Well this is a major bummer. Director Gareth Edwards made waves with his solid indie Monsters before knocking it out of the park on the blockbuster stage with Godzilla, which of course led to his hiring as the director on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. At the time that word broke of Edwards’ involvement with Rogue One, however, he was also attached to direct Godzilla 2 for Legendary and Warner Bros., so there was concern over whether this meant Godzilla 2 would be moving forward without him. That turned out not to be the case, as Legendary event sent out a “Congratulations” notice for Edwards’ Rogue One hiring and noted that they’d be holding out for Edwards before moving forward with Godzilla 2. But now that all appears to be moot—Edwards has exited the director’s chair for the Godzilla sequel after all.
Per Deadline, Edwards opted to leave the Godzilla sequel amicably, as he has smaller projects he’d like to pursue rather than moving straight into Godzilla 2 after spearheading the first ever Star Wars spinoff film. This new comes days after Warner Bros. pushed the release date of Godzilla 2 from June 2018 to March 22, 2019, which I imagined meant that Edwards was just gonna get more of a breather between projects. Alas, it actually meant that Warner Bros. was going to need to find a new director, so pushing the release date buys them more time.
Edwards’ work on the Godzilla redo was nothing short of astounding. He brought a terrifically grand scale and scope to the blockbuster genre with refreshingly unique and jaw-dropping visuals, even if the characters were admittedly a bit thin. So his exit from Godzilla 2 is a bummer, and I do hope they rope in another exciting/different filmmaker in his stead rather than going with a tried-and-true blockbuster director who’s just gonna churn out a standard sequel.
Godzilla 2 has a script by Godzilla scribe Max Borenstein and intends to expand the scope of the universe, bringing in characters like Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah and serving as a stepping stone to the Godzilla vs. Kong film that’s slated for release in 2020, on the heels of the Jordan Voght-Roberts’ Kong redo Kong: Skull Island.
Edwards, meanwhile, is busy with post-production on Rogue One, which takes place before the events of A New Hope and sheds light on the ground troops of the Star Wars universe as a team of outlaws bands together to steal the plans for the Death Star. The movie looks downright phenomenal, and while it’s a shame he won’t be at the helm of Godzilla 2, I am mighty excited to see what Edwards plans to do next.