In an unfortunate turn of events earlier this week, Disney and Colin Trevorrow mutually agreed to part ways. Leaving the directors chair on ‘Star Wars: Episode 9’ open for someone else to fill. With this massive vacancy suddenly appearing on the Hollywood landscape, it’s only right that we the fans begin to speculate as to who could and should fill the void. Here are our top 5 potential candidates for becoming the new director of ‘Star Wars: Episode 9’.
5. Kathryn Bigelow
Bigelow is one of the few directors in Hollywood who whenever they conceptualize a new film it is automatically thrust into the awards discussion. Bigelow is an expert story teller who has also crafted some of the best and most intense action scenes to ever grace the silver screen. If ‘The Last Jedi’ is released to the same amount of critical acclaim that ‘The Force Awakens’ received, there is a legitimate chance that if they can really nail down ‘Episode 9’ that this trilogy has the chance to pull off what the ‘Lord of The Rings’ trilogy did back in the mid-2000’s. Which is sweep the Oscars with the third film in a trilogy as sort of an achievement in filmmaking award. Bigelow could instantly spark this discussion if she became involved with the film from a directorial standpoint. This is not the most likely scenario, but it is one Lucasfilm could consider if they believe that they have a shot at pulling it off.
4. Denis Villeneuve
Denis Villeneuve is potentially the most visually astute filmmaker actively working in Hollywood today. All of his films, no matter the scale are complete masterworks from an imagery perspective. There are very few franchises in existence who could provide a filmmaker like Denis such an opportunity to explore what is truly capable within the medium. Unfortunately, Denis has been on record stating that he is not very interested in Sci-Fi fantasy and prefers to stay grounded in reality or plausible realities with his filmmaking. Denis schedule is also jam packed, so unless he decided to leave ‘Dune’, this is more than likely just a pipe dream.
3. Michelle MacLaren
Michelle MacLaren is one of the finest television directors of all time. She has worked on ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘The Walking Dead‘, and ‘Breaking Bad’ to name a few. She was also signed on to direct ‘Wonder Woman’ before the job eventually landed with Patty Jenkins. MacLaren is prepped and ready to make the move to blockbuster features and is simply waiting for the right opportunity. ‘Episode 9’ will be a challenge for whoever takes over the helm, but I believe MacLaren is prepared in a way that many others on this list are not. Through her work on television, MacLaren has learned the in’s and outs of dealing with properties with rabid fan bases. ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ boast two of the most devoted and yet critical fan bases on television. The pressure that fan bases can apply to a director can sometimes prove to be too much for a director to handle, and the argument could be made that it is part of the reason why so many directors have lost their jobs in the recently reinvigorated Star Wars universe. The last thing Lucasfilm wants is for the fan base to turn negative on the franchise and perhaps bringing in someone who’s dealt with these expectations before could be a step in the right direction.
2. Ryan Coogler
Ryan Coogler has literally never made a bad movie. Coogler is perhaps the most sought after young filmmaker in Hollywood and for good reason. The USC grad has managed to raise the bar with every film he has put out. ‘Fruitvale Station’ is one of the most tragic and emotional films you’ll ever see and that was his major motion picture debut! ‘Creed’ single handily revived a much-beloved but fledgling franchise and at the same time, Coogler casually managed to direct one of the most notoriously ridiculed actors of all time, Sylvester Stallone, into an Oscar nomination. Stallone is one of the most successful actors of all time from a financial stand point, but not since the original ‘Rocky’ has anyone taken his acting seriously from an awards perspective. Lastly, ‘Black Panther‘ looks like it could be the best film in the MCU so far and that’s the cinematic universe that has grossed over $5 billion at the worldwide box office. I’m not quite sure what a Ryan Coogler ‘Star Wars’ film would look like but I know for a fact it would be game-changing and possibly one of the best films in the franchise.
1. JJ Abrams and/or Rian Johnson
I know this is technically cheating, but hear me out. The Star Wars universe is in a bit of turmoil at the moment after losing 2 different directors in the past few months. Perhaps, the least sexy option is the most practical. If you brought back either Rian, JJ, or both (crazier things have happened) they would easily be able to slide right back in and finish what they literally started. Any of the names mentioned above would undoubtedly make an excellent film but if the universe is looking for stability and guidance perhaps finishing it off where it started wouldn’t be the worst decision to make.
Let us know who you’d like to see direct ‘Star Wars: Episode 9’ in the comment section below.