New Star Wars rumors indicate that Lucasfilm is attempting to diversify by hiring women and people of color for as-yet unannounced projects in the franchise.
On Twitter, the Black List founder Franklin Leonard suggested that Lucasfilm is looking to bring on "multiple women and people of color to write and direct Star Wars films," but has kept the proceedings quiet in order to "respect their privacy." The Tracking Board's Jeff Sneider backed up the rumors, although he couldn't name any specific creatives involved, and floated the idea that Lucasfilm may be interested in Black Panther's Ryan Coogler and A Wrinkle In Time's Ava DuVernay.
If the rumors are true that Lucasfilm has hired multiple women and people of color to write and direct Star Wars films and kept it quiet to respect their privacy, I happily and humbly withdraw my previous criticisms and hope that privacy remains respected.— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) February 7, 2018
After Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, the franchise hasn't really been diverse in terms of directors. The new trilogy has been directed entirely by white men, with J.J. Abrams helming The Force Awakens and gearing up for Episode IX, while Rian Johnson directed The Last Jedi. This modus operandi looked set to continue with Johnson now directing a new trilogy away from the Skywalker saga, and Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff also helming a new series of films. As to the franchise's anthology films, Gareth Edwards directed Rogue One and Ron Howard, Chris Lord and Phil Miller all sat in the director's chair for Solo: A Star Wars Story.
A recent report found that 96% of Star Wars films’ writers and directors are white men, with the one exception being Leigh Brackett, who received a screenplay credit for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in 1980. George Lucas directed Star Wars, Irvin Kershner helmed The Empire Strikes Back and Richard Marquand oversaw Return of the Jedi.
Recently, fans began to speculate that this trend was coming to an end after The Handmaid's Tale director Reed Morano met with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, building speculation she might be up for a film, especially after Kennedy -- a stout advocate of diversity in cinema -- revealed the studio's next 10 years of movies were already mapped out.