‘Star Wars’ Spin-Off From Director Gareth Edwards Loses Writer Gary Whitta
‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ isn’t the only new ‘Star Wars’ project with an official release date: there’s also the spin-off, which is being helmed by ‘Godzilla’ director Gareth Edwards. And just like ‘The Force Awakens,’ the untitled spin-off has just lost its first writer as Gary Whitta has departed the project for reasons unknown. The standalone project, which has been rumored as a heist film featuring Boba Fett, is set to hit theaters in 2016, but will have to find a new writer quickly if it wants to keep that release date.
THR reports that Gary Whitta, who previously penned screenplays for ‘After Earth’ and ‘The Book of Eli,’ has departed the upcoming ‘Star Wars’ spin-off, while director Gareth Edwards remains. It’s unclear why Whitta has left the project, which he’s been working on since last May. Whitta released the following statement:
The year I spent working with Lucasfilm on this Star Wars film has been by far the most rewarding period of my entire career. As a lifelong Star Wars fan I’m deeply grateful to have had the rare opportunity to contribute to a new chapter in its ongoing cinematic legacy. The film is going to be amazing.
Edwards also released a statement:
Gary has been a wonderful, inspired contributor and I enjoyed working with him tremendously. I’m so grateful for all of his contributions.
The split appears to be amicable, and it’s not the first time a ‘Star Wars’ writer has departed a project in recent memory: Michael Arndt spent over a year writing the treatment and screenplay for ‘The Force Awakens’ before being replaced by ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ and ‘Return of the Jedi’ writer Lawrence Kasdan. It’s also not uncommon for more than one writer to take a pass at a script, and it seems that Disney and LucasFilm are committed to delivering the best ‘Star Wars’ films possible.
Whitta is reportedly moving on to his next project, which might be the adaptation of the Mark Millar comic ‘Starlight’ for Fox. Disney and LucasFilm will likely announce Whitta’s replacement on the ‘Star Wars’ spin-off very soon.
‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ hits theaters on December 18, while the spin-off is currently scheduled to hit theaters on December 16, 2016.