When Jurassic World inexplicably took the world by storm in 2015, it opened a lot of doors for writer/director Colin Trevorrow. Soon, Lucasfilm was knocking on his door, asking if he’d like to helm the final Star Wars film in the new trilogy, as well as pen it. A lot has changed since then. Now, in a statement released on the Star Wars official website, Lucasfilm has announced they are parting ways with The Book of Henry director.
Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow have mutually chosen to part ways on Star Wars: Episode IX. Colin has been a wonderful collaborator throughout the development process but we have all come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ. We wish Colin the best and will be sharing more information about the film soon.
For those paying attention to which way the wind is blowing, this news is not a surprise. Despite making bank at the box office, Jurassic World was a seriously flawed narrative that left plot holes large enough for a Tyrannosaurus Rex to lumber through. By itself, this wouldn’t be enough to sink Trevorrow’s chances at Star Wars infamy, especially considering he is friend with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. Then along came The Book of Henry, Trevorrow’s long-gestating disaster of a psychological thriller. Filmed in 2015, Book of Henry languished until its 2017 release date, ostensibly as Focus Features decided the best time to offload the dud without hurting their bottom line.
Then came the metaphorical house fires at Lucasfilm. It’s well-known that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story went through extensive reshoots, basically reconfiguring the third act altogether. Footage used in trailers never made it to the final cut, and there are dozens of “I Rebel” tattoos and t-shirts despite the fact Jyn Erso never utters the line in the film. Rogue One is not the only Lucasfilm production to suffer setbacks, though. The still untitled Han Solo spin-off is still dealing with the fallout of hiring Ron Howard to come in and pick up directorial duties after Lucasfilm fired Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. Based on industry news, Han Solo is also undergoing extensive reshoots.
Couple the pressure cooker that is Lucasfilm’s production slate — Episode IX is currently undergoing rewrites due to Carrie Fisher’s untimely death — with Colin Trevorrow’s fall from grace as a directorial darling, and suddenly a parting of ways seems understandable. Remember, prior to Jurassic World Trevorrow had never worked on a blockbuster before. His only credit of note was the indie film Safety Not Guaranteed.
Jurassic World hired someone who openly admitted they’d only spent six weeks on set for a film set prior to being handed one of the biggest IPs in the world. With other directors flaming out on huge projects — Josh Trank (Fantastic Four) and Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) among the highest profile examples — Lucasfilm suddenly becoming gun shy about Trevorrow is not surprising. The company is dealing with enough stress as it is. Why add more?