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Looper Director Rian Johnson to Helm Star Wars Episodes VIII and IX

<em>Looper</em> Director Rian Johnson to Helm Star Wars Episodes VIII and IX

In jarring and slightly shocking developments, Deadline is reporting the next two films in the new Star Wars trilogy will not be directed by J.J. Abrams, but instead be overseen by director Rian Johnson. Established with his film Brick, Johnson is probably best known for his recent work on the time-travel crime film Looper.

Johnson hasn’t technically confirmed this report, but did post a suggestive video to his Twitter from the astronaut-lousy film The Right Stuff. It appears that he’ll not only be directing the next two Star Wars films in the “main” storyline, but also be co-writing them as well. Why J.J. Abrams isn’t being tapped to direct Episodes VIII and IX is unclear, though it is possible that because Johnson is a bit younger with fewer films under this belt that he’s a bit less expensive than J.J. Abrams.  Most interestingly though, the report also suggests Johnson will be doing story treatment for both films, indicating that Abrams and long-time Star Wars writer Lawerence Kasdan, won't. As this develops, all things will probably make more sense, but it sounds like the new trilogy will be switching directors AND writers after Episode VII.

Recently, it was announced that Gareth Edwards (director Godzilla) would be directing the first stand-alone (not part of a trilogy) Star Wars film, and no with the apparent hiring of Johnson, it appears a galaxy far, far away will be in the control of slightly younger creative talents.

Did you like Looper? Are you excited about Rian Johnson doing Episode VIII and Episode IX?

Tags: movies, star wars, breaking news

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About the Author
Ryan Britt

Ryan Britt is the author of Luke Skywalker Can't Read and Other Geeky Truths, forthcoming from Plume (Penguin) Books on 11.24.15. He's written for The New York Times, Electric Literature, The Awl, VICE Motherboard, Clarkesworld Magazine, and is a consulting editor for Story Magazine. He lives in New York City.

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