Rian Johnson To Write and Direct ‘Star Wars Episode VIII’

By June 20, 2014
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WOW! Deadline just gave me the best news of the year so far: they’re reporting that Rian Johnson (Looper) will write and direct Star Wars: Episode VIII, the next film in the trilogy that will begin with JJ Abrams’ Episode VII. The Wrap adds that Johnson will also write the treatment for Star Wars Episode IX, but they say he won’t direct that film.

Johnson is my favorite working director right now, who blew me away with his high school film noir Brick in 2005, his con man movie The Brothers Bloom in 2008, and his time travel sci-fi thriller Looper in 2012. He also directed an episode of the short-lived-but-awesome TV series “Terriers,” and two of the most iconic episodes of “Breaking Bad” in that series’ history: “Fly” and “Ozymandias,” the latter of which I think happens to be one of the best episodes of television of all time. I’ve been anxiously awaiting the announcement of what he’d do following Looper, but this news completely blows my mind.

Star Wars logo 2

Johnson has been extremely in-demand when it comes to studio blockbusters, and I know he’s fielded a bunch of offers for big projects before, but it looks like he was holding out for the biggest gig of his career. Writing and directing the next Star Wars movie? I want to sprint around and high five all of you right now. Yes, of course I would have liked to see what Johnson came up with on his own, since all of his original work so far has been stunningly good. But the fact that he’s the guy Lucasfilm has chosen to take control of this franchise makes me incredibly excited about the future of this trilogy, and I have blind faith that Johnson will create something breathtaking to round out this story. This hasn’t been officially confirmed by StarWars.com yet, but I expect this is very real, especially considering Johnson tweeted the following video:

Are you a fan of Johnson’s work? Excited to see him take on Star Wars?

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at ScreenRant.com, FirstShowing.net, MySpace.com, GeekTyrant.com, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.