Rian Johnson will be the director for Star Wars: Episode VIII, taking over the helm from J.J. Abrams, according to TVGuide.com, The Wrap, and other sources. Johnson is a fairly young director, having directed the film noir-ish high school drama, Brick, The Brothers Bloom, and the science fiction flick, Looper, which he also wrote. He also directed three episodes of Breaking Bad.
According to sources who spoke to The Wrap, Johnson will not direct what is thought to be the franchise finale, Star Wars: Episode IX, but he will write the screen treatment for it. A director for Star Wars: Episode IX has not been announced yet.
The selection of Rian Johnson to direct Star Wars: Episode VIII has not yet been officially announced by anyone with the Lucasfilm company or Disney, However, in a tweet that is already becoming famous for both its subject matter and for dropping the F-bomb, Johnson included a clip from The Right Stuff in which astronaut Scott Glenn prays to the lord that he will not “f— up.”
Two other young directors that Lucasfilm and Disney have hired to direct Star Wars spin-off movies are Josh Trank, who was the director of Chronicle, and Gareth Edwards, who directed Godzilla, starring Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad.
As recently as last year, Rain Johnson told the site Digital Spy in an interview that he doubted he would be chosen to direct Star Wars: Episode VIII.He exclaimed that he didn’t think it was likely that his name would show up “on those sorts of lists.” He added that he didn’t think that the decision of whether he wanted to direct Star Wars: Episode VIII or not was “a problem that I’ll have to deal with.”
J.J. Abrams is the director of Star Wars: Episode VII, which has a scheduled release date of December 18, 2015. The film reunites some of the major stars from the first Star Wars trilogy, as well as adding new, younger actors in many key roles.
Harrison Ford is back as Han Solo, though the broken leg he suffered when the hydraulic door of the Millennium Falcon fell on it will probably limit many of the later scenes he appears in to be shot just from the waist up.
Besides Ford, other actors who are reuniting from the original Star Wars trilogy are Peter Mayhew, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Carrie Fisher, and Kenny Baker. Some of the other actors who will be featured in the cast but who weren’t in the original trilogy are Daisy Ridley, Andy Serkis, Oscar Isaac, Gwendoline Christie, Max von Sydow, John Boyega, Lupita Nyong’o’ and Domhnall Gleeson.
Rian Johnson has won numerous awards for his creative and innovative approach to directing Looper, which was probably a major factor in his being given the nod to direct Star Wars: Episode VIII. There are already a lot of questions around what the plot of Star Wars: Episode VIII will be about, and if any of the actors reprising their roles from the original Star Wars trilogy was be in it, or if the younger actors being introduced in Star Wars: Episode VII will be relied upon to carry the movie. Please leave any comments below!
Written by: Douglas Cobb