As just about everybody in the known universe has heard by now, director Colin Trevorrow has been fired from the upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX. With LucasFilm’s previous director dramas well-known, we asked three of Psycho Drive-In’s brightest to discuss the ousting and suggest someone to take the helm of the climactic conclusion of the new trilogy. So, without further ado, here’s Peterson, Eric, and Nate with their picks! Colin Trevorrow can add the dubious badge of honor to his belt – being removed as the director of a Star Wars film. It is an honor that has now been bestowed upon all but two of the directors of the current films. In all fairness, Trevorrow’s problems didn’t fall into the reckless Josh Trank category, but rather, it would seem, fell on his inability to establish a script for Episode IX that meshed with Kathleen Kennedy’s sensibility. This kind of news is always shocking, but it was not unexpected considering Tervorrow’s critical and commercial failure from earlier this summer, The Book of Henry. Now comes the guessing game with who will fill the spot. To me, there is one person that really deserves the spot but also makes sense considering her relationship with Disney. Ava DuVernay. Whilst she might not be the first name that comes to mind, I think that she fills two massive needs for Kathleen Kennedy. First, she is a somewhat veteran director that possesses a populist bent that is still steeped in a personal artistry. She, just like Rian Johnson, who the studio, by all accounts is thrilled with, is the type of director that looks to bridge the arthouse into the mainstream. Second, she seems to be able to work inside the mold of what needs to be done to bring the Star Wars saga to the next phase. This seems to be the trait that Kennedy is looking for in every decision she makes. The director’s need to be able to play nice. This would explain what happened to Josh Trank, as well as Phil Lord & Chris Miller. Outside of these requisites, DuVernay is about to have her scheduled cleared up with A Wrinkle in Time slated for a March release. The film should be in the final editing stages at this point, which means she would be ready to take the director’s chair for a November start date in order to make the current May of 2019 release date of Episode IX a distinct possibility. Hopefully, this is a date that they choose to move back six months so that the script gets handled correctly. Also, since she is wrapping up A Wrinkle in Time, it would show that Disney has a good deal of faith in that film and DuVernay as an artistic talent they are willing to continue their working relationship with. In addition to A Wrinkle in Time, DuVernay submitted ideas for The Force Awakens, so she knows the universe too. These are all reasons that I think she is a natural fit, but there is one that makes her the slam dunk choice. Since Disney has taken over the Star Wars universe they have populated the films with the most diverse cast this side of a Fast and Furious film. But, as of now, there hasn’t been anyone but a straight white man in charge of the films. This trilogy is focusing on Rey, Finn and, Poe Dameron. These characters are played by a woman, a young black man from the United Kingdom and, a Puerto Rican. This franchise needs to entrust a minority to tell their story because they are all played by actors that can be thought of as marginalized by our society. DuVernay, while being a successful black director, is also a woman. We can presume that this trilogy will conclude the story of Rey and there is no better way than to have a strong female finish this story. Disney needs to make a point with the person they give this director’s chair to. J.J. Abrams made a solid Star Wars film, but it felt like much of the same. It seems from word on the set that Rian Johnson has made a film that moves and breathes unlike any other that we have seen yet, but the man needs to sleep after all. Ava DuVernay would bring an authenticity of representation to the concluding chapter in this trilogy that we haven’t seen yet. As of now, there isn’t any way to know who will really take the chair. But, imagine a world where the director of the documentary critiquing the prison industrial complex, 13th, steps in to helm what is likely to be one of the most profitable movies of all time. It would be a decision that proves that Disney wants to be a studio that is serious about minority representation and artistic credibility. Again, her name is Ava DuVernay and she is the clear choice to guide this universe forward. — Peterson Hill When news broke earlier this week that Colin Trevorrow was “stepping down” from Star Wars Episode 9 you