Looper’s Rian Johnson To Direct Star Wars Episode VIII

BREAKING: Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness producer/director JJ Abrams is currently shooting the next Star Wars movie, but it appears he will not be shooting the one after that. Reports are coming out today that Looper director Rian Johnson is in talks to helm Star Wars: Episode VIII.

Both The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline Hollywood are reporting (and the LA Times confirms) that Disney and Lucasfilm are currently in talks with Rian Johnson to direct Star Wars: Episode VIII, the follow-up film to JJ Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII. Both also report that he will write Episode VIII. THR is also reporting that he is also writing the treatment for Episode IX, contradicting Deadline’s report that he is also in talks to direct Episode IX.


Tweet from Abrams from set of Star Wars: Episode VII earlier this month

At age 40, Johnson has only directed three features – 2005’s award winning indie noir Brick, 2008’s caper-comedy Brothers Bloom and 2012’s Looper, a time-travel film starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. That film had only a $30m budget, but grossed over $176m.


Johnson on the set of ‘Looper’ with Gordon-Levitt

No word yet on if Abrams or his Bad Robot production company will have any involvement with either Episode VIII or IX. Disney will be releasing Episode VII in December 2015. Episode VIII is expected in 2017. As reported earlier this week, the next Star Trek film will be released in-between those two, in 2016. Abrams will be producing the Trek film, with writer Bob Orci in the director’s chair. At the very least this news means that if Abrams doesn’t take on another directing job immediately following Episode VII, he may have more time available…some of which could be devoted to the third film in his trilogy of Star Trek productions.

 

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Ran
June 20, 2014 1:38 pm

Great news. Hopefully, Johnson will fix in VIII everything JJ will break in VII.

KH
June 20, 2014 1:45 pm

Oh look. An anti-Abrams crack right off the bat. *eyes glaze over*

Ran
June 20, 2014 1:53 pm

It’s not an anti-Abrams, it is a pro-Johnson.

Dom
June 20, 2014 2:06 pm

I got the impression from the outset that there would be different teams on all the movies. Disney knows the Marvel model has worked well on those films, with most directors (Favreau excepted) being one-off journeymen.

With a cash cow like Star Wars, the executives will want to keep overall control without one team becoming too powerful. Giving ‘auteurs’ a good deal of freedom on one movie is fine, as they can shift requirements for the next movie’s team. There’s no reason to think JJ won’t be back at some stage, but Disney need the franchise to be bigger than any one creative team if it’s to survive.

Harry Ballz
June 20, 2014 2:09 pm

What a horrible choice. Looper was a piece of dogsh*t. This guy can’t direct traffic.

(and I usually love time travel movies)

Hollywood ALWAYS gets it wrong.

Hat Rick
June 20, 2014 2:29 pm

Just a few musings:

I’m just wondering if the JJ Abrams sticky-note is supposed to be funny / ironic since it’s obviously a photo. In fact, the circular background is Millennium Falconesque.

There are mainstream reports about the injury that Harrison Ford sustained and, if memory serves, that was because a prop door hit him in the leg. Initially it was said that he had injured his ankle, but now it’s reported that he had broken his leg. Anyone know if the prop door was attached to the Millennium Falcon?

Second, if Mr. Abrams has more time on his hands for ST after the SW sequel is finished, would this mean that he would help Mr. Orci in his directorial duties? One could only speculate, since the former still has his producer duties to do.

Third, TrekMovie seems to be making up for lost time — new articles every day. Kudos!

Ahmed
June 20, 2014 2:34 pm

If Abrams has more time after SW7 come out, then perhaps Paramount should delay ST3 to 2017 & hires Abrams to finish his Star Trek trilogy!

Cygnus-X1
June 20, 2014 2:53 pm

The door of the millennium falcon has broken Harrison Ford’s left leg:

http://www.mtv.com/news/1850413/harrison-ford-star-wars-injury-update/

Hat Rick
June 20, 2014 2:58 pm

Thanks, Cygnus-X1, for the information about the Millennium Falcon and its unfortunate role in interfering with the production of SW7. Best wishes, naturally, to Mr. Ford.

Vger23
June 20, 2014 3:19 pm

#6- The picture with the sticky is definitely ironic, especially since it’s stuck to the circular chess board from the Falcon.

NuFan
June 20, 2014 4:05 pm

Change the name to TrekWarsMovies.com and give us news on both!

Hat Rick
June 20, 2014 4:06 pm

@Vger23, 10,

Thanks for that response. It looks like JJ’s sense of mischief and whimsy knows not the boundaries of SF universes.

