I had a feeling that the massive opening weekend of Godzilla was going to open doors for director Gareth Edwards, but I’m not sure I expected this.
Announced Thursday evening over at StarWars.com, Edwards will direct one of the forthcoming Star Wars films, set for release in December 2016.
Joined by ex-video game journalist and screenwritter Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli), the film is assumed by most to be one of the “origin” films, rumored to star Boba Fett, Yoda or Han Solo. These movies are a part of Disney’s “new Star Wars every year” plan, which has a movie set in the universe releasing in the years where a proper “Episode” is not. (ex. Episode VII in 2015, this film in 2016, Episode VIII in 2017, and so on).
Here’s the full text of the press release. No pressure, Gareth, it’s only your THIRD movie.
GARETH EDWARDS AND GARY WHITTA ONBOARD FOR STAR WARS STAND-ALONE FILM
May 22, 2014
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 and honored to go on this mission with Lucasfilm,” said Edwards.
Gary Whitta’s screenwriting credits include 2010’s 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.”