Walt Disney Pictures have this week announced the director and the global release date of the second cinematic instalment in their revived Star Wars multi-medium franchise. Intended to act as a spin-off from the central saga of science-fiction blockbusters (which will be expanded with Episode VII in 2015, Episode VIII in 2017 and Episode IX in 2019), the film will reportedly feature classic bounty hunter anti-hero Boba Fett as its redemption-seeking protagonist.
That's the stuff of rumour at present, though: what we now know for certain is that Gareth Edwards will serve as the first spin-off production's director and Gary Whitta (who fans of Telltale's The Walking Dead video games will know as one of their chief narrative developers) as its screenplay writer. Best known for his work at the helm of this year's surprisingly critically lauded reboot Godzilla, Edwards has also taken centre-stage (from an aesthetic standpoint, anyway) on acclaimed projects such as 2010's Monsters and this year's much-anticipated follow-up Monsters: Dark Continent. Word has it that he'll return to bring Godzilla to life in two further motion pictures (at least one of which, Godzilla 2, is already confirmed to be in development at this very moment), but from this point onwards, our guess is that Edwards (who strikes us as a truly inspired successor to Episode VII's J.J. Abrams, quite honestly) will focus all of his attention on a galaxy far, far away and the "most wretched hive[s] of scum and villainy" he can imagine...
The first Star Wars spin-off movie will leap out from the Sarlacc's jaws and into cinemas worldwide on December 16th, 2016.