Now that he has well and truly conquered the world with his monster smash Godzilla, Gareth Edwards has become very hot property in the movie business indeed. Switching from an ultra low budget feature film mostly made in his bedroom (Monsters) to one of the years biggest films (Godzilla) has not phased the British director, and it would seem everyone now wants a piece of him.
First up is the confirmation that Edwards intends to return to direct not one, but TWO Godzilla sequels, and Legendary Entertainments Chairman and CEO Thomas Tull was pleased to announced Edwards would be back. You can read Tull’s statement at the bottom of this post, but first to a rather large project which Edwards must see to first, before returning to Godzilla.
It has just been confirmed that Edwards will direct one of the Star Wars spin-off movies, and his film is scheduled for release in cinemas on December 16th 2016, exactly a year after JJ Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII lands.
It was announced last year that Disney were planning a Star Wars film every other year, with a spin-off movie inbetween, so with Episode VII landing on December 15th 2015, and now Edwards’ spin-off arriving on December 16th 2016, naturally 2017 should see Star Wars: Episode VIII arrive in cinemas!
The project is extremely secretive, and Disney are not going to reveal which character the spin-off movie will be based on. However, they have made a smart decision with Edwards’ who showed with Godzilla he is a true fan boy, and gave something back to the films he grew up watching. Thankfully he also grew up watching Star Wars, stating that it was Star Wars which made him want to become a filmmaker.
In the below press release, it is also worth noting that the Star Wars spin-off is being written by The Book of Eli writer Gary Whittas, and not Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg, as was announced last year.
Here is the official press release for the Star Wars spin-off, followed by Thomas Tull’s statement about the Godzilla sequels:
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.
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 Whittas 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.”
And here is Thomas Tull’s statement about the Godzilla sequels:
“Gareth’s filmmaking talent makes him one of his generation’s most creative and visionary directors,” said Legendary Entertainment’s chairman and CEO Thomas Tull in a statement in response to the Star Wars hire. “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.”
WME-repped Edwards is attached to direct Godzilla 2 and 3, but while story ideas exist, the Godzilla 2 project is still in early development and does not even have a script.
For a bit of fun while we have your attention, check out this fan made mash-up trailer for Godzilla and Pacific Rim, titled Paczilla (brilliant!)