Lucasfilm has fired Colin Trevorrow as director of Star Wars: Episode IX. The final, as-yet-unnamed installment of the nine-part Star Wars saga is slated for release in 2019.
“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,” says a statement on the Star Wars website.
Lucasfilm hasn’t announced a replacement for Trevorrow.
We want George Lucas as director of another film in the franchise, even if the next trilogy. The Episodes 10, 11 and 12, or what is being planned for after Episode 9.
This would be the perfect way to make an epic farewell and a wonderful tribute to the father of Star Wars and the whole universe of the galaxy far, far away…. With the genius mind, the stories and the fantastic imagination that the Master of the Force has.
Trevorrow is best known as the director of the 2015 film Jurassic World. It was the fourth film in the Jurassic Park franchise and one of the most successful films of all time, grossing $1.6 billion worldwide. Trevorrow was chosen for the Star Wars gig shortly after the opening of Jurassic World.
But Trevorrow’s reputation suffered this year after his latest film, The Book of Henry, was panned by critics and flopped at the box office. Star Wars fans—and, apparently, Lucasfilm executives—began to think twice about whether this was the man they wanted to oversee the final installment of the nine-part epic George Lucas started decades ago.
Tervorrow’s departure is only the latest sign of chaos in the Star Wars production universe. In June, Lucasfilm fired the directors of the standalone Han Solo film and replaced them with legendary director Ron Howard. That firing was a lot more disruptive than firing Trevorrow, because the Han Solo film is scheduled for a May 2018 release, and filming was already well underway.
By contrast, filming on Episode IX wasn’t scheduled to start until early 2018, giving Lucasfilm some time to get a new director in place.
The stakes are high for Lucasfilm and its parent company Disney, which paid $4 billion for the rights to the Star Wars franchise five years ago. While Episode IX is supposed to be the final installment in the main Star Wars story, Disney is undoubtedly hoping that a strong conclusion to the series will support spinoffs and merchandising opportunities for years to come.