1. British director Gareth Edwards is to direct a Star Wars spin-off movie, Disney has announced.
The film is due to be released on 16 December 2016.
2. A statement on StarWars.com announced:
In addition to the episodes of a new Star Wars trilogy, Lucasfilm and Disney have begun development on multiple stand-alone movies that will offer new stories beyond the core Saga.
Gareth Edwards will direct the first stand-alone film, with a screenplay by Gary Whitta.
3. Edwards won widespread praise for his debut Monsters, an independently produced film about an alien invasion, released in 2010.
His latest film, Godzilla, topped the U.S. box office and has already taken over $200 million worldwide.
4. The director from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, said: “Ever since I saw Star Wars I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life - join the Rebel Alliance!
“I could not be more excited and honored to go on this mission with Lucasfilm.”
Whitta, who will pen the script, has previously written the screenplays for The Book Of Eli and After Earth.
5. Disney has yet to confirm which, if any, of the original Star Wars characters will be included in the first spin-off film.
American director J.J. Abrams is currently shooting Star Wars: Episode VII in Abu Dhabi, with the eagerly-anticipated sequel due to be released in December next year.