Colin Trevorrow has opened up about the 'personal loss' of leaving Star Wars: Episode IX. If would be fair to say Lucasfilm has had some director issues since embarking on a new series of Star Wars movies. Tony Gilroy was brought on to oversee extensive reshoots and re-editing on Gareth Edwards' Rogue One, which resulted in the film changing dramatically. Then Phil Lord & Chris Miller were fired from Solo: A Star Wars Story in June 2017 after having nearly completed filming. A clash between them and Lucasfilm over the movie's tone was the main issue, and Ron Howard was brought on to reshoot around 70% of the project.
Finally, Colin Trevorrow was removed from Star Wars: Episode IX in September 2017, with creative differences being cited. It's since been reported Lucasfilm was unhappy with Trevorrow's first draft and decided to bring back J.J. Abrams (The Force Awakens) to close out the new trilogy. Other reports suggested the critical reaction to Trevorrow's maligned drama The Book Of Henry may have played a part in the filmmaker being replaced.
Having directed Jurassic World, Trevorrow is now doing publicly rounds for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, an entry he co-wrote and exec produced. During a conversation with Uproxx, Trevorrow spoke about losing Star Wars IX, and if the reaction to The Book Of Henry had anything to do with it.
You know, I don’t know. I mean, I can’t really speculate on it. I’ll tell you that the reaction to Book of Henry was far more damaging than the actual movie. And I don’t mean specifically at Lucasfilm. I mean, that was a very acidic situation. And, look, every director who has worked in Lucasfilm put their heart and soul into the job and they left it all on the field, and the bottom line here is that sometimes creative people can’t find a shared path through the woods.
Trevorrow is friendly with some of the other filmmakers who've lost out on Star Wars movies, and also spoke of how personal the loss of being dropped was for them.
I know all of them. These are friends of mine and I was very close to them through all of their experiences. And Star Wars is a very personal thing to all of them, to a lot of people, and there are some people out there – and I know folks might think we’re crazy – but people like me, who actually believe that there is an all-powerful force that binds the galaxy together. And when you’re one of those people, you’re dealing with your belief system, you’re not just dealing with a movie. And so, yeah, that is a very personal loss.
Trevorrow has gone from directing Jurassic World – a movie that grossed 1.6 billion in 2015 – to weathering a few years of career turbulence. His future is looking a little brighter though; Fallen Kingdom is receiving good early reviews, and he's returning to direct Jurassic World 3. Star Wars IX is likely a topic that will follow the filmmaker around for a while, especially when the film itself arrives in 2019.
Trevorrow's 'acidic' comment does raise a few eyebrows and suggests his time developing Star Wars: Episode IX with Lucasfilm wasn't a happy one. The high turnover of directors on their Star Wars projects in the last couple of years suggests the company has had a hard time deciding on a creative direction for the series, and the box office disappointment of Solo: A Star Wars Story will likely lead to some shakeups on the franchise following the release of Star Wars IX.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019