Star Wars Episode IX Needs a New Director, Who Should It Be?

Edited: September 6, 2017, 9:31 AM

With Colin Trevorrow out as the director of Star Wars Episode IX, who should Lucasfilm/Disney hire as it's new director?

Replies (16)

Edited: September 6, 2017, 3:23 AM

Me! Pick me!!!!

If not me, then how about Luc Besson? Valerian was a bit of a stumble, but it looked great and Fifth Element is still one of my favorite space operas. Love to see what Mr. Besson could do with the Star Wars universe. Another choice is Andrew Stanton. I know he got a bad rap for John Carter (a movie I enjoyed) but he's definitely talented and is a very visual storyteller (doesn't need a lot of dialogue/exposition to get the job done).

On a side note, I'm glad Lucasfilm dumped Colin Trevorrow. Jurassic World was not a good film, regardless of the money it made, and a large part of the problem (in addition to a stupid, derivative script) was the direction. Good riddance.

September 6, 2017, 3:30 AM

From what all the insider information is saying, Rian Johnson has done wonders with the Last Jedi. He was involved in the story with IX, Looper is a very complex and well done science fiction classic, and he has stated he would love to do another SW. He may have even directed scenes for IX already. If all of this is true, then the decision should be an easy one. I did not find Jurassic World to be terrible. I actually liked it, but I was unsure if he were a perfect choice. Luc Besson is great for his films, and I loved Valerian, but not to finish out this latest trilogy. We actually do not know if dumped is correct at this point, but it may be. Certainly significant aspects of the story have to be changed, and done so quickly with consistent vision, so that is why I hope they utilize Rian.

Edited: September 6, 2017, 6:34 AM

At least the production is not as far along as the Han Solo project was when Lucasfilm and Miller/Lord parted ways. Episode IX was still in pre-production.

A lot of critics are trying to point the finger at Kennedy and Lucasfilm for not giving directors enough creative freedom. I do think the fault lies at the studio's feet, but not for that specific reason. I think it's because they're giving directors too much freedom. Star Wars is a very specific universe - diverse, but still exacting, and this desire for the studio to allow each film to be unique while still fitting into the larger universe was bound to create conflicts. The studio can't have it both ways, and bringing in new directors and their hand-picked writing teams into the fold requires some serious ego-checking on both sides (studio and creative team). It's completely hypocritical what Lucasfilm is trying to do here. They tap a director and tell them and their most-trusted writers that they get to craft the next chapter in the Star Wars saga. Then, after the director/writers egos have been stroked, they deliver a script for Lucasfilm review, which is almost assuredly going to be met with some resistance/revision. Then the director/writers have to check their ego back at the door and understand they're just a cog in a giant machine that needs to keep moving to keep things from breaking down. For some directors/writers, that doesn't seem to have been a problem, but for others, it clearly is, and until that standoff occurs, there's no way for Lucasfilm to know who will be compliant and who will be stubborn.

Honestly, I think Lucasfilm/Kennedy need to hire a group of writers to compose scripts in the SW Universe, and then present those to directors to craft into movies. Giving freedom to the directors/writers and then snatching it away just before production needs to start is not the way to get these big budget, highly anticipated films made. They need to take a nod from WB and what they've done with HP, and either hire a "go-to" director or set of directors that have the singular mission to film the script generated by a staff of writers. I know the "artistes" out there will turn their back on these projects, but it's better to have a "company man/woman" on these projects than deal with these creative differences that continue to derail productions. At least this one came before they started shooting.

September 6, 2017, 9:16 AM

Easy. JJ Abrams.

September 6, 2017, 9:30 AM

Hey, I know a guy....

But seriously, Russell is spot on here (as usual, I know). This seems like an ongoing pattern of bait and switch here, even if unintended. Lucasfilm wants things its way and needs to accept that and demand it at hiring, not later in the production process.

