A brief moment of darkness has appeared in the “Star Wars” universe. Late last week it was quietly reported that Gary Whitta exited the screenwriting duties for Gareth Edwards‘ as yet untitled “Star Wars” spinoff, due in theaters in 2016. And while we’re glad the guy behind “Book Of Eli” and “After Earth” is moving on, the split appears to have been amicable. “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,” Whitta told THR. So who’s gonna step in?
Well, according to Slashfilm‘s sources, Simon Kinberg will take over writing duties. The move makes sense. Kinberg is already embedded at Lucasfilm, guiding “Star Wars Rebels,” and a couple years back he was already rumored to be writing spinoff movies. Beyond that, details are a bit hazy, but apparently Whitta did complete a draft of the screenplay, and the story still focuses on the reported plot of bounty hunters to steal the plans of the Death Star, placing it before the events of the first “Star Wars” film. Certainly, if a new script needs to be done fast (and it probably does since the movie drops next year), Kinberg can knock it out in short order.
But with Kinberg also juggling the massive “X-Men” universe for Fox, does he have too much on his plate? It appears that the Force is with him for now. Gareth Edwards’ “Star Wars” movie arrives on December 16, 2016.