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Rian Johnson to Write and Direct Episodes VIII and IX
June 20, 2014 11:58 AM   Subscribe

In a suprise move, a "bombshell" even, Disney and Lucasfilms have announced that Rian Johnson will write and direct the next two films in the Star Wars franchise, Episodes VIII and IX, taking the reins from JJ Abrams after Episode VII. Copious previously. Johnson has previously directed Brick, Looper, and three episodes of Breaking Bad. Johnson responded thusly on Twitter.
posted by dry white toast (138 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
I AM MORE THAN OKAY WITH THIS
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:01 PM on June 20 [22 favorites]


Coooool.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:02 PM on June 20


Awesome!

....also, I should really watch The Right Stuff again soon.
posted by Rangeboy at 12:03 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


He directed Breaking Bad? Pfff. Message me when they get a real director - someone from Grey's Anatomy, perhaps.
posted by glaucon at 12:03 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Wow, that's really great news. I haven't seen Looper but Brick is great and I'd love to see Star Wars go back to its pulpy roots rather than the Grand Space Opera it tried and failed to be in the prequels.

He also directed the video for "Woke Up New" by Mountain Goats (warning: that's a track off Get Lonely)
posted by griphus at 12:04 PM on June 20 [8 favorites]


OMG
posted by nathancaswell at 12:04 PM on June 20


ALSO GRIPHUS SEE LOOPER
posted by nathancaswell at 12:04 PM on June 20 [14 favorites]


Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Bruce Willis in the role of Yoda, Jr.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:05 PM on June 20 [13 favorites]


Based on Looper alone, I can see this possibly working out.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 12:05 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


If I understand this correctly, this means that the copy of Brick that I bought six years ago at Big Lots is now worth enough to allow me to retire in luxury in my own tiny European fiefdom.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:06 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


I wasn't a big fan of Brick and haven't seen Looper, but I think this is excellent news. I feel like Star Wars is a submarine ascending through thermal layers of relative suck and maybe we'll see some daylight from the ocean surface soon.
posted by selfnoise at 12:06 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


I tried to watch Brick 3-4 times and just couldn't get past the setup but Looper is such an unexpected little gem.
posted by nathancaswell at 12:08 PM on June 20


um UM THIS IS CONSIDERABLY AMAZING
posted by saturday_morning at 12:09 PM on June 20


This makes me hopeful: Looper is such a quiet, smart sf movie, like Primer and Moon before it.
posted by bonehead at 12:10 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


I hated Looper. Absolutely hated it, which was a disappointment considering how much I liked Brick. I think he's a great director but I had sharp disagreements with the choices made in that script. Me watching Looper.

Put me in the tepid column, I guess.
posted by muddgirl at 12:10 PM on June 20 [8 favorites]


Well, it can't be worse that the poop George Lucas dumped on us.


...or can it?
posted by blue_beetle at 12:12 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


Huh. I missed that he was writing it too. That makes me feel a little odd, in a "I have a bad feeling about the JJ Abrams film now" way. Is Disney not happy about the results from that film script-wise?
posted by selfnoise at 12:12 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


He seems like a really great choice, but isn't it a little troubling that they're announcing this during the first week of filming for VII? Rearranging the deck chairs already?
posted by roll truck roll at 12:12 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


His twitter post makes me more optimistic than just about anything else I know about him. While I though Abrams had a decent chance of making it good, I was worried that he brings too much ego, especially if the first one turned out really well (see: Star Trek reboots).
posted by VTX at 12:12 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


But Abrams is still getting to get his Abrams all over Ep VII. So there might be happiness in the long run, but in the short run, I'm afraid it'll be nothing but lens flares and explosions.
posted by emjaybee at 12:12 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


Er, what selfnoise said.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:13 PM on June 20


I haven't seen any of this dude's work but I nevertheless feel 100% confident in saying that it will certainly be better than anything Abrams is capable of.
posted by elizardbits at 12:15 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


This makes me hopeful: Looper is such a quiet, smart sf movie, like Primer and Moon before it.

