Looper Director Rian Johnson To Direct Star Wars Episodes VIII And IX

Rian Johnson, director of the critically acclaimed time travel film Looper, is in talks to write and direct Star Wars Episodes VIII and IX, according to Deadline.

Star Wars Episode VII, the first new installment of the Star Wars series since Disney purchased Lucasfilm, is being directed by J.J. Abrams, a much bigger name in the industry than Johnson. Most fans expected Abrams would helm a new trilogy of Star Wars movies, but it would seem that the plan is for Abrams to get the franchise off to a solid new start and then hand it over to a younger generation of directors. Two such directors, Godzilla's Gareth Edwards and Chronicle's Josh Trank, have already been tapped to direct spinoff films in the Star Wars universe.

Johnson was known for directing the indie film Brick prior to directing Looper. No word on whether or not Abrams will stay on in a non-directorial role for future Star Wars films.

Star Wars Episode VII will be released in theaters December 18, 2015.