Almost immediately following the news of Colin Trevorrow’s departure from Star Wars: Episode IX, rumors and speculation began to swirl as to whom might slide into his vacated director’s chair.
One heavily reported name appearing on Lucasfilm’s shortlist of potential replacements is that of Rian Johnson, who is in the process of wrapping up post-production on Episode IX‘s predecessor, this December’s The Last Jedi.
However, speaking at a press event in Japan, Johnson pulled himself out of the running in a way that seemed to hedge his bets about changing his mind in the future.
It was never in the plan for me to direct Episode IX, so I don’t know what’s going to happen with it. For me, I was entirely focused on Episode VIII and having this experience. Now I’m just thinking about putting the movie out there and seeing how audiences respond to it. So no, I’m not really thinking about that right now.
Whoever does it, I’m going to be really excited to be an audience member again, and to sit down and see what the next filmmaker has to show us and where this story ends up going.
With production reportedly set to begin in the early part of next year and Johnson currently putting the finishing touches on Last Jedi for its December 15th release, it does appear as if he doesn’t have the time to prep for shooting Episode IX.
Trevorrow’s departure was initially attributed to “creative differences,” but as the week went on reports came out that painted the writer/director as intractable and unwilling to make even the smallest compromises in the development of the film.