Moving aside from the developing trailer madness, we have a report from /Film of the plot of the first spin-off from director Gareth Edwards and writer Gary Whitta. They claim it involves something we saw done multiple times in the old EU: The theft of the Death Star plans. Except this one involves bounty hunters and a character we might actually met in The Force Awakens first.
It’s not the kind of character-centric story we were expecting, but still sounds like something that will quite firmly fall into the ‘origin stories’ quote we have from Disney CFO Jay Rasulo. Thoughts?
It’s certainly not a surprise, but Pinewood CEO Ivan Dunleavy (via Variety) confirms that another Star Wars film will shoot at Pinewood. The Hollywood Reporter says this will be the mysterious spin-off from Gareth Edwards, which already has a December 2016 release date.
The BBC has video of Artoo’s appearance at the announcement. Reporter Lizo Mzimba also notes that per Pinewood’s website, The Force Awakened used their Exterior Tank.
We already know that Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII will film in London as well, and that there’s a ten-year deal in place with Pinewood so it won’t be the last.
We’ve already seen J.J. Abrams and Mary Franklin (first at the Yoda fountain!) do the challenge, but what’s really interesting here is that it’s pretty much the first official Lucasfilm recognition (Star Wars uploaded the video) that Rian Johnson is on board. No one really doubts it at this point: Johnson’s rep has confirmed, he’s clearly had permission to be out there talking like it’s a done deal, but the lack of an official announcement has been puzzling.
Celebrities are doing the ice bucket challenge to raise money to fight Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
John Boyega and Daisy Ridley have returned to London, with both attending yesterday’s Star Trek – Live in Concert at The Royal Albert Hall. Boyega’s also engaged in some very relevant reading… All that and more below the cut.
StarWars.com has announced the creative team for the first standalone Star Wars film: Directing will be Gareth Edwards. He doesn’t have a long resume, but he’s the man behind Hollywood’s latest Godzilla. On script duties is Gary Whitta, who wrote The Book of Eli, After Earth and several Walking Dead video games. The film, whatever it may be, has even been given a release date: December 16, 2016.
This raises a few big questions: We’ve previously heard that spin-offs would be written by Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg, but they are both rather busy: Kasdan has Episode VII, and Kinberg has his fingers in any number of pies. Are Edwards and Whitta doing Boba Fett, as recent rumors say that’s the first? Will Kasdan and Kinberg still be tackling their own spin-offs later on?
As for Edwards and Whitta themselves… I got nothing. The new Godzilla, his first big-budget feature, has been mostly well-received (though rather lacking in the women’s roles.) I’ve seen After Earth, and while it wasn’t great, I’m not sure how much of that you can lay at Whitta’s feet.
And we still have no idea of what their Star Wars film will actually be about. Count me in the shrug column for now.