Disney and Lucasfilm are reportedly done taking risks when it comes to hiring directors for Star Wars and will stick with proven talent. After The Force Awakens successfully relaunched the franchise, production woes and fan reactions have divided the once untouchable IP. It all came to a head last year when Solo: A Star Wars Story fired its directors and Episode 9 lost Colin Trevorrow. Neither of these cases were the first signs of trouble either, as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story all but replaced director Gareth Edwards during the reshoot and final editing process.
In each instance, Lucasfilm made a very conscious decision to move forward with people they fully trust. Tony Gilroy stepped in on Rogue One; Ron Howard took over and reshot most of Solo; and now J.J. Abrams is returning to close out the trilogy he began. Even when it came to hirings for the future, they got big but familiar names - some of whom may not see their projects through with reports of Lucasfilm putting spinoffs on hold.
In Star Wars News Net's coverage on the future of the spinoffs, they dropped a few more details on the future of Star Wars. Disney apparently refused to delay Solo because of the troubles it had, and they're looking to clean up their process moving forward. In order to do just that, SWNN reports Disney and Lucasfilm are done hiring new, rising directors and will instead focus on bringing in "proven veteran talent who they know can handle a big budget Star Wars production."
This could be disappointing news for the future of Star Wars depending on what makes someone a "proven veteran" in the eyes of Lucasfilm and Disney. Phil Lord and Chris Miller handled four films prior to tackling Solo, including two very successful Jump Street films. Edwards helmed Godzilla for WB, which was a fairly big production in its own right with a reported $160 million budget. Trevorrow was fresh off of Jurassic World's record-setting success and called Lucasfilm acidic after leaving. All four are still up and comers in the industry, but they were all successful prior to Star Wars in a variety of projects - so maybe they weren't the issue.
It is understandable why Disney and Lucasfilm may have this mindset considering the production issues each of them encountered, but Rian Johnson is also a rising talent, though he's been around longer, and he made The Last Jedi a massive box office hit - and they gave him a trilogy all his own. Making this possible mindset even more confusing is how Disney's Marvel Studios has had years of success doing what Lucasfilm reportedly will no longer do. Names like Taika Waititi, Ryan Coogler, Jon Watts, James Gunn, and Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck all offer unique, new, and diverse voices - something many are requesting when it comes to Star Wars. Based on this report, though, pre-blockbuster directors like those names were won't be in consideration anymore.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019