Immediately following the announcement that Colin Trevorrow would no longer be directing Episode IX, fans turned to The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson to see if he'd be involved in developing the sequel. The filmmaker confirmed with The Hollywood Reporter this week that, currently, he is "not involved" in the project.
"J.J. Abrams is doing a third movie. I'm not involved in it," Johnson admitted. "They'll be writing their own story but continuing on with what we did."
Johnson sounds very confident in announcing he has nothing to do with the development of the movie, but as he, Abrams and Trevorrow all had a degree of collaboration when bringing this new trilogy to life, he is not completely detached from the direction the series will go. Rather, it sounds like he wanted to definitively state he currently has no direct involvement in the story, but minimal collaboration between him and Abrams isn't entirely out of the question.
Recent comments from Abrams, however, seem to make it quite clear that the filmmaker has a direction he knows he wants to take the final installment in the new trilogy into.
"Well, it's certainly something that I'm aware of now working on Episode IX – coming back into this world after having done Episode VII," the director told the BBC when asked about the impact these films have on so many people. "I feel like we need to approach this with the same excitement that we had when we were kids, loving what these movies were. And at the same time, we have to take them places that they haven't gone, and that's sort of our responsibility."
Star Wars isn't the only saga the filmmaker has left his mark on, having also breathed new life into the Star Trek franchise.
"It's a strange thing – [composer] Michael's [Giacchino] worked on things like Planet of the Apes and Star Trek and Star Wars, and these are the things of dreams," Abrams admitted. "Yet we can't just revel in that; we have to go elsewhere."
We'll see exactly where the final installment in the sequel trilogy goes when Episode IX hits theaters on December 20.
[H/T The Hollywood Reporter]