So Colin Revorrow is out. The decision to drop the director from the upcoming Star Wars Episode IX is a huge shock for fans and those in the industry – with reported creative differences proving to be the breaking point. But with that decision, a spot is now open on one of the most anticipated movies of all time. The Star Wars machine never stops churning out movies – and for these ten directors – this could be a golden opportunity to take a huge step up the Hollywood ladder.
Here are the ten shouts we’re making for Revorrow’s replacement for director in Star Wars Episode IX. Who do you think should get it?
10. Patty Jenkins
Jenkins recently shot to the top of Hollywood’s most desirable list, shattering records and affording Wonder Woman the kind of reverence DC has been dreaming of. In short, she probably single-handedly saved the DC cinematic universe from disaster. This was achieved by crafting a movie that connected with audiences, banking big at the Box Office and making everyone happy.
The big problem for Jenkins is that she’s already attached to Wonder Woman 2. Given the quick turnaround needed for Star Wars Episode IX to hit its December 2019 release date – she might just be out of luck on that front.
9. Jordan Peele
Director of 2017’s breakout Get Out, Jordan Peele has managed to plant himself firmly on the radar of major studios. His movie remains the most profitable this year of all blockbusters released in 2017 -and there’s a good reason for. He’s a master storyteller – weaving horror, humor and subtle social commentary into his mega hit. One of the brightest stars emerging right now in the Hollywood scene.
The only negative is his lack of AAA-experience. Handing the reigns of such an important outing in the Star Wars movies to a newcomer may not yield the smoothest of production runs. Disney and Lucasfilm are still probably burned over their recent directorial ejections – and Peele may not be the steady hand they seek.
8. Colm McCarthy
Should Lucasfilm be looking for a director who’s available now and ready to go – McCarthy may be an easy get. Having helmed numerous television programmes over the years (including Sherlock, Peaky Blinders and Doctor Who) he has the kind of CV that could translate to the big screen well. His style is very similar to that of Rogue One’s Gareth Edwards – meaning that he potentially could slot in and help Lucasfilm achieve their vision.
The only problem with McCarthy is that, much like Peele, he’s something of an unknown quantity in the top end blockbuster market. While he’s a solid hand, there may be worries that he can’t translate his skills to a full on Star Wars outing. Star Wars Episode IX may be in need of his skills right now.
7. Duncan Jones
You may know Jones from his work on Warcraft (Which bombed quite heavily in the US market) but really, you should check out his indie hit Moon. It’s a beautifully shot flick that underlines how solid a crafter Jones is, and why he probably deserves a second stab at Blockbuster success.
With his next movie set to land in late 2017, Jones would be free to take up the Star Wars Episode IX role just in time for the early 2018 production schedule. It also bodes well in his favor that Warcraft did obscenely well at the Chinese box office – something Disney and Lucasfilm long for Star Wars to achieve. Maybe he has the magic touch?
6. Dave Filoni
An outsider shout for sure, but arguably one of the safest pair of hands on this list. Filoni has been busy working with Lucasfilm for over half a decade now – bringing to life the Star Wars Clone Wars and Rebels television shows. He’s attracted huge praise for his ability to weave lore into the key moments of these series – most recently introducing Grand Amiral Thrawn into the Rebels television show.
If the big issue for Lucasfilm is the fact that they keep clashing with directors over creative vision, Filoni is a director who fully “gets” what Lucasfilm want and has a proven track record for delivering results.
5. Ron Howard
Ron Howard recently was brought in by Disney and Lucasfilm to help fix the mess that was the Han Solo movie. This alone showcases how much credit he has among the higher ups over at Lucasfilm and Disney – who might just ask him to extend his stay into the final outing.
While not the biggest name on this list, Howard is a respected director and has a monstrously huge body of work that speaks for itself (He’s been directing since the 1960’s). If Disney wanted the ultimate safe choice – Howard is probably that man. The only negative to his selection is that he’s very much needed on that Han Solo project. Pulling him from that may not be in Disney’s best interest right now, but Star Wars Episode IX is the bigger film…
4. Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Having successfully brought King Kong back to life in theaters, Vogt-Roberts stock in Hollywood has been on the rise in 2017. If Lucasfilm and Disney are looking for someone with a general grab bag of all the things they want – Roberts is easily among the better choices.
He’s currently in the director’s chair for the upcoming adaptation of Metal Gear Solid – but given that there’s no timescale on that movie (and Star Wars is an infinitely bigger deal) I can’t foresee there being any conflicts for him in the long-term. The big question is whether he can translate that success to Star Wars Episode IX.
3. Ava Duvernay
Easily one of the more gifted directors around right now in Hollywood. Ava DuVernay won an Oscar for Selma – showcasing her amazing credentials as a movie director. The fact that she also has good connections to those within Disney makes her odds all the greater.
It would also generate some great buzz for the franchise. After Patty Jenkins, Duvernay was the second female director to break the $100 million barrier at US box office. Her success would help Disney to generate positive press – opening more doors and potentially bringing more eyes onto the film. The only major negative to her rap sheet is that she’s currently set to launch her next movie A Wrinkle in Time early in 2018. This conflict could put her out of the running.
2. J.J. Abrams
Disney trusted Abrams enough to bring Star Wars Episode VII to life, so why not again? The veteran director remains a creative consultant on the new trilogy, helping to oversee the finer touches. Given that he’s so close to the project, asking him to come back may be a safe bet for Lucasfilm and Disney.
Plus he has mentioned in numerous interviews that he wishes he’d been more open to doing future films. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility – and certainly wouldn’t be a bad shout if the aim is just to get the final Star Wars movie in this trilogy out the door. Given how much he was applauded for successfully steering the opening of the trilogy, closing it out would certainly sense.
1. Rian Johnson
Of course, Rian Johnson is easily the front runner for the position. Having helmed The Last Jedi (Set for release in December), Johnson’s tenure of the franchise has been relatively drama free. He gets Disney’s vision and has the kind of experience with the franchise that would be much valued heading into the final chapter of the trilogy.
By keeping Johnson on, Lucasfilm and Disney could also help to create a more coherent vision between the final two movies. The benefits to having the same director are clear for all – and with Johnson reportedly a favorite among Lucasfilm executives – is probably the only choice they’ll want to make. The big question obvious is would he be down for Star Wars Episode IX?