‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ Hires Rian Johnson to Write and Direct, Will Be Involved with ‘IX’

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Rian Johnson, director of Brick, The Brothers Bloomand Looper, is your Star Wars:Episode VIIIdirector. Currently there are conflicting reports about his involvement in the final film in the new trilogy, but he will at least be involved to write a treatment for Episode IX.

And our response to this is that it’s expletive-worthy good news. Johnson is batting three for three, and in some ways better this than a superhero movie. If he was to continue his independence he was going to have to take on something from a franchise, and if he gets to steer the ship then, well, more power to him. Whether he’ll get to bring on collaborators like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Noah Segan and composer Nathan Johnson is unknown, but possible.

Reports are early, so his involvement with the ninth film may be that he has first right of refusal, but his scripting flies in the face of original reports which suggested that Simon Kinberg and Lawrence Kasdan were writing the follow ups to J.J. AbramsStar Wars: Episode VII. But this also ties into the fact that original screenwriter Michael Arndt’s work was scrapped, and it’s possible that Johnson has a much better idea for the middle chapter. Since The Empire Strikes Backnot only wrote the template for the middle chapter of a trilogy that goes darker and expands character, and is also considered one of the greatest films of all time, this is a pretty mighty task. Strangely enough, if any man gives us confidence of the job they’ll do, it’s Johnson.

It’s unknown if Disney will stick to Winter release dates, but this is likely to hit theaters either in May or December of 2017.