→ There was some scuttlebutt about how Oscar Isaac said he would be excited to work with Episode VIII director Rian Johnson, and (of course) the internet jumped on that as proof his character survives Episode VII. Now, I’d be very surprised if Poe Dameron kicks it that early, seeing as we suspect – with very heavy assistance from the trailer – that he’s one of the new Big 3. But for what it’s worth, /Film sought a clarification from him, and there’s your lesson in making hay out of Star Wars news for the week.
StarWars.com confirms that the first standlone film will be called Rogue One.
Starring Felicity Jones, directed by Gareth Edwards and written by Chris Weitz, the story is based on an idea from John Knoll, who’s one of the executive producers. The film will shoot in London this summer and is due out December 16, 2016.
They’ve also (finally!) confirmed that Rian Johnson is writing and directing Episode VIII, which is set for May 26, 2017. A RETURN TO MAY!
Much of the personnel here we’ve already heard about, but the title Rogue One is our first detail that really points to what kind of film this will be. A female X-wing pilot? Bring it on.
When I heard that J.J. Abrams was at the VES awards last night, I wasn’t expecting much more than the standard boilerplate quotes. But he spoke to Collider on the red carpet, discussing the broadsaber (and the “many contradictory emails” he’s received about it,) IMAX, CGI, and more. Watch the video, or head over to Collider for the most pertinent quotes.
The basics, though: They’re still putting together the first cut of the film, he’ll be executive producing VIII and IX, there will still be “an enormous amount of CG effects,” (duh) and the broadsaber “was not done without a lot of conversation and it’s fun to see people have the conversation that we had, but in reverse.” None of these are huge revelations (we’ve known that only one scene is in IMAX for months,) but considering how little we’ve had out of Abrams overall, this is a bonanza.
It’s certainly not a surprise, but Pinewood CEO Ivan Dunleavy (via Variety) confirms that another Star Wars film will shoot at Pinewood. The Hollywood Reporter says this will be the mysterious spin-off from Gareth Edwards, which already has a December 2016 release date.
All-but-confirmed Episode VIII writer/director Rian Johnson chatting with fellow filmmaker Terry Gilliam on a podcast recently. Here’s the most interesting bit that’s made it out:
Kathleen and her whole creative team have been so insistent on all the filmmakers they’ve been hiring for these new movies: ‘We want you to take it and turn it into something that you really care about.’ And we’ll see how the process plays out, but so far, that’s a big part of the reason I’m in it. Because that just seems like their attitude towards it. It’s really exciting actually.
“The thought of it made me so completely joyfully happy, ” Episode VIII writer/director Rian Johnson told podcast fans in Chicago Saturday night, “I wanted to to play in this world, of literally the first movie my dad put me in the car to see.” (via)
Johnson still hasn’t been officially confirmed by Lucasfilm – perhaps understandably, given where we are in the production of Episode VII – but there’s not much doubt at this point.
Marvel announces release dates (but not actual films) through May 2019. Honestly, the only reason I’m noting this is that although they are claiming May 3 in 2019, there are no May dates for 2017 and 2018. Could Disney be keeping them clear for the return of Star Wars to our rightful month? I freely admit I’m grasping at straws, but for the moment we are still expecting Episode VIII in 2017 and a second standalone in 2018… Stay tuned.
Deadline was the first to report that Disney and Lucasfilm have tapped Looper writer-director Rian Johnson to take over from J.J. Abrams on the next two Episodes. The Wrap countered, saying that while Johnson will write and direct Episode VIII, he only write a treatment for IX.
The Hollywood Reporter is also saying that Johnson is in talks. They agree with The Wrap on his IX only being a treatment. Variety’s writeup mentions only VIII.
We don’t consider any news fully confirmed until Lucasfilm weighs in, but four trade reports in such quick succession is a fairly good sign that where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
Johnson isn’t verified on twitter, but you may consider his last tweet telling.
In addition to Looper, Johnson’s directing credits include Brick, The Brothers Bloom and several episodes of Breaking Bad. Vulture has nice little overview, if you don’t mind some major Breaking Bad spoilers, and there’s also THR on why he’s a good choice for the job. Another must-read is Drew McWeeny’s take on the bigger picture.