Heh, I got Rian Johnson confused with Shane Carruth when reading this FPP and I was thinking "oh man we missed out on a Lynchian Jedi but this is something" but I feel like the actual news may result in a better Star Wars movie.

Is Disney not happy about the results from that film script-wise?

Rearranging the deck chairs already?

This is pure speculation on my part, but I suspect they want to avoid what happened with the prequels, which was that a director with stale, authoritarian ideas about how Star Wars should work nearly sank the franchise.

It seems like they're taking a lead from the popularity of the SW expanded universe and/or Marvel's success at the movies: give the playset to a variety of talented people and see what happens. Which, IMO, is the best thing to do with Star Wars as a media property. Star Wars is an entire universe with many different kinds of stories, and there's no reason to have one person tell all of them when they're only best at a certain kind. Abrams' and Johnson's films will, hopefully, be quite different and that's a great thing.
posted by griphus at 12:18 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


Lawrence Kasdan is writing Ep VII, no? Abrams is just directing.

Given his pedigree with the franchise, Kasdan can probably be trusted to put the story arc on solid footing. The bigger hindrance is that Johnson is going to be stuck with Abrams' casting choices. But that could go either way.
posted by dry white toast at 12:18 PM on June 20


Holy cow. I'm actually excited for the new STAR WARS films now.
posted by brundlefly at 12:18 PM on June 20


Very good choice. I really liked Brick, both the writing and visual style. And Looper has a similarly nice visual style, but I thought the script wasn't all that--the time travel rules and laws were a bit wonky, not to mention the script has the main character murder a child, which wasn't terribly fun. Still, an interesting choice at the very least. I have such little faith in the Star Wars franchise anyway that it's nice to see some chances being taken.
posted by zardoz at 12:18 PM on June 20


This is pretty unexpected.
posted by codacorolla at 12:18 PM on June 20


Abrams did Fringe. He's capable of (exceptionally) good work.
posted by schmod at 12:19 PM on June 20


Brick was an unwatchable pretension pile of crap, Looper was goodish, and those breaking bad episodes were really good.

He doesn't seem like someone who will play it safe, so that's at least interesting.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:21 PM on June 20


Dammit. I was hoping he'd have at least as many chances to ravage Wars as he did Trek.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:21 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


Johnson has previously directed Brick, Looper, and three episodes of Breaking Bad.

don't forget The Brothers Bloom. I'm pretty excited about this.
posted by HumanComplex at 12:21 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Specifically, he directed the Ozymandias, Fly and Fifty-One espisodes of Breaking Bad. Not too shabby.
posted by Esteemed Offendi at 12:22 PM on June 20 [8 favorites]


I worship at the throne of Brick, so count me in.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 12:22 PM on June 20


Dude, I don't even like Star Wars, but I might see this. "Fly" and "Ozymandias" are two of the best hours ever made in television.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:22 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


This means JGL will be in them right? RIGHT?
posted by whuppy at 12:22 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


not to mention the script has the main character murder a child, which wasn't terribly fun.

I think you mean younglings sunflowers.

Lawrence Kasdan is writing Ep VII, no? Abrams is just directing.

I believe they're co-writing.
posted by kmz at 12:22 PM on June 20


So we're just not going to mention that he also directed The Brothers Bloom? Yeah, okay I get that.

