Disney released a statement today saying that Colin Trevorrow has left the production of Star Wars: Episode IX. As is its wont, the internet immediately started serving up replacement names. As is also its wont, the internet immediately started tagging its replacement choices on social media. That always fascinates me. You think Ava DuVernay was eating lunch, or in an edit bay, and was suddenly alarmed to see her notifications going haywire? I hope Twitter's quality filter held strong today, for Ava’s sake.
Anyway, everyone’s got an opinion on who should take over Episode IX. We are no different! Below we’ve collected the likely candidates. And we have unconfirmed word that one of these names is in fact in being talked with about the gig. Who's it gonna be? Place your bets!
(Legal has informed me I need to tell you to NOT actually place any bets. BMD is not a gambling site. If you or someone you know has a problem, please contact 1-800-GAMBLER.)
JJ Abrams. Could the man who kicked off the successful relaunch of the franchise be the man to bring it home? Though he tends to settle into a producer role on the franchises he takes over, he has been known to return to direct a second entry. The bad news is that entry was Star Trek Into Darkness.
Ryan Coogler. Today’s a good day to wonder how well Coogler is handling his transition from Fruitvale Station and Creed to the VFX world-building of Black Panther, and how well he’s getting on with Disney brass on that feature. We could say the same of anyone working in the Marvel stable (I’d say Peyton Reed, but he’s my secret dream director for Bond 25, so I'm saving him for that), but Coogler going from Marvel to Star Wars has a certain...narrative arc to it, don’t you think?
Ava DuVernay. This is the popular choice in my Twitter feed. She’s got the dramatic chops that will no doubt be needed for this saga’s conclusion. And she’s spent this year navigating the sci-fi VFX logistics on A Wrinkle In Time. What are the odds that film has now turned into a warm-up gig for a job set in a galaxy far, far away?
Kathryn Bigelow. The director of Detroit could use a hit right about now. And correct us if we're wrong, but it sounds like Lucasfilm could use a competent veteran director right about now. But does she need a hit badly enough to lighten up for some space opera? Her name is often bandied about for franchise gigs, and she's avoided them so far.
Ron Howard. What if Howard found he had the time of his life batting cleanup on the Han Solo film and decided to settle into a late-period role as Lucasfilm’s kindly old grandpa? We could totally see it.
Rian Johnson. We’ve heard tell that Johnson, last seen putting the finishing touches on The Last Jedi, was closely involved with the story of Episode IX, even going so far as to film a scene for the film’s then-director. Would he do it? You tell us...
I would do another SW movie in a heartbeat. I've had the time of my life.— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) July 20, 2017