New Rumor Has ‘Star Wars’ Standalone Script Now In Hands Of ‘Fantastic Four,’ ‘X-Men’ Writer

We’ve yet to see even an extended trailer from this year’s Star Wars: Episode VIIThe Force Awakens, but the rumor mill is already churning about the next Star Wars movie to follow The Force Awakens. Word has it that the Star Wars spinoff due out in 2016 is due to get a new screenwriter, and it’s one that just might give comic fans pause.

It’s the sort of rumor of a rumor that’s just about impossible to verify before any official confirmations are released, but word has it that the first Star Wars spinoff will be getting Simon Kinberg as its new screenwriter, following the departure of Gary Whitta. According to /Film, Kinberg is already well versed in the Star Wars universe, having consulted on Episode VII and written and produced episodes of Star Wars Rebels.

/Film calls Kinberg’s assignment to head writing duties on the new Star Wars film “almost a no-brainer,” as Kinberg is a “well-known relief pitcher in Hollywood, coming in at the last minute to save projects.”

Among Kinberg’s other projects are Chappie, Let’s Be Cops, Sherlock Holmes, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and X-Men: First Class, as well as X-Men: Days of Future Past. He also worked on X-Men: The Last Stand, though, as well as Elysium and this year’s Fantastic Four reboot.

Kinberg’s connection to The Last Stand might give some Star Wars fans pause; the film was widely regarded as the worst entry in the series at its release, and a similar effort with the first Star Wars spinoff could kill any momentum and good will that Episode VII manages to build.

Nerd fans have also raised an eyebrow or two at Kinberg following what little has leaked out about the Fantastic Four reboot. Fox hasn’t let much out regarding the film, but what has gotten out – that Doctor Doom is an angry hacker, among other things – has people looking askance at both the film and Kinberg.

Still, Kinberg does have a solid Star Wars pedigree so far, having worked on Episode VII and Star Wars Rebels. We’re not exactly certain what duties Kinberg would be taking up were he to actually pen the Star Wars spinoff. Reportedly, Whitta finished a first draft of the spinoff – which some are saying is a heist movie that could feature Aaron Paul – before leaving the project, so Kinberg could simply be polishing Whitta’s work, or he could be doing a complete teardown and rebuild.