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Another disturbance in…the director’s chair! I a brief statement Lucasfilm announced that director Colin Trevorrow will not be directing Star Wars Episode IX after all.

“Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow have mutually chosen to part ways on ‘Star Wars: Episode IX,’” Disney said in a statement. “Colin has been a wonderful collaborator throughout the development process but we have all come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ. We wish Colin the best and will be sharing more information about the film soon.”

The move is the latest in a thread that resembles the admirals trying to keep Darth Vader happy in Empire Strikes Back..one by one, they fall unconscious to the cutting room floor, only it seems that long time producer Kathleen Kennedy is the one doing the squeezing.

First came the extensive reshoots on Rogue One when director Gareth Edwards was discovered to have secretly directed a grim war movie where everyone dies as opposed to a buoyant Star Wars pic.

The Han Solo movie lost its directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The Lego Movie) when they were caught allowing actors to adlib instead of using dialog from Lawrence Kasdan’s script.

Industry veteran Ron Howard, presumably someone who knows how to shoot from a script, stepped in to finish the film, adding characters and doing god knows what else to salvage the project.

UPDATE: Oops I forgot Josh Trank, whose bad behavior (letting his dog wreck his rental home) on the set of a Fantastic Four movie did not meet Star Wars/Disney standards.

And now Trevorrow, who was announced in 2015 as the director, and made Jurassic World, which was a hit, and The Book of Henry, which wasn’t.

Reading between the lines, it seems Kennedy and Disney are turning to old reliables who have made movies to move forward with The Most Important Franchise In Film History, as opposed to one hit wonders who come cheap, the most common practice in Hollywood.

The announcement that an Obi-Wan standalone movie was trying to lure Stephen Daldry to direct reveals the, er, direction they are going in.  Daldry is a sedate man of middle years who has made films like The Hours,  Billy Elliot, The Reader and so on. In other words, the guy is a proven tasteful filmmaker, not some hot shot with a snazzy reel.

I can’t say that I’m crying over this. Trevorrow and Edwards made schlocky genre franchise movies.  Looper was an actual good movie, so one guesses that Rian Johnson managed to survive the trial by Vader.

8 COMMENTS

  1. I really, really, really disliked “The Force Awakens” and “Rogue One” (blatant pandering and fan service to nostalgic Gen Xers), so Disney has lost this once rabid Star Wars fan.

  2. Trevorrow also made Safety Not Gauranteed, one of the best movies of the decade.

    Kennedy is just looking for yes-men who will do whatever the studio wants. These movies are boring and nothing but fan-service anyway.

  3. Counterpoint: I thought Safety Not Guaranteed was very bad…very bad indeed. I’m hoping they just keep Rian Johnson on for the next film at this point, as per the rumors going about last night.

  4. I’m guessing – without anything to back it up – that the differences in ‘vision’ were more Kennedy and LucasFilm taking a hard look, months out from the shooting date, at what Trevorrow was bringing to the table, and not liking what they were seeing. I can’t see Trevorrow being at loggerheads with the owners of a billion dollar franchise and studio tentpole and not trying his utmost to be the guy that pleases them.

    Kennedy must be cleaning the stables out of hack talent and turning her gaze to robust professionalism. The flash and bang can be provided by the FX guys and the second unit, if the main feature is barely above average it’ll all be for naught.

  5. I wonder if Lucasfilm, in the person of Kathleen Kennedy, is now exerting the sort of control that ran Joss Whedon and Edgar Wright away from the Marvel cinematic universe.

    I thought Safety Not Guaranteed was OK as lightweight entertainment, mainly because of Aubrey Plaza’s performance. But I’ve had no desire for a second viewing. Can’t say it’s one of the best films of the decade. It was fluff.

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