Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner Reportedly Blocked Jon Hamm From Starring In David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner Reportedly Blocked Jon Hamm From Starring In David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' Sacha Baron Cohen Reportedly Returning To Write, Produce, Star In & Direct The Freddie Mercury Biopic Sacha Baron Cohen Reportedly Returning To Write, Produce, Star In & Direct The Freddie Mercury Biopic Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Why Is It Suddenly Not OK To Have Been Gripped By 'The Jinx'? Why Is It Suddenly Not OK To Have Been Gripped By 'The Jinx'? New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 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 From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

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.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates