Screenwriter Gary Whitta tweeted today that he’s writing an episode of Rebels. As Whitta was the first writer on Rogue One – and in fact came up with the title – this has naturally launched some speculation that the episode may tie into the film, which is due out December 2016. Both the show and the movie predate A New Hope and involve the Rebellion, so connections are by no means out of the question.
If Rebels continues to air the bulk of their seasons beginning in the fall, 2016 would mean season 3, which is as far as the show has been renewed for at the moment.
But that really is all speculation – all we really know is that he’s writing an episode, nothing more.
/Film talked to Chris Weitz, the new screenwriter for Spin-off #1. We don’t learn much (will this mystery box ever open?) but he does more or less confirm that Garry Whitta’s draft is still in play. When asked to compare it to Cinderella:
I think in this case I’m not working from a whole cloth, right? So there’s a very strong structure from Gary’s work and that’s a huge advantage to me. But just like with Cinderella, it’s a director’s medium so it’s really about my making what Gareth needs to do his film.
They also talked to Whitta a few weeks ago, something that got lost in the shuffle over here.
Cinelinx says they know why screenwriter Gary Whitta is off Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars film: Because, as many of us guessed, that’s exactly what he was hired to do. They also maintain that Simon Kinberg is coming on.
And, for the record, none of this is particularly unusual:
This isn’t a new thing, by any stretch of the imagination, as studios have long used this model to develop their films, bringing in writers to finish a script from the basic draft, and we hear about it all the time. The reason this seems like such a big deal is that it’s freaking STAR WARS, and people seemed to want to sensationalize the news.
Their source has also heard that Whitta’s script was too expensive for the film’s budget. (Budget? Star Wars? Well, yeah: It’s still a business, and if anyone is getting a blank check here it’s certainly not a standalone.) That’s likely to be one of the things that Kinberg deals with.
We know that Gary Whitta is done with his part on Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars spinoff, but could Simon Kinberg be stepping in? That’s what /Film has heard. Kinberg is already firmly entrenched in the franchise, and was even originally announced as the writer of an eventual standalone, though he hasn’t been officially attached to any of the films as of yet.
In other words, he’s the perfect person to tweak and polish Whitta’s script – perhaps that was the plan all along?
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?
Gary Whitta has begun writing his spin-off movie. It’s the first one, set to be directed by Godzilla’s Gareth Edwards and released on December 16, 2016. And that’s pretty much all we know about it so far.
→ Today word comes that [redacted] isn’t the only actor filming scenes on Ireland’s Skellig Michael. [Redacted] is there as well, per The Movie Bit – just as some suspected due to the fuzzy paparazzi pics the other day. This is supposedly the third and last day of filming on the island. Making Star Wars has a buddy in the area.
→ Meanwhile, some WWE guy, Sheamus O’Shaunessy, is apparently also hanging out in Ireland and double negativing over Darth Vader. Okay then. (Also, if we must take this seriously, well, I’ll just leave this over here.)
→ Not Episode VII, but close enough: Spin-off screenwriter Gary Whitta is totally down with writing a Star Wars novel.
→ And even more tangentially, sequel actors Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson have nabbed some more high profile gigs.
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.