While still basking in the glow of his Godzilla reboot’s box office triumph this past weekend, Gareth Edwards already has his next job lined up. He will be directing the first Star Wars spinoff film for Lucasfilm and Disney. The film is scheduled for a December 16, 2016 release, slotting into the year between Star Wars: Episode VII‘s December 2015 release and Episode VIII‘s presumed release in December 2017.
Although it has been mooted that some of the previously announced spinoff films will feature a young Han Solo or Boba Fett or a story about Jedi Master Yoda, there is no official word as to who will be the center of the actual film. The Book Of Eli scripter Gary Whitta will be supplying the screenplay. This is our first word that Whitta is working on the franchise. Previously it was reported that Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg were working on screenplays for Star Wars spinoff films.
The announcement comes from StarWars.com –
In addition to the episodes of a new Star Wars trilogy, Lucasfilm and Disney have begun development on multiple stand-alone movies that will offer new stories beyond the core Saga. Gareth Edwards will direct the first stand-alone film, with a screenplay by Gary Whitta. The film is due out December 16, 2016.
Gareth Edwards blazed into the filmmaking forefront with his acclaimed work on Monsters, a film he wrote, directed and served on as cinematographer and visual effects artist. The skill and vision readily apparent in Monsters earned him the high-profile spot directing this year’s smash hit Godzilla.
“Ever since I saw Star Wars I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life – join the Rebel Alliance! I could not be more excited & honored to go on this mission with Lucasfilm, said Edwards.
Gary Whittas screenwriting credits include 2010s The Book of Eli starring Denzel Washington. He is also well known as a journalist and editor in the video game industry, as well as part of the BAFTA award-winning team on Telltale Games adaptation of The Walking Dead.
Whitta states, “From the moment I first saw the original movie as a wide-eyed kid, Star Wars has been the single most profound inspiration to my imagination and to my career as a writer. It is deeply special to me,so to be given the opportunity to contribute to its ongoing legacy, especially in collaboration with a film-maker as talented as Gareth,is literally a dream come true. I’m still pinching myself.”