“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.”
This was the innocuous statement made by Lucasfilm over the parting of ways of Colin Trevorrow on Tuesday, but we all knew there was more to it, and it was only a matter of time before we found out the details.
Everyone suspected there was trouble when Lucasfilm hired ‘Wonder’ screenwriter Jack Thorne to take over screenwriting duties for Trevorrow back in August, especially after Trevorrow’s summer movie ‘The Book of Henry’ bombed at the box-office, something which worried many fans. Of course, Trevorrow had the added difficulty of having to change his original script and story when Carrie Fisher passed back in December, so perhaps a lot of his script issues are not entirely his fault, but rumor has it that Kathleen Kennedy was not happy with him even before the script difficulties.
According to a report in The Hollywood Reporter, they claim “that the working relationship between Trevorrow and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy became unmanageable,” and in order to avoid another public director firing, Kennedy first tried to bring in someone else to rewrite the script, hence the hiring of Thorne.
But you may ask, what could have been wrong in their working relationship? According to a quote by Trevorrow around the time Lucasfilm fired Chris Lord and Phil Miller from the ‘Han Solo’ movie, it seems he was already nervous about the priorities of Lucasfilm and their parent company:
“Movies are very personal, and art is very personal, and for people to try to turn that into something that is salacious or something that will get clicks is frustrating and sad for me because I know that [movies] mean a lot to everyone involved.”
True or not, from this quote it could be theorized that Trevorrow believed Kennedy was only out to make money, not make great movies, and that was causing a rift between them, as Trevorrow was trying to be an “artist.” And I put quotes around that because this is the man that brought us ‘Jurassic World,’ and if ever there was a movie that was out to capitalize on a franchise and make money and ignore art, it was ‘Jurassic World,’ which did well at the box-office, but was little more than an updated rip-off of the original ‘Jurassic Park.’ Don’t get me wrong, I like Trevorrow just fine as a director, but I don’t think he has a large enough body of work to justify calling anyone else out for only being out for money, especially when his biggest hit to date was the 4th sequel in a 20-year old franchise that came out with middling reviews, who success was entirely based on how much money it made the summer it came out.
Will we ever know the full reasons behind Trevorrow leaving ‘Star Wars: Episode IX?’ In this industry, we might, but not for awhile, as Lucasfilm has a brand to protect, and Trevorrow is not looking to burn any bridges. But let’s just hope the recent string of director incidents leads Kennedy and company to be a little more careful in who they select for these movies and try to find collaborators who fit more with what they are looking for, instead of the latest “hot” artist who might be fun to work with.