There’s a mysterious new disturbance in the force. Sleight filmmaker J.D. Dillard and Luke Cage writer Matt Owens are reportedly teaming up to work on a new Star Wars movie — but it’s not yet clear whether the new Lucasfilm project is intended to head to theaters or find a home on Disney+.
Per THR, Dillard and Owens have been tapped to develop the project, which has no known plot or character details at the moment. It’s also unclear if Dillard will direct should the project move forward, but the report does note that the project is said to be unrelated to the potential projects from MCU chief Kevin Feige and Rian Johnson‘s ongoing work with the franchise.
It’s an interesting and evolutionary time for the Star Wars franchise, with Rise of Skywalker having just closed out the decades-long Skywalker saga and Lucasfilm putting the film franchise on a temporary hiatus. For now, the next theatrical Star Wars movies aren’t scheduled until December of 2022, 2024, and 2026. At the same time, the first live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, found tremendous success on the new streaming service Disney+ last year and is already teed up for Season 2 to launch in October of this year.
During the most recent Disney earnings call, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger briefed investors on the current state of the Star Wars saga. “2020 is not going to be the same as 2019 for the studio,” he said during the call, explaining, “the priority for Star Wars in the short-term is going to be… I’ll call it television for Disney+ and then we will have more to say about development of theatrical soon after that.”
Dillard’s first feature Sleight debuted at Sundance in 2016, where it picked up a lot of buzz and got scooped up by Blumhouse and WWE studios. Blumhouse also backed his second feature, the woefully underseen monster movie meets island survival thriller Sweetheart (which you can watch on Netflix right now) that dropped last year. He also recently directed an episode of Utopia and is attached to a new remake of The Fly. And this isn’t Dillard’s first journey to a galaxy far, far away. The filmmaker got his start working with J.J. Abrams at Bad Robot and subsequently joined Abrams’ team on The Force Awakens‘ shoot. He also had a cameo as a Storm Trooper in Rise of Skywalker (pictured in the slice image above).
As for Owens, the writer has primarily worked with the Marvel branch of Disney’s empire to date (though as Jon Favreau and Taika Waititi demonstrate, the studio is keen to carry over talent between brands.) Owens got his start as a story editor on the Netflix Marvel-verse team-up miniseries The Defenders before going on to write for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and becoming a staff writer on Luke Cage.
As for what else is up next in the world of Star Wars, aside from the aforementioned Feige and Johnson projects and the upcoming second season of The Mandalorian, Disney+ just debuted the first episode of the seventh and final season of The Clone Wars. The streamer also has a Rogue One prequel series and a series based on Obi-Wan Kenobi in the works, with Ewan McGregor set to reprise the title role for the later. Last month, we reported that production on the series was placed on hold and the crews sent home, and McGregor later confirmed the shoot has been pushed back while reinforcing that the show is still very much a go.