Gareth Edwards is having a solid week. Not only did his Godzilla bring in more than $90 million over its opening weekend and secure the future of the rebooted franchise, but he’s landed his next gig, and it’s pretty damn massive. Edwards, for only his third turn at the helm of a feature film, will direct a new Star Wars movie. J.J. Abrams, of course, recently began filming Star Wars: Episode VII, but Edwards will get the next crack at the franchise with the first of the standalone films.
THR broke this story, but aside from this there’s not much else to tell. While Edwards will take the lead, Book of Eli and After Earth scribe Gary Whitta will handle the script. The Edwards component is good news, having shown that he can handle both large and small-scale productions, but we’re less sure about the Whitta part. Neither of his earlier endeavors exactly inspire a lot of confidence, but we’re willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. We’ll see if that comes back to bite us on the ass.
Edwards says, “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 & honored to go on this mission with Lucasfilm.”
Secrecy is key for Abrams, Disney, and Lucasfilm. We hardly know anything Episode VII, and there is even less concrete detail about the spin-offs. Since Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, the plan has been to alternate releasing Episode films with the stand alones, one each year until Mickey and company rule the known cinematic universe. There has been talk of a Han Solo movie, a Yoda story, and even one that follows the X-Wing pilots of the Red Squadron.
According to the most recent rumors—granted this is a leaked report from Hasbro, a toy company—the schedule for the next few years goes like this:
2015: Episode VII
2016: Boba Fett
2017: Episode VIII
2019: Episode IX
2020: Red Five
If this report holds, that seems to indicate that Edwards would direct a Boba Fett movie. Despite being a villain, the Mandalorian bounty hunter is one of the most beloved characters in the franchise, and, oddly enough, pairing him with Edwards makes a decent amount of sense. In both his 2010 film Monsters and Godzilla, Edwards has shown an ability to humanize giant creatures and make them sympathetic characters. If he can do this with a skyscraper tall primordial beast that just smashed most of downtown San Francisco, who is to say that he can’t do the same for one intergalactic headhunter? If anyone can make you root for Boba Fett, Edwards might be the one.
This is just speculation at this point, but it definitely seems like a possibility. Though given how many of these rumors and ideas actually pan out, it’s just as likely that the lead character is someone else entirely. Edwards is still contractually linked to both Godzilla 2 and Godzilla 3, so his schedule moving forward just became rather complicated, and we’ll have to see how this all breaks down.
Star Wars: Episode VII opens everywhere on December 18, 2015, and Edwards’ contribution to the franchise will drop a year later on December 16, 2016.
What do you think about the prospect of Gareth Edwards directing a Star Wars movie? Let us know in the comments below.