‘Star Wars’: Rian Johnson to Write, Direct Episode VIII

Rian Johnson Directing Star Wars Films
Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

While production just began on “Star Wars: Episode VII,” Disney and Lucasfilm are already focusing on “Episode VIII.” Sources tell Variety that “Looper” director Rian Johnson is in talks to write and direct the next film in the popular series.

Johnson is best known for his sci-fi action pic “Looper” starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis. The film overperformed at the box office bringing in $176 million worldwide. He also directed several episodes of “Breaking Bad” last season.

Ram Bergman will produce with Johnson.

J.J. Abrams is currently directing the next “Star Wars,” which is filming in London, and sources add that cast and crew were becoming aware that this would probably be the only installment Abrams would be directing.

Johnson has been looking for his next project since “Looper” and was even at one point rumored to be on the shortlist to direct the next “Star Trek.”

He is repped by CAA. Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.

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  1. Syd says:

    I wish my films would be criticized having “over-performing” box office.

  2. Joe Coste says:

    Why change directors and screenwriters?

  3. Capn-EO-Crowley says:

    Hopefully, This Film Will…Recapture “George Lucas’s” Original Intent, For “Star Wars”!!!

  4. Dan McGrath says:

    The “pic overperformed at the box office,” meaning this writer didn’t like the film, but everyone else did… Journalism or editorial? The lines blur.

  5. Steve Rater says:

    Was hoping it would be Alfonso Curon, but not a bad choice.

  6. I’ve enjoyed the movies of his I’ve seen, particularly Brick and Looper. He seems like a good choice.

  7. Derp Cunliffe says:

    Web definitions
    Of an investment, to provide a financial result superior to what was expected

  8. How does a film “overperform” at the box office? It made too much money? In Hollywood, there’s no such thing. “Too bad the Avengers overperformed at the box office, it should have tapped out at $300 million.”

    • Duder NME says:

      Either that or it performed greater than “industry analysts” predicted. And by “industry analysts”, I mean “bean counting cellar dwellers”.

  9. He’s also directing episode 9, Justin. Keep up w/ Deadline please.

  10. Jeremy says:

    Rian Johnson is an extremely capable director. I’m getting more and more optimistic about these future Star Wars installments the more I hear about them.

  11. ska-triumph says:


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