March 8, 2018 / 6:46 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-'Iron Man' director Favreau to create 'Star Wars' TV series

(Adds background on other 'Star Wars' projects)

LOS ANGELES, March 8 (Reuters) - Director Jon Favreau will write and produce a live-action "Star Wars" series for an upcoming Walt Disney Co streaming service, the company announced on Thursday, the latest in an expanding universe of new projects around the sci-fi franchise.

Favreau, director of the "Iron Man" and "Jungle Book" movies, previously voiced a character in the animated series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" and has a role in the May 2018 film "Solo: A Star Wars Story." He is currently producing Disney's remake of "The Lion King" movie.

"If you told me at 11 years old that I would be getting to tell stories in the 'Star Wars' universe, I wouldn't have believed you," Favreau said in a statement. "I can't wait to embark upon this exciting adventure."

Disney is developing the "Star Wars" series for a family-oriented, direct-to-consumer streaming service it plans to launch next year as the media and theme park company aims to capture online viewers who are leaving traditional television.

The new series does not yet have a release date, Disney said.

Last month, Disney announced another series of "Star Wars" feature films, this time to be written by the creators of HBO's hit television show "Game of Thrones." No details of the plot or release dates were given.

Disney has also announced that Rian Johnson, director of 2017 film "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," would write and direct the first of a new trilogy of films in the franchise that will bring new characters and worlds not yet explored on screen.

Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012 for $4 billion and has already released two of three new movies based around characters originated by director George Lucas and brought to the screen in 1977.

The third movie, "Star Wars: Episode IX" directed by J.J. Abrams, is scheduled for release in December 2019. (Reporting by Lisa Richwine Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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