I’ve made no secret of my disapproval for Lucasfilms choice to helm the third movie in this new trilogy of STAR WARS movies. I was underwhelmed by Colin Trevorrow’s SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED and downright hated his JURASSIC WORLD. He is, in my opinion, the least inspired choice to direct STAR WARS: EPISODE IX.
Here is who I would have chosen…
Ava DuVernay – The director of SELMA already has J.J. Abrams’ endorsement to helm one of the upcoming STAR WARS movies and with good reason. After seeing SELMA you can tell that she is a world-class storyteller who has no problem with committing propulsive, stirring moments to film. It’s not too late for them to swap out Colin Trevorrow for this far superior filmmaker. I honestly can’t think of a better filmmaker to make this movie.
James Ponsoldt – One of my favorite movies this year was THE END OF THE TOUR and while that movie doesn’t have very much in common with STAR WARS… It certainly has a director who is immensely skilled with a character and has an even better eye for characters and story. He doesn’t have a lot of experience with blockbuster movies, but you get the sense from his films that it’s not a matter of if he can do it and more a question of when. It would have been really exciting to have the answer to when be STAR WARS: EPISODE IX.
Christopher McQuarrie – McQuarrie was in director jail for a long time, but finally got out due to his work on JACK REACHER. He then went on to director the wonderful MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION. McQuarrie would have been a perfect choice to bring this trilogy to a close. His work as a writer and director shows that he can do pretty much anything. You also could do a lot worse than having the writer of EDGE OF TOMORROW working on your sci-fi/fantasy film.
Ryan Coogler – He’s no longer available because Marvel snatched him up for BLACK PANTHER, but Coogler would have been an inspired choice to take on the helming duties of IX. I have yet to see FRUITVALE STATION, but his work on CREED was revelatory. Needless to say, I’m very interested to see what he brings to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I’m sure it will be amazing.
Destin Cretton – While the least experienced of these directors, Cretton’s SHORT TERM 12 showed that he has a bright future in the industry. Maybe he should do something a bit smaller than STAR WARS to prove he can handle a monster budget blockbuster, but Trevorrow’s jump from his first film to his second was just as astonishing. If we can’t have a Cretton EPISODE IX, maybe we can get a Cretton Yoda movie or something.
Kathryn Bigelow – Her career has veered into making prestige thrillers exclusively, but once upon a time Bigelow was the most capable action shooter around. If you marry the fun of POINT BREAK and NEAR DARK with the integrity and scale of THE HURT LOCKER and ZERO DARK THIRTY… You would have a pretty great STAR WARS movie. It would also be really nice to get a new Kathryn Bigelow movie sooner rather than later.
Brad Bird – The most obvious choice on this list. He was originally asked to direct THE FORCE AWAKENS, but wasn’t able to due to his commitment to TOMORROWLAND. Disney & Lucasfilm would have done well to lock him down for EPISODE IX the second he wasn’t available for VII. Having the director of THE INCREDIBLES and MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL would have been a massive coup.
Jeff Nichols – After making TAKE SHELTER and the upcoming MIDNIGHT SPECIAL, it’s clear that Nichol’s has a soft spot for science fiction. He was one of the directors rumored to be up for AQUAMAN and has a pretty decent, growing filmography. Even MUD makes you feel like this guy could really tell a poignant tale set a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…
Drew Goddard – We have yet to see Goddard’s follow-up to THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, but imagine Lucasfilm going the same route as Rian Johnson and hiring another inspired writer/director to helm their big franchise picture. There is zero doubt in my mind that Goddard would knock this clear out of the park. It also seems like the kind of movie that he would jump at the chance to be apart of. He seems hungry enough to make it the best in the franchise.
Any of these directors would have been a better choice than Colin Trevorrow…