Whilst Godzilla felt like a bit of a wasted opportunity, director Gareth Edwards has now been announced as helming one of the upcoming Star Wars spin-offs. Lucasfilm and Disney have revealed that their current plan is to alternate yearly releases of “Episode” movies and spin-offs, meaning that the first of these spin-offs will be released on 16th December, 2016 after Star Wars: Episode VII hits in late 2015. 2017 will then see Episode VIII release, and lather, rinse, repeat.
The official announcement from The House of Mouse reads:
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 Whitta’s 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.”
Whereas Godzilla has split opinion, Edwards’ most notable previous work was the brilliant Monsters. Also, with Godzilla 2 confirmed, it appears that the director will be returning to oversee Big G once more. On the Star Wars front, recent rumours suggest that current plan is to have three spin-off movies; once focussing on Boba Fett, one focussing on Han Solo, and one focussing on Red Five or a possible Luke Skywalker tale.
Before any of these films, though, comes Star Wars: Episode VII. Directed by J.J. Abrams, Episode VII will feature Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, and newcomers John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson and Max von Sydow. That flick hits on 18th December, 2015.