StarWars.com confirms that the first standlone film will be called Rogue One.
Starring Felicity Jones, directed by Gareth Edwards and written by Chris Weitz, the story is based on an idea from John Knoll, who’s one of the executive producers. The film will shoot in London this summer and is due out December 16, 2016.
They’ve also (finally!) confirmed that Rian Johnson is writing and directing Episode VIII, which is set for May 26, 2017. A RETURN TO MAY!
Much of the personnel here we’ve already heard about, but the title Rogue One is our first detail that really points to what kind of film this will be. A female X-wing pilot? Bring it on.
/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.
The weekend’s big Star Wars rumor is that Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service) is in the running to play a young Han Solo. It comes from UK tabloid The Sun, via The Daily Mail (which drops a rumor/spoiler about The Force Awakens at the link, so maybe stop reading when you see Egerton’s face.)
The only fairly solid thing we know about casting the first spin-off is that Felicity Jones is the female lead (she can’t talk about it) – and the Hollywood trade reports that broke that said that Aaron Paul and Edgar Ramirez were up for the male lead. People seem to like Egerton for it, but I can’t say I see all three of these guys being up for Han Solo.
Kingman writer Mark Millar did tweet “Taron shot first,” but take that as you will. Whatever the case, it’s a British tabloid rumor, so I can’t put much faith in it just yet.
The Theory of Everything’s Felicity Jones is in talks for the first spin-off, The Hollywood Reporter (and Variety) says today. There have been some reports that Tatiana Maslany had won the role – and THR named her as a finalist in the original report – but she also has a potential conflict in an indie film that begins shooting in March.
THR’s sources also says that Aaron Paul and Edgar Ramirez are being eyed for the male lead.
Maslany has been the internet’s clear favorite for the spin-off, but Jones has a lot of buzz in Hollywood right now – and a Best Actress nomination.
Total Geeks claims that Tatiana Maslany got the role we heard that she (and several other actresses) were testing for last week in the Gareth Edwards’ standalone Star Wars film. They also say that she’s the lead, and noticed that Maslany has recently withdrawn from an off-Broadway play “due to film scheduling conflicts.” (The only upcoming film on her IMDB at the moment has already completed shooting.)
UPDATE: The Mary Sue is backing up the original report with a source of their own – but I don’t expect official word will be quick. UPDATE #2: She’s also been cast in an indie film that begins shooting mid-March, per The Wrap. It’s not necessarily a deal-breaker if the spin-off begins filming in May ala The Force Awakens, as it’s likely the ‘February’ we’re hearing is for crew.
We still know very little about this film, aside from the ongoing scripting choices – and a lot of rumors. Hopefully that changes when filming begins soon, maybe as early as February, but likely not until spring.
Rumor: Who could play Boba Fett? Some random site thinks Michael Fassbender is the “frontrunner to be Boba Fett,” because Boba Fett is the Dread Pirate Roberts now. Yeah… Sure. Okay.
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.
Ewan McGregor is “still waiting for the call” to reprise Obi-wan. Aww, he’s been hearing rumors. That’s cute. And he saw the trailer.
The Force Awakens rumor masters at Making Star Wars has had a busy couple of days. They’ve explored the code names for some of the sets/settings and debuted a couple new speeder designs. Plus a location, something inspired by Moebius and some extras.
As for the other rumormongers, Latino Review really wants to make that old thing about the first spinoff being a Han/Boba movie happen. Turns out, bringing in Fett is totally the key to making the whole Tatiana Maslany thing way less exciting for me. (Intellectually, I know this does not mean that’s actually the case, but such is the killing power of Fett fanboy-bait for me. And yes, EU fans, I know what you’re thinking too, and I have no desire to go there either. The sooner we get something official on this movie, the better.)
Overall though, we’re really in something of a lull – or at least it feels like a lull. Fingers crossed we get something soon, even if it’s just another trade report.
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.