11 People Who Should Direct Star Wars Episode IX

This seems to happen entirely too often now, but there is another Star Wars movie without its original director. To be honest, I was not sold on it to begin with and now they need to essentially start over. Since Episode IX will mark the 11th Star Wars movie, I have compiled a list below of 11 Directors who I think should be given the reigns.

1. Alfonso Cuarón

The rest of these choices are in no particular order but Alfonso Cuarón would absolutely be my first choice. He is responsible for the best film in the Harry Potter franchise - a series which has a person very concerned with the overall brand. If he worked for Rowling, he can work for Kennedy. The aesthetic he presented in Prisoner of Azkaban had elements used by future directors in the franchise. He was so good, he was invited back, but declined because pre-production for Goblet of Fire would interfere with post-production for Azkaban. He is proven, not an "up and coming" director, which is who Kennedy seems to have issues with. I actually hate thinking about it because it will increase my disappointment when it doesn't happen.

2. Ryan Coogler

Ryan Coogler gained a life long fan in me when he made the incredible moving film Creed, a "Rocky-verse" movie I never knew we needed. He has familiarity with powerful films having done Fruitvale Station as well. Plus, with Marvel's Black Panther near completion, he his in the Disney family already (they love their synergy) and has experience playing in someone else's sandbox, which seems to be a trait needed for a Star Wars film now.

3. Ava DuVernay

Speaking of "Disney Synergy", Ava DuVernay has just completed A Wrinkle in Time for Disney, which comes out in March. It is the biggest budget sci-fi movie for a female director ever - so she should top herself and direct Episode IX. She is certainly qualified enough to helm it, and she would get the most out of the character performances. Her work is often poignant and emotional. It would be nice to see the last chapter in the Skywalker saga end in that way. J.J. Abrams has been on record in saying that he would like to see her direct one. Scheduling might be an issue, but if anyone could make it work it is Disney.

4. Edgar Wright

Wright is almost in the Ryan Coogler camp - go from a Marvel movie to a Star Wars one. Unfortunately, he left Marvel's Ant-Man over "creative differences" and they seem easier to work with than Lucasfilm; or at least, Marvel seems to give directors more freedom. It is that whole sandbox thing again. Wright is a visionary filmmaker, but he creates his own worlds and could often clash with other people's visions. If Lucasfilm was willing to give him the reigns and let him go, it would work out great. Unfortunately, they are very much not willing to do that, hence all of the director changes. It is fun to think about though.

5. Jon Favreau

Again...synergy. A Marvel alum and a Walt Disney Pictures alum, Favreau has printed a ton of money for Disney already. He essentially launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and made the best live-action Disney remake yet. Scheduling might be an issue as he is in pre-production developing the photo-realistic Lion King remake; but they can make it work. Favreau makes incredibly fun movies (go watch Chef if you haven't, it is delightful), and if The Last Jedi is supposed to be the dark chapter, then Episode IX can do with some fun.

6. Kathryn Bigelow

Lucasfilm would be so lucky. Bigelow is one of the most versatile and talented directors in the business. She certainly knows how to film action (The Hurt Locker) and can do tense character interactions as well (Detroit). Regardless of who writes the story, she can elevate it to the next level. It would be a wonderful choice. If they delayed the film to December of 2019 then she would go against the second Avatar film, helmed by her ex-husband, James Cameron. That could add another twist to the already sprawling behind the scenes saga of Star Wars productions.

7. Patty Jenkins

Wonder Woman is a triumph in genre filmmaking. Patty Jenkins singlehandedly saved the DCEU from complete embarassment. Warner Bros should absolutely lock her down for Wonder Woman 2 but at the time of writing this - they haven't yet. Disney has deeper pockets and the force on their side. If they wanted to lure Jenkins away from a potential Wonder Woman 2 they could. I would like if she could do both. Maybe do Wonder Woman 2 after Episode IX. Warner Bros seems to have a lot of plans for DC properties, they could wait a little bit if they wanted to keep her if she was offered Star Wars.

8. Guillermo Del Toro

The human race as a whole doesn't deserve something this great. Del Toro has said before that he would like to do a Hutt Gangster film in that universe. I am already in the bag for anything he wants to do with Star Wars. To give him a main saga film is something I can't quite comprehend, but would like to try. The problem is, the studio wouldn't be able to interfere if there are conflicting visions, and I don't want to see a watered down, restricted Del Toro. So in order for this to happen they would need to be on the same page, and I don't think anyone is ever on the same page as this remarkable genius.

9. Rian Johnson

Rian Johnson is the incumbent in the Star Wars house right now (well him and Ron Howard) and it would make sense. They must be on the same wavelength because there wasn't a peep of any problems with him, as almost every other film has brought thus far. Everyone seems very happy with The Last Jedi and Rian has said that he would love to do another Star Wars film. This makes the most sense, and is probably most likely to happen.

10. J.J. Abrams


Could the prodigal son return? Abrams was reluctant to even do one Star Wars movie and clashed with Kathleen Kennedy on a few things. But after The Force Awakens made every dollar in existence, I'm sure things were forgiven. It could be a nice book end for the saga, have the director who propelled the Disney era of Star Wars into the stratosphere could be the man to save face for them. He is certainly well trained in how to handle the press, and is already familiar with most of the cast since he casted them. I could definitely see this happening.

11. Steven Spielberg


The Bearded God has been offered Star Wars movies before and said no, but minds can be changed right? He took a sabbatical from doing big event films, focusing more on historical pieces. But with him having just completed Ready Player One coming out early next year, he might get the bug again. I can see him wanting to respect his friend George Lucas, but he also has a very good relationship with Kathleen Kennedy. If anyone can convince him, it's her. He has had input before on things here and there, whether it was Lucas or Abrams asking for advice. But it would be nice for him to make his mark on the Star Wars universe completely. I know some of his movies as of late have been a bit lackluster, but what a better return to glory than in the galaxy far, far, away?

Who knows what Lucasfilm will do. We will find out in time, but in the mean time it is fun to speculate. Who do you want to see direct Episode IX?


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