We're just under 100 days away from Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi but the sequel, Episode IX, has just hit a brick will after losing it's director, Colin Trevorrow.
Trevorrow was brought onto the Disney owned Lucasfilm project after the great success of Jurassic World and has just recently finished Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom as the writer and executive producer. Disney have now released an official, albeit brief, statement which confirms that Trevorrow has departed the project:
"Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow have mutually chosen to part ways on Star Wars: Episode IX. Colin has been a wonderful collaborator throughout the development process but we have all come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ. We wish Colin the best and will be sharing more information about the film soon."
We can read between the lines here. All we have to do is look at the fact that Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) was recently brought on to rewrite the script that Trevorrow and regular colleague Derek Connelly had written. It's clear that Lucasfilm didn't like where Trevorrow was going with the project and decided to push him out. 99% of the time a "mutual agreement to part ways" means that the studio execs didn't like what the director was doing (Edgar Wright 'mutually departing' from Ant-Man, anyone?).
This comes not very long after Ron Howard was brought on to replace Phil Lord and Chris Miller on the Han Solo movie. On this topic, Rogue One had to go under massive re-shoots super-late in it's post-production, Josh Trank was ditched as director for the then-untitled second standalone movie, Michael Ardnt was scrapped as the initial writer for The Force Awakens and Gary Whitta removed as writer for Rogue One. It's very, very clear that Lucasfilm boss, Kathleen Kennedy, takes no prisoners when it comes to making sure Star Wars follows her vision. Whether this is a good or bad thing is debatable, considering how good The Force Awakens and Rogue One were.
At the moment there's no word on a replacement for Trevorrow. Filming hasn't begun yet and we're still in the pre-production stage for Episode IX so Disney and Lucasfilm have some breathing room in getting a director on board and a workable script made up.
With a release date of 24th May 2019 the hunt is now on for the next Star Wars director.