Star Wars Episode VIII Rian Johnson To Write And Direct Sequel, Fans React

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By Tanya Diente | June 23, 2014 1:00 PM EST

Another "Star Wars" movie franchise is creating fervor among fans with the news that "Star Wars: Episode VIII" will be written and directed by Rian Johnson.

REUTERS
Actor Harrison Ford poses for photographers at a question and answer event about his new film "Enders Game" at a cinema at Leicester Square in central London in this file photo taken October 7, 2013. Ford has undergone surgery on his broken left leg that was injured in an accident on the set of "Star Wars: VII," the publicist for the 71-year-old actor said in a statement on Thursday.

According to Deadline, LucasFilms is making a deal with "Looper" writer and director Rian Johnson to pen and direct "Star Wars: Episode VIII."

Rian Johnson is reported to take over the core film franchise so he could start on it right away. He is reported to also write "Star Wars IX" but will direct both "Star Wars" installments.

Sources have also confirmed the news on Variety.

According to these sources, the news that Rian Johnson will write and direct "Star Wars: Episode VIII" came after LucasFilms tapped Garreth Edwards and Josh Tank to direct two stand-alone "Star Wars" films. Likewise, they said that movie director J.J. Abrams would only be directing "Star Wars: Episode VII", which the cast and crew are becoming aware of.

As for Rian Johnson, he has been looking for his next project since "Looper" and according to Variety he was even rumoured to be on the shortlist to direct the next "Star Trek".

Rian Johnson hasn't commented on this report yet, but if this is the case then it makes sense that the final two "Star Wars" installments would be given to a single filmmaker who can both write and direct, according to Collider . This decision could prevent unexpected rewrites, as what happened with "Star Wars: Episode VII" when J.J. Abrams threw out Michael Arndt's script and write a new one with Lawrence Kasdan.

Collider added that having Rian Johnson write "Star Wars: Episode VIII" will provide a sense of continuity for all "Star Wars" installments.

In an interview with Digital Spy last year, Rian Johnson was asked about the prospect of directing "Star Wars: Episode VII", which he thought unlikely that he would be considered for such a project.

"I don't think I'm on those sorts of lists. On the one hand, if it's Star Wars, it would be very hard to say no to," he said.

Johnson also confessed to being a slow writer, when asked about his movie "Looper". So if ever there's truth that he would write "Star Wars: Episode VIII" then there's a reason why he would want to start on it right away as previously mentioned.

"It's still all coming together; I'm still chewing on it. I'm a pretty slow writer, but I'm working on it bit by bit."

Meanwhile, below are some twitter fans reactions to the news that Rian Johnson will write and direct "Star War: Episode VIII."

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(Photo: REUTERS / Andrew Winning)
Actor Harrison Ford poses for photographers at a question and answer event about his new film "Enders Game" at a cinema at Leicester Square in central London in this file photo taken October 7, 2013. Ford has undergone surgery on his broken left leg that was injured in an accident on the set of "Star Wars: VII," the publicist for the 71-year-old actor said in a statement on Thursday.
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