Worldwide promotion has begun for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - the latest film from our Film Production graduate Gareth Edwards.
A trailer for the film, which is due out in December this year, was viewed over 15 million times on YouTube in its first 24 hours online, and remains a popular trending topic on Twitter worldwide.
Gareth graduated from our Farnham campus in 1996, and was welcomed back in 2012 to be awarded an Honorary Masters degree for his work in film.
Set before the original Star Wars film, Rogue One follows a group of rebels as they attempt to steal plans from the Death Star.
Gareth began his post-university career in visual effects working on projects for the BBC, before getting his break with the 2010 budget sci-fi film Monsters. He not only wrote and directed Monsters but also created all the special effects for it – an achievement which resulted in a nomination for an Outstanding Debut award at the BAFTAs.
Following the success of Monsters, he was signed up by Hollywood giants Legendary Pictures to direct a big-budget reboot of Godzilla. The film, which starred Bryan Cranston and Aaron Taylor Johnson, grossed over $500m worldwide and was one of the biggest blockbusters of 2014.
Hoping to repeat the financial success of Godzilla, Disney signed him up to take the reins for their first Star Wars spin-off, which is now expected to be one of the biggest worldwide hits of 2016.
Claire Barwell, course leader for BA (Hons) Film Production at UCA Farnham, who taught Gareth, said: “We’re so proud of Gareth’s success, and are delighted to see that his latest film is getting such positive hype. Although I haven’t seen him since we awarded him his honorary MA, he is utterly charming, really down to earth, and honest with our students about his own personal journey into features and the big time. We can’t wait to see the film!”
Our Film Production course at UCA Farnham has a long history of producing talent for the film industry, with other alumni including Emmy-award winner Steve Gomez, whose debut feature Kill Command is due out in May. You can find out more about the course here.