So, if we can see an R2D2 in ST(2009), what can we expect to see in SW7? (By the way, does SW7 have a title yet?) Perhaps a Borg in an alien scene? A Constitution-class vessel in a massed fleet? The mind boggles!

Of course, there is the ultimate question: Could JJ even strong-arm a featurette in which major characters from both universes cross over? It could be a Blu-ray special, or a short. Wouldn’t that be fun? If anyone could do it, it would be the director of two major movies in the top two Star franchises in the world.

Marja
June 20, 2014 5:24 pm

dayum they already have a director for EIGHT?

what the heck is wrong with Paramount … why do they drag their feet so. Glad they finally made Orci official, ’bout flippin’ time.

Marja
June 20, 2014 5:26 pm

6, Rick, yep, it was the door of the Millenium Falcon.

Han should have listened to Leia. Didn’t she tell him it was a bucket of bolts?

Ahmed
June 20, 2014 5:26 pm

@ 13. Marja – June 20, 2014

“what the heck is wrong with Paramount … why do they drag their feet so. Glad they finally made Orci official, ’bout flippin’ time.”

Where you read that ? I didn’t read any official press release from Paramount confirming that yet.

June 20, 2014 5:35 pm

@Harry: You’re a joke mate. Have you seen The Brothers Bloom or Brick? Rian Johnson can direct his a** off. He’s outstanding. Reading your posts on this site over the past few years is nauseating.

Cervantes
June 20, 2014 6:12 pm

Just bring back the regular ‘movie news’ roundup article and be done with it. I miss those, as they were a good comprehensive catch-up on everything.

By the way, I approve of different directors getting a crack at the SW chapters. If only George had only directed the fourth instalment, and left the prequels to others…

dswynne
June 20, 2014 7:34 pm

I think the reason for Abrams not directing the sequel is because, if memory serves, he gave an interview where he promised his family that he would take a year off from his work, and that doing SW is what resulted in him making that promise. It could also mean that he wants to work on other projects outside of the movies; maybe some television shows, too.

Harry Ballz
June 20, 2014 8:04 pm

@16

Don’t try being clever, JP. It doesn’t suit you.

dmduncan
June 20, 2014 8:53 pm

I didn’t see Looper. But I did see Brick, and a high school film noir just doesn’t work, except as a parody, which Brick was not trying to be.

However, Brick was very inventive, and I came away from the movie thinking that Rian was a directorial talent to keep an eye on.

The most interesting thing about this story is that JJ is out before what he made has even been released. I wonder what’s up there?

Ahmed
June 20, 2014 9:13 pm

@20. dmduncan

“The most interesting thing about this story is that JJ is out before what he made has even been released. I wonder what’s up there?”

I guess that we will find out in the coming days or weeks. But I think that it has something to do with the fact that Abrams didn’t want to be away from his family & move to London to shoot the new SW movie.

Also the fact that Disney is not giving him the same amount of freedom & authority as it was the case with Paramount. He wanted to shoot the movie in LA & they said no, he also wanted to delay the movie to 2016 & they said no again.

Commodore Adams
June 20, 2014 9:16 pm

I think JJ will do wonders for Star Wars, if not it will haunt him forever, so I think he’s taking proper precautions to make sure this comes out bad ass due to his love of Star Wars.

Im more occupied with what path the 14th Star Trek movie will take, will CBS make a new series, and will DS9 get the HD treatment.

c
June 20, 2014 9:36 pm

When it comes to ST and SW Im not loyal to any director or actor playing Kirk or Spock just make them…

Hugh Hoyland
June 20, 2014 9:37 pm

Since these films, unlike the OT and PT, are released 2 years apart instead of 3. I think it would be very tough for JJ to finish up production on episode 7 and launch straight into Episode 8.

But thats just speculation on my part. Maybe we’ll find out sometime what the deal is.

Bart
June 20, 2014 9:40 pm

I find it laughable that anyone could be worried about JJ and Star Wars. They guy is made to do Star Wars. And what could there possible be to fear after Episodes I, II and III. It can ONLY go up from there.

Phil
June 20, 2014 9:44 pm

@3. Yeah, it was anti-Abrams. Pro Abrams would have been ‘JJ fixes everything George Lucas f**ked up in episodes 1, 2, and 3, and the remastered 4, 5 and 6’. See the difference?

VOODOO
June 20, 2014 10:12 pm

I’ve never seen a film as anticipated as Episode VII including the first SW prequel.

It isn’t just fanboy sites posting Star Wars stories on a daily basis, the slightest bit of Star Wars news + the mainstream media (who usually never comment on upcoming films) is all over it.

