Rumor of the Day: Here's who might be writing the first Star Wars spinoff now

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Jan 12, 2015, 5:24 PM EST

A familiar name might be getting back on board the merry-go-round that is the Star Wars writing team.

With the news just breaking over the weekend that screenwriter Gary Whitta was stepping down from his scripting duties on the first Star Wars spinoff movie, Slashfilm has already heard one rumor about who his replacement might be.

The name in play is Simon Kinberg, who fans know from his involvement in writing and producing many of the X-Men movies -- including last year's X-Men: Days of Future Past -- as well as the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot

Kinberg has actually been involved in the new crop of Star Wars properties all along: He is a consultant on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is a writer and producer on Star Wars: Rebels, and was said at one point to be writing one of the standalone spinoff movies -- although he seemed to back off that gig for a while. What's not clear now is whether he was going to write a different spinoff or the one that Whitta took over for a while.

Either way, the first spinoff is scheduled to shoot later this year under the direction of Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) for a Dec. 16, 2016, release, so Kinberg or whoever takes over has his work cut out for him. And of course, there's still no confirmation of what the movie is actually about, although we've heard it revolves around the theft of the plans for the original Death Star and could involve a certain smuggler in his younger days.

What do you make of the latest turnover on the Star Wars front?