“Star Wars” Spinoff Writer Gary Whitta Departs Project


Good morning, Dork Siders! We hope that you all had a phenomenal weekend. Here’s wishing you a quick and easy journey through your week. We’ve got plenty of Star Wars news to help carry you through your Monday.

On Friday, screenwriter Gary Whitta took to Twitter to announce that he would be leaving the as of yet untitled Star Wars project he had been working on with director Gareth Edwards. It seems that after finally completing the first draft of the script for the upcoming “standalone” project, Whitta will be moving on towards other things.

"Friday, January 9th 20157:54 pm EST“My year of work in a galaxy far, far away is done! I’m onto my next project, adapting @mrmarkmiller’s STARLIGHT for 20th Century Fox!~ @garywhitta"

Following up on the story, Dan Casey at Nerdist posted some details on Gary Whitta’s next move.

From the Nerdist article:

"Having completed a first draft of the forthcoming Star Wars standalone film, screenwriter Gary Whitta is leaving a galaxy far, far away and heading to one filled with 100% more Mark Millar.Beginning in May 2014, Whitta joined director Gareth Edwards to work on a draft for the first in a series of planned Star Wars standalone spin-off films. While he is no longer working on the Star Wars universe, Whitta is staying sci-fi with his next project, an adaptation of Mark Millar’s sci-fi comic book series Starlight for 20th Century Fox."

Also covering the story was Russ Fischer of Slash Film. In his post, Fischer clears up some confusion as to whether or not Gary Whitta left on his own terms, as well as adding some speculation of his own.

From the Slash Film article:

"In other words, this isn’t a firing or a disaster. It is a mutual, amicable parting of ways — the sort of thing that happens all the time on movies big and small. The headlines will just be a bit louder this time because it is Star Wars. (And because there was notable script drama on The Force Awakens in the year before it was shot.)We don’t know the subject, much less the title of this standalone film, though we’ve heard it will be a sort of heist film in which a group steals the plans for the Death Star. Basically, think of The Dirty Dozen filtered through Star Wars, with bounty hunters as the main characters. The planned release date is December 16, 2016."

First to break the news, The Hollywood Reporter provided some quotes from both Gary Whitta and Gareth Edwards.

From the THR report:

"“Gary has been a wonderful, inspired contributor and I enjoyed working with him tremendously,” said Edwards in a statement. “I’m so grateful for all of his contributions. ” Said Whitta, “The year I spent working with Lucasfilm on this Star Wars film has been by far the most rewarding period of my entire career. As a lifelong Star Wars fan I’m deeply grateful to have had the rare opportunity to contribute to a new chapter in its ongoing cinematic legacy. The film is going to be amazing.”"

Gary Whitta posted this image to Twitter on Friday.

"Friday, January 9th 20158:00 pm EST“This is by far the most I’ve ever enjoyed writing a title page. See you in 2016! #MTFBWY~ @garywhitta"

Gareth Edwards and Gary Whitta at Skywalker Ranch in 2014.

Back on August 20th of 2014, fans enjoyed watching screenwriter Gary Whitta dump a bucket of ice water onto director Gareth Edwards as part of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. You can enjoy it now, by checking out the video below:

What do you think of Gary Whitta leaving the Gareth Edwards directed spinoff Star Wars project? Are you excited to learn what the first “standalone” film will be about?

Leave us a comment below, Dork Siders! We’ll have plenty more NEWS for you this afternoon!