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Rian Johnson in Talks to Write and Direct Next Two 'Star Wars' Flicks

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood June 20, 2014 at 3:01PM

Congrats to Rian Johnson of "Looper" fame, who is "in talks," report Deadline and Variety, to take on a massive new job: writing and directing the next two follow-ups to J.J. Abrams' "Star Wars: Episode VII," which is currently in production in London.
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Rian Johnson
Rian Johnson

Congrats to Rian Johnson of "Looper" fame, who is "in talks," report Deadline and Variety, to take on a massive new job: writing and directing the next two follow-ups to J.J. Abrams' "Star Wars: Episode VII," which is currently in production in London (and has already injured poor Harrison Ford, nursing a broken leg). There has been much speculation on how long Abrams and producer Bad Robot would remain involved with the franchise. 

It's a great choice. Johnson 's a smart writer who gets sci-fi action--and is funny to boot. "Looper" starred Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis and grossed $176 million dollars worldwide. Johnson also directed several well-received episodes of "Breaking Bad" in its last season. He's also a nice guy capable of working with others-- "Star Wars" is nothing if not a team effort. 

Disney and LucasFilm have already signed on "Monster" and "Godzilla" director Gareth Edwards and Josh Trank ("Chronicle," "Fantastic Four") to direct two other “Star Wars” spin-offs.

This article is related to: Star Wars, Rian Johnson, Rian Johnson, Lucasfilm, J.J. Abrams, J. J. Abrams, J. J. Abrams


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.