Sleight director J D Dillard and Luke Cage writer Matt Owens are currently working at developing a new Star Wars project for Lucasfilm and Disney.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the story, noting that it is not yet known if the pair are working on a new film for the Star Wars franchise or a television series to stream on the Disney+ service.
No story details are being reported right now. Dillard and Owens are currently only writing, though there is the possibility that Dillard will then be tapped to direct the project if it moves forward.
As of right now, the state of the overall Star Wars franchise is in flux.
Disney and Lucasfilm still has an untitled Star Wars film on its release calendar for December 16, 2022, with two more installments following at two year intervals. But it has not yet revealed what that film will be or who will be the creatives involved. But Lucasfilm does have a number of irons in the fire. Knives Out and Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson is still working on a new trilogy of films of films for the studio. Also, Marvel Studios honcho Kevin Feige has reportedly had talks with Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy about a possible Star Wars project as has Jojo Rabbit writer/director Taika Waititi. No concrete news outside of the fact that they are in development has been reported.
Meanwhile, things have been looking somewhat more optimistic over on the television side of the franchise. The successful launch of Disney+ last November is being attributed in part to the premier of the Star Wars series The Mandalorian, as well as a wealth of other, pre-existing Star Wars content. In response, the streamer is releasing a new season of the Clone Wars animated series starting this Friday as well as greenlighting two new live action series – One featuring Ewan McGregor returning as Obi-Wan Kenobi and another focusing on Diego Luna’s Rogue One character of Cassian Andor.
What is exciting about the Dillard news is that Dillard and Owen’s project could bring some much needed diversity to the Star Wars universe. Although Lucasfilm head Kennedy stated that she has wanted to add a more diverse roster of creators to the franchise, the five Star Wars films released since Disney bought the company have all been written and directed by white men. Dillard and Owen now join Waititi as being perhaps the first persons of color to direct a Star Wars installment. Things have fared better over on The Mandaolrian, which has seen Rick Famuyiwa, Deborah Chow, Bryce Dallas Howard and Waititi all directing episodes.