Lucasfilm and Disney issued a statement earlier, calling it a joint decision made to benefit the next film in the Star Wars saga.
“Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow have mutually chosen to part ways on Star Wars: Episode IX,” the statement said. “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.”
Rumors of Trevorrow’s departure have been swirling around for the last few months, especially after his latest movie The Book of Henry was released to poor critical reception. The decision to remove him from the film predictably set the internet ablaze.
The Han Solo spinoff movie also saw some turbulence behind the scenes with the firing of directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord, but the production is now back on track with Ron Howard taking over the duties.
Given Lucasfilm’s pull in Hollywood, Disney’s backing, and the allure of the the Star Wars franchise, a new director for Star Wars: Episode IX won’t be hard to secure.
Here are some of the directors who could take over the next installment in the Skywalker Saga.
This one might be the easiest decisions for Lucasfilm, but probably wouldn’t change the film’s makeup like they originally intended for the series.
Johnson is a distinctly different filmmaker than J.J. Abrams, and both are dramatically different compared to Colin Trevorrow. So each film would have had a unique identity from the others.
But Johnson was rumored to be handling scripts for both Episodes VIII and IX early in development — perhaps Lucasfilm could extend his stay in the Star Wars universe to wrap up this trilogy.
Kennedy and Johnson have both expressed joy in collaborating with each other, and the production of Star Wars: The Last Jedi hasn’t been plagued with troubling rumors like the Han Solo movie or even Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which saw significant reshoots from Tony Gilroy.
Keeping Johnson on for Episode IX would be a great move for stabilizing the production early on.
Coming off of the biggest blockbuster of the summer, Jenkins is now one of the biggest names in Hollywood.
She proved she can handle an epic studio film with iconic characters, laced with heart, and loaded with action. And, perhaps most surprisingly, she’s available to take the job.
Rumors of her involvement with Wonder Woman II started swirling before the first movie even hit theaters, but Warner Bros. has yet to announce that she’s officially back for the sequel.
Lucasfilm coming in and sweeping her away from the project would be a major surprise, but it would also be a huge boon for the studio. Jenkins is more than capable of handing a production on the scale of this size, and she’d probably be the best choice to wrap up Rey’s story.
Jenkins took a character with known appeal and made one of the most successful superhero movies of all time. Now let’s see her given an opportunity to play in the Star Wars universe.
After directing many documentaries, short films, and TV episodes, DuVernay cemented her status as a visionary with Selma, which earned tons of critical praise and box office success.
She's now established a working relationship with Disney, possibly putting her foot in the door at Lucasfilm, and is set to release an ambitious take on A Wrinkle In Time.
The first trailer shows it is filled with visual wonder, combining strong effects and set pieces to create a unique vision of Madeleine L’Engle's popular novel.
DuVernay could take an opportunity to work in the Star Wars universe and make it her own, while staying true to the legacy of films that came before it. She’s already proved she has the skills to make dramatic and resonating movies, and with A Wrinkle In Time she’s flexing her sci-fi and fantasy chops.
Let’s see what she can do with a lightsaber and the Force.
While Bigelow doesn’t have many genre films to her name, she’s made some of the best films in the last decade.
The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty were critically acclaimed and performed well at the box office.
A master of crafting tension on the screen, her sensibilities would certainly raise the stakes in what could be the final battle between the First Order and the Resistance. And with her character skills, she’d command wonderful performance from the ensemble in what's sure to be a film wrought with emotion.
Bigelow has seen an increased profile with each of her latest films, and she’s already established a working relationship with one of the saga’s principal actors.
John Boyega stars in her latest film, Detroit, and has spoken fondly of his experience in that production. Bigelow could extend their relationship to the Star Wars galaxy.
This one isn’t the ‘sexiest’ answer, per se, but Howard is stepping in and finishing the job on the next Star Wars spinoff. Maybe Lucasfilm will give him an opportunity to make the next film his own?
Howard is a proven director with immense box office success and critical acclaim. Many of his movies usually are Oscar contenders, and he’s able to direct anything from small character pieces to action epics.
He previously spoke about George Lucas requesting him to direct Episode I, but he deferred and encouraged George to direct his own vision.
With Kathleen Kennedy now running Lucasfilm, she could finally convince Howard to take on an entry in the Star Wars saga.
Perhaps the Han Solo production is simply a test run to see how well they work together, and Howard is already thinking of what to do with the final film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy.