JJ Abrams may have the helm of Star Wars for now, but he’s going to be replaced soon. Rian Johnson, who recently wrote and directed the sci-fi movie Looper, has been tapped to take over for the last two Star Wars movies in the nine episode series. Abrams pulled double duty for Episode VII, currently in production.
There’s no news as to why Abrams is out, but Deadline is reporting it has been made official by Lucasfilm and Disney. Johnson did a great job with Looper, and directed three episodes of the hit TV show Breaking Bad. Johnson hasn’t responded to the news, but did post an interesting clip form another space movie that seems to intimate these rumors are true.
We hope this isn’t deja vu. In Episode V, the second Star Wars film actually released, George Lucas turned the director’s chair over to Richard Marquand. Fans hated the move, and Lucas returned for the final installment (at the time). Lucas went on to direct the first three episodes of the series as well.
Abrams has a stronger track record with the Star Trek franchise, and also directed Super 8. Johnson is relatively unknown, comparatively, but has strong credentials. It’s possible Abrams simply had conflicting projects, and the studio decided to go another direction. We’ll update as we hear more.