What many expected to happen has come to pass. Director Colin Trevorrow will no longer helm Star Wars: Episode IX.
According to a Lucasfilm Ltd. statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, the decision was mutual. “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,” said the company.
Trevorrow is the latest in an increasingly long line of directors to come near the Star Wars galaxy, only to get burned. First announced in 2015, he joined directors Josh Trank, Gareth Edwards and the 21 Jump Street duo of Chris Miller and Phil Lord as part of a class of up-and-coming filmmaker to take the helm of upcoming Star Wars projects following its return with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Trank was the first to fall away as reports of his behavior on the set of his Fantastic Four reboot filtered through the industry. Though still credited as director of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Edwards’ film was heavily rewritten and reshot by Tony Gilroy to conform with the Lucasfilm sensibility. That house style also led to Miller and Lord’s dismissal in the middle of the production of their Han Solo spinoff film.
Curiously, only directors J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson — directors of Episodes VII and VIII — appear to have shared the Lucasfilm vision with their entries in the series.
Of course, it is still unclear what motivated Treverrow and Lucasfilm’s decision to part company, but many suspected such a move might happening following the critical lambasting and box office thud of his most recent film, The Book of Henry. The director first received the Star Wars assignment following his indie hit Safety Not Guaranteed and the warm reception of his Jurassic Park sequel Jurassic World. Nonetheless, like Trank and Edwards before him, it may have been too soon to hand the keys of the Millennium Falcon over to the relatively inexperienced director.
The move also suggests Lucasfilm’s dalliance with such inexperienced directors is at an end. Whoever ultimately directs Episode IX, one can be sure they will be an old and trusted name.
Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled for release on May 24th, 2019.