Friday, February 21, 2020

Report: New 'Star Wars' Movie In Development From J.D. Dillard & Matt Owens

J.D. Dillard is Star Wars' newest filmmaker, according to new reports.
By: Dominic Jones

The Star Wars franchise has found their next writer and director, according to a new story from The Hollywood Reporter.  Apparently, Lucasfilm has greenlit a new film directed by J.D. Dillard and written by Matt Owns.  No word yet on release date, casting, or whether the film will be released in theaters or on Disney+. Deadline did have one tidbit about the plot of the film in their follow-up story, reporting that, "the project will take place on the hidden Sith planet of Exegol, which was introduced in last December’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker."

Dillard is best known for his work as writer and director of the 2016 film Slieght and the 2019 film Sweetheart.  He also directed episodes of the TV series Utopia and Two Sentence Horror Stories.  Meanwhile Owens served as writer and story editor for three Marvel TV series, Luke Cage, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and The Defenders.

The project is said to be unrelated to the film that Marvel president Kevin Feige is reportedly producing and the trilogy that The Last Jedi was hired to write and direct.  It's also not clear if it is related to those "High Republic" rumors that were floating around earlier this year (for a complete break down of those rumors, check out this episode of The SWU Podcast at the 2:02:45 mark). 

It's not known yet if Dillard will direct the film or just co-write it with Owens.  Regardless, this would mark the first time a black filmmaker served as writer or director of a Star Wars film. Star Wars has taken important steps when it comes to representation in casting (although there is still plenty of room to improve), however less has been done behind the scenes (with The Mandalorian being the only live action project to feature directors who weren't just white men).  Dillard's hiring is another important step when it comes to behind the scenes representation.

As always, we await further confirmation from Lucasfilm and 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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