UPDATE: The original article reported on a rumor that Rian Johnson was stepping away from his Star Wars trilogy. The director himself has confirmed this isn't true.
UPDATE: Johnson confirmed his involvement with Star Wars at CinemaCon.
The Last Jedi was the middle entry in Disney's Star Wars sequel trilogy, which will conclude this year with Star Wars: Episode IX, directed by The Force Awakens' J.J. Abrams. Johnson's film focused on Rey's efforts to train as a Jedi with the legendary Luke Skywalker (who was reluctant to say the least), while the rest of the Resistance continued their fight against the First Order. The movie was a success with critics and grossed more than $1.32 billion, but also sparked a fiery backlash among some Star Wars fans, with Johnson himself becoming a focal point for the hate.
It was reported late on February 13 by SuperBroMovies that "according to multiple sources," Johnson has ceased development on his trilogy of Star Wars movies that was first announced in November 2017. According to this report, it was Johnson's decision to part ways with the mammoth sci-fi franchise, so that he could focus instead on other projects, like his upcoming movie Knives Out.
This was swiftly disputed by Making Star Wars, who stated "I spoke to several of my sources and it would be news to them if anything had changed at all. Some laughed. All said nothing has changed and all announced films are going forward as planned."
Finally, Johnson took to Twitter to outright debunk the rumor, saying he was still working on his trilogy.
No it isn’t true, I’m still working on the trilogy. With all due respect to the movie bros, who I’m sure are lovely kind bros with good fraternal intentions.— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) February 14, 2019
Rian Johnson says after CinemaCon he has to get back to a galaxy far, far away.....— Rob Keyes (@rob_keyes) April 4, 2019
The rumor was understandable given the sustained harassment Johnson's received on social media since The Last Jedi's release. The director routinely receives multiple angry or spam responses every time he posts a tweet, (regardless of whether or not it's Star Wars related) accusing him of ruining the franchise, and there's an entire YouTube cottage industry of videos hating on both Johnson and The Last Jedi.
The content of Johnson's trilogy is, like most things Star Wars, a heavily-guarded secret, so we don't know exactly what kind of story the director is planning to tell - or when it will release. Disney CEO Bob Iger has said that, in the wake of Solo: A Star Wars Story's disappointing box office, he regrets pushing to release a new Star Wars movie every year, and that fans should expect "some slowdown" in the years to come.
We'll bring you more updates on this rumor as they become available.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019