Rian Johnson to direct Episode VIII? (updated)

Although this is rumour, it comes from Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline: Rian Johnson, the writer/director of Looper, is currently in talks to write and direct Episode VIII at the very least, with the film being produced by Ram Bergman (Looper, Don Jon).

That’s where Variety’s claims now end, but The Hollywood Reporter is currently claiming that Johnson will also write the treatment for Episode IX. Deadline further claims that Johnson will write and direct Episode IX as well, but The Hollywood Reporter disputes this. My guess? If Kathleen Kennedy, Lucasfilm and Disney like what he’s doing on VIII, they’ll get him to write/direct from his own treatment on IX.

This is kind of monumental. We’re basically now hearing about films being released into 2018: in 2015 we’ll get Episode VII, directed by J.J. Abrams and written by Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams; in 2016  we’ll get a standalone film directed by Gareth Edwards and written by Gary Whitta; in 2017 we’ll get Episode VIII, written and directed by Rian Johnson; and in 2018 we’ll get a standalone film directed by Josh Trank.

As for allusions to the announcement, Johnson tweeted this yesterday:

Bergman’s brother tweeted this:

This is the first really “outside the box” choice for directors of the new Star Wars movies. Edwards directed the big-budget Godzilla and Trank is currently directing the Fantastic Four reboot, whereas Johnson has had no such experience. Interesting times are ahead…

UPDATE: Johnson’s spokesperson has confirmed that he will write and direct Episode VIII and write a treatment for Episode IX.

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