This was perhaps inevitable given the news from last week that Godzilla 2 had been bumped a full year to 2019, but it's indicative of the problems going on at Warner Bros. right now. Deadline reports that Gareth Edwards has dropped out of directing the sequel to his hit 2014 film featuring the classic screen monster, just as the studio has begun building a whole cohesive universe around it.
The reason for Edwards' exit is that he has smaller original projects he wants to undertake, and that may very well be true. He's currently finishing up on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story which is going to be huge, and it may be that hugely expensive studio movies no longer hold any interest. Let's not forget Edwards' breakout film was the micro-budgeted Monsters, and it sounds like that is the kind of thing he wants to work on again.
Or it could be that working on a major Warner Bros. franchise isn't worth the hassle right now. Given all of the turmoil caused by Zack Snyder's underperforming DC Comics movies, plus expensive flops like Pan and Jupiter Ascending, the pressure must really be on over there right now.
So the search is on for Edwards' replacement, and it will be interesting to see if they go with another upstart or a blockbuster vet. Edwards kind of filled both of those roles, actually. Godzilla 2 is still set to open March 22nd 2019 as part of an interconnected universe that includes Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla vs. Kong.