Godzilla’s Gareth Edwards Will Direct the First Star Wars Spin-Off

Big, actual news from the Star Wars camp today: Godzilla director Gareth Edwards is now officially attached to direct one of the many Star Wars spin-off films that Disney is developing to fill the gaps between the regular installments of J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars trilogy.

Although the subjects of these spin-offs have not yet been confirmed by Disney, the very fact that they are using the words “Star Wars spin-off” implies that they will follow the solo adventures of already popular characters like Han Solo or Boba Fett. We’ll probably find out soon, however, since the film has been fast-tracked for a December 16, 2016 release. Edwards’ film will be written by Gary Whitta, whose unimpressive film career includes The Book of Eli and After Earth, but whose very impressive video game writing career includes the very popular The Walking Dead iPhone/iPad game and the very underrated Prey.

What will this mean for the already announced Godzilla sequel? Producer Thomas Tull confirmed to our sister site Shock Till You Drop that Gareth Edwards is still attached to the project, although with this Star Wars spin-off needing to go into production next year in order to meet its deadline, Godzilla 2 will have to wait for 2017 or, more likely, even later. 

But will Gareth Edwards make a good Star Wars movie? Possibly. He’s got a remarkable sense of wonder and an canny knack for action, but the characters in Godzilla needed an awful lot of work. If there’s one thing Star Wars needs in these new incarnations, it’s a fresh injection of personality, so here’s hoping Gary Whitta has a gangbusters script on hand and that Edwards rounds up a damned fun cast.

William Bibbiani is the editor of CraveOnline’s Film Channel and the host of The B-Movies Podcast and The Blue Movies Podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.