Lucasfilm just announced that Colin Trevorrow is no longer directing Star Wars: Episode IX.
The following was posted onto StarWars.com
Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow have mutually chosen to part ways on Star Wars: Episode IX. 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.
Rumours about Trevorrow's possible departure started earlier this winter when his latest film, The Book of Henry, was released to dismal reviews. Fans online immediately lost faith in the director, even though he'd previously directed two much better films, Jurassic World and Safety Not Guaranteed. It felt like the writing was on the wall.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, "script issues have continued to be the continuing sore spot with Episode IX's development with Trevorrow having had repeated stabs at multiple drafts...." and "Sources say that the working relationship between Trevorrow and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy became unmanageable. Kennedy, who had already been through one director firing/replacement on the Han Solo spin-off, was not eager for a sequel and tried to avoid this decision."
There's also the feeling that Lucasfilm is simply trying to be slightly more conservative in recent months. After The Force Awakens, the company hired multiple talented, young filmmakers with varying degrees of experience: Josh Trank, Gareth Edwards, Rian Johnson, Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Colin Trevorrow. And with the exception of Johnson, so far, each posed unique problems. Trank never shot anything, Edwards reportedly had Rogue One basically taken from him by Tony Gilroy and, of course, Lord and Miller were fired in favour of Ron Howard.
Then there was the recent news that Stephen Daldry was being eyed to direct the Obi-Wan Kenobi movie. He's a talented filmmaker no doubt, but he's a very safe and dependable choice compared to the other names and that felt like a shift in direction. He's more Ron Howard than Lord and Miller. Trevorrow leaving feels like the logical continuation of that. He's a solid filmmaker but isn't a sure thing. When a company is in the business of making a billion dollars per film or bust, dependable is better than risky.
We can likely expect a replacement to be named soon, as has been the pattern with these changes. And while a short list has yet to emerge, here's a name I'd like to leave you with: J.J. Abrams.
Star Wars Episode IX is scheduled for release 24 May 2019.