Rian Johnson To Direct Star Wars: Episode VIII

And he'll write a treatment for Episode IX

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The choice of directors for the Star Wars films is becoming ever more interesting, and, in this case, excellent. Rian Johnson, the thoughtful, talented bloke behind Brick, Looper and several episodes of Breaking Bad, has been hired to direct Star Wars: Episode VIII.

Reports have pointed to him directing both of the other main Star Wars entries once J.J. Abrams has completed the seventh, but that has yet to be confirmed. He is, however, writing a treatment for Episode IX, which doesn’t rule him out of taking on the movie at a later date.

For now, though, writing and directing Episode VIII will be enough of a workload for Johnson, but one we feel is in very safe hands. Few directors are connected to their material the way Johnson is and he has consistently produced interesting work. How he adapts to life inside the Disney / Lucasfilm franchise machine will be a fascinating journey.

Johnson joins Abrams on the main franchise entries, with Godzilla’s Gareth Edwards and Chronicle’s Josh Trank assigned to make spin-off films.

Episode VII, which features John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Gwendoline Christie, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong'o and Max von Sydow, plus saga veterans Harrison Ford (who will be back at work once his broken leg heals), Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker, will be out on December 18, 2015. If Disney keeps to its planned schedule, Episode VIII is set for 2017.