First Godzilla stomps the competition at the box office so much that it’s already getting a sequel, and now its director has been tapped to direct one of those stand-alone Star Wars movies. Gareth Edwards is having a really good week.
Via the official Star Wars website:
In addition to the episodes of a new Star Wars trilogy, Lucasfilm and Disney have begun development on multiple stand-alone movies that will offer new stories beyond the core Saga. Gareth Edwards will direct the first stand-alone film, with a screenplay by Gary Whitta. The film is due out December 16, 2016.
There’s no word on what the film will be: Boba Fett, Yoda, and a Han Solo backstory have been heavily rumored as the subject for one of these spin-off films since they were announced last year, but we’ve not heard even the shadow of anything official. But given Edwards’ penchant for directing movies about giant reptiles—the indie hit Monsters first, then Godzilla‚ I think it’s clear it’ll be a nature mockumentary called Star Wars: The Dewbacks of Tatooine.
“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 & honored to go on this mission with Lucasfilm,” says Edwards. The director got a congratulatory note from Thomas Tull, CEO of Legendary Entertainment, which released Godzilla: “Gareth’s filmmaking talent makes him one of his generation’s most creative and visionary directors,”
“The plan has always been for Gareth to direct a different film before we started on another Godzilla, but who knew it would a Star Wars installment? We have a great plan in store for Godzilla fans and I am looking forward to seeing Gareth’s imprint on the Star Wars universe.”
I’m pleased at the news: Edwards’ Monsters still had excellent effects despite its shoestring budget, but more importantly he was able to translate a lack of resources into a quality film because he has an eye for storytelling. That’s exactly the sort of thing Star Wars needs. Aliens and explosions and spaceships are wonderful, but what made the original trilogy great was its story, and a poor story was (part of) what made the prequels fail despite Lucas having anything he ever could have needed at his disposal. And Godzilla, for all it had some flaws (too sprawling at times, female characters who were either wives, mothers, or assistants of more prominent male characters), taken as a whole I thought it was a fresh, exciting summer blockbuster. My hope is that Edwards worked out some of his “Holy crap, this is a way huger movie than I have ever done before. How do I do this?!” kinks on Godzilla and will deliver a tight, entertaining Star Wars film.
As for screenwriter Whitta, his movie credits are After Earth and The Book of Eli, which is… not exactly promising. But hell, some of the post credits of the writers of Thor are Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, My Super- Ex-Girlfriend, and Agent Cody Banks, and I enjoyed that movie. By which I mean Disney’s MO with properties it owns is to hire people who can make quality movies that usually don’t break boundaries in terms of magnificence or suckitude. So I’m not worrying too much about “Agh, Whitta wrote After Earth!,” or even “Agh, Abrams directed Star Trek Into Darkness!” Middle-of-the-road is Disney’s art. And sure the MCU is a different entity than Lucasfilm, and there are different creative forces involved. But I trust Disney to engineer the creation of something that’s not a milestone of sci-fi quality, but enjoyable and good enough to make them a ton of money.
Plus, Whitta’s apparently a giant Star Wars nerd, at least judging by this clip /Film dug up of him ranting about how adults aren’t allowed to participate in Disney World’s Jedi Training Academy on the Tested.com “this is only a test” podcast back in 2011.
He also posted on his Google+ page (wait, he posts thing on his Google+ page?) that “This is literally a childhood dream come true for me. So excited.” Always good to see a lifelong Star Wars fan come up in the world.
(via: The Hollywood Reporter)