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Star Wars Episode IX loses director Colin Trevorrow – but who should replace him?


The Star Wars universe has hit another bumpy patch with the news that Colin Trevorrow will no longer be directing Star Wars: Episode IX.

According to The Hollywood Reporter the filmmaker behind indie hit Safety Not Guaranteed, blockbuster dino smash Jurassic World and this year's critically panned flop The Book of Henry has parted ways with Lucasfilm, who released the following statement:

Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow have mutually chosen to part ways on Star Wars: Episode IX. Colin has been a wonderful collaborator throughout the development process, but we have all come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ. We wish Colin the best and will be sharing more information about the film soon.

The revelation follows news that Skins and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child scribe Jack Thorne had been hired to re-write the script, which has already gone through numerous iterations.

Earlier this year Lucasfilm and producer Kathleen Kennedy cited creative differences with departing Han Solo directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller. They were subsequently replaced by Ron Howard.

Whilst the scramble gets underway to replace Trevorrow on the ninth Star Wars movie, due for release in 2019, here's our shortlist of potential candidates.

Patty Jenkins

Currently the toast of Hollywood following the world-conquering success of Woman Woman (aka the movie that finally got the DC universe on track), Jenkins has demonstrated she has the requisite grasp of humour, action and visual effects needed to make Star Wars work.

Jenkins' lensing of Themyscira shows that she has a real eye for mystical landscapes and, with her sensitive handling of Gal Gadot's title character, she's proven she can handle iconic fan-favourite characters with flair. 

But is she experienced enough? Bear in mind prior to this, Jenkins' only feature film was the Oscar-winning Monster starring Charlize Theron. That may count against her – after all, this is Star Wars we're talking about. Experience may count for more in this instance.

Alfonso Cuaron

Now here's a director who's hopped in and out of the blockbuster realm. Cuaron delivered what many consider to be the best Harry Potter movie, 2004's The Prisoner of Azkaban, which marshalled effects and strong performances to elevate the series to increasingly emotional heights.

More significantly as far as Star Wars is concerned, Cuaron has been to space before with his massively successful, acclaimed and Oscar-winning Gravity. A technical marvel of seamless effects and long tracking shots, it took us into space like few others – surely this makes him the perfect person to take us to a galaxy far, far away?

Plus, with the technical and emotional prowess seen in his other classics like dystopian sci-fi Children of Men and family adventure A Little Princess, Cuaron will surely be able to nail the complexities of the Star Wars universe.

Duncan Jones

Jones is a filmmaker who, in his first two movies Moon and Source Code, was able to mix crowdpleasing set-pieces with brainy themes. The former stranded Sam Rockwell on the moon in an atmospheric story of isolation and fractured identity, a throwback to classic 1970s sci-fi movies but done with contemporary flair.

The latter starred Jake Gyllenhaal in a ticking clock thriller about a bomb planted on the train, and the soldier who must hop back and forth in time to prevent it going off. Both a suspenseful crowd-pleaser and a thoughtful look at fate and chance, it secured Jones as a rare populist filmmaker of real intelligence.

There's no denying he could bring class and craft to the Star Wars universe. Meanwhile his most recent film, 2016's Warcraft, wasn't too well-received but it did demonstrate a sense of CGI scale and spectacle needed to please the popcorn crowd.

Guillermo Del Toro

One of the most visually distinctive directors on the planet, Guillermo Del Toro may be a tricky proposition for Star Wars given he likes to exert creative control over all aspects of his movies. This has seemingly been the sticking point with Trevorrow, as well as Lord and Miller, so perhaps Del Toro's style is too idiosyncrantic?

As far as the movies themselves are concerned, he would seem to be a perfect fit. The Hellboy movies and Pacific Rim showed a pleasing willingness to mix lighthearted, quirky humour with well-lensed action sequences whilst Pan's Labyrinth and Crimson Peak are lavishly staged visual spectacles – just think of what Del Toro would be capable of when let loose on the world of Star Wars.

Plus, he was initially attached to The Hobbit before departing in favour of Peter Jackson, so he's clearly willing to tackle massive franchises. Will Luke Skywalker come calling next?

Matthew Vaughn

It's clear that any aspiring Star Wars director must have experience of working with demanding studio heads under intense conditions.

Vaughn has done so several times, working within the studio system on X-Men blockbuster First Class (turned around in a year) and spy actioner Kingsman: The Secret Service (the sequel for which, The Golden Circle, is coming very soon).

He's also worked outside the studios with independently financed superhero hit Kick-Ass. He's a filmmaker capable of wrangling both massive spectacle and quirky character moments – exactly what's needed for a Star Wars movie.

Who do you want to see direct Star Wars Episode IX? Send us your choices @Cineworld.