Holy shit, that was fast. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Godzilla director Gareth Edwards has just been confirmed to direct the first upcoming non-trilogy Star Wars flick. That makes me happy as hell, because it means that Disney is serious about opening up the Star Wars theatrical features to strong auteurs, and is willing to explore how that universe looks through different lenses.
While I might have been just as happy with Neill Blomkamp in this regard, Edwards is a strong choice because he’s adapted very well to big-budget cinema, and has proven that his individual aesthetic can still shine from under the mountain of money required to make films like these.
Edwards is still contractually obligated to direct two Godzilla sequels, but this will come first. My only concern is that After Earth writer Gary Whitta has been tasked with writing the script, though the nature of that story might not have been his fault. His writing career hasn’t been long, but he has worked on some of the better episodes of the Walking Dead games, so he’s got that going for him.
I can’t express what a great move I think this is. Call me sappy, but I’m starting to like Star Wars again, and I haven’t been able to say that in almost a decade. The target release for this currently untitled spinoff is December 16, 2016.