Gareth Edwards Star WarsAfter his monster Godzilla opening, director Gareth Edwards has landed the director’s chair for an Untitled Star Wars 3D stand-alone film, which Disney has dated for a December 16, 2016 release. Alvin & The Chipmunks 4 from 20th Century Fox is the only competition so far on that date. How ironic, as it was Fox who distributed the initial Star Wars in 1977?

Related: ‘Godzilla’ Stomps Into Theaters With $9.3M; Int’l Numbers Arrive

Edwards’ kaiju reboot for WB had a $93M opening weekend and has already taken in over $216M worldwide in its first week in theaters for the biggest international opening of the year. In February Disney’s Bob Iger announced plans to release spin-offs based around individual characters outside of the planned Star Wars VII, VIII and IX , with Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg tapped to script.

Related: Lawrence Kasdan, Simon Kinberg Courted To Script ‘Star Wars’ 2 and 3

star-wars-logo__130325012712-200x144__131107212744The Star Wars spin-off news is fantastic for Edwards’ meteoric rise from helming his 2010 indie Monsters for $500K to the $160M-budgeted Godzilla. It also affects the timeframe for Legendary’s just-announced Godzilla sequel, which will have to wait for Edwards’ schedule to free up.

Related: ‘Godzilla’ Sequel In The Works At Warner Bros. & Legendary

Said Legendary’s Thomas Tull in a congratulatory message: “Gareth’s filmmaking talent makes him one of his generation’s most creative and visionary directors. The plan has always been for Gareth to direct a different film before we started on another Godzilla, but who knew it would a Star Wars installment? We have a great plan in store for Godzilla fans and I am looking forward to seeing Gareth’s imprint on the Star Wars universe.”

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