Star Wars & Harry Potter Worlds Collide With new Episode IX Writer
The Star Wars franchise of the last couple years has been no stranger to hard choices and tough shakeups regarding its production team. The script for The Force Awakens was worked on for the better part of a year by Michael Arndt before a change was made. Ron Howard replaced directing duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller on the upcoming Han Solo movie in a highly-publicized ousting. And these are just the changes that made headlines. When you’re dealing with arguably the most popular franchise in film history, its understandable that these kinds of shakeups will happen from time to time.
With the eighth installment of the Star Wars saga, writer/director Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi, hitting theaters this December, this trend of upper-level changeups shows no signs of stopping as attention turns to the final episode of this latest trilogy. Johnson’s film is actually the only installment in the new Star Wars saga that hasn’t met with script changes or re-shoots. When Colin Trevorrow – known for his work on Jurassic World – was tapped to direct the ninth episode, it was also announced that he would co-write the script with Derek Connolly, who had worked on projects with Trevorrow before. Yet word has come out that Jack Thorne, a writer known for adapting the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child from a short story by John Tiffany and J.K. Rowling, will be actually be steering the screenwriting for the final film. A sensible pick, Thorne has ample experience working in the fantasy genre, and has handled several book-to-screen adaptations, carefully handling the rendering of characters audiences have seen – and loved – before.
Lucasfilm’s rapid turnover seems like a quest for perfection. And who can blame them? Episodes I through III were widely regarded as a misstep for the franchise, common complaints including weak development, writing, and execution. So far their latest trilogy has averted the pitfalls of its predecessor, The Force Awakens proving popular and commercially successful. And Gareth Edwards Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which did undergo reshoots with writer/director Tony Gilroy, was an excellent first spinoff film. While the team for the ninth episode may continue to change, one this is for certain: audiences have great expectations for that final film.