Chris Weitz is the new writer for Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars spinoff, The Hollywood Reporter says today. Weitz’s writing credits include About a Boy and Disney’s upcoming Cinderella. THR was the first to report that Gary Whitta had left after completing the first draft of the film.
The Weitz news comes despite reports from /Film and Cinelinx that Simon Kinberg would take over.
The first spin-off, which we recently heard was testing actresses Tatiana Maslany and the Mara sisters, is expected to begin filming at Pinewood in the spring for a December 2016 release.
We’re months away from filming and there have been zero casting rumors regarding Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars spin-off, but that changed this evening. The Hollywood Reporter says that Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) and Rooney Mara (David Fincher ‘s Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) are among those testing for a role.
Felicity Jones, who’s been hitting the Oscar circuit for The Theory of Everything, is also in the mix. UPDATE: As is Rooney’s sister, Kate Mara, per Variety’s Justin Kroll.
In any case, it’s pretty heartening that the first casting we hear for the spin-off is a woman – and Maslany especially is an exciting option that’s already giving this rumor a lot of buzz. (No matter which way this goes, you should really be watching Orphan Black.)
Making Star Wars has a bit more on the spin-off this evening, including that it may shot partly in Mexico and a few other (potentially spoilerly, though only broadly) bits.
According to The Hollywood Reporter and Gary Whitta himself, his time on director Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars spinoff is up.
THR says there will be a new writer, but Lucasfilm isn’t naming anyone just yet. Whatever the case, this doesn’t appear to be quite as dramatic as what we saw with Michael Arndt* and Episode VII, and the new writer may very well just be tweaking Whitta’s script.
I don’t expect we’ll hear anything definitive until/if Lucasfilm chooses to give us their crew breakdown, assuming they follow a similar template to The Force Awakens‘ announcements… Though at this point, I’m not expecting anything until they actually begin filming. That’s expected to happen in a matter of months, given the December 16, 2016 release date.
* Granted, Michael Arndt was not on Twitter. Whitta is pretty awesome at it, Star Wars or no Star Wars.
Making Star Wars reports that a production office for Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars film will be moving into Pinewood soon. The latest James Bond film, Spectre, began filming earlier this month, and it’s expected that much of the crew will move back onto Star Wars when that’s done.
We still know little-to-nothing about the Edwards film, our first standalone. Solidly, we only know that it’s being written by Gary Whitta and has a release date of December 16, 2016. Cinematographer Greig Fraser has admitted to being on board.
Rumorwise, there’s a supposed plot and a code name, plus the usual litany of wish-listed character names like Boba Fett.
There has not been a single casting rumor, which seems pretty odd… Or maybe not. In any case, we’ll probably hear something by spring, just as we did when The Force Awakens began filming. Jason at MSW hopes we’ll get more details about this once things really get going, and I’d be happy just to not have to call it ‘Spin-off #1′ at some point.
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.