Kathleen Kennedy Offers Updates on Rian Johnson and Taika Waititi Star Wars Movies

Kathleen Kennedy Offers Updates on Rian Johnson and Taika Waititi Star Wars Movies

It’s been a good week for “Star Wars” fans who have patiently waited for the franchise return to the big screen.

While Lucasfilm has primarily focused on TV (and the upcoming “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny”) since “The Rise of Skywalker” hit theaters in 2019, Kathleen Kennedy used this year’s Star Wars Celebration in London as an opportunity to announce several new theatrical films. In addition to revealing that Daisy Ridley would return as Rey in Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s untitled film from writer Steven Knight, the Lucasfilm president also announced that James Mangold and Dave Filoni would direct new “Star Wars” features.

It was all welcome news, but Kennedy’s presentation didn’t mention some of the other “Star Wars” films that have been announced in recent years. In an interview with Variety, she offered updates on the studio’s collaborations with Rian Johnson and Taika Waititi.

Following the release of his love-it-or-hate-it sequel “The Last Jedi,” Lucasfilm announced plans to have Johnson write and direct his own original trilogy of “Star Wars” movies. There hasn’t been much news on that front — as Johnson has focused on building a mystery empire through his “Knives Out” and “Poker Face” franchises — but the filmmaker claims he still wants to find the time to do it. Kennedy echoed Johnson’s sentiments, explaining that they are no longer developing those films but would love to work with him again when his schedule permits.

“Rian and I talk all the time,” she said. “He is unbelievably busy. So we’re not actively involved in anything at the moment because he’s doing another one of the ‘Glass Onion’ movies and then God knows what else. But he really wants to step back into the space. It’s a big commitment of time, so that’s really on him.”

Kennedy was also asked about Taika Waititi’s standalone film, which the director previously said would feature an entirely new cast of characters in the “Star Wars” universe. She didn’t have many concrete updates to offer, but promised that the film is still moving forward.

“Taika is still working away,” she said. “He’s writing the script himself. He doesn’t really want to bring others into that process and I don’t blame him. He has a very, very unique voice. So we want to protect that and that’s what he’s doing. But we’re going to make that one day.”

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