It was announced back in May 2014 that screenwriter Gary Whitta would be joining director Gareth Edwards on the first of the Star Wars standalone films, but now it would appear that his work on the film has reached its conclusion.
Whitta completed a first draft for the film before he decided to move on to other projects. He had this to say about the time he spent working in the Star Wars universe:
“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.”
He also addressed the departure – and his new project – on Twitter:
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
A new writer for the standalone film has not been announced, as of yet. The film is due for release December 16, 2016.