'Godzilla' Director to Helm First 'Star Wars' Standalone Film
By David Weiner
Godzilla is a mega-hit at the box office, and now its director, Gareth Edwards, has been tapped to direct the first Star Wars stand-alone film! Read on for details, including who will be writing it...
"Ever since I saw Star Wars I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life - join the Rebel Alliance!" says an excited Edwards. "I could not be more excited and honored to go on this mission with Lucasfilm."
StarWars.com also said that The Book of Eli scribe Gary Whitta will take on writing duties. His further credits include videogame work on Telltale Games' adaptation of The Walking Dead. Whitta says, "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."
No announcement has been made about who or what the stand-alone film will be about, but many have speculated that Boba Fett, Yoda, or even a young Han Solo will be the subject of the films that arrive in between main trilogy installments. Who would you like to see?
Before his official announcement that he would return to the Star Wars saga, Mark Hamill shared his opinion of the stand-alone films to ETonline, saying, "That's really smart. Then you're more like James Bond pictures, where they come out and it's not an investment of a three-movie arc. … It's so rich, that [Star Wars] universe, in terms of quirkiness and oddball [nature]. We would talk about that [on the original film's set]. We'd go like, 'That little band that's playing in the Cantina, what's their story?! I mean, are they a traveling band? Are they the house band? Who's their manager?' They didn't have names when we first were talking about them. Now they're called, like, Sy Snootles – they come up with names down the road when they have to name toys."
In February, Walt Disney Pictures Chairman and CEO Bob Iger confirmed the stand-alone films and told CNBC, "Larry Kasdan (who wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) and Simon Kinberg (who wrote Sherlock Holmes and X-Men: Days of Future Past) are both working on films derived from great Star Wars characters that are not part of the overall saga. So we still plan to make Episodes VII, VIII and IX roughly over a six-year period of time, starting in 2015. But there are going to be a few other films released in that period of time, too."
Many have speculated that Disney plans to emulate the Marvel's Avengers approach by setting up "the big show" with other films starring independent characters with storylines that weave together. The first Star Wars stand-alone film is due out December 16, 2016.