Lucasfilm reportedly has a director lined up for the Star Wars movie premiering in 2022, but it is not Rian Johnson. Though all eyes are currently on this December's The Rise of Skywalker, fans can't help but think about what's next for the iconic franchise. Despite the Skywalker saga coming to a close, Disney is planning on continuing to make new feature films, setting aside release dates in December of 2022, 2024, and 2026 for untitled Star Wars movies. The idea behind them (so it seems) is to finally move the property outside the confines of the classic saga and explore new horizons.
Unfortunately, Lucasfilm hasn't had the easiest time ironing out a new slate. It wasn't that long ago they had two separate trilogies lined up, one overseen by Johnson and another handled by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss. However, Benioff & Weiss' project was cancelled earlier this year, and Johnson still has no idea when his series will move forward (despite it being announced more than two years ago). Still, Disney doesn't want to give up a prime holiday release date, and a mysterious filmmaker is in tow to call the shots on whatever that 2022 movie is.
According to THR, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has an unnamed director onboard to helm the Star Wars movie scheduled for December 2022. Obviously, this means Johnson's next Star Wars film will not be ready for that date. THR notes an announcement about Star Wars' future could come in January 2020, after The Rise of Skywalker has opened.
With Benioff & Weiss' trilogy off the table and Kevin Feige's Star Wars movie not expected to take the 2022 slot, the general assumption was that the first installment in Johnson's trilogy would kick off a new era for the galaxy far, far away. Earlier this month, Johnson confirmed his discussions with Lucasfilm are ongoing, but there apparently remains plenty of work to be done. Johnson, of course, has kept himself busy with next week's critically acclaimed whodunnit Knives Out, so perhaps he hasn't had much time to really sit down and develop what his Star Wars trilogy is going to be about. This shouldn't be taken as proof Johnson's trilogy is cancelled, but it's probably further away than some fans might have hoped.
In the meantime, Kennedy's mystery director obviously made a notable impression if they're lined up for the 2022 film. It'll be interesting to see who that is and what kind of relationship they have with Lucasfilm. The studio's earned itself a notorious reputation for creative disputes, which has led to a number of filmmakers leaving. Ideally, this director will come in and be a stable presence helming arguably one of Star Wars' most important movies. When the franchise returns to the big screen in December 2022, it'll be the first new Star Wars movie in three years and (presumably) the first to be entirely separate from the Skywalker saga. That's a tall order, and odds are this won't be just a random spinoff a la Solo. Disney will want this to be a proper cinematic event, and hopefully it all goes smoothly.