Who Will Direct Star Wars: Episode IX?


By Heath McKnight (doddleNEWS)

It was just last night we heard the huge news that yet another director has ‘parted ways’ from a Star Wars movie, in this case Episode IX’s Colin Trevorrow had exited the picture. While I’m sure we’ll hear more reports about what really happened, the big question is, who will take over as helmer?

If rumors and sources are to be believed, Lucasfilm was growing exasperated with the way the Star Wars: Episode IX script was going, and brought in a new writer to fix it. Combine it with Trevorrow’s critically panned June 2017 film, The Book Of Henry, crashing at the box office, and Kathleen Kennedy was ready to move on. But who could be the director?

JJ Abrams Star Wars
JJ Abrams on the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit and Deadline (via Screen Rant) says Lucasfilm is working on a deal for either Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ JJ Abrams or Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s Rian Johnson to take on Episode IX. JJ doesn’t have much on his plate outside of producing Mission: Impossible VI (which is on pause for a bit due to Tom Cruise injuring himself during a stunt) and some TV shows, so he’d probably be the best bet to take on the film. He was rumored as director back in 2015 before Trevorrow was announced, but I wonder if he’ll jump in?

Rian Johnson and Carrie Fisher on the set of Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Rian Johnson and Carrie Fisher on the set of Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Rian Johnson is another good option, especially with his work on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which opens December 15. But will he be willing to jump into another massive movie right after wrapping Episode VIII?

Frank Darabont

A friend of mine suggested Frank Darabont (The Green Mile, The Walking Dead season 1), which is an inspired choice. I think he’d be the kind of directing vet Lucasfilm and Disney would be interested in, especially in wake of Ron Howard taking over directing the untitled Han Solo Star Wars spinoff movie.

Kathryn Bigelow
Kathryn Bigelow

ComicBook.com has their own list, and one great choice would be Kathryn Bigelow, who has just the directing experience to handle taking over the film. Her Detroit film opened this summer to rave reviews, and as yet, there isn’t anything solid on her schedule, leaving her to be able to jump into the movie. (Patty Jenkins is too busy with Wonder Woman 2 to take over Star Wars: Episode IX).

No matter who directs it, I wonder if the May 19, 2019 release date could get bumped to December so the script can be worked on. I expect an official announcement soon on a Star Wars: Episode IX replacement director.

About Heath McKnight 18 Articles
Former Editor-in-Chief and Writer at doddleNEWS, from April 2012 to December 2017. Heath helped grow doddleNEWS into an industry-leading filmmaking news, reviews, and education site. He's been a news editor and writer for over 15 years, and a producer/director/editor in film and video for over 24 years. He's written for TopTenREVIEWS, Digital Media Net, Videomaker, MovieMaker, MacWorld, and other sites and magazines.

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