Friday, June 20, 2014

Rian Johnson to Write and Direct STAR WARS EPISODE VIII

Hands up who saw this one coming...Yeah, I thought so.

Deadline is reporting that Lucasfilm is making a deal with writer-director Rian Johnson to write and direct Star Wars Episode VIII and write the treatment for Episode IX.  The 40-year-old director is best known as the writer and director of the 2012 time-travel film Looper that starred Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but also wrote and directed the films Brick and The Brothers Bloom in addition to a few episodes of the AMC TV series Breaking Bad.

Johnson takes over from Episode VII director J.J. Abrams, furthering the speculation that Episode VII will be a generational transition film that gives Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo a proper sendoff before continuing on with their children.  The film stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong'o, Gwendoline Christie and Max von Sydow, who will join original stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker.

The news of Johnson as the next Star Wars director comes on announcements that Chronicle and Fantastic Four reboot director Josh Trank and Godzilla (2014) director Gareth Edwards will be helming Star Wars spinoff films of unnamed characters.

Star Wars Episode VII is currently expected to arrive in theaters on December 18, 2015, with Episode VIII probably in 2018.

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