Rian Johnson, Taika Waititi ‘Star Wars’ Movies Update

While Johnson and Waititi’s previously announced films are not included in Lucasfilm’s next “Star Wars” film, Kennedy remains hopeful that they will.

Rian Johnson and Taika Waititi

Rian Johnson and Taika Waititi

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It’s been a good week for “Star Wars” fans who have been patiently waiting for the franchise to return to the silver screen.

While Lucasfilm has focused primarily on TV (and the upcoming “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny”) since The Rise of Skywalker hit theaters in 2019, Kathleen Kennedy made a number of announcements at this year’s Star Wars Gala in London in. theatrical films. In addition to revealing that Daisy Ridley will return as Rey in Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s untitled film from writer Steven Knight, the Lucasfilm president also announced that James Mangold and Dave Filoni will direct new “Star Wars” roles.

That was all welcome news, but Kennedy’s presentation made no mention of the other “Star Wars” movies that have been announced in recent years. In an interview Speciesoffered updates on the studio’s collaborations with Rian Johnson and Taika Waititi.

After the release of the love-it-or-hate-it sequel “The Last Jedi,” Lucasfilm announced that Johnson would write and direct his own trilogy of original “Star Wars” films. There hasn’t been much news on that front — as Johnson has focused on building a mystery empire through the “Knives Out” and “Poker Face” franchises — but the filmmaker says he still wants to find time. Kennedy echoed Johnson’s sentiments, explaining that they were no longer developing those films, but would be happy to work with him again if his schedule allowed.

“Rian and I talk all the time,” she said. “Incredibly busy. So we’re not actively involved in anything right now because he’s doing another ‘Onion’ movie and then God knows what else. But he really wants to step back into space. It’s a big investment of time, so it’s really up to him.”

Kennedy was also asked about Taika Waititi’s standalone film, which the director previously said would feature an entirely new cast of characters from the “Star Wars” universe. He didn’t offer many specific updates, but promised that the film is still moving forward.

“Taika is still working away,” he said. “He writes the script himself. He doesn’t really want to involve others in this process, and I don’t blame him. He has a very, very unique voice. So we want to protect him and he does. But one day we will.”

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