Well, we weren’t expecting this when we got up this morning; Deadline has reported that Looper writer/director Rian Johnson has signed up to write and direct Star Wars: Episodes VIII and IX. Yipes.
If this does come to pass, Johnson will be taking over the core films of the franchise from J J Abrams, who is at the helm of Episode VII (currently shooting for a 2015 release). However, according to the Wrap, Johnson will write the treatment for Episode IX, but he will not actually direct it himself.
If that’s true, then we’ll have a different director at the wheel for each of the three new movies, which would hopefully turn out to be a good thing. After all, A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi all had different directors (George Lucas, Irvin Kershner and Richard Marquand respectively) and that seemed to work out relatively well for them.
There hasn’t been any official comment or confirmation from Lucasfilm, Disney or Johnson himself as of yet. However, Johnson has tweeted the above video (a clip from The Right Stuff), which could well be in reference to his taking on the Star Wars behemoth. That’s probably how we’d be feeling too, Rian.
More news on this as we get it.