These days, it feels like the only gig with shakier job security than “White House advisor” is “Star Wars director.” First there was the strange case of Josh Trank, the Chronicle director who was originally set to helm the spin-off movie Rogue One, but was unceremoniously replaced before cameras rolled (following not only the critical and financial failure of his Fantastic 4 reboot, but widespread reports of bad behavior on that set). He was replaced by Godzilla director Gareth Edwards, though writer/director Tony Gilroy was brought in later for extensive reshoots. Then came this summer’s Han Solo standalone movie, which was reportedly two-thirds to three-quarters in the bag when LEGO Movie masterminds Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were booted and replaced by Ron Howard.
And now – three makes a trend! – Disney and Lucasfilm have announced they have parted ways with Colin Trevorrow, who was set to direct the ninth episode of the Star Wars saga. “Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow have mutually chosen to part ways on Star Wars: Episode IX,” the statement read. “Colin has been a wonderful collaborator throughout the development process, but we have all come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ. We wish Colin the best and will be sharing more information about the film soon.”
Trevorrow was a bit of an odd choice for a project with stakes as high as Episode IX’s, with only one low-budget and low-grossing Sundance darling (Safety Not Guaranteed) and one very profitable but very bad franchise flick (Jurassic World) to his name when he was picked for Star Wars. (Then again, that’s only one more feature than Episode VIII director Rian Johnson, but all of his films thus far have been great, so.) In the interim, he made the small-scale drama The Book of Henry, which was greeted with some of the worst reviews of the summer, and didn’t make any money either. Maybe the folks at Lucasfilm finally got around to seeing it?
Anyway, THR reports that Johnson and Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams appear to be the front-runners to step in and conclude the sequel trilogy. And that probably makes sense; at least they’ve managed to finish a movie with those guys.