Godzilla director tapped to direct first Star Wars spinoff

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Even though his blockbuster debut of Godzilla made a strong showing opening week this week might even be better for Gareth Edwards as it has been announced he will direct the first Star Wars spinoff.

The news first broke over at starwars.com that Edwards would be directing the spinoff, scheduled for a December 2016, but that wasn’t the only name attached to the film. Gary Whitta is also attached to the film as the writer, with his previous credits including The Book of Eli and TellTale Games The Walking Dead series.

Edwards is obviously excited to take on this role, which is evident in his official quote:

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.

Whitta also expressed his pleasure at being one of the few who have penned a Star Wars script saying:

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.

Now, as Major Spoilers told you earlier this week, Legendary Entertainment is currently developing the sequel to Godzilla with Edwards attached to direct it and the third installment of the franchise re-boot, so how will the commitment to Disney affect the continuation of that story? Legendary chairman and CEO Thomas Thull gave a very interesting answer to The Hollywood Reporter shortly after the directing news broke:

The plan has always been for Gareth to direct a different film before we started on another Godzilla, but who knew it would a Star Wars installment? We have a great plan in store for Godzilla fans and I am looking forward to seeing Gareth’s imprint on the Star Wars universe.

Thull didn’t include the thought that Legendary will now be able to include the tag of “From the director of Star Wars” when they do marketing for the far off sequel, which, hopefully, will only help them when it comes to the box office.

While Bob Iger had confirmed that Star Wars spinoffs were coming, three to be exact, it is nice to see that we are already seeing information about the first. I think the decision for Gareth is a strong one as he has shown that he can work with a small budget and tell and great story and then take a larger budget and give the audience a fantastical visual experience.

Are their any directors you would like to see attached to the next two spinoff films? I know if I was making the decision I would be looking towards Looper director Rian Johnson, but that’s just me.

UPDATE: Here is the full press release from Star Wars.com

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.”

StarWars.com. All Star Wars, all the time.

via Star Wars, The Hollywood Reporter