Well, I certainly didn’t see this coming, and from what I’ve read, neither did he: Rian Johnson will be directing Episode VIII of the newly relaunched Star Wars saga.
If you pay any attention at all to science fiction cinema, then you probably already know Johnson for his smart, futuristic action film Looper: A movie that combined the best parts of a mafia hit man story with the mind-breaking inherent paradoxes of time travel. Jonson also directed Brick, a kind of film noir detective story, with the exception that it takes place in a high school.
He’s a really bright, creative guy, and while it’s great to see him coming onboard, he’s certainly an unusual choice. I wouldn’t have named him in my top 10 of possible candidates to direct a Star Wars film. Heck, he might not even make my top 20. Still, he’s a good choice, and it will be interesting to see what he brings to the material.
Maybe he’ll bring along Joseph Gordon-Levitt with him. I’d actually love to see those guys in a Star Wars film.