Job safety is not guaranteed at Lucasfilm, as the house that built Star Wars has yet again parted with a director. The latest casualty is Colin Trevorrow, the would-be director of Episode IX, who previously directed indie darling Safety Not Guaranteed, box-office hit Jurassic World and infamous flop The Book of Henry.
Lucasfilm offered a brief statement on the Star Wars website:
“Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow have mutually chosen to part ways on Star Wars: Episode IX. 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.”
Looks like we can chalk it up to “creative differences” ... again. It’s fair to say that Trevorrow was put in a tough position; with the untimely demise of Carrie Fisher, rewriting the story may have been a task that Trevorrow was unsuited for. Plus, maybe someone at Lucasfilm finally got around to seeing how bad The Book of Henry was.
One has to wonder what kind of ship Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy is running, as this is the fourth time such a conflict has occurred. We’re just still recovering from the firing of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller from the Han Solo movie; before that, Rogue One director Gareth Edwards was sidelined from reshoots in favor of co-writer Tony Gilroy, and finally Chronicle and Fantastic Four reboot (ugh) director Josh Trank was unceremoniously booted from a Star Wars anthology film before we even found out what the darn movie was.
With Episode IX still in pre-production, it’s likely that Kennedy and co. did not want to feel buyer’s remorse in the middle of shooting, as they did with Lord and Miller. But one has to question the selection process from Lucasfilm; Trevorrow, Lord and Miller were all selected over two years before their respective departures, so why did Lucasfilm realize the irreconcilable differences so late in the game? With J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson being the only new Star Wars directors coming out of their projects unscathed, it seems that any creator who gets hired by Lucasfilm has a higher mathematical probability to get fired than to not. It is more than likely that Lucasfilm will play it safe and pull either Abrams and Johnson back in to complete the sequel trilogy.
Trevorrow and his frequent collaborator Derek Connolly were writing the screenplay to Episode IX, though it is unclear if they will still be credited. The pair wrote Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, releasing on June 22, 2018. Recently, Lucasfilm brought in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child writer Jack Thorne to rewrite the Episode IX screenplay. Star Wars: Episode IX was originally set for May 24, 2019, but don’t be surprised if the film gets pushed back to December of that year after this creative shake-up.