Edited: September 6, 2017, 9:56 AM

Marvel has been doing the same thing, but the entries in the MCU are a bit more flexible in terms of look, styling, and story, and they're able to grant directors/writers a bit more freedom (Kevin Feige still has final say in all critical story points and "important" scenes necessary to propel the MCU storylines forward). However, they haven't been without creative differences either. Edgar Wright famously left Ant-Man just as production started, and Joss Whedon left Marvel (after helping to EP on a number of MCU projects following Avengers/Age of Ultron) vowing never to return, yet ironically is bailing out Zach Snyder on Justice League.

Hollywood is such a twisted web of incestuous executives and financiers with holier than thou creative types thinking they can change the status quo.

Edited: September 6, 2017, 10:50 AM

They played it safe with Episode 7 and even safer with Rogue One. Both are bland movies and female starred. They are completely different from the original movies in tone. The original trilogy was exciting and daring. The prequels were decent, but boring. The new movies are attempts at a new direction, but seemed to drag. They really can't go too far or they will contradict the canon. Firing their directors seems like an attempt to generate headlines and inject excitement into a corpse.

September 6, 2017, 10:56 AM

I am a movie nerd. I write this as I return from purchasing the Criterion blu-ray of Rebecca. I am not being snobbish, I just love all types of films from Howard's End to grindhouse trash. I believe directors need creative freedom in making art; however, there are times when there needs o be some cohension in story and tone to an overall series. The spin off Star Wars films may be able to take some creative freedom, but the main episodic entries have to have some overall consistency, so, unfortunately, the directors have to be able to work within those permaters. Sometimes studio involvement can ruin a franchise (20th Century Fox), but Disney has been pretty good stewards of their franchises over the last six or seven years. As far as creative control, they have a Troma director with penis jokes in a major Disney Marvel movie and a Star Wars film where everybody dies, so they are giving some control. We really don't know what is going on. Granted, I would love to see an R rated Quinten Tarantino Star Wars film about the bounty hunters from the Empire Strikes Back all killing each other to get the Han Solo bounty, but that will never happen. This may have been a good thing.

September 6, 2017, 11:18 AM

I could honestly see J.A. Boyana potentially being considered. It all depends on the next installment of Jurrasic World, but he is definetly a director to watch.

September 6, 2017, 2:21 PM

If Ryan Coogler could have Black Panther wrapped up in time, he'd be a good shout.

September 6, 2017, 3:35 PM

James Gunn, the director of both Guardians of the Galaxy movies.

September 12, 2017, 10:14 AM

Well, J.J. Abrams is back on board as writer-director. I'm kind of disappointed, to be honest. I liked his directing on Force Awakens, but like Jurassic World, the script was largely derivative of the original (which is par for the course for Abrams who ripped off Wrath of Khan for his second Star Trek movie).

Edited: September 12, 2017, 11:29 AM

@James - I don't think it was the ripping off of Khan that was the problem for Into Darkness, it was the fact that he danced around it in interviews until just before the movie released. Everyone knew Cumberbatch was Khan, but JJ simply wouldn't confirm it (maybe it was a Paramount decision), and he did the same thing with the Lost finale. I didn't have an issue with the script or creative decisions for Into Darkness (or The Force Awakens for that matter), it was the incessant dancing around the obvious in the press tours that was frustrating.

JJ is a very talented storyteller, and I think he'll do a fine job with Episode IX. I'm wondering though if perhaps Lucasfilm ran through their entire Rolodex and got "nope" from everyone and had to fallback to JJ or if he independently stepped forward and volunteered. That's the more interesting read here, which will probably not be known until they officially select a director for the Obi Wan spin-off movie and future projects. If they continue to turn to the same stable of writers/directors after long searches, it will be quite telling.

Edited: September 12, 2017, 6:07 PM

Why are we talking about Star Wars movies on a theme park website?

September 12, 2017, 9:43 PM

Because it beats talking about politics on a theme park website.

September 13, 2017, 6:09 AM

"Why are we talking about Star Wars movies on a theme park website?"

Because Disney is opening Galaxy's Edge in 2019 at two different theme parks that will be partially based upon the current Star Wars trilogy (TFA, TLJ, and IX).

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