Disney and Lucasfilm have been having a rough go of their directorial choices of late, axing Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow last week, and needing Ron Howard to step in for erstwhile Han Solo stand-alone film directors Lord and Miller. Now they’re rewriting Episode IX with the help of Jack Thorne, presumably throwing out much of what was already written. Things are getting murky for the behind-the-scenes of Star Wars, and it’s leading to plenty of conjecture from fans.
Should Disney go back to the well and just tap J.J. Abrams for the final installment of the latest trilogy? Abrams could bookend the revival he kicked off with great success, and it would be a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one. However, fans are wondering if Rian Johnson might just take the director’s chair for back-to-back movies, something Rian Johnson hasn’t said “no” to, but he hasn’t said “yes” to, either.
In a recent appearance in Japan, Johnson danced around the subject:
“It was never in the plan for me to direct Episode IX. I don’t know what’s going to happen with it. I’m not sure what’s going to happen with it. I was entirely focused on Episode VIII and having this experience and now I’m just thinking about putting the movie out there and seeing how the audience responds to it. So now I’m not really thinking about that right now.
“Whoever does it, I’m going to be really excited to be an audience member again and to see what the next filmmaker has to show us.”
Johnson and Mark Hamill already had a bit of a spat regarding the direction of the Luke Skywalker character, so it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. There’s a May 2019 release date looming.