This film is going to be a monster at the box office.

Red Dead Ryan
June 20, 2014 10:35 pm

I saw “Looper” several times. It’s great.

And I agree, the bit about J.J. Abrams not wanting to direct Episodes VIII and XV is weird. Oh well.

Matthew Briggs
June 20, 2014 11:09 pm

Arams does like to seem to hop around. He could of had his year off whilst episode XIII and XI are being written and shot them back to back.

Harry Ballz
June 20, 2014 11:50 pm

Want to see great directing?

Watch Prisoners starring Hugh Jackman.

It was directed by Denis Villeneuve.

Superb, as compared to your paint-by-numbers horsesh*t action movies.

Elias Javalis
June 21, 2014 1:56 am

That’s Nice,

Trek is what i am interested of, Not Star Wars,

But thanks for the News!

Dom
June 21, 2014 3:23 am

Actually, I wish Paramount would take a multi-production team approach to Star Trek. Rather than drag out a ‘starting the voyage’ plot line across a decade, waiting for a ‘supreme court’ to get around to it, I’d like to see a Trek movie with the ‘nu-Trek’ cast every two years that follows a light story arc and a spin-off every other year, say Bruce Greenwood’s Pike before ST09 or Tom Hardy as Jean-Luc Picard on the Stargazer.

Disney are breaking new ground with their handling of franchises with Warner following on their coattails. Paramount lost the Marvel films and seem incapable of handling what they do have. In five years, they’ve managed to get nu-Trek as far as starting the five-year mission through two films and Mission: Impossible has basically had four films in 20 years, few of which have much to do with the series on which they’re based.

Paramount are falling behind and, frankly becoming a duff studio along the lines of MGM whose troubles have for years dogged the James Bond series. Blofeld? Pish! MGM is Bond’s greatest foe!

Disinvited
June 21, 2014 4:42 am
#32. Dom – June 21, 2014 While historically what you describe holds true for Paramount, we have to be aware that in 2006 the company that controls Trek’s film franchise is not the same one as the Paramount prior. It is actually a new entity that is Paramount in name only. The Paramount with the history of being Trek’s worst “enemy” was actually just renamed CBS in that year. nuParamount is actually green and making mistakes too but mostly of the type of pretending that it is this sage old institution responsible for all these successes in the old film library that Redstone handed over to it when it was not. This is why the two PARAMOUNTS bang heads. Moonves not too unrealistically had expected to be the head of a Paramount Entertainment empire when an ambitious executive on the same executive tier as him made a play for wresting it from him. The two constant jockeying and bickering to earn the right to control Paramount somehow caused Redstone to come up with the “briliant” idea to create two Paramounts and set the two qualified execs at each other’s throats in an arena that he envisioned would generate more profits. The odd thing is that Moonves’ challenger got bumped out so fast in setting this all up that it is a bit of a mystery why Redstone stayed the course in creating nuParamount instead of just rewarding Moonves’ his spoils? Regardless, the situation as it now stands is the two… Read more »
Newdivide1701
June 21, 2014 6:16 am

It appears that JJ’s greatest legacy is filtering the high IQs from the low ones.

And already the hater’s overly exaggerated egos are saying, “Yeah, we the smart ones, baby!!!” when they are NOT the ones I am referring to.

Dom
June 21, 2014 8:27 am

33. Disinvited

Yeah, I remember the shenanigans surrounding the Viacom split. A total mess. Just as the Bond films have a history of fighting a duff studio, so Trek has two owners who are butting heads.

Imagine CBS did decide to make a new Star Trek TV show: immediately, Paramount would likely launch a legal action over the impact it could have on their film franchise. When Rick Berman’s Trek shows outstayed their welcome, they effectively tanked the film series too (notwithstanding the TNG films were rubbish and disrespected the TV show they came from!)

Paramount wouldn’t like a rival Trek running that could tank nu-Trek, so the compromise would logically be to use the team behind the nu-Trek films to make the TV show. But that would lead to the two owners working together, which is highly unlikely.

So, IMHO, they need to look at how Star Wars and Marvel are being running and apply some of that nous to the Trek and Mission: Impossible franchises.

Red Dead Ryan
June 21, 2014 8:53 am

The “Star Wars” and MARVEL movies generate far more revenue worldwide, and are much more popular than Trek is at the moment.

That is why Disney can do what it does with its properties while Paramount can only manage to produce only one Trek movie every several years, and “Mission :Impossible” and “Jack Ryan” films every six-eight years on average.

Plus I get the sense Paramount is about ready to re-boot the Trek movie series after the third one with cheaper movies with new actors who are relative unknowns.

