Disney and LucasFilm have sent out quite a stir today, announcing that Star Wars: Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) has bowed out of the film due to the old standard, creative differences. LucasFilm released the following 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.
This news looks all too familiar and reminiscent of when Phil Lord and Chris Miller exited out of directing the Han Solo movie in favor of Ron Howard. Creative differences are looking to be quite a pattern with LucasFilm, as this news is added to the pile of directors who have already booked and lost Star Wars directing opportunities — a little known fact is that Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Legacy) did a lot of polishing and clean-up on Rogue One after director Gareth Edwards finished filming.
The common denominator in all of this is LucasFilm President Kathleen Kennedy who is the final go-ahead on all Star Wars film and creative decisions. Much like the way Marvel’s Kevin Feige has kept in line with a specific vision for the MCU films as a whole, so has Kennedy attempted to keep a tight lid on the future of Star Wars.
In doing so, it looks like Trevorrow is out for good after issues with the script have plagued the film’s recent development. On top of the shortlist to replace him, according to Deadline, is The Force Awakens director Rian Johnson. When Johnson first came on board to direct Episode VIII, it was with the intention of him directing two films in the franchise. With Trevorrow on the outs, this provides ample opportunity for Johnson, who has already provided the studio with a fan, critic, and box office success.
If anything is clear from this mess, and the antics that have plagued other major film universes like Marvel and DC, it is that our major Hollywood franchises are in the middle of a kerfuffle in taking chances and risks with new directors.