The plot, as they say, thickens.
Following hot on the heels of a Lucasfilm announcement, telling the world that Colin Trevorrow would no longer be directing Star Wars: Episode IX, Vulture is now highlighting some pretty shocking issues as the cause of the shake-up, saying that the relationship between the director and studio had become really bad, with the former being “unbearable” to work with. What’s interesting about that is that it stands in direct contradiction with Trevorrow’s own description of his experience just two months ago.
Colin Trevorrow himself has been heard – as recently as July 2017 – to vigorously defend the management methods of those behind the franchise, and the way in which filmmakers are afforded the opportunity to craft stories and deploy their specific project vision.
“There’s such a genuine want to get this right from everybody, and I think that one of the misconceptions is that there’s some kind of great corporate overlord that is dictating this story to everybody, and that’s what it’s going to be because that’s going to sell the most toys.”
Now, however, more details are coming to light, thanks to Vulture’s in-depth report. A source close to the production claims that Trevorrow was “egotistical” and even proved to be difficult to work with on Jurassic World.
“During the making of Jurassic World, he focused a great deal of his creative energies on asserting his opinion,” the executive explains. “But because he had been personally hired by Spielberg, nobody could say, ‘You’re fired.’ Once that film went through the roof and he chose to do Henry, [Trevorrow] was unbearable. He had an egotistical point of view— and he was always asserting that.”
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Of course, then there were those reviews for The Book of Henry, which had many people speculating that the director may be let go. The harsh reaction to that film wasn’t the reason for his firing though, as the source notes that the studio wasn’t thrilled with him in the first place.
“When the reviews for Book of Henry came out, there was immediately conjecture that Kathy [Kennedy] was going to dump him because they weren’t thrilled with working with him anyway,” the executive continues. “He’s a difficult guy. He’s really, really, really confident. Let’s call it that.”
Ultimately, Kathleen Kennedy calls the shots on a Star Wars movie and any director who doesn’t play by her rules, is out the door, says another source who’s worked with her in the past.
“There’s one gatekeeper when it comes to Star Wars and it’s Kathleen Kennedy,” says a veteran movie producer, who has worked with the studio chief. “If you rub Kathleen Kennedy the wrong way — in any way — you’re out. You’re done. A lot of these young, new directors want to come in and say, ‘I want to do this. I want to do that.’ A lot of these guys — Lord and Miller, Colin Trevorrow — got very rich, very fast and believed a lot of their own hype. And they don’t want to play by the rules. They want to do shit differently. And Kathleen Kennedy isn’t going to fuck around with that.”
While there’s probably more to the story than just this, it’s unlikely we’ll ever learn the full details of what really went down. But just from what we have here, it’s apparent that Trevorrow isn’t the easiest guy to work with and while success is certainly a good thing, it seems that it got to his head and ultimately cost him the job of a lifetime: directing Star Wars: Episode IX.