Colin Trevorrow Out as ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’ Director

Colin Trevorrow exits Star Wars
Rob Latour/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Colin Trevorrow is out as the director of “Star Wars: Episode IX.”

Disney issued a short statement on Tuesday about the departure without naming a successor. 

“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.”

Sources indicated to Variety that the split stemmed from differences on the script between Trevorrow and studio executives. The film was expected to hit theaters on May 24, 2019, with production set to start in early 2018.

Disney brought on “Wonder” screenwriter Jack Thorne a month ago to do a polish on the latest draft of “Star Wars: Episode IX.” Trevorrow and writing partner Derek Connolly had written the most recent version of the script at that point.

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The studio announced in August of 2015 at its D23 Expo that it had selected Trevorrow to direct the finale of the trilogy. At that point, Trevorrow was coming off helming “Jurassic World” for Universal, which went on to earn an impressive $1.6 billion at the worldwide box office.

“This is not a job or an assignment,” Trevorrow said at the time of his 2015 hire. “It is a seat at a campfire, surrounded by an extraordinary group of storytellers, filmmakers, artists, and craftspeople. We’ve been charged with telling new stories for a younger generation because they deserve what we all had — a mythology to call their own. We will do this by channeling something George Lucas instilled in all of us: boundless creativity, pure invention, and hope.”

The next film in the “Star Wars” franchise is coming on Dec. 15 when “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” directed by Rian Johnson, opens.

Trevorrow’s departure marks the second time in three months that Disney has replaced directors on a “Star Wars” movie. On June 20, the studio ousted the directing team of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller from the untitled “Star Wars” Han Solo spinoff — citing “creative differences” — and replaced the duo with Ron Howard with only a few weeks of production left.

The Han Solo movie, which is in post-production, will open on May 25. It’s the second “Star Wars” spinoff following last year’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”

Trevorrow broke out in 2012 with the sci-fi comedy-drama “Safety Not Guaranteed,” which led to him being hired to direct “Jurassic World.” He also helmed the family drama “The Book of Henry,” which made $4.3 million for Focus this summer in limited release.

When he was hired in 2015, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said, “Colin is someone I’ve been interested in working with ever since I saw ‘Safety Not Guaranteed.’ The power of that film paired with the enormous success of ‘Jurassic World’ speaks volumes about his abilities both as a storyteller and skilled filmmaker. We are thrilled to have such an incredible talent as Colin join our family and step into the ‘Star Wars’ universe.”

It’s the third time that Disney and Lucasfilm have parted ways with directors on “Star Wars” projects. Disney and Lucasfilm ousted “Fantastic Four” director Josh Trank in 2015 as the helmer of a standalone “Star Wars” spinoff.

Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012 for $4 billion and announced at CinemaCon in 2013 that it would release “Star Wars” films in 2015, 2016, and 2017. J.J. Abrams directed the first installment, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which hauled more than $2 billion worldwide. Gareth Edwards helmed “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” which grossed $1.06 billion worldwide.

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  1. MovieBabble says:

    I’m not as quick to jump on Trevorrow as other may be. He’s gone on record saying that he wanted to do something crazy with The Book of Henry and acknowledged that many people probably wouldn’t like it. Whether or not it was smart to do that in the first place is a completely different conversation that speaks more to his decision making rather than his ability as a director.

    That being said, if it wasn’t working out, than it just wasn’t working out. Better for Kennedy to cut the chord now than 5 months into production like the Han Solo film. I wrote about this news as well:

    https://moviebabblereviews.com/2017/09/06/star-wars-episode-9-loses-director-colin-trevorrow/

  2. Frederick Louis Richardson says:

    Trevorrow quoted as saying: “We’ve been charged with telling new stories for a younger generation because they deserve what we all had — a mythology to call their own.” If this be taken as sooth, then every “mythological” movie (ever made) should be re-made for the next generation…and then remake the remake for the generations after that, ad infinitum.

    Either the original “classic” film is not holding up or this is indeed “a money-grab” for current producers like Kathleen Kennedy to hold financial sway in her position with Disney/Lucasfilm. Either way, this is not about “art” (given a lofty hoi polio in this context) nor “creative” talent. It’s about following orders, which essentially is a template in fulfilling audience expectations–like filling an order at MacDonald’s.

    The James Bond franchise is well-over 50 years old and its tires are showing the wear. StarWars, certainly by comparison is being shopworn to the point of dissipation, diluting whatever juice this franchise had left. It’s only the size of these films world-wide fan base–and, thereby, potential profits–that cause the title-holders to give a tinker’s damn. Disney’s recent loses has put pressure on Kennedy to brighten the fiscal quarter. (Barbara Broccoli, likewise, with her Bond series.)

    In the final analysis, these franchises will be (because they are) TV series without the pretense, once their fan base grows up.

    • Cammer says:

      Whatever they did in Rogue One worked. Hardly McDonald’s… Most comments here seem to expect to find indie cult hits in a start wars flick. Come one, be real people. Disney paid $4 billion and need to get some return on that massive investment. Rather than b*tching about producers not ‘taking risks,’ try to be receptive to the risks they do take, and be glad when solid ideas from the original movies survive the hollywood bureaucracy and actually make it to the big screen again. Try to enjoy the ways they have returned the franchise to something much closer to its original glory than the second 3 Lucasfilm disasters.

  3. ............. says:

    I guess he was too mediocre even for them.

