5 years

Rian Johnson to direct Star Wars: Episodes VIII and IX

It's being reported that Rian Johnson, director of Brick and Looper, will be taking the helm on both of the next Star Wars films

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.

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    Interesting news, and yet ...... is it the case that no-one can get funding for a big budget film, unless they are extending a franchise? Star Wars is getting a bit tired. I understand that movies these days cost a great deal of money. So studios and corporations are unwilling to put money into things they find hard to quantify. Fair enough, it's their money (or their shareholders' money, at any rate). Is there no chance that a new Jean-Luc Godard or Milos Forman can take a Beaulieu and a few friends off to Hay on Wye and revolutionise our approach to visual narrative? Take the tablets, Tiger .....