could feel something in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cheered out loud in joy. Now I don’t have anything against Colin, I loved his movie Safety Not Guaranteed and I was one of the many who didn’t hate Jurassic World. I just didn’t think it was great. But his exit from Episode 9 does leave the director’s chair empty and someone needs to sit upon it. Who should it be? Well I believe there is only one person out there who is destined to take over episode 9. That one person should be Matthew Vaughn. There are a couple of reasons to consider Matthew Vaughn the smart and safe pick to direct Episode 9. First there is the fact that he was heavily recruited for episode 7 shows that Disney and Lucas Films already have an interest in Vaughn and want him to be involved in the Star Wars franchise somehow some way. If rumors and reports around that time are to be believed, Vaughn was the heavy favorite to land Episode 7 and it was a midnight deal that got J.J. Abrams the job. If Disney and Lucas don’t get Vaughn now, when will they? I don’t know, maybe for a Boba Fett standalone film? Second, he knows how to spend the studio’s money. What I mean is that he has yet to make a movie that wasn’t made money for the studio. Sure Layer Cake and Stardust were only minor hits but look at Kick-Ass, X-Men First Class and Kingsman, are three movies that were huge financial successes for their studios. Also when I say he knows how to spend the studio’s money he has normally worked with small budgets, his biggest budget being X-Men First Class with 160 million. But with a 160 million dollar budget, he made what can be argued one of the top X-Men movies and brought in double that at the box office. Disney and LucasFilms need someone who can come in and work in their corporate world, which Vaughn has for other studios, and make them money. So go ahead and give Matthew Vaughn a 250 million dollar budget and see what he can do for the Wonderful World of Disney. Third, with Matthew Vaughn, it is style and substance. Vaughn knows how to direct action sequences. Look at the church sequence in Kingsman. Look at how glorious that was. Now imagine Vaughn being able to create a moment like that in a Star Wars movie? With episode 7 J.J. played it a little too safe in both his writing and directing, I am willing to bet that Matthew Vaughn wouldn’t do that if he got his chance. He would find a way to bring his strengths and make them work for a Star Wars movie. Since Episode 9 needs a rewrite, Matthew could bring in Jane Goldman and the two of them could make Episode 9 the special film it needs to be. Just imagine how Vaughn would direct the final lightsaber battle between Rey and Kylo Ren with the dialogue written by Vaughn and Goldman. Yeah, I will let you clean up after that. And my final point is this; Matthew Vaughn can rejuvenate a franchise. When Matthew Vaughn first signed on for X-Men First Class, the X-men franchise was not in the best place in the world. X-men just went from X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins Wolverine, so it was not the best of X-times. Fan interest was low and the Marvel Cinematic Universe was just starting. But with First Class Vaughn was able to bring back fans to the X-Men universe and set up the films for a nice two film run. With Star Wars, we might be at a point of diminishing returns come Episode 9. If The Last Jedi is more of the same as The Force Awakens and with the negative press that has been the Han Solo standalone film, Star Wars could use someone to help right the ship of the franchise and who better than Matthew Vaughn? — Eric Muller Something is rotten in the state of Star Wars. In all seriousness, what the hell is going on at Lucasfilm? The semi-annual purging of a director is providing enough data to prove a trend rather than some anomaly. I remember years ago, likely 2015, when Lucasfilm had gathered all of their post-Force Awakens filmmakers together for a photo op. You could go back to that picture and watch them vanish one by one like some kind of Back to the Future-esque curse. Goodbye, Miller and Lord. Goodbye Josh Trank. Goodbye Trevorrow. Maybe Edwards could be replaced by one-half of Tony Gilroy. There are six movies in development and only two have survived with their original directors intact without extensive reshoots. The majority of these films have run into serious management or artistic struggles, and Lucasfilm seems to be trigger-happy when it comes to removing those hip, up-and-coming directors they wanted to make hip Star Wars movies. Again, what is going on here? I’m starting to believe that after the billion-dollar grosses of Force Awakens and Rogue One that Lucasfilm’s idea of a Star Wars movie has become narrower, more rigidly defined. Hell, Episode 7 was a copycat of the plot beats for Episode 4. The Lucasfilm brass wanted to tell new, interesting stories within their massive Star Wars universe that they ponied up four billion dollars for. Producer Kathleen Kennedy seems to have a formula for the directors she hired: one eye-catching indie success plus one big blockbuster. Trevorrow had Safety Not Guaranteed and Jurassic World. Edwards had Monsters and Godzilla. Trank had Chronicle and Fantastic Four… until enough people saw Fantastic Four and he was the first to get a Lucasfilm pink slip. It appeared that Lucasfilm wanted to tell new and interesting stories with some of the hottest big screen directors. It looked like they were going to follow the Marvel Cinematic Universe formula of hiring distinctive artists with different visions and finding ways for those voices to work within the machinery of the Marvel juggernaut. Marvel is the behemoth that found ways for Joss Whedon, the Russo brothers, James Gunn, Ryan Coogler, Shane Black, and Taika Waititi to leave their creative stamp in blockbuster territory. The MCU is willing to take chances. I’m not so sure Lucasfilm is anymore. The successes of Force Awakens and Rogue One rely upon a heavy dose of nostalgia as well as replicating an experience that fans are already familiar with. I have the sinking feeling we’re only ever going to continue getting variations on the same reworked stories, making a universe feel like it’s only populated by Solos and Skywalkers. Does anyone care about a Jabba the Hutt movie? Or a Ben Kenobi movie? The established acceptable Star Wars template seems to be a guiding point of Kennedy’s crusade for brand quality control. Can something different come from this universe? Will we ever see a fresh, daring, or surprising story in this galaxy far, far away? I myself am becoming less and less hopeful as the weeks go by and the heads of discarded directors pile up. Maybe this is Kennedy course correcting, accepting the mistake of selecting the wrong people. However, if this were the case, wouldn’t Lucasfilm act with a little more urgency? The Han Solo movie was weeks away from finishing principal photography and had been shooting for five months when Miller and Lord were unceremoniously canned. Rogue One endured far-reaching reshoots that carved out half a new movie with five months to spare before its worldwide release. That’s a dangerous time crunch. Trevorrow and his writing partner Derek Connolly had put a year of their lives into writing the script for Episode 9; Trevorrow was announced as director months after Jurassic World stomped all over the box-office. It wasn’t until a month ago in July 2017 that Lucasfilm announced they had hired a new screenwriter to start from scratch for Episode 9, which is supposed to start filming early next year. I feel like if Lucasfilm was course correcting they would make sure these decisions were made years in advance of wasted costs and time. Now to the question at hand: who should direct Episode 9? I have plenty of people I’d love to see dabble in the Star Wars universe (Gareth Evans, Ana DuVernay, Edgar Wright, Andy Muschietti) but let’s be realistic. Lucasfilm has proven that they don’t want groundbreaking voices with generation-defining vision. What they want are people that can work within their system and accept micromanagement. DuVernay didn’t want to work within the system of the MCU, so she’s definitely not going to find Lucasfilm’s get-up appealing. And Patty Jenkins is going to be locked up by the DCU for some time considering she had her hands on the one movie people liked. Matthew Vaughn makes a lot of sense because we know he auditioned for Episode 7 and has a proven track record of delivering big hits from someone else’s products. His X-Men: First Class breathed new life into a dormant franchise that appears eager to once again become dormant. Vaughn uses his big screen dollars just about better than anyone out there and, as First Class shows, can deliver a quality product on time. I’m going with another name, though. The next director of Episode 9 should be… Alfonso Cuaron. This is a director who has proven his bonafides in the realms of indies and blockbusters, across a vast array of genres, and who can take somebody else’s franchise with its predisposed template and improve upon it, like he did with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He’s a director of unparalleled vision that pops on the big screen. Ah, who are we kidding? It’s just going to be Rian Johnson again. Keep things safe. — Nate Zoebl Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.