Chris Weitz is to write the stand-alone 'Star Wars' movie.

The 45-year-old director - who's worked on a wide range of high-profile films, including 'About a Boy' and 'The Twilight Saga: New Moon' - is set to script the Gareth Edwards-directed movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The screenwriter will replace Gary Whitta, who exited the project earlier this month after finishing a first draft of the script.

The much-anticipated movie - which is one of two 'Star Wars' spin-offs currently in development - is in the early stages of casting.

Tatiana Maslany and Rooney Mara, for instance, have both been linked to the female lead in the stand-alone movie.

Oscar-nominated actress Felicity Jones is also said to be on the wanted list, although her involvement with the project depends on her schedule for 'Inferno', the 'Da Vinci Code' sequel.

Testing for the movie - which is set for release in December 2016 - initially took place in the UK in December, but has now switched to the US.

Meanwhile, the eagerly-awaited 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' - which stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill - will be released on December 18, 2015.