The Hollywood Reporter says Gary Whitta is off the first Star Wars stand-alone spin-off film.
That said, there is still a chance Whitta is the final writer on the film:
Gary Whitta is no longer writing a Star Wars standalone movie.
Gareth Edwards was quoted as saying:
Gary has been a wonderful, inspired contributor and I enjoyed working with him tremendously. I’m so grateful for all of his contributions.
Whitta only had good things to say about his experience:
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.
Unlike when Micheal Arndt left Star Wars and remained silent on the issue, Whitta and Edwards apparently decided to discuss the topic and clear the air. There are rumors that Arndt was extremely unhappy about being removed from The Force Awakens. In this instance, the separations seems amicable.
Lucasfilm and Disney did not comment on the hiring of a new writer.
It seemed like Edwards as director of the film was involved in the writing to an extent. Edwards did write Monsters so perhaps he will finish the script off? Or did Whitta just finish his script and its done now? The article isn’t entirely clear on that issue. Either way, with the production offices on the first Star Wars spin-off to be rumored to have opened and that production to start very soon, it appears Whitta’s contribution to the writing will be pretty big either way.
Whitta also tweeted:
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
We will see the first Star Wars spin-off film in theaters in December, 2016. I can’t wait to even know what the premise is officially. I was curious to see what Whitta did with the film. As someone intensely critical of Star Wars after 1983, I wanted to see what he thought Star Wars should be. Now it looks like that vision will be a little less pure as another writer will finish the script.
This might not be the only Star Wars spin-off shakeup if the rumors about Josh Trank are true. I’ve refrained from covering it as it is too hard to tell what is true or rumor at this point. Of all the people hired to make Star Wars spin-off films, I’m most excited to see what Josh Trank does with Star Wars as I loved Chronicle.
Either way, productions are marching on and we are still supposed to see a Star Wars stand-alone spin-off film every other year until the sequel trilogy is completed.