The Star Wars franchise is dealing with yet another director departure, as Jurassic World helmer Colin Trevorrow has left Episode IX. It puts another cloud over the series on the eve of December’s The Last Jedi release.
Disney and Lucasfilm announced the news on the Star Wars website. There was no news on how this would effect the film’s script or its planned May 24, 2019 release date. Here’s the statement from the studios:
Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow have mutually chosen to part ways on Star Wars: Episode IX. Colin has been a wonderful collaborator throughout the development process but we have all come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ. We wish Colin the best and will be sharing more information about the film soon.
Trevorrow has been working on Episode IX for at least two years and was hired weeks after he revived the Jurassic Park franchise with Jurassic World. But in recent months, he became an embattled director who had to defend his hiring after his small indie movie The Book of Henry was a critical and commercial flop.
“Not only did I grow up on these stories, like all of us did, [but] I think that the values of Star Wars are values that I hold very close and very dear in my life,” Trevorrow told The Hollywood Reporter in an effort to ease fans’ concerns after Henry bombed. “I feel that the message of the way that the Force teaches you to treat other people and show respect for others, and the way it guides you through life, is really important to me. And I hope everybody would realize that that set of stories has affected me as deeply in my life as it has affected them.”
Trevorrow was also writing IX with his regular creative collaborator, Derek Connolly. But there were signs that Disney was also not thrilled with where Trevorrow and Connolly were going, since Jack Thorne was hired last month to work on the script.
This is just the latest case of Disney losing a director on a Star Wars film. In June, Christopher Miller and Phil Lord were fired late in the production of the Han Solo stand-alone movie, and were replaced by Ron Howard. In 2015, Josh Trank was fired from a project rumored to be a Boba Fett stand-alone after his Fantastic Four reboot bombed. In addition, Gareth Edward’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story required significant input from Tony Gilroy during post-production.
Meanwhile, Disney and Lucasfilm are about to release Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, which was written and directed by Rian Johnson. The film opens on December 15.