Felicity Jones has been confirmed to star in the first stand-alone 'Star Wars' movie.

The 'Theory of Everything' actress will appear in 'Rogue One' - which 'Godzilla' filmmaker Gareth Edwards will direct - though the exact nature of her role wasn't discussed when Disney confirmed the news yesterday (12.03.15).

A statement about the movie, which will be released on December 16, 2016, read: '''Rogue One' is the first film in a unique series of big-screen stories that explores the characters and events beyond the core 'Star Wars' saga.

''The idea for the story of 'Rogue One' came from John Knoll, an Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor and chief creative officer at Industrial Light & Magic... The film starts shooting this summer in London.''

Though the plot hasn't been announced, it is expected the movie will be connected the Rogue Squadron, an elite Rebel Alliance starfighter squadron.

It was also announced that 'Star Wars Episode VIII' will be released on May 26, 2017 - 40 years and a day after the original movie was released in 1977 and just a year and a half after 'Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens', which is out on December 18, 2015.

The release date marks the shortest gap between two 'Star Wars' movies.