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 (Godzilla) 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.
My year of work in a galaxy far, far away is done! I’m onto my next project, adapting @mrmarkmillar’s STARLIGHT for 20th Century Fox!
— Gary Whitta (@garywhitta) January 10, 2015
While The Hollywood Reporter article makes it sound a bit like something unseemly happened, the news of a writer departing a project after completing a draft is by no means surprising. (Case in point: look at what happened with The Force Awakens after Michael Arndt left and J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan came in for the next draft.) Rather, it sounds like the increasingly busy Mr. Whitta simply completed his contractual obligation and is moving on to the next item on his dance card.
In a statement, Gareth Edwards said, “Gary has been a wonderful, inspired contributor and I enjoyed working with him tremendously. I’m so grateful for all of his contributions.”
Whitta also said, “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.”
There is no word yet as to who will step in to take over writing duties for the Star Wars standalone film, which is set to release on December 16, 2016.
Who would you like to see step in to pen the next draft of the Star Wars standalone film? Let us know in the comments below.