Two Brits have been teamed to create the first Star Wars spin-off, with Gareth Edwards set to direct and Gary Whitta writing the screenplay.
I didn’t like Edwards’ Godzilla much at all, I’m afraid. I thought the characters were thin, the themes underdeveloped and hardly explored, the staging perfunctory and the editing rhythms – which relied on a neverending string of dragged out, portentious but vapid reaction shots – just made me impatient.
Having said that, I liked Monsters, Gareth Edwards’ first film, a lot. It felt fresh and alive, and the ideas connected pretty well.
Edwards is still batting at a 50% success rate and in my book, that’s good enough to take him seriously, root for the guy and hope that whatever spin-off it is he’s doing, he does it well.
Whitta, meanwhile, is harder to judge. I’ve not read any of his screenplays on the page and all have met some rewriting, to some degree on another. From his Twitter presence, however, he seems like a really good fellow.
Now place your bets. Boba Fett? Han Solo? An X-Wing dogfighter movie? Or maybe something about Yoda?
Here’s the full press release from Lucasfilm.
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 & 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.”