UPDATED with more details: Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer-director Rian Johnson has been set by Disney and Lucasfilm to write and direct a trilogy of films that will fall under the Star Wars brand but will be a completely new story, with original characters, set in a different galaxy. Johnson is teaming with Ram Bergman, his longtime collaborator who after producing the Johnson-helmed Looper and Brick, produced The Last Jedi with Kathleen Kennedy.
After Iger’s announcement, StarWars.com said Johnson has been set to write and direct the first installment, but there’s no release date set for any of the new films.
“We all loved working with Rian on The Last Jedi,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, on the website. “He’s a creative force, and watching him craft The Last Jedi from start to finish was one of the great joys of my career. Rian will do amazing things with the blank canvas of this new trilogy.”
Said Johnson and Bergman: “We had the time of our lives collaborating with Lucasfilm and Disney on The Last Jedi,” Johnson and Bergman said in a joint statement. “Star Wars is the greatest modern mythology and we feel very lucky to have contributed to it. We can’t wait to continue with this new series of films.”
While numerous directors have come and gone from the Star Wars universe — Josh Trank was dropped from the Bobba Fett spinoff, Gareth Edwards saw Tony Gilroy supervise extensive reshoots of Rogue One, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were replaced on the Han Solo spinoff by Ron Howard, and Colin Trevorrow was dropped from Star Wars: Episode IX with Star Wars: The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams returned to the fold — Johnson has proven as seamless a fit, the antithesis of the Lucasfilm movie-by-committee formula. On the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which bows globally December 15, Johnson becomes the first to get solo credit on a Star Wars film since creator George Lucas.
The filmmaker had been courted to direct Star Wars: Episode IX, but this has the potential to be a better long-term bet for the filmmaker and Lucasfilm, taking the Star Wars Universe in a whole new direction through three films.
Johnson is repped by CAA and attorney Stephen Clark.