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The first Star Wars spin-off now has a writer and director, but no confirmed subject, at least publicly. Still, there were plenty of rumors last year when it was first confirmed that spin-off films would be happening in the first place.
On Thursday night, Lucasfilm and Disney announced that Gareth Edwards, whose Godzilla remake for Warner Bros. and Legendary won the box office last weekend, will direct the film. Gary Whitta, who wrote The Book of Eli and worked on the Walking Dead video game series, will write the script.
While Disney shared a quotes from each men about how much they loved Star Wars growing up, there was no other information in the statement. The only other piece of information we know is that it is slated for Dec. 16, 2016, a year after Episode VII opens.
The studios confirmed spin-off films back in February and officially remained quiet until this week. Disney CFO Jay Rasulo did refer to the spin-offs as “origin films,” which is disappointing, especially if the first film ends up starring the characters that are rumored to be in it.
Internet chatter has said that the first spin-off would center on Boba Fett, Han Solo or Yoda. Personally, a Boba Fett or Han Solo film would be far more interesting, since you could finally explore the Star Wars world on the big screen without Jedi mythology weighing it down.
It is important to note that Edwards and Whitta will have free reign to create their project, since most of the Expanded Universe is no longer officially cannon. So, the classic pre-A New Hope novels centering on Han Solo’s adventures wouldn't reach the big screen.
Disney has said in the past that they want to release a new Star Wars film every year, so Edwards’ film will be the first test to see if mainstream audiences want more Star Wars than just the main ‘episodes.’
Director/co-writer J.J. Abrams is currently filming Episode VII in Abu Dhabi. That opens on Dec. 18, 2015.