The Star Wars saga that started in 1977 is about to complete its story with J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in December, and fans want to know what is the next chapter in a new Star Wars trilogy.
We also want the chance to scrutinize and pick apart any director Lucasfilm announces to be heading to a galaxy far, far away. And It looks like Lucasffilm President Kathleen Kennedy has a director in mind.
THR reports that Disney and Lucasfilm have a director lined up to helm their 2022 movie -- and it is not Rian Johnson. But Lucasfilm is waiting until January 2021 to announce who that filmmaker will be. (Not so coincidentally, Kennedy's contract with Lucasfilm is up in 2021. Whether she will still be in the job, or transitioning to an EP role and handing over the day-to-day of the company to someone else, remains to be seen.)
The obvious choices right now are: Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, and Victoria Mahoney. Also, Ava DuVernay has been a contender for some time and she did shoot some pick-ups and second unit for Abrams' The Rise of Skywalker. Our sources say Abrams has been pushing strongly for the Wrinkle In Time director to helm the next Star Wars movie. In fact, she was approached for Episode IX and walked away when she and Lucasfilm differed on how much leeway a filmmaker of her clout and vision expects to have on the creative direction of a project.
Favreau has been raking in the money with his recent Disney live-action remakes The Jungle Book and The Lion King. He was also in talks to direct The Force Awakens before Abrams came aboard. He also wrote nearly all of The Mandalorian as well. If Favreau were picked, it would be Lucasfilm leaning into a future that, while expected, delivers movies that are aimed at bolstering fan support in what can be expected to be in a "right-down-the-middle" fashion.
Filoni is a protege of George Lucas and shepherded The Clone Wars animated series. He's also a director on The Mandalorian and well respected within the fan community. While his animated show is very popular, he would be an interesting choice for live-action. He's certainly up to date on all the canon and would bring a Lucas-esque flair back into the stories -- for better or worse.
Victoria Mahoney directed her first feature film, 2011's Yelling to the Sky, starring Zoë Kravitz). Plus, she has an impressive roster of TV directing credits, which include Queen Sugar, Grey’s Anatomy, Power, Seven Seconds, Survivor’s Remorse, Claws, American Crime, andYou. She also served as second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker. Mahoney has considerable support around Hollywood and would be a landmark edition to these movies -- becoming the first female director to ever make a Star War.
If they wanted to move the franchise toward something unexpected and engaging, she would be the best bet here.
While Kathleen Kennedy has favored flashy names in the past, I think these three candidates embody what she wants: Stability. Especially given the turnover in directors in recent years. Chris Lord & Phil Miller were let go in the middle of production on Solo. Gareth Edwards was replaced during reshoots on Rogue One and was largely left out of the editing room, and Episode IX's original director -- Colin Trevorrow -- was let go by Kennedy for (among other reasons) "creative differences."
Star Wars thrived when only one or two movies came out with a long-ish gap between installments. Now that there's a mandate to sell the product, Disney was forced as many movies out, like Marvel.
Since the push is to stabilize and create intrinsic value around the movies and series, Disney seems like they're okay slowing down before they embark on the next journey. Especially with Bob Iger's recent remarks regarding an over-saturation of the franchise.
Any guesses as to who you think will helm the next series?
Let us know in the comments!