Still, loved two of three of his movies immensely. So this sounds like a good move to me.
posted by Naberius at 12:22 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Brick was an unwatchable pretension pile of crap

Either that or a super-fun neo-noir.
posted by brundlefly at 12:23 PM on June 20 [11 favorites]


I'm guessing the dailies on Ep.VII had way too many lens flares for the execs' taste??
posted by Thorzdad at 12:23 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


I love his first three movies. I don't care much for Star Trek either way. If this gives him the leeway to write his own check from here on out, I'm all for it.
posted by pxe2000 at 12:26 PM on June 20


It really feels like Disney is doing the setup right on this whole Star Wars thing. Like...the table looks immaculate, the plates are fine china...everything is proper down to the napkins. I'm feeling good about the meal...they couldn't possibly screw the meal up right?
posted by jnnla at 12:26 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Rian Johnson looks suspiciously like Jake Lloyd.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:26 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


I don't know how old everyone was when they watched Brick, but I was 20 when it came out in 2005 and I recently rewatched it and it's a very different movie. Back then I just took it as just basically a stylized neo-noir. Rewatching it, there's a lot more depth than I originally noticed. The Pin, especially, went from something of an affable antagonist to just a very sad, lonely young man with a life possible more miserable than JGL's character. There's a second tragedy in that movie, under all the posturing.
posted by griphus at 12:27 PM on June 20 [11 favorites]


It really feels like Disney is doing the setup right on this whole Star Wars thing. Like...the table looks immaculate, the plates are fine china...everything is proper down to the napkins. I'm feeling good about the meal...they couldn't possibly screw the meal up right?

Note to jnnla: don't eat at Epcot.
posted by mazola at 12:29 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


Actually said OH MY GOD, loudly, when I read this. Love Brick so much, really exciting and daring choice. Follows Warner's decision to use the Harry Potter franchise as a guaranteed money-maker they could take some chances on artistically, that elevated Cuaron into a big-budget director.
posted by Erasmouse at 12:32 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


I haven't seen Looper yet, but I love Brick and I remember "Ozymandias" and "The Fly" as being two of the best episodes of Breaking Bad. This is awesome news.
posted by entropicamericana at 12:36 PM on June 20


Rian Johnson looks suspiciously like Jake Lloyd.

"This is intense!" Never forget.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:38 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


This is really exciting news. Rian Johnson is like a Carruth who's grounded and will do what it takes to make a crowd-pleasing film. I'm more stoked for this than any JJ Abrams related stuff.

Cynically speaking, Johnson is probably far less expensive than a JJ Abrams would be. And he's proven that he knows how to work within a low budget. From a studio's perspective, he's very attractive to the bottom line. And that's fine if it means we get a director who goes back to the basics of what made Star Wars great to begin with: not flashy expensive CGI, but gripping story, characters and world-building.
posted by naju at 12:38 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


Brothers Bloom is awesome. I don't care what other false-tunes people might play on their lie-flutes.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:39 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


As for Looper...it was well-directed. I didn't like it quite as much as I wanted to. The script had too many contrivances for me. But, it was exceptionally well-made.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:40 PM on June 20


Yeah, I'm getting really tired of this franchise making casting/production decisions from my dream journal.

Okay, actually, I have been keeping my distance and not allowing myself to get excited about these movies, so I haven't been dreaming about this at all. But stuff like this keeps making it more and more likely.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:40 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


It's kind of a relief. JJ Abrams is, for example, too focussed on mysterious big red blobby things (ST1, Alias).
posted by bonehead at 12:42 PM on June 20


(Rian, can we have some John Darnielle on the soundtrack?)
posted by naju at 12:44 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


I could not possibly be more pleased with this choice.
posted by sparkletone at 12:46 PM on June 20


Brick is one of those movies that I've bought like three or four times and keep lending out. I love it. Looper was a smart and fascinating little time travel story. I wish I'd seen Brothers Bloom but it seems to have fallen off the face of the earth.

I'm good with this choice.
posted by gauche at 12:48 PM on June 20


The part of me that holds an ever-burning and constantly-urinated-upon torch for Star Wars is really, really hoping that Johnson's films will be set in the milieu that Star Wars 1313 was to be in.
posted by griphus at 12:50 PM on June 20


I actually screamed and ran around the room flailing when I saw this. Full Kermit-arms, man.
posted by dogheart at 12:50 PM on June 20 [10 favorites]


Funny that Shane Carruth's coming up in this thread. Johnson actually sent the screenplay for Looper to Carruth and asked him to check the work on the time travel shenanigans. Presumably Carruth signed off on it.
posted by Iridic at 12:57 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


So we're just not going to mention that he also directed The Brothers Bloom?

I really enjoyed The Brothers Bloom.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:59 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


I just remembered that Johnson is also a confirmed Cowboy Bebop fan, so I'm wondering if we'll see a little bit of visual influence there. I demand at least one jazz-funk space battle.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:04 PM on June 20 [6 favorites]


Presumably Carruth signed off on it.
In fact, when he showed the script to Primer director Shane Carruth, Carruth told him, "Well, to some extent, you're taking this magical approach to it," in terms of showing how things that affect a character's younger self immediately impact his older self. But once you take that leap into slightly "magical thinking," the film does stay consistent with it. "We're taking a linear, experiential view of the time travel as it's happening."
I didn't actually care about plot holes or time travel shenanigans in Looper, because as Johnson repeatedly stated it wasn't a time travel movie.
posted by muddgirl at 1:06 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


I was pretty underwhelmed with Looper, never sure what all the hype was about.
posted by octothorpe at 1:06 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Until I saw Snowpiercer, Looper probably had my vote for best sci-fi film of the 2010's.

Actually, come to think of it, can we let Johnson direct VIII and let Bong Joon-ho direct IX?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:09 PM on June 20


naju: Sorry, but there is one thing that really can't be done with Star Wars and still get a Star Wars movie. The franchise may have survived midichlorians and Jar Jar, barely, but a non-John-Williams soundtrack...

(Yes, I know the man isn't immortal. And I'm really, really unhappy about that.)
posted by seyirci at 1:11 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


I thought JJ Abrams would be perfect for the type of simple, don't-think-about-it-too-hard action fluff that made the original 3 Star Wars movies so great. He was not a great choice for Star Trek, sure, but he gets way too much shit on this site with the LOL LENS FLARE stuff. He was behind Fringe, and the first two episodes of Lost which, come on, that show started pretty strong and only got really terrible later. He doesn't seem like a guy that likes to finish things though, so maybe it's best he only gets the one kick at the can.

"Fly" was well-executed I gather but it was also contrived, gimmicky and annoying ("Best Bottle Show" might as well be "Least Stinky Turd"), and Brothers Bloom was OK not great. Agreed with a few others that Looper was worth a watch but not up to the hype (if you don't want it to be a time travel movie maybe don't feature time travel so prominently dude). I'm frankly more worried about what this guy is going to do with Star Wars than I was about Abrams. That said, he's damned near certain to do better than Lucas did with the last 3, so there's that.
posted by Hoopo at 1:18 PM on June 20


Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Bruce Willis in the role of Yoda, Jr.

Yes, it's called "500 Days of Look Who's Jedi Mind Trickin'"
posted by prodigalsun at 1:26 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Hoopo: "He was not a great choice for Star Trek, sure, but he gets way too much shit on this site with the LOL LENS FLARE stuff."

I've always thought that the lens-flare jokes were more of a shared fan-shorthand for the overall big-action dumbitude of the Abrams Trek films, and not an actual criticism in and of themselves. I won't regurgitate the arguments here, but the problems of NuTrek go far beyond throwaway visual flair.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:27 PM on June 20


I thought JJ Abrams would be perfect for the type of simple, don't-think-about-it-too-hard action fluff that made the original 3 Star Wars movies so great.

My issue with this (and with basically all genre movies from the past 5 years or so) is that the original 3 Star Wars movies were adventure movies, not action movies. I wonder if there's some functional reason why action movies are more in favor nowadays, or if it's just audience taste/studio dumbitude.
posted by muddgirl at 1:31 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


Or maybe the combination of Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Carribean just sort of tired studios and audiences out on adventure films.
posted by muddgirl at 1:32 PM on June 20


I don't mind the lens flair at all and like Abrams' visual style. My objections to the Star Trek films were all on the screenplay issues and he didn't write them. He did write Super 8 and I liked that movie quite a bit.
posted by octothorpe at 1:33 PM on June 20


Well, he wrote the first two thirds of Super 8, the final act, he presumably belched out to a stenographer in the five minutes before his massage.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:34 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


"500 Days of Look Who's Jedi Mind Trickin'"

10 Things I Hate About Yoda
posted by Sys Rq at 1:34 PM on June 20 [6 favorites]


I know why people don't like his Trek movies, I've seen the threads. I find them entertaining enough, but I agree they're not really in the spirit of Star Trek and could see why Trek fans hate it.

the original 3 Star Wars movies were adventure movies, not action movies

eh, laser swords, laser guns, big explosions, spaceship battles...I think there's a great deal of spillover between the two "genres" if you can call them that. Especially given the locations and characters in Star Wars it's going to be hard to really see much of a difference.
posted by Hoopo at 1:37 PM on June 20


It really feels like Disney is doing the setup right on this whole Star Wars thing

I wouldn't worry, They have the best algorithms in Hollywood processing night and day to ensure that the script does not deviate in any way from the industry Hero's Journey template
posted by happyroach at 1:41 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


I wouldn't worry, They have the best algorithms in Hollywood processing night and day to ensure that the script does not deviate in any way from the industry Hero's Journey template

The second and third Matrix movies were almost a master class in Campbellian hero's journey devotion and nobody much liked them (while handing them a buncha money)
posted by phearlez at 1:47 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


I haven't seen Brick but Looper lost me when we Netflixed it. I don't remember why, though (it may have been my medical squick). Brothers Bloom is in my queue and I clearly need to move it up to the top. Color me cautiously optimistic at the moment.
posted by immlass at 1:54 PM on June 20


It's as good a weekend as any to do a Rian Johnson marathon.
posted by naju at 1:55 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


Looper was terrible and it's entirely Rian Johnson's fault. Particularly the writing, the script was a disaster. The time travel plot made no sense at all and then there's the bait and switch and poof, the story is a crappy retread of a twice-made Twilight Zone episode. Oh, and it was a Star Trek episode too. Awful, terrible, awful.

I know it's fashionable to hate on JJ Abrams right now but give him this; he's the guy you want rebooting a broken franchise. He has strong vision. I fear Johnson is just a canvas for Disney to paint product and media tie-ins on.

For a brief moment I mis-read this and thought it was Shane Carruth, of Primer and Upstream Color. Now that's a Star Wars reboot I'd pay to see.
posted by Nelson at 2:04 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


Also:

The Brothers Bloom was terrible and it's entirely Rian Johnson's fault. Particularly the writing, the script was a disaster. The con job plot made no sense at all and then there's the bait and switch and poof, the story is a crappy watered-down version of a Wes Anderson romp. Awful, terrible, awful.
posted by mochapickle at 2:15 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


The Brithers Bloom is REALLY GOOD YOU GUYS and now I am unreasonably expecting a huest vie in the Star Wars.

Supporting those above ... What is this feeling? Is it hope? About fucking Star Wars? *shudder*
posted by The Whelk at 2:17 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


It's a new hope, Whelk. A New Hope.
posted by Atreides at 2:19 PM on June 20 [9 favorites]


The Brothers Bloom? Really, I hated it. Hated. And it seemed like it would be the perfect movie! There was so much potential, all wasted, and I would have gladly watched two hours of Rinko K alone and Rachel W being luminous and lovely but by the end there was so much meh-ness I was exhausted.
posted by mochapickle at 2:19 PM on June 20


A New Hope, Whelk.

This means JGL will be in them right? RIGHT?

If there is a God
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:19 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Damn you, Atreides.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:20 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Star Wars Scene Maker
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:38 PM on June 20


(iOS only, for those hoping it was cross-platform)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:47 PM on June 20


nathancaswell: "ALSO GRIPHUS SEE LOOPER"

Oh man, I have a name for the grandkids now.
posted by boo_radley at 3:13 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


JGL as the next sith.
posted by fatbird at 3:13 PM on June 20


EVERYONE I HAVE IMPORTANT NEWS IT TURNS OUT THAT OPINIONS ARE FACTS
posted by saladin at 3:28 PM on June 20 [9 favorites]


So are there no new sci-fi hotshot auteurs that people are universally cool with? Neill Blomkamp's Elysium was a dud. Joseph Kosinski's Tron sequel and Oblivion were visually stunning but of mixed quality. I guess it's all up to Duncan Jones of Moon to save cinematic space operas?
posted by Apocryphon at 3:30 PM on June 20


Max Landis is pretty cool, and I still think Joe Johnson could knock it out of the park, all the 1940s serial adventure style.
posted by The Whelk at 3:32 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


Brothers Bloom was almost a good movie, it one of those films that's constantly on the verge of breaking out into greatness, but never quite does. It was still probably better than 90% of the films that came out that year, though.
posted by zardoz at 3:54 PM on June 20


If we could send metafilter back in time, one of the threads I would love to read is when word got out that David Lynch was ask to work on Revenge of the Jedi. And then the thread when David Cronenberg got offered the same. And finally the thread where every who was super excited about the previous two tried to put their feelings about Ewoks into words.
posted by thecjm at 3:59 PM on June 20 [6 favorites]


It was still probably better than 90% of the films that came out that year, though.

Yes, but it may be a low bar considering that's the year You Don't Mess with the Zohan, Twilight, and Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull came out.
posted by Hoopo at 4:04 PM on June 20


Star Wars 1313

Ahhhhh, my ancient nemesis returns...
posted by Celsius1414 at 4:07 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa (sorry a touch plastered and overwhelmed by this news) aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
posted by ominous_paws at 4:20 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


His Twitter background is from Freaks. I give no shits about the SW franchise these days, but color me intrigued. (I thought Brick was interesting. And "interesting" is in short supply, so ...)
posted by allthinky at 4:32 PM on June 20


Damn you, Atreides.

Wrong franchise.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:49 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


So are there no new sci-fi hotshot auteurs that people are universally cool with?

Wachowskis! Not The Matrix Wachowskis, and certainly not the sequels. No, the Speed Racer Wachowskis. And it should be a shot-by-shot remake of the original Star Wars picture, only blown out in oversaturated colors and with hyper-editing of those shots. They could draw a bit on Cloud Atlas for the tedious epic empire trade war stuff.

Christopher Nolan? Guillermo del Toro? Alfonso CuarĂ³n? Give Blomkamp another try? So many strong choices to take a firm hand to the films. I'm still hoping for JJ though, I think he can do it.
posted by Nelson at 5:01 PM on June 20


Ha! (Twitter exchange from back in May when Gary Whitta was first announced to write one of the spin-off movies. Of course, the funniest part about Gary Whitta's involvement is that he scrubbed a bunch of his posts on NeoGAF where he was negative about the franchise back in February or so.)

Wrong franchise.

You mean the one about mystical warriors from a desert planet?
posted by kmz at 5:02 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


No, it's the one where a young man from a desert planet upends an entire galactic empire.
posted by Atreides at 5:21 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


Since people have been getting Rian Johnson and Shane Carruth mixed up this (a Q&A Johnson hosted with Carruth about Upstream Color; skip the 5-minute intro) is kind of relevant.

I hadn't planned on seeing the new Star Wars, and have lost all interest in summer blockbusters, but this is interesting. I'm curious to see how he handles a huge budget and the serious studio pressure that comes with it.
posted by edeezy at 5:31 PM on June 20


Brick was an unwatchable pretension pile of crap, Looper was goodish, and those breaking bad episodes were really good

Brick was all right. For some reason, I thought he was a lot younger than he is. Brick seems a lot more excusable if it were made by a 22 year old rather than someone who was in his 30s.
posted by empath at 6:16 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Neill Blomkamp's Elysium was a dud.

