‘Star Wars’ shake-up: Rian Johnson to write, direct ‘Episode VIII’
Actor Harrison Ford, who was cast as Han Solo in the original "Star Wars" trilogy. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)Link
Two women have joined the cast of "Star Wars: Episode VII": Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o, left, and Gwendoline Christie.Link
"Inside Llewyn Davis" actor Oscar Isaac has been tapped to join the "Star Wars: Episode VII" cast. Click through to see who else scored a role in the film. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)Link
Actress Daisy Ridley, relatively new to the acting scene, has also landed a role in the upcoming film "Inbetweeners II." (Matthew Brooks)Link
Actor Adam Driver, best known for his work in the HBO comedy "Girls." (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)Link
Actor John Boyega, best known for playing Moses in the sci-fi flick "Attack the Block." (Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images)Link
Actor Max von Sydow, who received Academy Award nominations for his work in "Pelle the Conqueror" and "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)Link
Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson, who played Bill Weasley in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." (John Phillips / Invision / Associated Press)Link
Actor Andy Serkis, best known for motion capture acting for roles such as Gollum in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and Caesar in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes." (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)Link
Actress Carrie Fisher, best known for her portrayal of Princess Leia in the original trilogy. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)Link
Actor Mark Hamill, best known for his portrayal of Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy. (Stephanie Cornfield / For the Times)Link
Actor Anthony Daniels, best known as C-3PO in the original "Star Wars" trilogy. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)Link
Actor Kenny Baker, best known for portraying "Star Wars" robot R2-D2, left, and actor Peter Mayhew, best known for portraying Chewbacca in the original trilogy. (Keith Hamshere / Lucasfilm Ltd)Link
Rian Johnson is set to take the reins of the “Star Wars” franchise. The “Looper” filmmaker will write and direct “Star Wars: Episode VIII” and pen a treatment for “Episode IX,” a representative for Johnson confirmed to Hero Complex.
Johnson takes over for J.J. Abrams, who is currently helming “Episode VII” from a script he wrote with Lawrence Kasdan.
A representative for Disney, which owns Lucasfilm, declined to comment on the news of Johnson’s hiring.
Johnson’s previous films include the high-school noir “Brick” and the caper comedy “The Brothers Bloom,” and he’s best known for the mind-bending time-travel thriller “Looper,” starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis. The 2012 movie grossed $176 million at the worldwide box office.
Johnson, 40, is the latest genre-savvy young filmmaker to join the “Star Wars” universe: “Godzilla” director Gareth Edwards and “Chronicle” director Josh Trank have also been enlisted to direct two “Star Wars” standalone movies.
Abrams’ “Episode VII,” which hits theaters Dec. 18, 2015, is the first installment of a planned trilogy set 30 years after “Return of the Jedi.” The cast includes “Star Wars” veterans Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker, as well as franchise newcomers John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson and Max von Sydow.
On Johnson’s Twitter account Friday, he posted a cheeky YouTube video clip from “The Right Stuff” in which Scott Glenn, playing astronaut Alan Shepard, prepares for launch and says, “Dear lord, please don’t let me … up.”
— Oliver Gettell | @LATHeroComplex
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