Rian Johnson says he may be able to direct another original movie before his new Star Wars trilogy moves forward. In November 2017, one month prior to Johnson's The Last Jedi hitting theaters, Lucasfilm officially announced Johnson would oversee a new Star Wars film trilogy, which would be completely separate from the ongoing Skywalker saga. The idea was Johnson would write and direct at least the first installment. Several months later, Lucasfilm revealed there would be another new Star Wars trilogy, this one from Game of Thrones' David Benioff & D.B. Weiss.
Once The Rise of Skywalker premieres this December, Disney will put the Star Wars movies on hiatus for a while. They've set aside Star Wars release dates for December 2022, 2024, and 2026, with the first Benioff & Weiss film expected to be first out of the gate. This has raised questions about when Johnson's trilogy will see the light of day (or if it's still happening), and it might still be a ways off.
Speaking with Evening Standard while promoting his upcoming murder-mystery Knives Out, Johnson was asked about his future in Star Wars. According to the director, Lucasfilm is still in the process of figuring their slate out:
“The truth is they’re still figuring out their schedule, their game plan, so if it’s possible for me to squeeze in another film before or while working on that, I will.”
Knives Out is obviously a much smaller production than a Star Wars film, quickly coming together last fall and completed in time for this year's Toronto International Film Festival. Conceivably, Johnson would have the time to tackle another film of that scale, especially since his next Star Wars movie can't premiere until 2024 at the earliest. However, there are some other factors to consider. Johnson has said he wants to map out the full arc of his new trilogy before production begins, which would be a large undertaking. He's still in the process of figuring out what the narrative will be (the trilogy was green lit without a story), so it's unknown how long that will take. Whether Johnson takes on another original film or not will likely depend on how far along he is with Star Wars writing and when Lucasfilm wants his trilogy's first film to debut. Perhaps they'll let Benioff & Weiss' series play out from 2022-2026 before transitioning to Johnson's. That seems crazy at first glance, but the three are working together to plan out a decade's worth of Star Wars content.
The prospect of more Star Wars films from Johnson is an exciting one (depending on who you ask, of course), but it would be nice if he was able to squeeze another original film in. Prior to The Last Jedi, Johnson made a name for himself crafting unique takes on well-versed concepts like film noir (Brick) and time travel (Looper). He seems to have pulled that trick off again with a fresh spin on an Agatha Christie-inspired whodunnit that received raves out of Toronto, and Knives Out could be one of the breakout hits of the fall. Johnson will surely be bold and innovative with Star Wars, but cinephiles would surely be game for another Knives Out.
Source: Evening Standard
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019