Well, it seems like LFL are still on schedule to deliver the first spinoff film in 2016. Specifically, the film will see release on 16 December, 2016. The announcement has come straight from StarWars.com.
Lawrence Kasdan will not be writing the film, presumably because he’s knee-deep in the production of Episode VII. Instead Gary Whitta will fill that role, with Gareth Edwards acting as director.
Edwards is a relative newcomer, known most recently for the current Godzilla remake. He is, however, an avowed fan of both George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, citing Star Wars: A New Hope and Close Encounters of the Third Kind as two of his three favourite movies (with the third being Reservoir Dogs). This choice seems very much in keeping with the selection of J.J. Abrams for Episode VII.
Whitta, on the other hand, wrote The Book of Eli and, uh, co-wrote After Earth. On a more positive note, he has also been a writer on Telltale Games’ acclaimed Walking Dead adaptation. And for those who don’t know, Telltale is essentially the old guard from LucasArts’ glory days, and they carry a lot of the spirit that made that company great 20 years ago.
Curiously, we still don’t officially know what the film will be about. My guess is that Boba Fett will still be on the cards.
Update: Digging around, here’s a podcast excerpt featuring Whitta discussing Disneyland’s Jedi Academy Training attraction. Some NSFW language is included: