Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Rumor: The 2022 'Star Wars' Film Has A Director, No Announcement Expected Until January

By: Dominic Jones

While all eyes are focused on the present and immediate future of the Star Wars franchise, with The Mandalorian being in the midst of its first season and The Rise of Skywalker coming out next month, decisions are being made behind the scenes about the more long term future of the series.  And while there have been some recent setbacks when it comes to the future of Star Wars on the silver screen, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has reportedly charted a course that we will learn about early next year.

According to a new report from The Hollywood Reporter, Kennedy has hired a director for the December 16th, 2022 Star Wars film and that they will be announced in January 2020 (after the release of The Rise of Skywalker and season one of The Mandalorian).  The story also points out, however, that there is no guarantee that Kennedy will still be in her position by the time that film is released, given that her contract expires in 2021.

No more details about the film are known, other than it is apparently not one of the films in the trilogy that The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson is developing.  Johnson, for his part, said in a recent interview with Business Insider that he has "no update" about his trilogy.  "You're going to have to wait for them to announce whatever they are going to announce," the director said.

The only other Star Wars film we know of that's in development is the one that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige is producing.  That film was announced earlier this fall, however reports initially suggested that it was not far enough along in development to be ready for the December 2022 release date.

That December 2022 release date was originally planned to be the premiere of the first in a trilogy of films from Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.  However, the duo exited the franchise last month, due in part to creative differences and their new Netflix deal, leaving an unexpected hole in the Star Wars release schedule.

While the identity of the 2022 director remains unknown, THR also reports that The Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau is expected to have a significant role in the future of the saga.  They report that Kennedy, regardless of whether she stays at Lucasfilm beyond 2021, wants to put together a team to run the franchise that has significant roles for Favreau, as well as, Michelle Rejwan (Lucasfilm's senior vp live action development and production) and Dave Filoni (executive producer of The Mandalorian, Star Wars Rebels, and The Clone Wars).

Kennedy has had high praise for both Rejwan and Filoni in the past.  When Rejwan, who is also a producer on The Rise of Skywalker, was promoted to her current role, Kennedy said about her, "I have seen first-hand her skills collaborating with writers and directors, and I’ve been incredibly impressed with her creative skills and her ability to manage the complexity surrounding these massive projects."  More recently, Kennedy told Vanity Fair about Filoni, "there isn’t a thing that we do in the storytelling space that I don’t check with Dave."

Whatever the future holds for Star Wars is also likely contingent on the success of The Rise of Skywalker in December.  After the box office failure of Solo: A Star Wars Story last year, the Star Wars film schedule was reworked and Disney CEO Bob Iger said that there would be a slow down when it comes to Star Wars films after the Skywalker Saga concluded.  If The Rise of Skywalker hits the same heights as the other two films in the sequel trilogy, then we will likely see more Star Wars films added to the Disney schedule.  If it's closer to the returns of Solo, then we will likely see more changes in the future for Star Wars.

As always, this is just a rumor until confirmed or denied by Lucasfilm or Disney.

Follow The Star Wars Underworld on Twitter @TheSWU for more updates about this story and other breaking Star Wars news.


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