While writer/director J.J. Abrams is in Abu Dhabi filming initial scenes for Star Wars Episode VII, Disney and Lucafilm have begun to move forward with Star Wars spin-offs and have announced that Godzilla director Gareth Edwards will direct one of the Star Wars spin-off films. Disney and Lucasfilm have also set a release date for their first Star Wars spin-off on December 16, 2016.
Disney jumped at the chance to hire Edwards, who's Godzilla move has officially launched a new blockbuster franchise for Warner Bros. after it opened to $93 million domestically in its opening weekend. A sequel to Godzilla has already been announced and is now in development, too.
What the Star Wars spin-off movie will be remains a mystery, although is is being heavily rumored right now that it could be the Boba Fett solo movie. The screenplay for this first standalone Star Wars movie is written by Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli).
Here's the official press release from Disney and Lucasfilm:
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."
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