  4. tosapanic says:

    I say either let Rian Johnson finish what he started in “Last Jedi” or have J.J. Abrams wrap up this trilogy.

  5. What says:

    Maybe they need to stop the Starwars money train. It’s obviously derailing. Make some new films with some depth and less focus on profits (then they might just make some) No wonder the business is sinking. Only risk taking creates great films. We are all tired of the rehashing of old stories and summer blockbuster emptiness and formula trash.

  6. loco73 says:

    Good riddance! Strangely enough, all these directors being let go, are decisions by Lucasfilm I actually agree with.

    I just hope the replacement is not worse the original. In Trank’s case it worked because with “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, Gareth Edwards crafted one of the finest Star Wars movies to date, and one of the best movies I saw all throughout 2016.

    It remains to be seen if the gamble with Ron Howard pays off. Of course in the meantime they need ” The Last Jedi” to succeed.

    So for now let the games begin and bring in the new replacement! How about Alfonso Cuarón, Doug Lyman, Cari Joji Fukunaga, Paul Greengrass, Dennis Villneuve, Michelle McLaren, Miguel Sapochnik…some exciting possibilities outhere!!!

    • John says:

      “Rogue One” had some good-looking set pieces, but it was kind of boring.

      Not sure, how much we have to thank Gareth Edwards for that, because they re-shoot huge parts of “Rogue One” and Ben Mendelsohn is on the record, that a very different version of the movie existed at one point.

      That was actually obvious to me, because sometimes the look of Mendelsohn changed too much from one scene to the next: He gains and loses weight, his skin looks different…there are continuity issues in the film…Usually I don’t see stuff like that, but here it was too obvious.

      So, it’s a stretch to talk of “Rogue One” as a Gareth Edwards movie.
      It’s a producer’s movie like all Star Wars films since the first.
      The directors don’t have much to say.

      • loco73 says:

        The movie was boring to you perhaps and that is OK. To each his own. I found it to be excellent.

        My understanding is that Gareth Edwards as per the standing orders from Lucasfilm (Kathleen Kennedy) had originally shot a version that was much lighter (not darker as per the early rumours circling before the movie’s release), where all or most of the protagonists survived by the end, especially Casian and Jyn. The romance angle between them was also emphasized.

        Then Edwards submitted a rough copy of that version and when they all watched it…it wasn’t tracking well at all. Then Edwards (and others) lobbied Kennedy and the other head honchos at Lucasfilm to allow him to film the much darker version of the movie (especially the third act) he originally envisioned. That is when Tony Gilroy was brought on to help with the reshoots and some script re-writes.

        Lucas was on set frequently and loved “Rogue One” …he didn’t do the same for “The Force Awakens” …

      • Cammer says:

        Rogue One was kind of boring? Wow.

  7. What a bloodbath!
    By the way, if anyone is interested, I am available to direct. I can be quiet and do everything that the producers want to me to do…
    It seems this is the job anyway.

    • Kathleen Kennedy - Super Producer says:

      Actually, we’re still looking for the right director.
      You fit the profile !
      How can I get in touch with you ?

      • That's What She says:

        Through me. Hi, I’m his agent/manager/the one who’ll actually be directing. Let’s talk, Ms. Super Producer. Oh, and I get a Pay For Talk agreement in my clause.

  8. John says:

    “Star Wars is over. This is just printing money and pushing feminism.”

    This is the truth.

    They only use “Star Wars” now as a popular ‘Trojan horse’ to feed children with feminist ideology.

    • Jacen says:

      Right, because the original Star Wars–with Princess Leia being a tough young lady who blasts away at stormtroopers, stands up to thugs like Vader and Tarkin, and suffers torture without a sweat–wasn’t pushing feminist ideology. Come down from your treehouse, big boy; it’s time your brain tried to grow up to meet your (no doubt bovine) body.

    • Kinoeye says:

      Can you elaborate? Please, when you have a moment, lay out the specifics of this feminist ideology you see being pushed in the new Star Wars movies. This isn’t Twitter, so you have plenty of space here to make a compelling argument. I would love to hear your detailed observations about this. Beyond Rey being a girl who is a Jedi, where is the ideology? I may have missed it, but I’m not generally conspiracy minded.

      Personally, I thought it was just a bunch of Jedi propaganda. I’m so tired of these terrorists being portrayed as the heroes of the universe.

  9. Tony L says:

    Let Ron Howard bring us home in this trilogy.

  10. John says:

    This is probably the best news I read today.

    Trevorrow should have never been hired.

    Now I have hope again.

    • That's What She says:

      And then there came Uwe Boll….

      • John says:

        That’s actually an AWESOME idea !!!!
        I would love to see Uwe Boll’s version of a “Star Wars” film…
        That would be funnier than anything Lord/Miller could have made ;-)
        HIRE BOLL !

  11. tlsnyder42 says:

    Time for Steven Spielberg to step up and show he’s still got it. Or, maybe he doesn’t any more.

  12. flyinsaucier says:

    I guess someone at Disney finally watched The Book of Henry.

    • John says:

      “Jurassic World” wasn’t great either. Just a remake of Spielberg’s original, but not as good.

      • flyinsaucier says:

        Jurassic World was more than subpar mostly due to a terrible script but it showed that Trevorrow could direct a big budget film, plus it was a massive hit. That’s what Disney wanted.

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