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.
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.
→ A source has told the John Williams Fan Network that Williams has received a trailer for Episode VII from J.J. Abrams, has already written the music for it, and will be scoring on November 15th. Jason at Making Star Wars points out:
My bet has always been we would not see a trailer until Star Wars Celebration Anaheim in 2015, 8 months before Star Wars: Episode VII is released. But Trek friends have let me know that each time Abrams did a film, he did a teaser with stuff not from the film itself and that could mean we are about to see something for Christmas. The one thing I will say, is I have heard we would see the Star Wars “kick off” really begin at about the one year mark before the film and this lines up really well with that.
The earliest teaser for Star Trek Into Darkness I can recall definitely had footage, but I probably wouldn’t have bothered to cover one here that didn’t. (Well, not for Trek, anyway.) I hope there is a December teaser for Episode VII, even if it’s just old footage and a title – but Disney, you’re still not going to get me to see Into the Woods.
→ Taking a beeline to the standalones for a moment – Cinematographer Greig Fraser (Zero Dark Thirty, Snow White and the Huntsman) has told Hitfix that he’ll be working on the Gareth Edwards Star Wars film that’s aiming for December 2016.
→ The Irish Examiner has some technical details on the Skellig Michael (aka Sceilig Mhichíl) shot, which was significantly scaled down.
→ 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.
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.