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'Star Wars: Episode VII' release date makes for a busy December 2015

Wookiees, mark your calendars. J.J. Abrams' "Star Wars: Episode VII" has a release date: Dec. 18, 2015.

“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,” Alan Horn, chairman of the Walt Disney Studios, said in a statement released Thursday.

Other studios have already set some high-profile films for the same date as the new "Star Wars," a seemingly inevitable box office behemoth.

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Sony has scheduled Ron Howard's "Inferno," an adaptation of the Dan Brown novel with Tom Hanks reprising his "Da Vinci Code" role as Robert Langdon, and Universal plans to open Duncan Jones' "Warcraft," based on the popular video game.

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Five days later, Fox is set to launch DreamWorks Animation's "Kung Fu Panda 3."

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Abrams and "Empire Strikes Back" screenwriter writer Lawrence Kasdan took over the "Star Wars" script from Michael Ardnt last month.

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The sci-fi reboot is scheduled to begin shooting in the U.K. in the spring.

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