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 (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.