Gareth Edwards and Gary Whitta Onboard for Star Wars Stand-Alone Film


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 2010’s The Book of Eli starring Denzel Washington, and the screenplay for Will Smith’s After Earth. 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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  1. This is a pretty bold choice, these guys haven’t got that much under their belts, and even less that’s successful. Hopefully that doesn’t affect their quality though, and they end up making good material.

  2. Hmm, interesting. Remember that when these spinoffs were officially announced, Lawrence Kasdan was attached to one and Simon Kinberg to another. I wonder if the former’s work on Episode VII and the latter’s work on Star Wars Rebels (as well as X-Men, Fantastic Four, etc.) has gotten in the way or if they’ll still be writing other standalone films.

    Another mid-December release is noteworthy and fairly ambitious – I wonder how many resources or crew members the films will share with each other.

    And of course, no mention of the film’s subject matter, though persistent rumors indicate that Boba Fett will be the focus.

    I haven’t seen Godzilla or Monsters, but everyone seems to have high praise for Gareth Edwards. I like that they’re giving it to a less-established director and he seems to have real respect for Lucas and the series.

    Gary Whitta, on the other hand… After Earth is truly one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure how much of that is his fault since Will Smith wrote the story and Whitta wrote the screenplay with M. Night Shyamalan. But everything about the story was amazingly awful from the video game logic of the story (the main character has to find checkpoint-style “hotspots” every night to survive while his father tells him what to do remotely) to the nonsensical backstory (people left Earth, aliens on new planet bred evil alien monsters to kill humans, everything back on Earth has also evolved to kill humans in the short time THAT HUMANS HAVEN’T EVEN BEEN ON EARTH) to the characters literally trying to become less emotional and more distant from each other. Book of Eli wasn’t supposed to be very good, either, and I don’t know much about these random “episodes” of The Walking Dead video game. More troubling is the fact that this guy is an ardent Lucas-basher, even posting “F*** Lucas” on a message board a few years back. I mean, his viewpoints are anti-prequel and anti-Special Edition, which isn’t exactly radical or rare, but this guy certainly hasn’t done any better in his own career yet and I don’t know if having some one who said “F*** Lucas” is the best choice to carry on the franchise. Obviously the guy is passionate about Star Wars, and that’s a good thing. Hopefully he can channel his passion into something positive and a good movie will come out of it.

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