TOKYO, JAPAN – OCTOBER 19: J.J. Abrams attends the premiere of Paramount Pictures’ “Star Trek Beyond” at TOHO Cinemas on October 19, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Ken Ishii/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)
In an Interview with Fast Company, Star Wars: Episode IX director J.J. Abrams revealed he initially turned down directing the movie and had no script when he began development.
Originally, Star Wars: Episode IX was set to be written and developed by Colin Trevorrow, who most famously directed the 2015 blockbuster film Jurassic World. However, Trevorrow left the project in late 2017, citing creative differences with the studio as his reasoning.
Director J.J. Abrams, who kicked off the new trilogy of movies with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, was then brought back into the franchise to direct the final entry in the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, in a move that was viewed positively by the fans, as while The Force Awakens wasn’t a perfect movie, it was generally well received.
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Although we are only about eight months out from the film’s releases, not much is known about what Star Wars: Episode IX will entail, as the conclusion of Star Wars: The Last Jedi left the franchise open-ended, and there a number of different directions the film can go in.
According to Abrams, he took some convincing to return to the franchise, as he was reluctant to do so when he was first approached, and after he did accept, he had no script to work with.
In an interview with Fast Company, Abrams stated the following:
"“Kathy Kennedy called and said, “Would you really, seriously, consider coming aboard?” And once that started, it all happened pretty quickly. The whole thing was a crazy leap of faith. And there was an actual moment when I nearly said, “No, I’m not going to do this.” … then Kathy said, “You should do this.” …And when she said it, I think that she felt like it was an opportunity to bring to a close this story that we had begun and had continued, of course. “"
After this, he went on to say in the interview that one of his concerns about accepting was the fact that the release date had already been announced for Episode IX when he was asked and that he had no script.
"“To have no script and to have a release date and have it be essentially a two-year window when you’re saying (to yourself), you’ve got two years from the decision to do it to release, and you have literally nothing . . . . You don’t have the story, you don’t have the cast, you don’t have the designers, the sets. There was a crew, and there were things that will be worked on for the version that preceded ours, but this was starting over.”"
This interview all confirms that although Abrams wrote and directed The Force Awakens, which was the launching off point for the sequel trilogy, he had no concrete plans regarding where to go with the franchise, and essentially gave Rian Johnson, the writer and director of The Last Jedi, free rein to do whatever he wanted.
Johnson stated in another recent interview with MTV News that he is not involved with the production of Star Wars: Episode IX, so Abrams has a blank slate to do whatever he wishes for the final entry into the franchise.
To this point, very little has been revealed about what will happen in Episode IX, including the movie’s name, although more is information is expected to be released at Star Wars Celebration.
However, the fact that Abrams went into production with the ability to create his own story could give us a clue into what he upcoming will end up being like.