Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
What Was I Watching Before? Bryan Singer Says 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Is "The True Birth Of The X-Men" What Was I Watching Before? Bryan Singer Says 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Is "The True Birth Of The X-Men" Review & Recap: 'True Detective' Season 2, Episode 3 'Maybe Tomorrow' Review & Recap: 'True Detective' Season 2, Episode 3 'Maybe Tomorrow' Zack Snyder Defends 'Man Of Steel' Finale, Ben Affleck Reveals Bruce Wayne Knew People Who Died In That Battle Zack Snyder Defends 'Man Of Steel' Finale, Ben Affleck Reveals Bruce Wayne Knew People Who Died In That Battle New Book Contends Eric Stoltz Was “Difficult” & The Cast Wasn’t Shocked He Was Replaced On ‘Back To The Future’ New Book Contends Eric Stoltz Was “Difficult” & The Cast Wasn’t Shocked He Was Replaced On ‘Back To The Future’ Watch: Scott Lang Wants To Call The Avengers In New International 'Ant-Man' Trailer Watch: Scott Lang Wants To Call The Avengers In New International 'Ant-Man' Trailer Watch: Epic New Trailer For Werner Herzog's 'Queen Of The Desert' With Nicole Kidman, Robert Pattinson, & More Watch: Epic New Trailer For Werner Herzog's 'Queen Of The Desert' With Nicole Kidman, Robert Pattinson, & More The 20 Worst Films Of 2015 So Far The 20 Worst Films Of 2015 So Far Zack Snyder Reveals The Easter Egg Idea He Pitched Christopher Nolan And David Goyer For 'Man Of Steel' Zack Snyder Reveals The Easter Egg Idea He Pitched Christopher Nolan And David Goyer For 'Man Of Steel' New Images Of Bruce Wayne, Lex Luthor, More In 'Batman v. Superman,' Ben Affleck Compares Batman To Hamlet New Images Of Bruce Wayne, Lex Luthor, More In 'Batman v. Superman,' Ben Affleck Compares Batman To Hamlet Mads Mikkelsen And Hugh Dancy Released From Their 'Hannibal' Contracts Mads Mikkelsen And Hugh Dancy Released From Their 'Hannibal' Contracts Paul Thomas Anderson To Write And Possibly Direct Warner Bros' ‘Pinocchio’ For Robert Downey Jr. Paul Thomas Anderson To Write And Possibly Direct Warner Bros' ‘Pinocchio’ For Robert Downey Jr. Watch: Michael Fassbender Plays ‘Steve Jobs’ In New Trailer For Oscar-Contender Co-Starring Kate Winslet & Seth Rogen Watch: Michael Fassbender Plays ‘Steve Jobs’ In New Trailer For Oscar-Contender Co-Starring Kate Winslet & Seth Rogen Tom Cruise Still Gearing Up For 'Top Gun 2,' Story Will Involve Drone Warfare Tom Cruise Still Gearing Up For 'Top Gun 2,' Story Will Involve Drone Warfare Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Review: ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney & Jason Clarke Review: ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney & Jason Clarke 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season

Rian Johnson Cites 'Twelve O’Clock High' & 'Letter Never Sent' Among Inspirations For 'Star Wars: Episode VIII'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist July 29, 2014 at 3:26PM

While J.J. Abrams' upcoming "Star Wars: Episode 7" doesn't have a formal, non-generic title yet, the spotlight now turns to Rian Johnson's "Star Wars: Episode 8." With the filmmaker tapped to write and direct that installment and to write the treatment for "Star Wars: Episode 9," he's diving deep into the George Lucas created universe. And while he's likely sitting on all kinds of spoiler-y details, he recently shared a couple of clues that will give super-fans something to chew on.
1
Twelve O'Clock High Rian Johnson Letter Never Sent

While J.J. Abrams' upcoming "Star Wars: Episode 7" doesn't have a formal, non-generic title yet, the spotlight now turns to Rian Johnson's "Star Wars: Episode 8." With the filmmaker tapped to write and direct that installment and to write the treatment for "Star Wars: Episode 9," he's diving deep into the George Lucas created universe. And while he's likely sitting on all kinds of spoiler-y details, he recently shared a couple of clues that will give super-fans something to chew on.

Appearing on a Filmspotting podcast (via Chicago Sun-Times), the director was humble regarding his "Star Wars" job. “I can only assume it was a clerical error, like in the movie ‘Brazil.’ There’s a Brian Johnson out there who is really mad,” he said. Johnson went on to reveal that he and his crew have been holding nightly screenings, mentioning Henry King's "Twelve O'Clock High" starring Gregory Peck, and Mikhail Kalatozov's "Letter Never Sent" among the recent choices.

And while we really doubt that "Star Wars: Episode 8" will resemble either in its finished form —one concerns a tough as nails WWII commander whipping his team into shape, the other regards four geologists trapped in a giant forest fire— we'd wager Johnson wants his team to adapt the tones and textures of those films into blockbuster dimensions. 

But for now, Johnson prefers to crack wise: “With these films, I am trying to harken back to the original ‘Star Wars’ …. Christmas special. We have Jefferson Starship.”

In related news, rumors are swirling that Simon Pegg may make an unseen appearance —as a voice, perhaps— in "Star Wars: Episode 7." Over the weekend at Comic-Con, Benedict Cumberbatch seemed to spill the beans when asked if he was considered for a role in Abram's installment. “J.J. and I are friends, so yeah, possibly,” Cumberbatch told MTV. “But I think J.J. is very good at creating something original out of something known, and I think apart from his continuing use of Simon Pegg — and who can blame him, frankly — it made sense not to do it.”

Meanwhile, speaking with Vulture, Pegg was asked directly whether or not he'll be in 'Episode 7'. After hemming and hawing, he finally answered: "Of course, I visited the set. It’s amazing, and I love 'Star Wars.' I want to see everything happening. It looks wonderful, and you need to believe those characters. Any type of stunt casting might just pop you out of the movie." 

Anyway, you have a long time to scrutinize those quotes. "Star Wars: Episode 7" arrives on December 18, 2015. And below, watch "Twelve O'Clock High" in full, followed by the opening shot from "Letter Never Sent."

This article is related to: Rian Johnson, Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens, Star Wars: Episode 8, Star Wars, Benedict Cumberbatch, Simon Pegg


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates