By: Dominic Jones
The fact that Rian Johnson is directing Star Wars Episode VIII has to be the worst kept secret in Hollywood since Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill being in Star Wars Episode VII. Johnson's representatives have confirmed it, Gareth Edwards (2016 Stand Alone film director) said as much in his Ice Bucket challenge video, the only people that haven't confirmed it are Lucasfilm! But if you needed more proof, Johnson himself has finally blatantly admitted it.
"I'm doing a Star Wars movie" Johnson told fellow filmmaker Terry Gilliam on a recent episode of "The Talkhouse" Podcast. He also confirmed he was "writing and directing" "the next one after this one JJ Abrams is doing." Johnson went on to discuss his love of and history with the franchise. He also discussed the important role of Kathleen Kennedy and her team's process for hirting directors, saying,
“It’s a balance, yeah. … Well, that’s been the great thing about it — Kathleen and her whole creative team have been so insistent on all the filmmakers they’ve been hiring for these new movies: ‘We want you to take it and turn it into something that you really care about.’ And we’ll see how the process plays out, but so far, that’s a big part of the reason I’m in it. Because that just seems like their attitude towards it. It’s really exciting actually.”
So there you have it. Johnson is definitely in! As for why Lucasfilm has not officially reported it, Jeremy Conrad over at Furious Fanboys may have answer. According to Jeremy,
"No one knows why the announcement hasn’t been made, and there are some interesting theories flying around as to why not, one of which says that Disney squashed it out of fear that people would see JJ not directing Episode VIII as a sign of no confidence in VII. For what it’s worth, rumor says Lucasfilm was going to announce it on StarWars.com, but it was pulled at the last minute."
I have to say that's a very believable theory about this (I have been thinking the same thing myself for a while now, though I didn't know about the StarWars.com story). Regardless, it's interesting to hear Johnson talk about the process. To hear what else he has to say, you can listen to the entire episode of "The Talkhouse" below,
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