star in “Rogue One,” which will shoot in London this summer for Dec. 16, 2016, release

The Walt Disney Co. also said Thursday at its annual shareholder meeting in San Francisco that investors had voted down shareholder proposals that would separate the CEO and chairman role and limit accelerated executive pay.

The board had recommended voting against both proposals.

Bob Iger has been CEO since 2005 and chairman as of 2012. He received $43.7 million in compensation last year, up 27 percent from the previous year.

Disney had a blockbuster year in 2014 thanks to popularity of “Frozen” and other films.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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