The Star Wars franchise is in a state of awkward flux right now, with the Skywalker Saga concluded but no future films officially on the schedule. But The Hollywood Reporter reports that there’s at least a new project in the works, and it’s to be directed by J.D. Dillard, of the low-budget thrillers Sleight and Sweetheart. Should it get off the ground, it would be the first in the franchise to be helmed by a person of color.
Details are thin on the ground right now, including if the film will be hitting theaters or Disney+. But whatever it winds up being, it will join the other in-the-works Star Wars projects, among them the one by MCU honcho Kevin Feige and a proposed trilogy from Rian Johnson, who’s currently a little busy developing the sequel to his hit Knives Out. Dillard will be teaming with screenwriter Matt Owens, a Marvel guy who’s worked on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and their sadly passed Netflix show Luke Cage.
Dillard, meanwhile, will follow in the footsteps of indie filmmakers who’ve been handed major franchise films, such as Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World), Jodan Vogt-Roberts (Kong: Skull Island), Cathy Yan (Birds of Prey), and Chloé Zhou (The Eternals). The difference is Dillard, unlike them, already has his foot in genre filmmaking; Sleight was a lo-fi riff on the superhero movie while Sweetheart was a survivalist horror number. Perhaps his Star Wars movie will be more minimalist, perhaps more Rogue One than The Rise of Skywalker. We’ll see!