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.
The rumors are pretty relentless this week, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down… Here’s just what we’re seeing today. Possible spoilers, etc etc.
→ First off, TheForce.Net has backed off a tad on their denial of the Making Star Wars villain report in light of the Latino Review report. Just another reminder that rumor reporting really is just a big game of telephone, so don’t take anything you hear truly to heart…
→ Not a rumor break before we head to the cut: Domhnall Gleeson refuses to talk Star Wars. “Nope. No. I would be shot.” UPDATE: Okay, he talks a little to MTV, says the beard isn’t for Episode VII and that he hasn’t been on set for “a couple of weeks.” (My theory.)
Rumors: Supposed details on Gwendoline Christie’s role, Han and Leia’s relationship status. I don’t even know, y’all. Not the first time I’ve heard the thing about Christie, but it was also on the open internet, not a source, so who knows.
Hot on the heels of Making Star Wars’ Rebels tidbits (some of which they repeat,) TFN says they know what fandom has blown up to be the biggest mystery of Rebels: The voice of the Inquisitor. And he’s not an announced member of the Episode VII cast, though he will be familiar to genre fans of various stripes… Head below the cut for possible spoilers.
Rumor: Making Star Wars has a few Rebels details. Some of these we’ve already seen in Rebels media and toys. Honestly, I’m surprised we’re not seeing more Rebels stuff at this point, since we’re only a handful of months out from the premiere.
Latino Review doubles down on Making Star Wars’ villainy rumor from the other day… They have a quibbles with the terminology, but they’re heard similar things about the meat of the report, including the stuff regarding Adam Driver and Lupita Nyong’o.
FYI, if you haven’t been keeping up with the original post, Eric at TFN says the whole original report is untrue, but it seems that Latino Review aren’t the only ones who’ve heard bits of this independently… Ahh, rumorville.
Rumor: ‘Subtle’ changes made to some familiar costumes. More from Making Star Wars about what folks may be seeing on the Episode VII set.
Some Mara Jade speculation came up last week and I didn’t write about it, in part because it’s speculation and in part because from Star Wars 7 News, who have a history of wishful thinking ‘scoops’ – some of which feed into this piece. I’m not sure why Latino Review chose to highlight it, but they too say they’ve heard about a “disguised cast member” – And yes, I would trust Latino Review a smidge more than Star Wars 7 News – but only a smidge, particularly in this case.
Some of the other things they bring up don’t really hold much water for me: The whole Karen Gillan’s hair thing is for real but, IMO, neither here nor there. Nor do I think the Black Series figure means anything, as that’s been in the works since 2011 and came out much later than expected after the cancellation of the Droid Factory line.
As I’ve said before, I do hope Mara Jade makes the cut for Episode VII in one way or another. (Yesterday’s big plot rumor actually makes this slightly more probable to me, as it’s certainly something that could be used to reform Mara’s backstory in a few different ways.) If I was J.J. Abrams and I was using a major Expanded Universe character in my brand new Star Wars movie, she’d certainly be someone I’d lock in the mystery box. But y’know, that’s me. Of course there’s a case to be made here – who wouldn’t love to get their spackle knife out to save a favored character?
Do I hope there’s a 50/60-something actress in deep cover at Pinewood to play Mara Jade? Sure. Do I believe there’s a 50/60-something actress in deep cover at Pinewood? Not on these sources. The disguised person could be Lupita Nyong’o pre-announcement, or a familiar face such as Ewan MacGregor, Hayden Christenson or Ian McDiarmid set to make a Force ghost cameo. Hell, it could just be a random crew member or extra; Maybe J.J. is trolling again.
Basically: Yes, this is out there, but a lot of it seems to be grasping at straws. It is anything but solid, even for a ‘rumor.’ Don’t get your hopes up.
Rumors: A little something on sets at Pinewood. Making Star Wars is back today with more on what they’ve built on the soundstages. Sounds like while we may not see one rumored planet from the classic trilogy, we may be seeing an entirely different one… Or not.
Rumor: Disney’s Indiana Jones stunt show closing to make room for more Star Wars. Construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is apparently expected to begin in 2015. They’re also closing the American Idol Experience (there was a American Idol Experience? Gag.) to make room for this same project. An announcement is expected “in the coming weeks/months.”