Joss Whedon is riding pretty high after delivering two blockbuster film hits for Marvel in the form of Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, plus bringing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to ABC. While he’s stepping down from his Marvel obligations, Get Your Geek On podcast (via MoviePilot) revealed a rumor that he’ll be helming Star Wars: Episode IX.
Considering how Age of Ultron nearly crushed Whedon during production (along with his three-year contract with Marvel), I’m not sure if he’s ready to go ahead and take on the conclusion of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. He’s also stated that he wants to do some more original projects before doing another franchise, so I’m going to suggest taking this rumor with a grain of salt.
There are other considerations to take into account, such as the widely reported rumor that Disney wants JJ Abrams back for Star Wars: Episode IX. Another consideration is that Whedon tends to write his own screenplays and with Rian Johnson writing and directing Episode VIII, while working on the screenplay for Star Wars: Episode IX, it seems like Disney already has the sequel trilogy films covered.
Even so, I’m hesitant to report Whedon directing Star Wars: Episode IX as a fully bogus rumor, since the timing is a bit coincidental with a departing Josh Trank from the second Star Wars Anthology film, which is all but confirmed to be a Boba Fett solo film. Whedon is a huge fan of both Han Solo and Boba Fett, making analogs of them in his television series Firefly, and just recently confirmed that he would love to direct a Star Wars film, so could this be what’s in store? (Plus, fans want Boba Fett co-creator Joe Johnston to helm it, something he alluded to a few years back.)
Personally, I think Whedon could do far more good by giving him carte blanche with a Star Wars Anthology film than a sequel like Star Wars: Episode IX, or anything currently in active development. Another possibility is tapping Whedon to create a television series set in the Star Wars universe; he already has some experience in television space-operas with Firefly.
One thing I would like to see Lucasfilm tackle is the 30-year gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. There’s probably an incredible amount of material that he could cover during that time, which so far, no one is really touching all that much.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens December 18, 2015, Star Wars: Rogue One opens December 16, 2016, and Star Wars: Episode VIII opens May 26, 2017. Star Wars: Episode IX could open sometime in 2019.