“It was never in the plan for me to direct Episode IX, so I don’t know what’s going to happen with it,” said Johnson while promoting in Japan episode VIII, aka “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” “For me, I was entirely focused on Episode VIII and having this experience and now I’m just thinking of putting the movie out there and seeing how audiences respond to it.”
“Whoever does it, I’m going to be really excited to be an audience member again,” he continued. “And to sit down and see what the next filmmaker has to show us and where this story ends up going.”
Which is EXACTLY what J.J. Abrams kept saying before Disney backed up the Brinks truck and gave Abrams total creative freedom on 2015’s Episode VII.
Johnson wrote the scripts for all four of his feature directorial efforts to date – “Brick” (2005), “The Brothers Bloom” (2008), “Looper” (2012) and “The Last Jedi” (2017) – so my suspicion is he’d want to do the same for his next feature.
But does Johnson have ideas for Episode IX? And is Disney, which has Episode IX slated to enter cinemas in less than 21 months, willing to wait for Johnson to come up with these ideas?
Still, Johnson has been thinking about "The Last Jedi" for years now and knows how “Last Jedi” ends and probably already has more accidental ideas for IX than any other filmmaker on the planet. On the other hand, maybe David Ayer or Jordan Peele or the guy who made “10 Cloverfield Lane” have secretly been nurturing dozens of cool Star Wars stories and are busy screaming at their agents to get them a meeting with Kathleen Kennedy.
Also, what are George Miller and Peter Jackson up to these days?
Would great writers-directors with no spaceship experience like Kenneth Lonergan, David Mamet or Aaron Sorkin be smart choices?
I know Buffy Boy Joss Whedon has Star Wars ideas. He's even said he’d like to do a standalone “Star Wars Story.” The “Firefly” movie, which was almost Star Wars, only grossed about $40 million, but it didn’t have any Skywalkers or lightsabers in it – and besides, it came out before Whedon wrote and directed the two highest-grossing superhero movies ever.
The only thing I feel confident predicting is that Disney is about to reschedule Episode IX for December 2019.