We’re still a year and a half out from the worldwide debut of Star Wars: Episode VII, but in addition to multiple spinoff films, it appears that Disney has its man to write and direct the next two core entries.
Deadline reports that Rian Johnson, best known for directing the films Looper and Brick along with several episodes of Breaking Bad, will both pen and helm Episode VIII and Episode IX in the series. He’ll take over for director J.J. Abrams (Star Trek), who is shooting Episode VII right now.
Johnson hasn’t yet commented on the report, but he did tweet out a YouTube clip from space travel classic The Right Stuff that seems to acknowledge an incredible challenge in front of him. It also appears that he may have alluded to the news a month ago with an amazing-in-hindsight Breaking Bad image on Twitter.
Each previous Star Wars trilogy released its films three years apart, so with Episode VII hitting cinemas next December, will we see Johnson’s efforts in 2018 and 2021, respectively? Or with the fervor behind this revival—and the massive resources of Disney at his disposal—might that timeframe be cut down?
As noted, Disney has already announced creative leaders for two other Star Wars films outside of the main progression. Godzilla director Gareth Edwards will helm a 2016 film written by The Book of Eli scribe Gary Whitta, while Josh Trank (of Chronicle and the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot) will direct a separate film sometime thereafter.