Colin Trevorrow will no longer direct Star Wars: Episode IX, Lucasfilm announced on Tuesday.
A statement posted to the official Lucasfilm website this week said that Lucasfilm and Trevorrow have “come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ.” That’s quite vague, and so fans have been wondering what the actual reason for the director’s departure is. Now, we’re beginning to learn more about what happened.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Trevorrow’s departure is happening for two main reasons. First, there have been major script issues throughout the development of Episode IX, with Trevorrow having written multiple drafts. Lucasfilm was evidently not happy with his work, as in August, they hired screenwriter Jack Thorne.
Trevorrow reportedly wasn’t pleased with Lucasfilm bringing in another writer in August. He was previously working on the script with Derek Connolly, with whom he collaborated on his films Safety Not Guaranteed and Jurassic World. Slashfilm reports that when Connolly left the project and Jack Thorne was brought in, Trevorrow wanted to leave out of loyalty, but he was talked into staying and working on a new draft with Jack Thorne.
“Apparently, how the draft was turning out was not what Kathleen Kennedy wanted,” Slashfilm’s Peter Sciretta reports. “…The new writer was brought on to polish Colin’s script, and it just didn’t move the needle.”
The second reason for Trevorrow’s departure is that he reportedly did not get along well with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy.
“Sources say that the working relationship between Trevorrow and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy became unmanageable,” The Hollywood Reporter says.
That seems to have been the same reason that Lucasfilm fired Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the original directors of the upcoming Han Solo movie.
“Miller and Lord were stunned to find that they were not being granted freedom to run the production in the manner that they were accustomed to. They balked at Kennedy’s tight control on the set,” Variety reported in June. “A person with knowledge of the production said that the chemistry between the directors and Kennedy was never right.”
Trevorrow is the fourth director to be fired from a Star Wars film. In addition to Phil Lord and Chris Miller, in 2015, Josh Trank was fired from a standalone film about Boba Fett. At the time, Trank said that it was his choice to leave and that he had made a personal choice, but The Hollywood Reporter reported that he was fired due to his “unusual conduct” during the making of Fantastic Four.
Lucasfilm has not yet announced who will replace Colin Trevorrow as the director of Episode IX, but there’s already speculation that they could bring back Rian Johnson, the director of The Last Jedi.