Simon Kinberg has taken over the script for the first Star Wars spinoff film, which is slated to hit theaters in late 2016.
The storyline hasn’t been officially released, but Slashfilm reported that it’s likely about a group of bounty hunters who steal the plans to the first Death Star.
The movie would be set right before the original Star Wars film.
Now several outlets, including Slashfilm and Cinelinx, report that Kinberg has indeed taken over finishing the script from Gary Whitta.
Many were surprised to see Whitta depart, but the outlets noted that it was actually just his job to do a basic write up.
“The basic story for the standalone was already in place, being hammered out by a few people and run through the new Lucasfilm story-group (so that everything fits together nice and tight), and Whitta was brought on to create the script based on those ideas and generally flesh it out,” Cinelinx reported.
“That was his job, and he’s been hard at work on it for the last year, which likely means this isn’t the first draft he’s done. From there, he was set to move on (which apparently he’s been off for a few weeks now) and then have someone else come into finalize the script, polish it up, and generally make sure it’s the best it can be.”
The source said Whitta’s script would have been too “big” budget-wise to film, so Kinberg will mainly be working on tweaking things to make it more manageable.
Kinberg is known for the role, “coming in at the last minute to save projects,” notes Slashfilm
He’s also been working on several projects at Lucasfilm, including Star Wars Rebels. He may also be involved in the 2018 spinoff, although that’s not clear yet.
Whitta, meanwhile, is moving on to adapting Mark Millar’s Starlight for 20th Century Fox.