The rift with CBS isn’t helping matters either. But I doubt the two companies will ever be re-joined, so it looks like Trek will become a B- or C-list franchise for the foreseeable future while Disney expands its own “Star Wars” and MARVEL empires and aquires new film and tv franchises.

Dom
June 21, 2014 10:05 am

Hi Red Dead Ryan: ‘The “Star Wars” and MARVEL movies generate far more revenue worldwide, and are much more popular than Trek is at the moment.’

Remember though that Iron Man was a risky prospect for Marvel at the time. Iron Man was on their B-List back then and Robert Downey Jr was better know for his offscreen problems. The confident delivery of that film and the underrated The Incredible Hulk led to the two-a-year film series we now know.

Paramount had a big success with ST09, but let all the momentum die by not following it up more quickly. I agree with the possibility there’ll be a proper reboot next time. Probably not a bad thing. I have to wonder if they’ll take the Marvel/Star Wars approach then, though. I suspect that’s the way of the future.

A pity they can’t take a leaf out of the Marvel book and make a ‘One Shot’ short film to add to the film package on Blu-ray (the Agent Carter one was very good!) I’d love a short where Shatner’s Kirk emerges from the Nexus on New Vulcan and goes to find Spock.

Elias Javalis
June 21, 2014 10:07 am

Unless there is a “Secret Contract” between Par and J.J i believe so too.

But i don’t think for a Second Star Trek will become a second rate Franchise. Its a Different game, Star Trek has become one of Paramount’s biggest Summer Tentpole Movies.

Granted its not Marvel or Star Wars. Its got a new Fanbase, (count me in), the Home Video Market sells by millions of Dollars, the Fan Series are becoming more and more popular.

Its more than insuring that Star Trek is a viable Franchise!

June 21, 2014 10:40 am

Interesting SW news… (scratches head) =P

Impressive UFO Over Kentucky:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rapw9_p0Jpk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLqFVegW2CE

…especially the second one! ;-)

June 21, 2014 10:46 am

Disney is all about quality… =)

JJ’s “qualities” are questionable, IMHO… ;-)

Hat Rick
June 21, 2014 11:44 am

I noticed that for the first time in several days, there hasn’t been a new article posted on TrekMovie.com. Given the recent spate of new contributions, that’s not particularly concerning. However, I just wanted to remind readers how much fun it was when this site was at full blast. It covered a wide range of topics — not just Star Trek, but other SF franchises, and even real-life science.

For example, take a gander at a story from August 10, 2010 — a little less than four years ago:

http://trekmovie.com/2010/08/10/mike-okuda-and-doug-drexler-on-similarities-of-star-trek-padd-and-apple-ipad/

Those were the days! Sometimes I find that I hardly recognize my own postings from articles so far back.

I believe Mr. Okuda participated significantly, as did Mr. Drexler, on this site. (I could be mistaken — it’s been almost four years!) Then of course, Bob Orci and many others.

Anyway, thanks to the TrekMovie staff for all their efforts. Hope this site continues to LL&P.

Cygnus-X1
June 21, 2014 2:27 pm
35. Dom – June 21, 2014 Paramount wouldn’t like a rival Trek running that could tank nu-Trek, so the compromise would logically be to use the team behind the nu-Trek films to make the TV show. Oh, God, PLEASE don’t put the BR Trek people in charge of a Trek TV show! PLEEEEASE, CBS, I’m begging you!! As for Disney milking its franchises more, let’s not forget that the Marvel movies are pretty lame on the whole. They’re just popcorn-munching action movies that you forget as soon as you walk out of the theater. At least, I do. My friends and I generally watch those movies under the influence of two drugs—one of which is legal in every State, and one of which is legal only in a couple of States at present—in order to enhance the experience, as there’s never any danger of us missing any deeper levels to the stories due to our mental faculties being somewhat impaired and retarded by the drugs. The first Iron Man I enjoyed watching at home, but that’s the high-water mark. Granted, they’re comic-book movies, and the source material was mostly pulp anyway. So, these movies being big-dumb-action movies are not some travesty or affront to the comics. But, that sort of treatment is not appropriate for Trek. To do that to Trek is a travesty and affront to its original spirit, values and sensibilities. So, I’ll take quality over quantity in Trek, please. There’s already a plethora of Trek to watch… Read more »
Captain Conrad
June 21, 2014 7:20 pm

Wait, did I get redirected to WarsMovie.com!?!

Just kidding. I appreciate the updates. As a fan of both universes, it’s nice to be able to get updates on both from one site.

