Rian Johnson is a filmmaker who cut his teeth on crime drama (Brick) and caper comedy (The Brothers Bloom), along with top-tier television thanks to his celebrated work on multiple episodes of AMC’s Breaking Bad series. When pulled together, it makes for a remarkably diverse body of work, but it was ultimately Johnson’s lack of blockbuster experience that meant he was viewed as a curious choice to take on Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Before plotting a course for Disney’s galaxy far, far away, the closest Rian Johnson had come to a big-budget science fiction pic was Looper, the criminally under-appreciated genre gem of 2012 starring Bruce Willis and Joesph Gordon-Levitt. But low and behold, Johnson is the one marshalling The Last Jedi toward its December 15th due date, and though one might assume that the Powers That Be would make their presence felt on set, the director took to Twitter (via Screen Rant) to reaffirm that he ostensibly retained full creative control over Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
That same issue of creative control reared its head late last night, when it was revealed that Disney had formally parted ways with Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the erstwhile directors of the Han Solo Anthology movie. Subsequent reports have all but confirmed that Lord and Miller were fired after repeated clashes with screenwriters Jon and Lawrence Kasden concerning the tone and style of 2018’s Star Wars tentpole.
With The Last Jedi, it’s a little different in the sense that Rian Johnson is directing from his own script and here, the filmmaker stepped in to allay concerns over potential studio meddling:
I had as much creative control on TLJ as I've ever had on any of my own movies.
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) June 21, 2017
Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens December 15th, 2017. As for the Han Solo spinoff, Disney and Lucasfilm have drafted up a list of potential replacements, which purportedly includes Ron Howard, Joe Johnston, and the aforementioned Lawrence Kasdan.