Star Wars: Episode IX needs a new director.
Lucasfilm has announced that Jurassic World filmmaker Colin Trevorrow is leaving the project.
Here’s the company’s statement:
“Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow have mutually chosen to part ways on Star Wars: Episode IX. Colin has been a wonderful collaborator throughout the development process but we have all come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ. We wish Colin the best and will be sharing more information about the film soon.”
Playwright Jack Thorne, best known for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, was recently hired to do a comprehensive rewrite of the Episode IX script by Trevorrow and his Safety Not Guaranteed co-screenwriter Derek Connolly.
While the nature of the disagreement with Lucasfilm isn’t clear, there have been rumblings of discontent for several months. During that time, Trevorrow also suffered withering reviews for his passion project, The Book of Henry, which was a critical and commercial calamity.
Although Lucasfilm’s new movies have found immense success at the box office and with audiences and critics, the process of working with directors on the new saga and spin-offs has occasionally been fraught.
Chronicle filmmaker Josh Trank was set to direct an unspecified stand-alone movie (believed to be a Boba Fett project) before parting ways amid chaos on the recent Fantastic Four movie. And The LEGO Movie directors Phil Miller and Chris Lord were removed from the young Han Solo film and replaced with veteran Ron Howard amid disputes over the state of that project.
While there were reshoots on the spin-off Rogue One, director Gareth Edwards remained on the project through completion.
Rian Johnson has had no such turmoil during the making of The Last Jedi, which hits theaters in December. And J.J. Abrams had a similarly smooth process reigniting the franchise with 2015’s The Force Awakens.
Depending on the turnaround necessary for a filmmaker to begin the 2019 Episode IX, either Johnson or Abrams, who has no pending directorial commitments, seem like possible fan favorites to bring the trilogy to a close.
Right now, the search is on.