Elias Javalis
June 21, 2014 10:30 pm

Agreed Cygnus :)

Not all Marvels are totally Crap – most of them yes – Xmen is good though.

But yes, they are utterly forgettable. That’s why they keep using Great Actors like Robert Redford and R.D. Junior cause they re just Special Effects!

AJ
June 22, 2014 1:01 am

I just watched Looper last week, and thought “Is that IT?”

Very little imagination or innovation. Oooh, time travel and Bruce Willis sleeping through another role for a cool mil. The kid did a decent job pretending to blow things up..

Why has JJ already been kicked off the job? I guess it’ll be his turn now to do a “serious” film.

The best “Star Wars” film was directed by the guy who did “Robocop 2,” Irwin Kershner, so I guess anyone can have a shot.

Paul
June 22, 2014 1:41 am

AJ, Kirshner made Robocop 2 after Star Wars.

Dom
June 22, 2014 3:15 am
Hi Cygnus. I think the problem is that Star Trek fans tend to see Star Trek as something special among franchises, something that requires different treatment from all the others. Truth is, much as I love Star Trek, that it’s a middling performing franchise that doesn’t perform particularly well outside of America. And really, is there any more ‘depth’ to the average Star Trek movie than Iron Man 3, DC’s The Dark Knight, Fox’s The Wolverine, or Sony’s Spider-Man films? Not really. Star Trek’s origins prior to the TV show lie with pulp golden age science fiction and the populist entertainment of William Shakespeare (given Star Trek is effectively ‘Forbidden Planet: The Series!’) Star Trek has a lot of drawbacks when it comes to engaging with the global public. Star Trek and, especially, Rick Berman’s shows also all have a tendency towards self-righteousness. Even while TOS was about learning, sometimes the allegorical mask would slip and it would preach. TNG and its bedfellows basically threw the writer/producers’ opinions in our faces. When the allegory slips, inevitably half your viewership will be alienated because they’ll beg to differ. As Roberto Orci said a while back, it’s the discussion of views that’s important, which is why the Kirk, Spock, McCoy (warrior, priest, doctor) archetypes were so perfect. Star Trek can take itself too seriously, with writers and producers thinking it’s about changing the world rather the ‘backsides on seats’ entertainment. Unfortunately a section of the fans follow suit. And in the case… Read more »
Hat Rick
June 22, 2014 5:01 am
@Dom, 47, Thanks for taking the time to express your thoughts. I agree with some of your opinions, and disagree with many others. I, too, like both franchises, but I would like to highlight some of the flaws in the SW universe as they’ve been presented in the movies in a manner similar to the way you’ve presented them regarding Trek. I do this (briefly), because I think the criticisms of SW as somewhat juvenile are more accurate than it may seem. I agree, first of all, that SW is an embodiment of the Hero’s Journey, a mythos that has animated storytelling since the dawn of literature because of its power and truth. The original SW (1977), in particular, did this in an operatic and moving style, and established the fundamental premise for much of the entire series. However, I would argue that SW, particularly as it has developed, appeals to more simplistic ideas of good and evil in part because of this premise. Empires fall because Goliath fell to David — “The End.” Even more importantly, SW falls back on mysticism and fantasy, which is inherently more susceptible to oversimplification for the sake of effect. “A wizard did it” — literally. It doesn’t take much for such a genre to fall into obscurantism, on one hand, and pure child-like wish-fulfillment, on the other. I point to this as only one reason that SW strikes many as less sophisticated than ST. It’s not a matter of pretension, in other words.… Read more »
I am not Herbert
June 22, 2014 10:32 am

“Original” Star Trek should be licensed to Netflix… make it so!! PLEASE!!!

Commodore Adams
June 22, 2014 6:10 pm

I just think of the stand alone films as well. Ep VII in 2015, Star Wars stand alone 2016, Ep VIII 2017. This along with 2016 Star Trek its fantastic for sci fi fans in general, I’m going to love it. But speaking strictly as a Trek fan, I think of all this competition is going to hurt trek a bit, especially if you have three Star Wars films spanning three years.

I love both franchises but I adore Star Trek. What can be more fascinating that the (theoretical) future of us on Earth.

I also have a concern with the 2016 Star Trek movie spearheaded by two mormons and a person with an insatiable interest in conspiracy theories. Granted The Undiscovered Country was fantastic because of its conspiracy story, I still think its the strongest, richest Star Trek movie to date (TWOK is overrated). As with anything, I believe in giving it a chance, letting the work speak for itself, and judging it like any critic once the task is complete. I hope there are no religious influences or conspiracy influences and is rather influenced by its past, of boldly going where no one has gone before, for peaceful scientific exploration.

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