Man, I loved that movie, warts and all. I didn't even realize what director it was until the South African mercenary showed up.
posted by empath at 6:19 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


They should have only signed him up for VIII, and then just to really fuck with everyone, give IX to Jim Jarmusch.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:36 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


Terrence Malick
posted by griphus at 6:46 PM on June 20


Matthew Barney
posted by naju at 7:11 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


Woody Allen
posted by zardoz at 7:20 PM on June 20


Wes Anderson, and the entire thing is filmed on a giant maquette using vintage Kenner figurines.
posted by furtive at 7:32 PM on June 20 [10 favorites]


George Lucas
posted by George Lucas at 7:38 PM on June 20 [15 favorites]


Woody Allen

Beep Boop Baap
posted by Sys Rq at 7:45 PM on June 20


Werner Herzog
posted by leotrotsky at 7:49 PM on June 20


He seems like a really great choice, but isn't it a little troubling that they're announcing this during the first week of filming for VII? Rearranging the deck chairs already?

I think the plan all along was to have a different director for each one, so I'm sure Abrams isn't worried, and probably even had a say in the choice. I'm not sure anyone expected this news this soon, though. I suppose it's possible VIII will come out two years after instead of the usual three. And they also announced directors for two spin-off movies.

If VII follows IV as the escapist adventure, and VIII follows V as more of a bleak drama, the director choices should fit. I'd love to see Joe Johnston, considering he was a designer on the originals.

By the way, with all the (justified) grumbling here about the lack of women in the initial casting announcement, did I miss the thread about the casting of Lupita Nyong'o and Gwendoline Christie?
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 8:09 PM on June 20


I would actually kind of love it if the Star Wars franchise could turn into something like an idealized version of the Mission: Impossible franchise: a mainstream showcase for directors, using a highly established property.

The Star Wars universe is such a big, fun sandbox. Why not open it up and let Rian Johnson be Rian Johnson, or Julie Taymor be Julie Taymor, or Brian De Palma be Brian De Palma...
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:59 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


Because they did such great stuff last time they worked together, I wish Disney had gotten David Wong and Donald Coscarelli together to put this next trilogy together. They could call the last one, Han Dies at the End.
posted by wobh at 9:12 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


The first movie of that trilogy being Han Gets Hurt in the Beginning.
posted by mazola at 9:22 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


I was spectacularly disappointed with Looper, so this choice doesn't fill me with optimism. Looper had some good ideas, but were executed really badly. Admittedly you don't have to turn in a masterpiece to outclass the prequels, but that's not how the film industry should work.
posted by panboi at 4:54 AM on June 21


Particularly the writing, the script was a disaster. The con job plot made no sense at all and then there's the bait and switch and poof, the story is a crappy watered-down version of a Wes Anderson romp.

I just watched it a couple of hours ago for the first time. It's a pretty solid movie, structurally, that was just over-acted, over-directed and overwritten.
posted by empath at 10:22 AM on June 21


Admittedly you don't have to turn in a masterpiece to outclass the prequels, but that's not how the film industry should work.

I'm sure the sole criterion for his selection wasn't "Hey at least his stuff's better than the prequels cuz the prequels sucked lol."

And who are they supposed to get exactly? Only someone whose filmography has a 100% approval rating?
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 2:23 PM on June 21


And who are they supposed to get exactly? Only someone whose filmography has a 100% approval rating?


I think most folks would have settled for settled for someone whose filmography has a 95.75% approval rating.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:28 PM on June 21


Brad Bird would have been genius.
posted by mochapickle at 4:07 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that individual directors won't have a whole lot of leeway to stamp much of a personal identity on the Disney produced Star Wars movies. I'd assume that it'll be much like the Marvel CU where each movie has to fit carefully into the corporate strategy and the specific directors won't be given too much power.
posted by octothorpe at 4:20 PM on June 21


If we could send metafilter back in time

Well the first problem is that we'd have to prevent the younger metafilter from shooting it.
posted by A dead Quaker at 6:24 PM on June 21 [3 favorites]


Brad Bird is busy with Tomorrowland right now but I would not be at all surprised if his next project after that is a Star Wars film.
posted by Uncle Ira at 7:39 PM on June 21


Not sure whether or not to post this here or to the Donnie & Marie thread.
posted by mazola at 12:37 AM on June 22


Star Wars (Guardians of the Galaxy Style!)
posted by homunculus at 1:44 PM on June 22 [4 favorites]


That's a great mash up/recut.
posted by Atreides at 6:24 AM on June 23


I would actually kind of love it if the Star Wars franchise could turn into something like an idealized version of the Mission: Impossible franchise

John Woo doing Star Wars?
posted by Hoopo at 8:52 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]


My vote is for Paul Verhoeven.
posted by brundlefly at 9:41 AM on June 23


The problem with hiring an auteur to direct these sorts of things is that auteurs have their own visions and they aren't generally known for compromise. Hiring someone who is merely competent is probably better.
posted by empath at 9:54 AM on June 23


To nitpick, I would even push back against the idea that auteurs are the opposites (or counterparts) to the merely competent. Auteurs just have a singular, distinct vision: in and of itself, they're not necessarily any better than a "meat and potatoes" director. There are incompetent auteurs (Ed Wood) and brilliant hired guns (John Frankenheimer).
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:31 AM on June 23


empath: "The problem with hiring an auteur to direct these sorts of things is that auteurs have their own visions and they aren't generally known for compromise. Hiring someone who is merely competent is probably better."

That seemed to be Lucas's strategy for Empire and Jedi. Kershner and Marquand were both decent directors but neither of them did any essential before or after their Star Wars movies. They were both certainly better technically than Lucas himself but not really auteurs.
posted by octothorpe at 10:44 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]


Aside: I was just thinking that I can write "auteur" but I'd feel like such a poser if I said it out loud.
posted by octothorpe at 2:12 PM on June 23


I think Lucas had hoped Spielberg would direct Jedi (and/or the prequels?). Spielberg either declined because it was too much Lucas's thing, or because of obstacles with the director's guild. But I'm sure he wouldn't have made it completely different in feel from Star Wars and Empire, and it should probably be the same with these new directors.

And yeah, Brad Bird for Episode IX. Unfortunately, there's still likely going to be X-XII, at least, that he could also take a shot at.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 4:07 PM on June 23


John Woo doing Star Wars?

Jesus Christ, did you actually watch Mission Impossible II? Recently? It's the worst of the series, easily. The action in incoherent when it's not unintentionally funny. I rewatched it a few years ago with friends and it became an impromptu MST3K episode. My ranking for them would be

I. Brian DePalma - good
III. J.J. Abrams - good
IV Brad Bird - good
II. John Woo -bad, oh so bad.

I don't get all the John Woo adoration; he's inexplicably overrated.

Now, what were we talking about?
posted by zardoz at 11:00 PM on June 23


I don't get all the John Woo adoration; he's inexplicably overrated.

Hard-Boiled
posted by empath at 11:26 PM on June 23 [2 favorites]


zardoz, his Hong Kong work is amazing. Hard Target and Face/Off are fun, but he never hit his stride in the US.
posted by brundlefly at 2:12 PM on June 24


Oh, and I recently rewatched the M:I franchise and was forced to revise my rankings.

1. DePalma
2. Brad Bird
3. Woo
4. Abrams

Despite some nice set pieces and a great villain, Abrams' film did not hold up at all for me. It felt bland and meandering. Woo's film is one of his worst, and the action is shockingly bad, but it's entertaining in a bombastic kind of way.
posted by brundlefly at 3:59 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


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