The Star Wars-verse has been in a state of flux over the last year and a half, starting with the underperformance of the prequel spin-off A Solo Story. The last week alone saw Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss leaving their in-the-works trilogy, thus raising alarms over the franchise’s future. But don’t worry, Tatooine fanatics: Rian Johnson is still with the company.
Johnson was speaking at Deadline’s ninth annual Contenders event, which hosts dozens of panels with the industry’s hottest players. The filmmaker was there to talk about Knives Out, his forthcoming murder mystery, which has been the talk of every festival it’s played. Naturally he was asked about his role in the Star Wars biz, which he answered briefly.
“We’re still engaged with Lucasfilm and we’ll wait and see,” Johnson told the crowd. But he wouldn’t specify what, exactly, his Star Wars film(s) will be. “No updates on it at this moment, but yeah.”
He was far more wordy about Knives Out, which he said was partially inspired not only by Agatha Christie but by his experiences being trolled and harassed online by fans who took umbrage with his previous Star Wars episode, The Last Jedi.
“Anyone who’s on Twitter these days, God bless you because it’s rough waters out there, but there’s also wonderful stuff about it,” Johnson said. “That’s why we’re all still on it, I guess. That’s one of the things [Knives Out] engages with, the current state of online culture. Whether you made a Star Wars movie or you have a cooking show, whatever you’re doing on there, someone’s going to be screaming at you about it probably. Let’s put it on a screen in a way we can all maybe have a laugh about it.”
He also discussed making an Agatha Christie-style murder mystery set in the present, while still sticking to her many classic tropes.
“What we try and do is place it in modern day,” Johnson said. “That for me meant not just skinning it with cell phones, modern cars and music. That meant actually plugging it into 2019. We do character types who are slight caricatures of the type Agatha Christie used to do but with people who for better or worse you could only meet in 2019.”
Knives Out hits theaters on November 27. Meanwhile, the Star Wars show The Mandalorian drops on Disney+ on November 12, the same day the streamer goes live, while The Rise of Skywalker, aka Episode IX, arrives on December 20. But you probably already know that because you probably already have your ticket, because Star Wars films are very, very, very popular.