Lucasfilm recently met with Handmaid's Tale director Reed Morano to discuss a mystery project. The studio's flagship Star Wars franchise has made great strides the past handful of years in regard to diversity in front of the camera by casting the likes of Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, and Oscar Isaac in key roles. However, many fans have expressed a desire for Kathleen Kennedy to adapt a similar approach for her hirings behind the camera. All of their confirmed films to date are helmed by white men, and while the released movies have been well-received critically, there is an opportunity to give a variety of voices an opportunity to play in the galaxy far, far away.
One such possibility is Morano, who earned a Primetime Emmy this past year for her work on the Handmaid's Tale episode, "Offred." She's also set to make a splash at the Sundance Festival with the indie sci-fi drama I Think We're Alone Now, starring Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning. She seems poised for a major breakthrough, and perhaps Star Wars will be her launching pad into the next phase of her career.
In an interview with THR, Morano revealed she had a 2.5-hour meeting with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, which she described as "great." She didn't get into specifics, but this development is sure to raise a few eyebrows:
"I guess she was watching with her daughter and then called people and was like, 'Who's this Reed person?' She probably thought I was a guy because of my name. She's amazing. We're talking about adventure movies, and I'm not even remembering that she produced Goonies. Any movie that I put my finger on that I loved when I was growing up was a movie that she produced. Anyway, it was a great meeting. Obviously, I can't say anything about what else we were talking about."
As mentioned above, all of Lucasfilm's official titles currently have directors in place, so Morano would be helming a project yet to be announced. Last year, reports indicated the studio was looking to make Star Wars spinoffs centering around Obi-Wan Kenobi, Boba Fett, Yoda, and even Jabba the Hutt. While Stephen Daldry has been in talks to direct Obi-Wan, Morano could call the shots on any of the others if they come into fruition. Rian Johnson (who has called for diverse Star Wars directors) is also unsure he will make all three installments of his new trilogy, so perhaps Morano could collaborate with Lucasfilm there. Additionally, Disney is planning on making a live-action Star Wars television show for their streaming service, and given Morano's prowess on the small screen, she could be an ideal fit for that.
Of course, just because Lucasfilm had a meeting with someone doesn't mean that person will definitely add to the Star Wars legacy. It's no secret the studio has had a tough time with directors, having to part ways with up-and-comers like Josh Trank, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and Colin Trevorrow when creative differences got in the way. Right now, Kennedy seems to be more comfortable with established veterans such as Ron Howard and J.J. Abrams, but she rolled the dice on Rian Johnson (known for Looper and Breaking Bad at the time) and obviously loved that experience. If Star Wars is to thrive in the future, Kennedy is going to have to take some risks, and a new voice like Morano could be a strong addition to the franchise. As long as Kennedy worked out whatever kinks were in her hiring process and is confident Morano is best for the job, she should see what she can do.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019