Unfortunately, there’s no word on which spin-off he will be helming, but Boba Fett, Han Solo, Yoda and possibly even the untold adventures of Luke Skywalker are said to be among the possibilities.
Below is the official press release from Star Wars.com, and it also confirms that The Book of Eli’s Gary Whittas is penning the screenplay (not Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg as was previously reported, although they could be attached to one of the others) for a December 16th, 2016 release.
The director has shared his love of the Star Wars franchise numerous times in the past, including in this piece from 2011 which you can read by clicking here. The question now is which character this movie will focus on. Could it be one of those listed above or something entirely new?
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.”
Those of you worrying that this will mean that Edwards won’t be back for a Godzilla sequel needn’t panic as Legendary Entertainment’s chairman and CEO Thomas Tull has issued a statement actually congratulating the filmmaker on landing a gig in the Star Wars universe.
It’s unusual for a rival studio to release something like this in response to such news, but you have to imagine that Edwards being attached to Star Wars will increase interest in both Godzilla and the sequel!
“Gareth’s filmmaking talent makes him one of his generation’s most creative and visionary directors,” he said. “The plan has always been for Gareth to direct a different film before we started on another Godzilla, but who knew it would a Star Wars installment? We have a great plan in store for Godzilla fans and I am looking forward to seeing Gareth’s imprint on the Star Wars universe.”