First Stand Alone Star Wars Film Gets Director, Scribe

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Get ready to have a Star Wars Christmas for the foreseeable future. No, George Lucas hasn’t okay the re-release of the infamous made for TV Movie, instead Disney and Lucasfilm are making good on their promise to release a new film set in that famous galaxy far, far, away and long ago every year.

The date they’ve chosen for Episode VII is December 18th, 2015 and just announced today, is the date for the first stand alone Star Wars property (not associated with a trilogy) will open on – December 16th, 2016. Looks like someone at Disney thinks they can make December releases the new family tradition. That probably tells us something about the rating to expect for the films as well.

Although just one date has been announced, Lucasfilm and Disney have begun development on multiple stand-alone movies that will offer new stories beyond the core Saga. Gareth Edwards, who directed this year’s “Godzilla,” will direct the first stand-alone film, with a screenplay by Gary Whitta.

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Gareth Edwards blazed into the filmmaking forefront with his acclaimed work on Monsters, a film he wrote, directed and served on as cinematographer and visual effects artist. The skill and vision readily apparent in Monsters earned him the high-profile spot directing this year’s smash hit Godzilla.

“Ever since I saw Star Wars I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life — join the Rebel Alliance! I could not be more excited and honored to go on this mission with Lucasfilm,” said Edwards.

Gary Whitta’s screenwriting credits include 2010’s The Book of Eli starring Denzel Washington. He is also well known as a journalist and editor in the video game industry, as well as part of the BAFTA award-winning team on Telltale Games adaptation of The Walking Dead.

Whitta states, “From the moment I first saw the original movie as a wide-eyed kid, Star Wars has been the single most profound inspiration to my imagination and to my career as a writer. It is deeply special to me,so to be given the opportunity to contribute to its ongoing legacy, especially in collaboration with a film-maker as talented as Gareth, is literally a dream come true. I’m still pinching myself.”

No official word on what the first stand alone film will cover, but there is a rumor that it will involve a certain Mandalorian bounty hunter. If you were the screenwriter, would you pick a known character or try to introduce the audience into a part of Star Wars lore they may be less familiar with?

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