star wars episode viii director
Rian Johnson (left) on the set of Looper with Joseph Gordon-Levitt (right)
Tim here, and I've got the most exciting news of the week. This may be more exciting for me than most of you, but believe me when I say this news is really exhilarating. The news is that young writer and director Rian Johnson will be taking over the screenwriting and directing helm for Star wars episode viii from JJ Abrams. Reports are also varied as to whether he's also tackling episode ix, but consistently reported is that he'll at the least be writing the treatment. If lucky he will also be writing and directing episode ix. Fingers crossed that he is the man behind the helm.
For those of you who don't know who Rian Johnson in then you're in for a treat. I was first introduced to his filmmaking brilliance in 2006 when I first saw the trailer for his indie directorial debut Brick, which I then later saw in theaters. Brick was a surprise hit at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005. There it nabbed a Special Jury Price for Johnson's "originality of vision" and then went on to win several Independent Spirit nominations. Brick was a very creative breakthrough film that set the film noir genre in a high school environment and starred Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He followed Brick with another indie film called The Brothers Bloom in 2008. He also directed episodes of Breaking Bad in the following years, including "Ozymandias," which is considered one of the best episodes of the series. And then, in 2012 he made his first foray into sci-fi with Looper, which starred Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis. Ram Bergman, who produced Brick and Looper, will produce with Johnson.
I hope that gives you an idea why this news is so exciting for me. Now, JJ Abrams is shooting Star wars episode vii in 2D on 35mm with IMAX cameras, so whether Rian Johnson will continue that is debatable. Johnson is most comfortable with 35mm Film as he shot that format on all his previous films, and as well on Breaking Bad. So if he chooses to shoot natively in 3D it would be his first time and as well his first time working digitally. Thus it is hard to say whether this Star wars Trilogy will be native at all over being converted.
I hope this news excites you. JJ Abrams Star wars episode vii is slated for release on December 18, 2015. Rian Johnson's sequel is supposed to hit soon after. Rian Johnson shared this video clip from The Right Stuff to express how he feels: