With the recent trailer drop of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it’s easy to forget the bigger picture Disney has in mind. After purchasing Lucasfilm for $4 billion in late 2012, Disney laid their plan out — a desire to release a Star Wars flick every year. This includes an “episode” film followed by a standalone film, alternating every year starting this year (2015).
With Star Wars: The Force Awakens on track to meet its December 18 theater date with J.J. Abrams at the helm, all eyes are slowly turning to director Gareth Edwards’ (Godzilla) upcoming Star Wars opus, an unnamed standalone film that is rumored to star the fan favorite bounty hunter, Boba Fett. However, it wouldn’t be a film without its problems, and it seems to have hit its first major one by losing its writer, Gary Whitta, who has also worked on such projects as The Book of Eli and Telltale’s The Walking Dead video game (via the Hollywood Reporter).
Edwards shared a few words on Whitta’s parting.
“Gary has been a wonderful, inspired contributor and I enjoyed working with him tremendously. I’m so grateful for all of his contributions.”
Edwards wasn’t alone in sharing his sentiments. Upon his departure, Whitta reiterated the rewarding experience working on the film has been.
“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.”
As pleasant as this all sounds, it reeks of PR-speak. As of now, there is no writer set to take polish Whitta’s draft of the Star Wars flick, lending credence to any speculation of creative differences between him and the studio, or him and Edwards. Disney is simply not the kind of machine that would leave gaps in their schedule, given their time constraints.
“Creative differences” seems to be the go-to phrase whenever someone leaves a big studio project, but even that isn’t making the rounds. Given Whitta’s next project, an adaptation of Mark Millar’s (creator of Kickass) comic Starlight, perhaps the opportunity was just too good for Whitta to pass up.
And then there is this enthusiastic post Whitta threw up on Twitter. None of it seems to be filled with false bravado or ill intent.
— Gary Whitta (@garywhitta) January 10, 2015
Of course, one can’t rule out a legitimately and mutually beneficial parting, but that seems to rarely be the case. But for now, we can only take the filmmakers’ words for it, that the first standalone Star Wars film will, in fact, be amazing.
Does this news of Whitta leaving the project wane your confidence? Do you think Whitta left the project on good terms, or is this another “creative differences” parting? Let us know what you think below!
[Images Credit: The Walt Disney Company and Image Comics]