In what possibly can be some real big news for the Star Wars saga, Deadline is reporting that Lucasfilm is close to making a deal with director Rian Johnson (Who wrote and directed the 2012 movie Looper) to write and direct Episodes VIII and IX. Here is the story from Deadline:
In a bombshell move, I’m told that Lucasfilm is making a deal with Looper writer-director Rian Johnson to write and direct Star Wars Episodes VIII and IX. Essentially, that means that the intention is for Johnson to take the baton from JJ Abrams, who has gotten the space franchise off the ground and is right now helming Episode VII. I don’t know too much more at this point, but it is in keeping with Disney and Lucasfilm’s strategy of entrusting the venerable franchise to the best and brightest writers and directors, including the spinoff films that are being directed by Chronicle‘s Josh Trank and Godzilla‘s Gareth Edwards.
Johnson will take over the core film franchise, and he’ll get started quickly and this will be his preoccupation for quite awhile. Technically, he’ll write that second treatment but the intention on both sides is that he direct the two installments. Joining him as producer will be Ram Bergman.
One of the big questions a lot of fans had regarding the new trilogy was whether or not J.J. Abrams would end up directing all three episodes, and if this reports ends up being true, it looks like that won’t be the case. Of course we still have to wait for an official announcement from Lucasfilm to confirm this story, and even though Deadline is a very reputable trade site, there’s a part of me that thinks Lucasfilm and J.J. Abrams will want to see how production goes with Episode VII to see if they both would agree for him to come back for the next two episodes. Time will tell, but it’s definitely more exciting Star Wars news to speculate on!