June 20, 2014
LOOPER Director Rian Johnson To Write/Direct STAR WARS EPISODES VIII And XI
Lucasfilm is putting together some of the best filmmakers for their new film universe. A new report from Deadline gives the best directing news to date. They say that Brick and Looper director Rian Johnson will take the Episodic reigns of Star Wars, for Episode VIII and Episode XI (some are claiming his is only doing the script treatment). This is confirming that Abrams won't be directing the next two installments, and his future within the Star Wars franchise is unknown.
We've been hearing for months that Lucasfilm has been meeting with directors to round out both the spin-offs and main trilogy. The Star Wars machine is now in full gear (taking cues from Marvel Studios) and needs to move forward. I believe J.J. was never going to direct the entire trilogy and his pre-production/script problems may have cemented that fate. They need the new generation like Rian Johnson, Gareth Edwards (Godzilla, Monsters) and Josh Trank (Chronicle, Fantastic Four) to keep the franchise fresh and inventive.
Rian Johnson is dedicated filmmaker and has the vision/originality to push the boundaries of the franchise. Rather than just paying homage to what has come before, I expect Johnson will add greatly to the existing universe. Fans should rejoice that we finally have an indie director back directing Star Wars, if this doesn't shut-up film nerds I don't know what will.