Rian Johnson Tapped To Write, Direct "Star Wars" Episode VIII & IX

UPDATE 6/20/2014 11:48 AM PT: Rian Johnson just posted a video clip from "The Right Stuff" to Twitter following the release of the "Star Wars" news. The Tweet follows below. [Note that the following clip includes adult language.]

- Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) June 20, 2014

Deadline reports that Lucasfilm is making a deal with "Looper" writer/director Rian Johnson to both write and direct "Star Wars: Episode VIII" and "Episode IX." Should the deal prove true, Johnson would take the reins of the franchise from director J.J. Abrams, who is currently helming "Star Wars: Episode VII."

Johnson's writer/director credits mostly cover indie film, like "Brick" and "The Brothers Bloom," though he more recently captured mainstream attention with "Looper." He also directed the fan-favorite and critically acclaimed "Ozymandias" episode of "Breaking Bad," widely regarded to be one of the best episode of the series' run on AMC. "Star Wars" will be Johnson's first time writing or directing a film based on existing material.

Rian Johnson is the latest director to come on to Lucasfilm and Disney's revival of "Star Wars" in theaters, with "Chronicle" and "Fantastic Four" director Josh Trank and "Godzilla's" Gareth Edwards set to helm spinoff films.

"Star Wars: Episode VII" is slated for a December 18, 2015 release.

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