Star Wars fans have a whole new trilogy to look forward to once The Force Awakens hits theaters later this year, but during the off years between episodes we’ll also be getting standalone spinoff films featuring…well, we don’t really know yet. But the first of those spinoff films suffered a potential setback earlier this month when screenwriter Gary Whitta parted ways with the project. Now we know who will be taking Whitta’s place: Oscar-nominated screenwriter Chris Weitz.
The news comes via THR, who report that Weitz will be taking up Whitta’s lightsaber on the upcoming Star Wars spinoff film, which is currently slated for a 2016 release and is being directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla). Weitz is best known for co-writing/co-directing the 2002 flick About a Boy, based on the novel by Nick Hornby, which earned him and his brother Paul an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. He also wrote and directed The Golden Compass in 2007, a failed would-be franchise starter based on Phillip Pullman’s controversial novel. More recently he tackled another YA franchise by directing The Twilight Saga: New Moon. The Twilight connection might unnerve some Star Wars fans, but that’s a case where it’s the source material that’s the problem, far more so than Weitz’s directing it.