While there is still some time to go before the Rian Johnson directed Star Wars: The Last Jedi will hit theaters on December 15th, but, we see its sequel getting into deeper troubles. The director of blockbuster Jurassic World, Colin Trevorrow has left the project. This news hits us a month after the news about Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) joining the project to redo the script earlier done by Trevorrow and his co-writer Derek Connolly.
The announcement about Trevorrow directing the new project was made two years ago, shortly after his Jurassic World hit gold on the box-office. The film made over 1.6 billion $ globally, but, his next directorial venture The Book of Henry fell flat at the box-office and received massive criticism as well. The present schedule had Episode IX to begin filming sometime in January 2018, but, this new development might just push that back a bit.
Things at Lucasfilm’s creative department are messy right now. Rogue One faced lengthy reshoots before its release, and then we saw producer Kathleen Kennedy taking the unprecedented step of chucking out the director duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller from the Han Solo movie when barely a couple of weeks of shooting were left. Ron Howard has been roped in to wrap up the project, but, this late stage change made us wonder as to how things progressed that far if the directors and producer had such huge bandwidth gaps.
It was well known that those two are adept at making audience friendly yet absurd movies such as The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street. Thus, the creative difference of vision couldn’t have been surprising.
However, the incident of Han Solo project could have influenced this change of guard at Episode IX project. The Skywalker legend forms the core framework of Star Wars franchise, and you can’t just imagine any stand alone movies being created without Luke, Leia, Han, Rey, Finn, and Poe. Therefore, if any solo film related to these characters faces financial debacle, then that’s the kind of risk that neither Lucasfilm nor Disney would be willing to take. Now, it becomes apparent that the two companies will be cautious and conservative with these projects. While Johnson did well and managed The Last Jedi without any troubles if we look at it from the viewpoint of Disney and Lucasfilm, we are not sure whether he will be asked to take over Episode IX or a new director will step in to take charge of the ambitious project.