Star Wars: Rian Johnson to write and direct VIII and IX?

News Ryan Lambie 20 Jun 2014 - 19:43
The Star Wars logo.

The director of Brick and Looper is said to be at the helm of Star Wars Episodes VIII and IX, sources suggest...

Well, this one came out of nowhere - particularly as we'd switched our brains to 'Friday Night Beer O'Clock' mode. We may not have seen a single frame of footage from JJ Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII yet, but reports are already circulating that Rian Johnson will be the writer and director of the main two films after that - the as-yet untitled Episode VIII and Episode IX.

Johnson, as you're probably aware, was the writer and director behind Brick, The Brothers Bloom and the 2012 science fiction film, Looper - both starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It could well be the latter film that, if the reports are true, secured Johnson the major gig of heading up the two big films in the Star Wars firmament. This means he'll be joining Godzilla's Gareth Edwards and Chronicle director Josh Trank, who are set to direct the two spin-off films which will go in between the main chapters.

None of this is confirmed as yet, though, but if it's true, we're likely to be hearing an official announcement soon. More as it comes in.

UPDATE: In the past few minutes, Rian Johnson posted a link to the following video on his Twitter feed. Could this be a cautious confirmation of his attachment to Star Wars?


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Excellent can't wait

Definite confirmation.

I have never seen any Star Wars movie, and it can sometimes feel like I know all about them already anyway due to there being so many references, parodies and pop culture nods to them. But with all the latest announcements about the great directors signing up for future SWU movies, I think I may have to watch the previous 6 movies to be sure to be up to speed when all these sequels and spin-offs, directed by people whose movies I have enjoyed to date, hit screens. I just don't know where to start. And can I get the original trilogy in unedited/unchanged form?

"the previous 6 movies"...?

I know they definitely made episodes IV, V, and VI and I think they planned at some point to make some "prequels" as they would have been called, but they never got around to it...

Probably for the best, as I'm not sure if prequels would have been all that interesting and George Lucas may have insisted on directing them himself.

Anyway, enjoy the three they did make and never think about or try to look up any others, as I can assure you that they definitely don't exist.

I am gonna commit blasphemy and say that for your introduction don't worry too much about the completely unedited originals. Just get your hands on a decent copy and dive in. If you are super keen then depending what region you are in I believe they are available, go hunting on amazon.

As for these 'prequels' I have heard rumours but nothing concrete. Although apparently were they to exist it was felt that they should be watched between 4 and 5. If they had ever been made I am sure there would be many forums dedicated to discussing the appropriate viewing order but we shall never know I guess....

I wanted JJ to stick with it. Everyone seems enthused to be working with him and he definitely gets the subject matter. If Johnson is on board I hope Lawrence Kasdan is still involved in the writing too. Not enthused by this, and I thought Looper was pretty average.


I agree it's not that important to get the unedited ones EXCEPT for Return of the Jedi where I think it really pays to avoid the additions... the cartoon song and dance thing at Jabba's palace pretty much ruins the whole atmosphere there.

There was, supposedly, a misguided project undertaken by a cabal of committed Star Wars detractors several years ago called, I am led to believe, 'Space Adventure 2000', which was apparently intended as a satirical parody of films typical in genre to the Star Wars Trilogy. It was, from what I have had recounted to me, eventually completed and exists, apparently, as a trilogy of sorts, however it is generally derided as a work by the Star Wars fan community and written off as a mere curio and an embarrassment. I am unsure where one would obtain a copy of Space Adventure 2000, Space Adventure 2000 2: Son of Space Adventure 2000, and Space Adventure 2000 3: The Revenge of Space Adventure 2000 and Space Adventure 2000 2: The Son of Space Adventure, were one so inclined, however, from the myriad accounts to which I myself have been privy, it is most likely as best avoided as a syphilitic member.

What's the difference between a tea bag and the England squad?
A tea bag stays in the cup longer.
Thanks, I'm here all week. Try the veal.
Meanwhile, this is fantastic news. I figured someone else would get a look in as they'd courted so many other directors. Shame Affleck is busy with DC movies as he's directing with a keen eye for a 70s vibe. Johnson however, is a sublime choice. His work is largely exceptional, and always well directed. I pity the fool that doesn't understand why Looper is among the finest of sci fi cinema has offered in recent years.

He also directed 3 episodes of Breaking Bad, including Ozymandias. That alone means I'll trust him with Star Wars.

"Brick, The Brothers Bloom and the 2012 science fiction film, Looper - both starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt" - what?

So ... Is Disney not happy with Abrams? Should we be worried? Or does he just have something else to do?


Haha that Right Stuff clip is a perfect response

Someone's made a flagrant error or two there. He appears in all three films, albeit a bar scene cameo in Brothers Bloom.

If Looper is anything to go by, this is terrible news

Good lord I think I had obliterated that from my memory. You are quite right it ruins the tone of the first act. I am not a huge ewok fan to be fair so the tone of Jedi is already fairly damaged in my mind.

Glad I am not the only one who thought looper was terrible

Are you from the outer rim never seen a Star Wars film what are you doing here at DoG

Should be called poohper

Rian Johnson has shown an increasingly rare ability to write strong original material. Looper and Brick are excellent films that are under appreciated. I am excited to get 2 Star Wars movies that have witty, intelligent dialogue.
I also would like to see characters have to actually go into space with space suits/helmets of some kind (just an aside).

The brothers Bloom was so good what a under-rated and forgotten movie

Perhaps they're simply copying the tactic of having a different director for each film from the OT? If that's the case it's a good sign IMO. This whole new trilogy is looking and sounding better and better with each announcement. I'm trying not to get too excited cos I've been hurt before (PREQUELS) but it's hard not to at this stage!

I really don't want one person to do more than one Star Wars movie. Each film needs to have a different director in order to fit the story and arc of that episode.

yes, i would totally be fine with him writing and directing these movies.

Looper was a bad movie. "Let's spend 3hrs on a farm because we don't know what to do and the ending will mess everything up".
So let's give the guy who ducked up looper episode "whatever it is it won't be original trilogy material."

Looper is terrible had far too many inconsistancies - the man hadn't looked at what physics has to say about time travel at all! wlthought it was beautiflly directed and wonderfully shot ill give him that

To be fair and to be honest, I actually thought the first half was really good: decent, imaginative premise and a really good, suspenseful build-up. Then just when we think we're about to get some decent b-movie action with Old Bruce Willis vs Young Bruce Willis, instead we get some stupid psychic kid plot twist and lots of sitting around on a farm with some miserable cow complaining about her life. To top it all, the only reason to have the stupid psychic kid plot twist was to have a CGI packed effects-finale. And why care about the kid? There was nothing likeable about him - just creepy. That film was a huge let down. I hear Brick was better and wouldn't mind checking it out, mainly to see if it gives me more hope for the future of Star Wars.

I recently picked up the trilogy 2 disc DVDs (with the bonus disc with the unedited/unfettered versions) from Amazon UK and not too expensive either. Had to buy individually though - could not find the box set. The latter versions are painful to watch for the childish digital creatures and cheap laughs created with them. Unfortunately Star Wars starts as a semi-serious homage to the cinematic serials of yesteryear, and gradually becomes a glorified Muppet Show.

As for these three mysterious prequels of which you speak, I suspect someone was playing some Jedi mind tricks on you. They really don't exist.

I've seen none of this guys movies or TV shows. None of them appeal to me. So I am definitely not going to be doing any backflips over his SW movies until I see a preview that gets me interested. I think Lucas and Kennedy will still have input so that is somewhat reassuring.

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